Case Study #4
LST 393 Deck Gun Project
This project ended up being a coalition of the Lakeshore Fab Lab and MCC’s Welding program. The LST 393 is a transport class boat that was used to carry troops, equipment and vehicles to shore. Read more about it here. The LST 393 museum reached out to us to help them with a restoration project with a newly purchased deck gun that they had acquired. The floor in the ‘new to them’ deck gun was corroded beyond saving. We have a lot of resources at the fab lab but we aren’t exactly welding professionals so we brought in Tom Summerix from the MCC Welding program.
The first thing that we did was go to the deck gun and take basic measurements so we could start to put together a digital CAD file. Once this was done our next step was to use our Roland vinyl printer/cutter to print out a full scale representation of our design for a fit test. We won’t call the 1st time a failure but rather a ‘learning experience’. After some adjustments we went back and re-printed the template. Closer but not there yet. Some minor tweaks and adjustments and we were ready for a hard template using plywood on our Shopbot CNC Router.
Well the plywood cutouts fit pretty closely BUT still some areas we needed to improve upon. We were then ready for using a Torchmate CNC Plasma Cutter to cut out the new diamond plates out of steel. With the help of an MCC Welding student, the existing floor and rusted areas were cut out to make way for the new flooring. Once that was complete the new floor was ready for installation! Unfortunately the 1/2inch thick sheet of steel was still off in some areas and had to be grinded down a bit. With a short delay the flooring was done and welded in place!
What We Used
Plasma Water Table Cutting
Cut metal sheets
Shape plastic and wood
Large Format Vinyl Printing
Make banners, decals, car wraps,
window clings, and stickers
Drills, saws, sanders hand plasma cutting and welding
looking to the future
We hope to be able to do more projects with the LST museum in the future. We loved the collaboration between the fab lab, MCC and the community! It is also very cool to be able to know that the project is something that will provide value to the community for years to come! The new deck gun will help teach adults and kids history, and also who doesn’t love big guns on boats!