For this arch I thought it would be fun to clean things up a bit and make the shackle mount one integral part. I put together a quick design in CAD and laid everything out with layout fluid. This gave me the opportunity to see how the part looked in real life.
To get started making the part, I’ll take care of the machining operations first before doing all the sawing. I first drilled the shackle holes.
Next I can start milling out the window. Since I have no idea what I’m doing yet, I drilled out most of the waste before using an endmill to mill the slot.
I worked around the perimeter of the window doing the long edges first. When doing the short edges, I tried just using the end mill and not drilling out the waste. This went perfectly smoothly and was much faster.
I left some tabs on the waste. I could just cut those and clean up the remaining waste.
The last step was to cut the clearance angles and then cut the part to final width at the bandsaw.
Next I’ll work on breaking down the stock for the arch with the bandsaw. I found I could save a bit of time by weld prepping with the grinder while the saw was running.
Here are the 5 parts of the arch cut to length and roughly laid out. This arch is wider than my old one to fit the wider width of this trailer and I’ve also made it a bit taller so I’ll have a bit more room for rigging.
I’ll start the assembly by welding all the parts onto the top of the arch. this starts with some backers which will help distribute the forces from the shackle mount into the tube.
Between welding operations, I let the top of the arch cool while working on the hinge mechanism. I laid out and drilled the pivot holes in the frame first.
Back to the top piece to weld the shackle mount on. This simply slid over the added material and I could weld it into place. I prepped the mount with a die grinder so there would be plenty of room for weld material. Also on this because it’s such a thick piece, I started with a 6011 rod which is more aggressive.
The next thing to add to the top are the chain catches. These allow for smaller logs to be loaded off center or can be used as a safety to hold the arch up while the winch is disconnected. A backer plate is added and the grabber is welded to that. The chain catch has a slot milled into it which is 3/8″ wide.
Hopping back to the hinge. I spend some time prototyping the hinge parts by using some MDF. This made it very quick to figure out the hole placement and overall size and shape of the parts.
To star the hinge install, I’ll first weld a plate into the corner. This will help strengthen the area and help distribute the forces from the hinge into the trailer frame.
Next I can pin everything together and weld on the outer hinge leaf. I added a 1/2″ space to allow for some clearance of the hinge parts.
The last thing was to weld the offset hinge part onto the upright of the legs.
This offset allows for the hinge mechanism to be below the deck of the trailer and allows for the arch to fold flat onto the deck for transport.
With the legs laying on the deck, the angled parts of the arch can be added.
The shackle mount on the top piece makes adding the top of the arch a bit trickier since it needs to be up off the deck but the Fireball squares made that set up pretty easy with the help of a lot of clamps.
Lastly are the gussets which help reinforce the weld and also keep the arch from twisting and racking as it loads logs. I cut these out of 4″ flat bar with the metal cutting circular saw.
Since there is so much weld surface on these, I figured it’d be a good opportunity to practice my MIG welds.
And there’s the completed arch!
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