Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to one and all!!!!

No droid building updates yet. Sorry. But not to worry. I'm still committed to this project....or will be committed because of this project. Not sure which, hehe.

Cya all in 2008!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

November's update

Greetings. As promised, I am giving the first of several (hopefully less) updates.

Old business: New job is going well. Pay is good too. As things currently are, I will be very busy with this job so I still don't have any free time to continue working on my droid project.

New business: same old....

Well that's about it. If I don't get a chance to do any additional work on R6-C9, I'll post again in December. Cya.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New job, less time

Hello everyone!

I've started a new job this week (waaaay better than my pizza job), which will mean little time to devote to my hobbies. In other words, for the foreseeable? (spell check say 'ok' but I'm not sure) future I will not be able to continue work on R6-C9. This is a heads-up so no one thinks I'm not doing this anymore. I'll try to drop a line at least once a month to let you all know I'm still around, but don't expect any building progress for awhile. In the mean time, go to and think about building your own R2-D2. Read the FAQ first if you have ANY questions as that will answer most of them. Ok. See ya laterz!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

just passing by


I have nothing new to update you on with R6-C9. I'm very tight on time and money for the time being so I've been unable to do any work on my little droid. But since it has been a while since my last post, I thought I'd let you know I was still around and committed to this insane project.



Friday, August 24, 2007

Nearly complete

Hey there,

This past week I was able to do more work on my droid plus I have finished my evaluation of Blogger. I have decided Blogger is by far a much better blog service than Yahoo! 360 and thus all new progress on my droids will be posted here at Blogger exclusively. I will make one last post at Yahoo! 360 with a link to this blog. Before I do anymore work on building R6-C9, I'll copy all relevant post from my Yahoo! 360 blog to here with the same dates they were originally published.

Now to show you all the work I have recently done:

This is the rotation ring (disc #1) ready for gluing. Unlike the top half of the head where I had to position the ribs so they wouldn't interfere with lights and such sticking into the skins, I was able to evenly place the neck ribs. I chose to use eight ribs for the neck, placing them at 45° degrees from each other.

Here is the bottom of disc #2a glued to disc #2b with the slots for the neck ribs cutout. Before I attach the rib pieces, I will cut a hole in the center for hand access.

One last look at the head before I cut a hole in the middle and add the neck.

Here are the eight neck ribs all trimmed, sanded and ready to install.

Here I am using a router to cutout the center of disc's #2a & #2b. Because I'm cutting through an inch worth of wood, I'm cutting through in several passes. This is easier on the router and the router bit.

Finally I cut all the way through. Came out clean and even. Just a little sanding to smooth the edges.

Apply glue, insert wood, add clamps, and let sit for 24 hours.

The results after the glue dried. Came out amazing. The head is nearly complete. All that's left is to add the crown on top. But first I will take a break from shop work. This is the front where the radar eye will go.

A close up view of the new neck ribs.

The back of the head.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A weeks worth of updates

Good Morning Everybody!!! I have had a busy week with exciting updates! SO let's get started>>>>>>>>>

The picture above is R6's head after I took off the clamps (see previous post). Came out really nice I think. That empty space below the head and the rotation disc (disc #1) is what I'm working on now. I just need to put some 2" ribs down there. It's what I've come to call the neck. Now the exciting news is I've already started work on the neck and thus far the results are fantastic! I have all the grooves in disc #1 and disc #2a cut and sanded, plus I've already made the master rib template for the neck and have rough cut the rib pieces. All that's left to do is using the router to trim the ribs to match the master template, sand them smooth, and then glue them in. Pictures? Um...well...I didn't have my camera with me for this new stuff. But fear not! Before I do anything else, I'll take pics of everything I've already done. And now for some more big news. When I got back from the Mid-West Builders BBQ, I got an email from our host saying I had won his aluminum ankle cylinders. I was like "huh????" Turns out the host of the BBQ had a full set of astromech aluminum ankle cylinders he was going to give away, and for who knows why, he chose me. So this past week I received them in the mail. I'll put up pics of them as soon as I am brave enough to remove them from their packaging. So much for R6 only being wood and plastic. Now he'll have some real "bling" to show off.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Comparing Blogs and Intro

