Saturday, November 28, 2009

One last time

As luck would have it, the temperature today was in the high 50's so I went back to the shop to try and finish the parts for the version 2 body. I was able to get all the vertical ribs cut to size and they are mostly ready for glueing (except for one or two little details left to cut). This time however, I'm not glueing anything until I have test fitted all the frame parts with all the detail parts plus the skins in case I need to redo a part or some other kind of modification so everything fits where it should.

That's all. Hope you had, or in my case, are still having a thankful Thanksgiving, hope you survived Black Friday (or avoided it in my case), and don't forget that Christmas is now less than a month away. Aren't the holidays fun?!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Closed for the season

Didn't really do anything today except for checking some measurements for cutting out the vertical ribs. It's getting really cold in the shop now so as of now I'm halting all major shop work until it gets warmer....being Indiana that might be next week, ha ha.

But don't worry. There's still plenty I can work on at home. There's still all the electronics to buy and/or make, working on the aluminum skins, and buying hard to make parts. Speaking of which, I recently put in an order for several plastic parts that would be near impossible to make by hand with the tools and knowledge I have. I'll post pictures of these things when I receive them.

That's about it. Have a happy Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

R6 Body, version 2

Got a much earlier start today so i got a lot more done. I had a template from the version 1 body still and since its diameter and vertical rib positions are correct, I used it again to remake all the ribs.

After cutting out two 3/4" disk, three 1/2" disk, and one 1/4" half-disk I placed the template on top of each one and, using a router with a 1/2" x 1" router bit with guide wheel, I cut the rib slots out. The next two pictures are a before and after example.

Three 1/2" disk at 18" diamter.

I don't believe I've shown this before. This is the router bit with the guide wheel. The wheel is the silver ring below the blade. You can get these in several sizes and with the wheel above or below the blade.

Cutting out center of ring #2. Gotta have room inside for all the wires and junk.

These are all the pieces I made today.
All that's left to make is the vertical ribs, the top and the bottom disk. Then it's test fit, test fit, test fit! I do not want to have to remake all these parts again.

It's starting to get really cold here in Indiana (49 degrees F today). The shop is at my Grandparents house in their garage and it gets cold in there during the winter. As such, I will be taking a winter break from shop work until late February or March when it will be warm enough to have the garage door open. I'm going to try to finish building the new body before it gets too cold, but no promises. During this time I will work on other things like the electronics and prepping the aluminum skins for painting.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Prep work

Ok, first things first. Let's get the insert installed into the center ankle.

Ok, moving on. I didn't get much done today except to confirm what I need to change for the v.2 body frame and acquiring additional material. I got 4 boards of 1/8" MDF at the Home Depot to use for the Shoulder Horseshoes. The Horseshoes are the extra material on the Shoulders, more on that another time. I also got some new router bits at Lowes and a new router at the Wood Craft wood working store. Turns out one of the employees at Wood Craft makes Star Wars costumes. Him and another employee there geeked out when I told them what I was making with the new router.

Once I got back to the shop I took the clamps off the 2nd leg and TaDa! Just a few more details to add and I can start painting.

Before I get rid of it, I tried the aluminum skins on the v.1 body. Good news is it nearly fits. Bad news is I still have to remake it. I also discovered that the body is a tad too short. You can see the skins rising a little higher than the top of the body.

Left side. Flat area cut right but as I said before a rib on each side is not perfectly vertical.

Right side. Is supposed to look like the left side. Oh well.

I also tried the skins with the body template I used to match all the rid slots. It fits perfectly which means I got the diameter correct at 18". Also it appears the vertical ribs are positioned exactly where they need to be.

I'm off this Wednesday so I'll be back in the shop cutting out new pieces for the v.2 body. I might even try to make a template for the Shoulder Horseshoes.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Got Skins

Thursday I received the laser cut aluminum body skins for R6-C9. They are of course exactly the same as R2-D2. Only difference between an R2 and an R6 is the head. The skins come as an inner pair and an outer pair. This is so the panels looked recessed where needed. They will require a lot of prep work. First I have to remake the body frame to fit the skins. Next I'll have to cut out all the panels on the outer and some off of the inner set which will depend on whether or not certain panels will open like in the movies. Once the panels are cut out and the burs are filed down I can start painting the outer set. The inner set will be screwed down to the frame and then the outer set when ready will be glued to the inner set. It will require a lot of work and a lot of time.

