Power Cube/Intro Video Script
The first step in construction of the power cube is to fabricate several parts prior to assembly. Detailed specifications for fabrication of materials for the power cube are available on the Open Source Ecology wiki page Power Cube/Manufacturing Instructions.
If you are planning on constructing multiple power cubes it saves time to first create a jig to use in assembling the power cube frame. The frame on the bottom of the jig keeps the power cube frame square while assembling, and the two upright guides ensure that the vertical sides of the frame under construction are plumb. Angled spacers are inserted tightly into the corners of the jig between the frame during construction. The spacers are then driven out to free the completed power cube frame from the jig.
The frame is constructed out of twelve angle iron pieces tacked and welded together. Position two 29” pieces angle iron on top of two 27” angle pieces. Check that all joints are square, then tack and weld joints. With one welded rectangle on the bottom, position two 24” pieces outside corner joints. Check that the angles are square, then tack and weld. Repeat the procedure and for another half of the frame assembly. Position the two half cubes together, then tack and weld. Inspect all corners to verify secure welds.
The Fuel Tank for the power cube is constructed from a steel tube with two end plates. The welds on the tank must be quality to prevent leaking. Make sure to thoroughly clean the inside of the tank. Pour soapy water over the tank after welding and look for new air bubbles to spot any air leaks. Repeat the process of welding and checking for holes with soapy water until perfection.
The Hydraulic Reservoir also requires careful welding to ensure it is liquid tight. Thoroughly clean the edges of the tube, the inside, and clean grind tank bungs. Tack and weld plates to either end of the tube. Insert the strainer into the flange and make sure it doesn't bottom out. Remove the strainer from the flange, then tack and weld the flange to the tank. Keep the strainer away from the welding and flames, as its thin wires burn easily. Perform a soapy water test on the tank.
Now you can begin to assemble the elements of the power cube inside the frame. Attach the gas tank mount to the frame. Position it so the gas tank will be 3" from the nearest vertical angle iron support. Tack and weld the gas tank to the gas tank mount.
Tack and weld the hydraulic tank to the frame. Cover holes to prevent debris from entering tank while welding. Any debris stuck inside the hydraulic tank will reduce the life of the hydraulic pump.
Tack the 2" x 2" engine support plate to the Hydraulic Tank. Bolt the horizontal engine mount plate to the angle plate. Bolt the vertical engine mount plate to the 29" angle support and set it into the frame so the vertical engine mount plate and the horizontal engine mount plate meet at a 90 degree angle. Weld the 90 degree angle. Unbolt the engine mount assembly from the supports and bolt it onto the engine outside of the cube.
Proper mounting and alignment of the pump is essential for the longevity of the power cube. Bolt the hydraulic pump to the pump mounting plate. Thread one nut on each of the four 3/4" x 4 1/2" bolts and insert the bolts through the holes on the hydraulic pump mounting plate and then put on and tighten the second set of nuts. Put the coupler on the hydraulic pump and tighten set screw. Put the pump and coupler on the engine shaft. With the hydraulic pump properly in place the four bolts will self align against the engine plate. Tighten the set screw on the engine shaft. Align the hydraulic mounting plate so its edges are parallel with the engine plate and weld the four 3/4" bolt heads to the engine plate. The point of using the bolts is to allow for adjustment to line up the engine and pump perfectly. Tack the four bolts to the plate making sure that weld contraction does not misalign the pump and engine. Finish weld the bolts. If the pump and engine are aligned, you should be able to spin the top of the engine with your hands.
Lower the engine assembly into the cube. The engine assembly will rest on the hydraulic tank support angle and the 29" cross support. Bolt into place using two bolts per plate.
Weld the two battery mounts to the frame to form a seat for the battery.
Attach the oil cooler to mounting bars. Tack mounting to the frame. Attach fan to its mounting bars and tack to the frame. When everything fits properly finish weld. You may need to use short bar pieces to space the vertical supports.
Connect the hydraulic suction hose from the barb of the hydraulic tank to the barb inlet of the pump. Use 1" suction hose cut to the proper length. Attach the return line filter and hardwire to the hydraulic cooler.
Next, clamp the keyswitch bracket to the frame and weld in place. Clamp the throttle bracket to the frame in respective position and weld in place.
Weld the solenoid mounting bolts to the hydraulic reservoir. Install the solenoid by securing it on the bolts with two nuts.
Now the power cube can be wired. The keyswitch has spade connectors for wiring and and is tightened with its own nut onto the keyswitch bracket. Install the throttle cable if the engine does not have electronic throttle control.
Mufflers are fabricated and attached to either side of the engine to direct exhaust flow.
Weld the two quick attach plates to the top sides of the frame. Secure at an angle so the opening at the bottom of the angle is approximately 2 1/8" before welding in place. Use solid, strong welds the entire length of the plates, as they will bear the load of the entire power cube.
Prior to painting, check all external surfaces for sharp edges and smooth with angle grinder. Remove any surface rust with wire brush and / or sandpaper. Apply a thorough coating of paint to all steel surfaces. When painting the power cube, cover any place that should not be painted.
For more detailed instructions and diagrams, visit the open source ecology wiki page on power cube manufacturing instructions.