Hi. For those who haven't been following my other blog, my name is John. I am a two year member of the R2-D2 Builders Club and I am currently building my very first astromech droid. For clarification, an astromech droid is a type of droid in the Star Wars universe, like the difference between a sedan and an SUV. Both are cars, but both are different. In Star Wars, the character R2-D2 (artoo-detoo) is an astromech droid manufactured by the fictional Industrial Automation company. There are several different models of astromechs including the P2-unit, the R1 through R9-units and the Q9-units.

The astromech model I chose as my first fan-made, full scale replica is the R6-unit, which I have named R6-C9.
The picture to the right is a homemade representation of what my droid will look like when completed.
Currently I'd say he's about 10-15% complete.

Currently I am evaluating Blogger with the blog service I have been using Yahoo! 360. If I decide I like Blogger better, I'll copy all my post from Yahoo! 360 here so all of you can catch up on how I got to where I currently am with this insane hobby.

So for now, I will be putting the same updates on both blogs until I have chosen one over the other.
Cya laterz,

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Assembled top-half

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Today I was able to do some more work on R6-C9's head. I test fitted the top disc again but found still two ribs just out of position. Instead of taking the ribs off again, I cut new grooves into the top disc (disc #3 for those taking notes) where the ribs were lining up. But somehow I cut just to the other side of the ribs AGAIN?!?!?! I don't know why this is happening, but this time I just made them fit. So now the top disc is glued on and drying. See the new pictures below:

Note that the head is upside down in the pictures. As soon as the glue dries, I'll take pictures of the head right-side up. Next will be making the neck ribs.

One other thing. I've been thinking about this for some time, but I've decided to try using a different Blog with more flexibility concerning pictures and video. Now mind you this is just a test. If I can insert my pictures and videos into my blog as I want to, then I'll be making the switch. If I run into the same limitations as with Yahoo 360, then I'll just stay here. If I do switch, I will leave a link to it here so you all can find me still.
I'm still trying out different things with using pictures and video on my website. Haven't been able to get anything to work right yet, but hopefully I will find the solution soon.



Friday, August 10, 2007

Corrections Made

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Hello again,

I spent about two hours at the shop this morning correcting the mistakes I made. Good news is all four misplaced ribs have been repositioned and the glue is drying. The bad news is I cut off one rib too many and had to replace that one as well. Oh well.

Hopefully I can get to the shop again this Sunday and try fitting on the top of the head. So far the alignment of the ribs from the bottom to the top are close but not quite dead on. But I think I can just pull them into place without too much trouble. We shall see. If I can get all the ribs to fit into the top disc correctly, then the gluing shall begin.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Back from the BBQ

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

What a FUN time I had at the Mid-West R2 Builders BBQ last weekend! I saw several astromech droids there plus a C-3PO, a "Lost In Space" B9 Robot, the K9 robot dog from "Doctor Who", and one of three robots from "Silent Runner." I met some seasoned droid builders and some beginners (like me). It's hard to put into words exactly all that I saw, which is why I took lots of pictures and a few videos.

I'm using Photobucket now to store my droid pictures and videos. Use the following link to view each photo and video I took.

Mid-West R2 Builders BBQ
I hope you enjoy them.

