Sunday, November 16, 2014

Day 99 - Neck bin mesh

The cold weather is preventing me from working on dome cowl 2.0, so I decided to return to work on Rainier by crafting the mesh segments for the neck section.  This was very exciting for me, as I've had the material components for this for quite some time, just sitting in their boxes.

First thing first, I needed a template to account for the curvature of the interior of the neck section.  Taking some leftover scrap cardstock from when I measured out the shoulder section cladding, I placed it inside the neck and traced out and cut a few quick lines.  I checked this single template on each of the eight interior sections of the neck, just to make sure the measurements were accurate all the way round, in case the neck was a little lopsided.

The template was a good fit for each section, so I used it to trace an outline on the eight aluminum BBQ grills I had stored away.  I took my Dremel tool and carefully cut out each of the aluminum sections with a metal cutting blade.  The speed of the blade coupled with the delicate nature of the grills meant that a few of the aluminum "tines" were a little bent, so I took some pliers and straightened them back into their "V" positions.

Taking the black voile cloth out of its box, I cut out several oversized square pieces with scissors.  The cloth was a bit wrinkly from being stored away for so long, so I stacked the squares on top of each other, placed them between two towels, and ironed them out. (I didn't place the iron on them directly, as they are polyester and I didn't want the iron to burn them.)

At Lowe's, I found that Loctite made an aerosol carpet adhesive (stronger than the other adhesive I used for placing the rubber inserts into my dome mold), so I procured some and used it on the BBQ grills.  The instructions on the tin said that for a stronger hold, spray one layer and let it sit for 2-5 minutes, and then spray another layer on top of that.  I did just that, and then placed the black voile carefully onto each grill, gently smoothing it on with my hand.  I took a large spare board and covered the freshly-sprayed sections, applying some hefty weight to them (a combination of myself and my electric wheelchair batteries, somewhere around 200 pounds).  Then I played Bejeweled on my phone for 5 minutes.

After that, I took the board off.  I noticed that, similar to AdamSt's diary, the adhesive sprays in a spiderweb-like pattern, which would need to be cleaned up.  Rubbing the grill with the abrasive side of a standard kitchen sponge did the trick on that front.

I then trimmed off all the excess voile with scissors, and for an extra measure, very carefully burned off any frayed bits with a cigarette lighter.  All eight sections were finally complete!  I also had my Heronrib nearby, still in its box, so I cut out eight sections of that for eventual trimming.  I will trim them to shape once I'm ready to attach them to the neck section, which won't yet happen until it's sanded, primed, and painted.

Looking through the mesh, I finally have my first hint of what my obscured vision will be like inside Rainier!