On the weekend I finished the bulk of the welding that needs to be done. I sourced some 1.2mm Aluminium sheets from Bunnings and headed into my local hackerspace. Although it was nearly twice the cost, I decided to go with aluminium because it looks a lot nicer, doesn’t need any extra work to “finish” it (ie painting etc.), and it’s at least half the weight of steel.
The HSBNE table saw was used to cut the first sheet up into two pieces so they could be riveted onto the sides of the battery cage. These pieces were then cleaned up on the Linisher. As this was my first welding project, the battery cage isn’t quite square which made cutting out the sheets a little more of a challenge. I got them as close as I could, then used the Linisher to trim a little bit off one of the edges so it lined up correctly.
I think this turned out pretty well so far, and I’m excited to finish off the remaining sides. After I’ve finished riveting all of the sides together, I need to go around the inside with some automotive silicon sealant. This will help to keep most of the joins water tight and help to avoid corrosion occurring inside the battery cage. For now, the top right (in the picture above which is rear of the battery cage) isn’t going to be enclosed as I haven’t quite worked that out yet. I’ll probably end up using some of the aluminium sheet and hinging it off the top left part and use some rubber or something to give it a bit of a seal.
A quick update on the battery pack while I’m here. Some of the parts have started arriving for my monster cell tester/cycler. I’ve also collected around 400 cells so far, or about 1/3rd of what I need for the complete battery pack. It’s taking a little longer than I thought, but I’m slowly getting there.