Wow, a lot has been happening in the last 3 weeks on Snow Trax, so much so that I forgot to post an update! The metal I am building the prototype units out of has turned up, I’ve ordered a pillar drill to help with the fabrication, and I’ve had a roller coaster ride with suppliers in China. Let’s get into the detail:
Oooo, New Tools
There is a lot of precision fabrication required for the prototype units and it’s very expensive to have anything fabricated as a one-off or two-off (just to give you an idea, an A5-sized piece of flat metal with some holes drilled into it was coming up at £75 per piece). Instead, I decided that I could do it myself with a pillar drill and the drill would cost less than having 1/4 of a Snow Trax made.
I ordered the drill, and it turned up 2 days later, all 43KG of it!
I wasn’t in, so my old, frail neighbour signed for it. She had it put in her narrow hallway and was unable to move it until I came round to get it; I feel really bad about it!
To go with the drill, I ordered metalwork from a very efficient place called Aluminium Warehouse (no prizes for guessing what metal they sell) who cut the metal to size for me. Unfortunately, they don’t do any fabrication, so I’ll be doing it all myself with the aforementioned pillar drill.
I’ve printed out all the metalwork designs at life size, cut them out and sticky-taped them to the metal; now the fun/hard work starts when I have to accurately assemble the first Snow Trax unit. I’ll keep you posted.
Some parts of the Snow Trax design are not being made by me, such as the tracks and wheels; I’m ordering these bits from Chinese suppliers who are experts in belt and pulley systems. They may be great at belts, but they’re awful at quoting. So far, two suppliers have quoted me prices then been unable to provide the parts at the quoted price because they had made a mistake in the quote; very annoying.
However, I’ve now got some suppliers I like and I’m placing the orders for the sample parts this week and things still look good for an April demonstration unit.
Anyone else looking forward to the first retail electric powered snowboard? We certainly are and we’re glad to hear you are too!