As for my progress on R6 himself, I was able to do a little more work on him last Friday before I left for the R2 BBQ. I cut the grooves into Disc #3 for the ribs and then I glued the ribs into Disc #2B. But then I discovered that four of the ribs did not line up with the grooves on Disc #3. Upon rechecking both disc, I discovered that my Dad had miscalculated the position of one of the ribs, thus throwing off the position of the next three after it. So to fix this, I'll have to cut off the four misplaced ribs, sand down what's left, cut new grooves into Disc #2B, and then make four new ribs. Luckily, I have the master rib to copy off of. I would have done this by now except the tempature has been near the hundreds this whole week, making it too hot in the shop to do any work. Hopefully it will cool down soon.
What I had of R6-C9 to take to the BBQ got high praise from some of the other builders. They said I had done fine work. It's good to have support from others who have been down this road before.

Until next time,

Monday, July 30, 2007

Life Priorities

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Well shoot. I'm afraid I don't have any updates from the shop today because a family emergency came up before we could start and took up the whole day
That's the bad news.
The good news is the family emergency didn't end on a sad note, so I'm happy about that.

This bad timing of events really throws a wrench into my plans, but it can't be helped. I'll still be able to go to the Mid-West R2 BBQ, but it looks like I won't be bringing a mostly assembled R6 head frame. But I won't let this get me down....much. I still have my light circuits to bring and I can still geek out around the other droids that will be there. Of course there is that 1% chance an opportunity will present itself to still finish the head's framework before this weekend [crosses fingers].


Friday, July 27, 2007

What Happened, part 2

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Alrighty then,

To better explain how I messed up the ribs:
The height on the plans is correct (8 1/2 inches). The ribs are supposed to be slanted at a 15° angel. So what I did wrong was I made the angle of the ribs 8 1/2" instead of the height. This made the ribs just a wee bit short. Even my Dad missed this (sorry Dad). This morning I got out the full scale drawings again to recheck the measurements when what we did hit me right in the face. So this Sunday we'll make all new ribs at the correct measurements. Hopefully we can finish this so I can take it to the BBQ next Saturday.



What Happened

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Real quick because I have to be at work in like thirty minutes....

I found out why my top-half ribs were too small....[drum roll]....because I measured wrong!
Soooo, now I have to redo most of the work I did last Sunday. All together now, "bummmeeerrr!!!"

Will update again soon....


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Angles cut and rib problems

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Last Sunday, me and my Dad did some more work. We cut the disk to the required angels and cut out the ribs for the top-half of the head. Unfortunately we had some trouble making all the ribs uniform in dimensions and when we test fitted them with the disk, well, they just seemed too short. I was expecting the top-half of the head to be a few inches taller than it turned out, but the ribs are the correct height. I emailed the guy who gave me the measurements for an R6 head for confirmation of those measurements. Either the drawings are wrong, or my perception is off. When I can get back to the shop, I'll recheck everything.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mid-West Builders BBQ of '07

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

In about two weeks the R2 Builders of the Midwest will be having a BBQ get-together at one of the member's houses and I'm going to go. This will be the first time I really get to meet other builders face to face and see their droids up close. For this event, I'm going to try and have R6-C9's head's frame work complete to show off. I'll also be bringing my PSI circuits. I can't wait.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Entry for July 11, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Finally some updates to give.

Well I have all four disc pieces for R6's head cut out. Now I just need to cut out the middle and attach the ribs once I cut those out.

I added pictures of my progress to my website, however just looking at one page of pictures uses up an hour's worth of bandwidth. I may need to upgrade my web hosting account to get more bandwidth if I can't find a better solution. Anyone have any suggestions?


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Entry for June 20, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Nothing like the smell of sawdust.

Yesterday, with the help of my Dad, I started cutting out pieces for the head of R6-C9. Unfortunately I didn't get as much done as I was hoping. First we couldn't find my Dad's router. When we did, we didn't have the right router bit. By this time we only had an hour before I had to leave so I could be at work on time. But I did manage to get one whole piece cut out. And I have PICTUUUURES!!!! I'll have them up on my website by the end of the week (I hope). The next time we can get back to my Grandfather's shop, I want to try and have the wood for the head's ribs and a more detailed plan of how we'll fit everything together.

