Time for a little update on the homestead firefighting cart. Lucky me. I was able to source the extruded aluminum rail that the SCUBA tank brackets slide into at local Diver’s Direct. Another trip to Home Depot for a metal capable countersink and Lowes to search for hardware which I chose flat aluminum stock and pop rivets for the cantilever instead of the diamond plate aluminum they had a Home Depot. The 3/4″ end caps were in already here in the mail.
I was so excited after sourcing the bracket rail that I went to work on the project as soon as I got it home. Things went well without major problems. What I did notice was it sure does slow me down to not have a shop or utility truck to work out of. Frustrating, but it will change. I really miss the precision of tools like a chop box and drill press. Beats using a hack saw and cordless any day of the week.
The first issue was after I mounted the tank brackets to the lower half. When I tried to pull the cans out the bottom kicked out with nothing to brace onto making the cans very difficult to remove. To solve this I used one of the 3/4″ square stock pieces to rivet onto the bottom of the cart as a stop. This wasn’t successful because the 3/4″ was too low so I had to add another shorter piece for a double stack. That solved the problem.
The other problem was that the upper brackets pushed out the extinguishers so that almost half was hanging off the only two cross braces I was able to install. The curvature of the cart frame uprights won’t let me place a piece of the square stock out far enough. That’s when I decided to go with the flat stock. I would have chose the diamond plate but it came down to having a way to machine the piece. With the flat stock all I have to do is make a straight cut.
My original plan to have the upper extinguishers set on 3 pieces of square stock was changed because of that bump out and curvature. That turned out well because I ended up needing the extra to use as backstops to make the brackets functional as extinguisher holders. Now they’re being held by the friction of the bracket yet still immediately accessible during an emergency. I think I have somewhere between 8-12 hours on this project so far and a little over $300.00. More on that when I tally my receipts.
I made a video diary of the progress. Really have get it together and remember to empty the memory and charge the batteries on my iphone-cameras “before” I start so I can shoot more video instead of stills. That would be called, a, clue. The cart is usable at this point. I plan on adding a few more ABC extinguishers and some protective equipment. My next plans are to finish off the cart then make a video tour of the who, what, when, where, and why.
Really happy to have the peace-of-mind that goes with being prepared. -13