Adding the hopper, Step 6 of a DIY record

I built a homemade brake to bend sheet metal and it works OK, not great.  The corners are really radius’s and fairly large ones at that.  The second and main issue I have with it, is the inconsistency that comes from the bends.  I find that even though I try to align things perfectly it does not work that way.  Some of the parts I have made lately I have cut some slits with the CNC to weaken the folded edge making it more consistent and I wish I had done this for this part of the project….Anyway, a quick reminder of last years effort.

Last years hopper, auger and burner combination



As you can see the hopper is quite small and I ended up adding an extension later.  The burner is integral to the hopper and auger, making it very difficult to make any changes to the burner. Lastly the legs are welded on and have no adjustment and seriously two wheels what was I thinking?  So while the principal is the same there are some major differences.


New hopper with tabbed gussets


It’s pretty challenging to align four pieces of steel of such odd shapes and weights, so in this iteration I cut some gussets with tabs to fit into a slot in the end pieces of the hopper. This keeps the end pieces fixed from side to side because of the slot and plumb as it is butted up to the square the gusset forms.  All from welding a gusset plumb. So that was an aid to success, of course as soon as I finished I tossed some ideas around with a friend and we thought up a perhaps better way by making two peices instead of four and doing a different bending technique. Next time. In the meantime this is straight, level and functional. Almost done with the hopper/auger assembly, The last task is to mount the electrical box and paint the entire assembly while it is still apart and then assemble it into a working machine and test the auger drive.

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