Stay tuned for more details.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Entry for June 17, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

The time has finally come. If the Lord is willing, me and my Dad will start cutting some pieces for the head this Tuesday. It won't be much, but it'll at least be a start. I can't wait. And I promise to have some pictures for you all.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Entry for May 22, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]


I recently added "My R6-C9" page to my website. There's not much to it yet though, just the main page. To edit it I'm using Geocities's Page Builder but recently it hasn't been working quite right. I keep having to restart my computer just to make it work again. I may have to find another way to edit my website without relying on a free Java application. I might even have to learn [gasp] HTML, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

As for R6 himself, I have this building tip given to me by my boss to share. If you use WD-40 on screws, they'll come back out easier in the future.



Saturday, May 5, 2007

Entry for May 05, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Howdy folks,

Star Wars Celebration IV is just a few weeks away AND I WON"T BE THERE [sob, sob, cry]!!!!! The good news about this is a short few months after the convention there'll be an R2-D2 Builders Club C4 DVD I'll be able to buy, so I won't miss out completely. Still....[long sigh]....

Still no new progress on R6-C9. It's been almost two years since I started this blog and I'm no closer now than I was then. Kinda makes you want to go home and rethink your life doesn't it? But the people at work thinks it's cool and I know kids will love him whenever I get him done so I guess I'll just have be more Jedi like and be patient.

May the Droid be with you,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Entry for April 11, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

So I made two big decisions about R6-C9 in just 30 seconds ago....
First, I have finally decided on R6's color (pictured above). What do you think?
Second, I have decided that R6 will be an R/C droid, but not at first. 1st stage will be to make him a static droid in three leg mode but designed to be easily upgraded with drive motors in the feet and the required R/C electronics. 2nd stage will be to apply the R/C upgrade with preparations for the 3-2-3 middle foot system. The 3rd and final stage will be to apply the 3-2-3 system. By dividing the construction into stages, I will be able to pace the construction so I feel like I'm getting something completely finished. I even have the 1st stage divided into sub-stages. I'm currently working on the head. After that, the main body, and then the legs & feet. I won't start one until I have finished one stage completely....but you know how I am with sticking with my plans, lol.

Cya laterz,


Friday, April 6, 2007

Entry for April 06, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Hey all,

Second, I have been once again pondering how I will make the Logic Displays. I still want to use Fiber Optic Cable because the REAL R2-D2 uses that and it looks cooler than just plain LEDs. Then it hit me - OW! The picture included with this post is what I came up with. Basically, the LEDs will be behind the fiber optic cable as I was planning before, but instead of just using a few LEDs, I will use one LED for each fiber optic cable. I just hope I can keep it a small assembly.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Entry for March 30, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

I can't remember if I've already mentioned this before (and I'm too lazy to check) but I've decided to sell my two 3-2-3 motors and instead use a single motor design. I'm doing this for two reasons: 1, using one motor is more power efficient than using two when one can do the job, and 2, I need the money. I'll be offering them to the Club soon.

May the Force be with you....dudes!


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Entry for March 07, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Hey, hey, hey! It's been a while I know, but I finally have some updates.

In the past I have mentioned I have been sick. Well I'm feeling much better now. I'm still not quite over it yet, but I'm well enough to be working again...and none too soon...I am nearly broke lol.

As for my droids, well I haven't able to do anything except dream about what I want to do. I kinda got thinking about instead of using R2-T4 as my third droid, I'd just make up one with my own custom color scheme. I'm thinking the same as R2-D2 only black instead of blue. I haven't seen one like that yet. But I still like R2-T4 so I haven't made up my mind yet. It's way to early to set that in stone anyway.
In regards to R6-C9, I've been thinking about how much more fun it would be to have R6 as a remote controlled droid instead of just sitting around and looking cute. I've heard of some club members making their droids able to be remote controlled AND have an automated display function. I might do that so I can play with him when I want and when I want to do something else I can set him to move his head and talk by himself. I might even see if I can set him up with an A/C plug so he doesn't waste batteries while in display mode. It's been done before.
Now for T3-M4. With Celebration 4 around the corner, the T3-M4 yahoo group has stirred somewhat this year. Members are getting a little more active in brainstorming and asking questions. That's about it for now. But it's more than what usually goes on.

