Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 47 - Trimming the foam

Nothing much to go into detail on, just trimmed the foam today.  I think I went a little overkill!  I mainly used a hacksaw, but for some of the tighter spots where the saw wouldn't fit, I used a box cutter (at one point, I had to take the blade out and use it directly).

I'll need to sand it down further to get a nice recess to apply a good layer of Bondo, but I'll do that a little later in the week, I think.  This part will probably take me a few days, so I might not be reporting in much until it's done, but I promise, LOTS of pictures!  I think I'm up to almost 250 now in this build diary!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 46 - FOAM!

After I got home from work today, I spent most of my time cleaning up and re-arranging everything in the garage.  I was tired of breathing sawdust and tripping over tools and cables.  Now everything is much tidier, so I rewarded myself with some "bubbly":

THIS kind of bubbly!

My god, I've been wanting to do that part for so long!  Hahahahaaa!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 45 - Laser cutting gunbox details / Dalek mummification

Today (Sunday) was a light workday.  I had to go into my office to get a head start on some day-job stuff, and when I finished, I decided to go up to Metrix Create:Space again and have them laser cut the gunbox details onto some 3mm baltic birch stock that they carry.  I had decided to settle on the dimensions that the 2005 plans called for, which was 13.8cm, rather than 14cm on another blueprint .pdf.  Here's a movie of them being cut!

When I got home, I took the clamps off the last cladding strips, drew some trim lines even with the front trapezoid piece, and dremeled them.  I then started to wrap the whole shoulder section in masking tape to prepare it for foaming.

As I reached certain sections, I started to get puzzled as to how I wanted to mask/shape everything when the time came.  Especially the area where the sides of the gun boxes meet the shoulders.  I've seen various different ways people have handled it in their own builds, and I'm wondering if it really matters since that area will be mostly hidden with a shoulder slat anyhow.  Anyway, I took a picture so that you can see what I'm talking about.

I also temporarily taped the gunbox details to the gunboxes because I wanted to see a "preview" of what they will look like when I eventually attach them.  They look so awesome!  I'll probably sand down the edges a bit, though, since the reference photos make them look a little rounded.

And, finally, the latest stack shot, showing how I've fully mummified the shoulders.  Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to sit that piece on so that I can go crazy with the foam this week.  I must say, I'm getting shivers as this beast gets closer and closer to completion!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 44 - Finished neck bolts and final shoulder cladding strips

After spending a bit of time making .eps files for the light cages, I swung by Metrix Create:Space here in Seattle to get them cut out onto acrylic sheets.  I got to watch as the laser cutter sliced out these beauties.  Such lovely work!  I think I'll return to them for the gunbox detailing, and see if they can cut HDF or something similar.

For the light cage bottom, my intent is to glue the 4.5mm and 6mm pieces together for a total height of 10.5mm.  Then, I will glue the thinner, wider 3mm thick part (Ring 1) on top of that, which is where the screw holes will also be drilled.

The struts are .35mm too thin, and the ring tops are .5mm too thin, but I pretty much don't care.  I'll also drill holes into each end of the struts, as well as the top rings.

The rest of the day was all about getting the shoulders (finally) ready for their expanding foam.  Because of the size of the gunbox hole, I needed to add one more spacer before I could make my card template.  So, I did that, then made a card template, used it to jigsaw out some final strips of HDF board, and soaked those in the bathroom sink for an hour.

I wanted them to dry with a bit more of a curve than what was called for, because I don't have any clamps that can reach midway down the shoulders.  You'll see what I mean at the end of this entry.  I decided to clamp them in reverse inside the top shoulder ring.  I applied a bit of heat from a hair dryer, and then set to work on the rest of the neck blocks while those where drying.

I don't have pics for this part, but I used the jigsaw to cut the small comb-like cuts I wrote about before for the remaining 23 blocks.  Boring, boring, boring.  Except this is where my first injury of this whole diary occurred—I sliced my thumb a bit when my box knife slipped.  I had been scoring the comb-like cuts to make them fall our easier.  Oops.  Washed, alcoholed, bandaged, back to work.

I hadn't unboxed my new drill yet, so I assembled it in fairly short order, then set to work making a jig to account for the 45° angle of the 1/2" hole I needed to drill.  I used the remaining uncut strut board, a few clamps here and there, and another piece of wood to keep the neck bolts from sliding.  Viola.

Oh, I don't think I mentioned this: I found a wood store right next to a new tool shop I discovered (the one where I bought my drill), and that wood shop happened to have two packs of 12 1/2" wooden balls in stock!  Exactly 24 remaining in their whole store.  Kismet!

I attached a 1/2" round router bit to the drill and tested it out, setting the drill limit as I did so that I could make uniform holes in all 24 neck bolts.  I tested each of them out before proceeding to the next, and they all wound up with a really nice fit.

