Things are moving along at a good clip.  There are a few more upgrades that will be completed over the next week.   They should increase the reliability of the machine a good  deal.  With a bit of luck, we will finally be ready for some sustained shooting by next weekend.    ……………Yes,  I see all those eyes rolling out there.

Today, I heat treated some new vernier plates.  The new ones are made from 4140 and, at 50 RC,  are  tempered to be nice and tough .  This should be more than enough to counter some of the minor bending we are starting to notice being transmitted through to the mild steel  end caps in the field frames.    Also,  I have decided to add two diagonal bottom struts connecting the bottom of the field frames back to the stock.     Maintaining a rigid  relationship between the ladder and the stock is going to be important for the next phase of testing.   There are times during the tuning procedure when the bundles are being tightened, that it is possible to see the ladder flex a bit.   So far,  it hasn’t actually become a problem.  However, out of an excess of caution,  the additional struts seem like a good idea.  Like the rest of the machine, they will be secured with wedges that  are tapped into place.  Knock  out the wedges, and the whole machine can be disassembled in a couple of minutes.  It makes one wonder if ancient catapultiers were required to field strip their machines blindfolded,  much like modern soldiers do.    With this machine there is no reason such an exercise would not be possible.  Once disassembled,  it would be a snap for half a dozen strong men to pack this contraption over some pretty rough terrain.    No.   I am not volunteering for that one.

Here is a vid showing my new forge in action today:  smithy stuff

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