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Sunday, January 22, 2006

More Bender progress

Well the final push to complete the Bender head has been on all week. I've spent so much time sanding, filling, fiberglassing, resanding, filing, spot puttying, REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT. It's a lot of work but very relaxing out in my garage in the balmy Florida winter weather. I enjoy working on the robots and find it theraputic : )

The plastic bowl for the top has been a lot of trouble. If I had to do over, I probably would have spent the time filling the resin piece I made. It's hard to sand the plastic and get it to line up with the wooden base I made.

The base of the antenna was an old plumbing pipe holder that was laying around my garage for the last 10 years. The antenna itself was the radio shack microphone I took apart to scavenge the screen for use in the B9's microphone. It's innards were removed and the switch. Then the switch hole was filled with epoxy glue which is also what was used to attach the microphone to the base. It's the type of expoxy that you knead the 2 parts with your fingers. Pretty handy stuff and very sandable. The base was held down with 4 5" lag bolts into the wood to keep the head from flying apart in case it was ever accidentally dropped.

Inside the microphone (antenna) runs a dowel rod (also left over from the B9 project. On top of the dowel rod a ping pong ball was epoxied. I decided to turn the ping pong ball into an antenna top after losing a ping pong match with it earlier that day. The ball was just right for the antenna. So most of the parts so far were made from things in my garage. The eyes were made dirt cheap from bannister type things at lowes.

I started an angled neck base which is how the head will attach to the body. I already have a set of shoulders I bought at a thrift store last year thinking they would make cool shoulders for something. They're stainless steel pipe covers.

The neck I'm working on is from a plastic Christmas tree stand I bought for $3.50 at a target after Christmas sale. Under the base I cut a piece of 3/4" MDF which will be the mounting point for the body. For the Christmas tree stand to match it to the head I'll have to use a lot of fiberglass or bondo. That will be in the future. The picture below has aluminum foil on it because I wanted to get a good eye for how it would look when it's done (without the gaps and ugly green). One casualty cutting the MDF was my "bargain" old fashioned craftsman hand jig saw caught fire ... well at least it was smoking pretty good.

Next week I'm supposed to get some long overdue B9 parts (Wrists, Claws, stainless crown and power pack kit). Should be very busy. In addition, my C3PO parts will be coming next week so I'll be absolutely overwhelmed with robot projects which works out because I'm an extreme attention deficit (ADD) disorder type of person.

But The B9 goes back to the top of the list next week so stay tuned

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