These are pictures of the skins. Nice huh? The outer skins are on the left side of the picture. The first picture is the front inner/outer and the second is the rear inner/outer.

Tomorrow I will take the skins to the shop and start measuring to make the version 2 body. I'll also try it on the version 1 to see how close I got.
Until then,


Sunday, November 8, 2009

2nd leg and deformed body

Through a series of insane events, I will have an additional day off for the first 3 weeks this month, so I will be using this extra time to do more work on R6-C9. To follow is said extra work from last week.

Glue is dry. Looking good, don't ya think? Still have lots of details to add, but the core of the leg is now complete.

Thought this would be a good point to drill the ankle pivot holes where the feet will attach. Used a 1/2" drill bit and the Mark V in Drill Press mode.

I inserted a metal tube into each ankle for added strength when the feet are attached. These have a 1/2" outer diameter, 3/8" inner diameter, and are 1" long.

Drilling ankle pivot hole into center ankle.

Forgot to buy a metal insert for the center ankle; will get one next time.

I have also glued the other leg together. Now I have a complete set of legs.

Now about the body. With the legs at the point where I can mount them to the body, I started working with it to do just that. However I noticed a few errors. First, each side of the body is not flat up and down, it is sticking out at an angle. Second, there are 2 flat spots on each side where the legs fit that aren't matching each other. Both issues require replacing a few parts including the entire bottom ring of the body. Doing this would likely result in further damage to the body. As such, I have regretfully decided to scrap the current body and build a new one. The lesson here is to always measure twice, test fit many times, and glue together at the last moment.

As luck would have it, a Club member has made a run of laser cut aluminum body skins for a reasonable price. Mike Senna and Victor both used these same skins to measure and fit the parts for the body frame, so I'm going to do the same. As soon as the skins arrive, I'll start remaking the body. In the meantime, I'll keep working on the legs, getting all the detail parts made and attached.

Until next time,


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Circuit test

So here's the video I was talking about. Earlier this year I remade the Processor State Indicator circuit but I never got around to testing it to ensure it worked. Well last night I tested it. See the results below.

Now I just need to make a 2nd one for the rear lights.


Monday, November 2, 2009

More shoulder work

Recently I was reading all my previous postings and realized how much my plans have changed for R6-C9 since I started. Originally I planned to just have him as a stationary display that would talk and turn it's head when someone came close. Later I decided to add feet motors so i could drive him around. Much later I decided to give him the works, but just recently subtracted some features (2-3-2). He's also gone through 3 color changes, from white/orange to yellow/black to white/green. Even now I'm still considering other color options. Just goes to show that there are few sure things in this world....especially with hobbies.

Went to the hardware store and got extra 5/16" x 2" hex bolts and T-nuts. I did get that one stuck T-nut off after using two big wrenches and a lot of elbow grease.

The shoulder flanges with 4 newly drilled holes each in the center.

2 electrical outlet box cover plates with new holes drilled.

Used the eight 1/4" x 2" hex bolts plus nuts. Note the electrical plate on the back side (used for extra support.

You'll want to saw/cut off the extra length of the bolts so they don't interfere with anything else inside the leg, mainly the shoulder hub. I used a simble hacksaw.

Shoulder Flanges mouted to the legs. I'll need to saw off at least a half-inch of the outer bolts so I can glue on the outer leg panel.

Without the flanges.

So here's why all the extra hardware. I'm using a 3/4" gas pipe to connect both legs through the body. Now the other guys use a 3/4" on one leg and a 1" pipe on the other with one pipe inside the other, but they are a really snug fit and I don't want to spend hours at the hardware store test fitting pipes. I have a couple of ideas on how to use a 3/4" pipe on both legs, but I'll be waiting until later to test it out.

After about half a year I am ready to glue the legs into one whole piece. I only have enough clamps to glue one leg at a time.

Tomorrow I'll have a video to show you. And that's all I have to say about that.