I decided that I wanted to again take a page out of AdamSt's diary and countersink these blocks so that I could attach them to the neck struts with wood screws.  I replaced the 1/2" router bit with one of my countersink bits that I got waaay back when I was making the skirt, and drilled away.

In the plans, I also noticed that the blocks are slightly rounded on some edges.  I don't have a bench sander, so I clamped my orbital sander to my table and did it that way, mostly with it turned off, actually!  But sometimes I would rev it up to make quicker work of this very tedious task.

Finally, I attached all the bolts to the struts with screws, first taking my hand drill and making an angled hole in the strut through the neck block hole.  I didn't want the strut to split while I was screwing in a wood screw, after all.

And, ta-da, the completed (yet unsanded) neck bin!  This piece is now VERY sturdy.

By this time, I had burned a lot of hours with all the repetitive work this entailed.  The cladding I had set out to dry was very dry, indeed, and ready for gluing.  As I stated earlier in this entry, I didn't have clamps large enough to apply direct pressure to the strips, so I wanted a more severe curve in the HDF that would require less pressure.  Clamping the pieces to the inside of the top shoulder ring accomplished this nicely, and I was able to rig together a loose clamping solution that should take care of this final part.

Once it's dry, I can start FOAMING!  I. Cannot. Wait.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 43 - Gun boss front

Total departure from plywood, MDF, and HDF for today's entry!

I went to a co-worker's house yesterday who had volunteered to break out his metal lathing machine (which he hadn't used in a year, I found out), and brought along the aluminum I had previously purchased.  But, on the way, I first had to CAF-FEI-NATE!, so I stopped at a familiar Seattle site.  As usual, when someone asks how my day is going, I will give them a literal answer rather than a "Oh, I'm gooooood, thaaaaanks." So, I told them I'm on my way to build a part for my Dalek.  Then, when my coffee order was ready, I saw this.

So that started the day off in a lovely way!  Anyway, on to the more interesting stuff.  I'm not going to describe all of this in too much detail, for my friend did most of the work, and I was essentially in a quality assurance role.

First, we needed to mount the aluminum and center it, since the piece wasn't too much bigger than what the width of the finished piece would be.  Oh, by the way, we worked on this thing converting from metric to imperial all the while, to the 1,000th decimal point!  For this piece, we needed the OD to be 54mm, or rather, 1.692 inches.  He had an interesting gadget that measured the surface of the mounted piece, and he would hand-spin it to see the variations as it turned, making minuscule tweaks to the mounting posts as he did so.

Once is was securely centered, he then began boring out the middle hole.  We decided to be just shy of an inch (<25.4mm) so that when I got the pipe I need (still wondering about stainless steel vs aluminum on that), we would further bore it out accordingly.  I took some videos of this part; the clang at the end of the second one was one of my gun rods being vibrated off the work table, hehe!

(Side note: I had swung by Lowe's on the previous day and found a scrap of corrugated pipe that looked like 1" in OD, but turned out to be wider.  It's a pity, since I liked the thick walls of this pipe.  However, it was too wide ultimately, and that sucker was *heavy*.  Good weapon to thwart burglars, though.)

He then trimmed the stock to the proper width, within about a thousandth of an inch tolerance.

Then, we had some fun geometry errors when lining up his angled cutter mount, accidentally using the reciprocal angle of the one we should have been using (which, if you're keeping score, is 38.66°).  But, the good thing about a mistake like that is you can correct it.  We changed to the correct angle, and shaved off the incorrect one!

Wash, rinse, repeat, until all angles and interior diameters were cut, then we sanded and cut off the piece from the remainder of the stock.

He then proceeded to lathe down a piece of wood, mark eight lines on another, and bolted the two together with the gun boss tip mounted on.  This then got clamped onto his drill press table, and the decorative holes were then marked and drilled.  This was when we both noticed that the center band where the holes are drilled wasn't as wide as the plans (5mm), so our decorative holes were a little big for it.  I don't really mind, though.  What bothered me a tiny bit more was that the spacing between all eight wasn't exactly uniform due to drill bit drift, along with the unclamping and reclamping of the jig.  But, you'd have to be really close to the Dalek to see that.

Next up was drilling the holes for the rods.  I had brought the rods with me to his house so that we could test the holes as we cut them.  And we got them nice and snug!  They are 3/16", by the way, or ~0.187".  I didn't want to use the decorative holes as a guide since, as I said, they were slightly non-equidistant from each other.  So we checked and rechecked and rechecked before committing to the plunge of the press.  We also wound up drilling all the way through the piece (instead of stopping just short of the barrel) so that the rods have the maximum amount of space to be set within.

Roughly 5 hours later, we were done.  It surprised both of us that it took that long!  The final piece isn't perfectly symmetrical, but I think it's going to be fine.  We learned a few lessons and will be applying those for when we next get together for the base of the gun.