Intro: Your Very Own Piston Trophy
Every year, a friend of mine hosts a road rally race, and what's a race without a trophy!? The cost of the trophy in the past had came from the entry fee, with the remainder being donated to a local charity. As such, I decided to volunteer to make the trophy for free this year, and to make it automotive themed. I had recently rebuilt a Cummins 5.9L and was thinking I'd use the old piston from that, till I determined the piston skirt was too large to make a simple trophy.
**No dimensions will be used in this instructable other than stock material dimensions**
***Metal working can be very dangerous, I am not a skilled metalworker, merely a garage hobbyist, as such, some setups may be less than ideal, bordering on dangerous! Ensure you always were proper protective equipment so you can enjoy instructables.com for years to come***
Step 1: Search Ebay for Used Piston
After realizing the Cummins 5.9L piston was too large, I decided to search Ebay for used piston. The group that hosts the rally had always used a new Challenger for their cover photo, so I decided to look for a Hemi piston and connecting rod to use. Found one locally and for the low, low price of $35.
Step 2: Every Piston and Connecting Rod Needs a "Crank"
I had an idea that I would attach the connecting rod to a crankshaft, which meant I need to make a "crank" on the lathe. After measuring the connecting rod journal bearing inner diameter, I got to work turning the "crank" with a 4" piece of 6061 aluminum round that I had on hand . In order to achieve the crankshaft throw I used a 4-Jaw Independent chuck and offset the the workpiece to accommodate the journal diameter.
Step 3: Mill a Flat on the "Crank"
Since I would need a base for the "crank" to attach to, I simply milled a flat on the bottom of the "crank" to accommodate a mounting platform.
**Not shown here, is drilling and tapping the flat on the "crank" to attach the crank to the base.**
Step 4: Make Your Base
I had some spare 1-1/4" x 3" 6061 aluminum flat bar that I had ordered in the past, so I used that to make the base. At this point, after cutting the aluminum flat bar, I needed to create a place to mount the placard with the rally's name and first place. I had also recently received a Tormach Tooling System SuperFly, and wanted to use it, so I figured I'd give it a shot.
Step 5: Test Fit the Assembly
At this point, I attached the "crank" to the base, then the connecting rod and piston to the "crank" to see how it looked as an assembly. Not too shabby, could use a quick polish though.
Step 6: Much Better
Looks quite a bit better polished, still far from being done though.
Step 7: Turn a Center Cap for the "Crank"
At this point, I wanted to turn a center cap for the "crank", so back over to the lathe we go!
Step 8: Modify "Crank" to Accept Center Cap
With the center cap turned, I needed to modify the "crank" to accommodate the center cap. Using a boring head and bar, I began to bore 1" diameter hole in the "crank".
Step 9: Create Pocket in Base for Engraved Placard
I now wanted to create a pocket in the base for the engraved placard I would later make. After milling the pocket, I used a piece of 1/4" x 1-1/4" 6061 flat bar to check fitment.
Step 10: Mill Placard to Width and Engrave
After the base had the pocket milled and the fit was acceptable, it was time to create the placard. First I measured the width the base, and using a Sharpie marker as layout fluid, I scribed a lined for the width of the placard. Then got to trimming down the placard. After the placard was cut down, spent some time in SprutCAM creating a simple tool path to drill the corners, then countersink, engrave a perimeter border and finally the text.
**Not shown, using a transfer punch and layout fluid on the base pocket, mark the location of the 4 holes on the placard, then drill and tap the base for machine screws used later.**
Step 11: Attach Engraved Placard and Center Cap
We're almost done! At this point, attach the center cap to the "crank" and the placard to the base and take a glamour shot, as it's almost complete. But it's missing something, we want to engrave the center cap with 2015.
Step 12: With Center Cap Engraved!
We're 99.9% done! To make the engravings pop, we're going to fill the engravings with black paint. I used Testors model paint, don't be afraid of getting paint out of the engraving, a Q-Tip and a little pressure will clean it up easily.
Step 13: And We're Done!
With the paint all dried and cleaned up, we're done with the trophy! Hopefully this helped you come up with some ideas on how to recycle a used piston for an auto event in the future!