November 21, 2011
The suspension is almost done. We're actually a little surprised by that, or more than a little, because it was beginning to seem like a never-ending job. Actually, that's not true, it always seemed like a never-ending job. But we've finished all the parts for both lower control arms, and they really look good, based as usual on our own definition of good. With both of the upper A-arms completed and all of the suspension brackets finished and just one more shock support plate to make, we're starting think about what comes next.
We learned our lesson last Friday about wearing eye protection. Our old safety goggles were getting a little foggy, and we'd been going with only the protection afforded by regular eyeglasses. We spent the day grinding sheet metal, and while I donít remember anything in particular happening, my left eye was really sore Friday evening and Saturday. Itís better today (Monday), but I can still feel it. We didnít work on the Locost Saturday, but we did take a trip to the local Ace hardware store for a new pair of safety goggles.
Shop safety is something we think is important, but not something we get too worked up about. Maybe we've just been lucky. Do unsafe things long enough, though, and the odds are probably going to catch up with you. So we're taking precautions. We don't like gloves but we wear them now when we know the job we're doing is going to hurt if we don't. We also try to remember to wear a dust mask when sparks of burning steel are flying through the air. And the goggles are always close by.
Safety may be as much or more about how you do your work as it is about what steps you take beforehand. Some of it's instinctive, like standing to the side when you flip on the grinder, or checking that everything is away from the sander before firing it up. Some of it unfortunately is experience, which is not usually good in this case. We don't know anybody who built a Locost without at least a few injuries. We've heard of everything from singed eyebrows to getting run over by a rolling chassis. So minor stuff. But we want to avoid anything more serious.
So this long side trip into the world of suspension parts has given us a lot of perspective on the whole Locost project. Building the suspension components really seems to be one of the major tasks, if only because it requires so much engineering and fabrication. Nothing is really off-the-shelf. We can imagine a couple of other tasks like that, most notably the bodywork and the exhaust. And the interior. Right now we're looking forward to more simplified jobs like welding the frame and attaching parts to it. I think we'll start on the nose of the frame next. It needs a jig.
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