Well that's all folks. I'm really hoping to get started on R6-C9 and get at least some pieces built this year. Of course I've said that before so don't hold your breath, hehe.


Friday, February 2, 2007

Entry for February 02, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Three things to say today....

1) I decided that the Black On Yellow color I chose for R6 is not that great a look after all. I haven't decided exactly how I'll change it yet except that one of the colors will be a highly polished neon color. I'll probably make the head panels (and anything else of that same color) the neon color. What do you think?

2) I was browsing my boat load of Internet bookmarks today when I found a yahoo group I forgot I had joined. It's the T3-M4 Builders Club. It's just like the R2-D2 Builders Club except they build T3-M4.
Who is T3-M4? Well you can stop searching the movies because he ain't there. He's what's called an Expanded Universe character meaning he comes from a Star Wars source other than the movies. In T3's case, he's from a two-part LucasArts RPG video game called "Knights of the Old Republic" and "Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords," or KotOR and KotOR II for short. These are great games about the Jedi Knights during the war with the Sith, set several hundred years before any of the movies. One of the supporting characters is a "utility" droid (not to be confused with an astromech droid like R2-D2, though similar) named T3-M4. He can "slice" (or hack) into computers, can repair various types of machines, and can even be equipped with a blaster and armor. He gets around on four legs so he's much more stable than the astromechs.
This group isn't very active yet because no one has built one yet. The closest thing we have is partly built prototypes and some rough drawings and that's about it. But I would really like to build one myself so R2-T4 is now third in line and T3-M4 is now next on my list after R6-C9.

I'll upload some pictures of T3-M4 soon....

3) Remember in my last post how I mentioned that guy with the tilting R2-D2? Well I got thinking and one thing no droid does is wobble left and right like R2-D2 does in the original trilogy. It would be a hard thing to engineer but I think I'm up to the challenge. I'll be putting in R6-C9 if I'm able to make a working prototype of the wobble system. In the movies, actor Kenny Baker made R2 wobble but I'll have to find a way to do it mechanically.

Well, that's all for now. Stay tuned for more updates....and maybe some building progress if I'm lucky, he he.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Entry for January 21, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

Due to a false alarm from a Club member, me and a whole bunch of other builders bought special geared motors we call "Satelite Motors" or "Sat Motors." We in the club use them to rotate the shoulders during the 2-3-2 leg transition on an Astromech. Someone had said a website that sells these motors had only a couple hundred left so those (like me) who didn't know there where other sources for these put down orders fast. I bought two for almost $80.00 (which is a good price I'm told). This website got hammered with more orders then they are able to process. The good news is my order did go through so alls well that ends well.
These Sat Motors I won't be using on R6 because he'll be a static in three-leg mode. I'll save them for my next droid which I decided yesterday will be R2-T4 (picture to come). He appears in one of the movies I'm pretty sure but I don't know which one yet. I've only seen a CG picture of him made by John Jongsma, a long time R2 builder. I'm wanting to make R2-T4 a full aluminum droid with all the works. It'll be a lot of money, but it'll be worth it.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Entry for January 11, 2007

[Originally published on Yahoo! 360°]

As I mentioned about two post ago, I ordered some Resin Parts from another R2 builder. I got them about a week after that post. They are beatiful! It took about a month before I was able to find the time to clean them which is a very important thing to do because the guy who made them sometimes has to use a debonding compound when he takes the parts out of the molds. If the residue from the compound isn't cleaned off completely then the paint won't work right. Anyway, now all I have to do is paint them which I'll do after I research how to paint them correctly. I'll take some before and after pictures when paint time comes.