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Sunday, February 5, 2006

Removable head and shoulders

Busy superbowl weekend and progressing on robot projects.

As usual, I had to redo B9's claws and wrists. After shooting a couple of coats of primer and one coat of paint I realized that my sanding was less than perfect. Lots of scratches and small bubbles still showed. Sanding all that paint and primer down to the resin took hours and a few layers of skin from my hands. But they'll look good when the final coat of paint is applied.

Most of the weekend was spent doing the shoulder and neck section on Bender. A lot of time was devoted to the design because I wanted to give him a removable head. It will be nice in the future when repairs are need or if Bender needs to be moved. Making the B9 so it came apart in sections also took a lot of time and thought but it was well worth it.

I made peace with my rotozip and it actually was the perfect tool to cut notches in the MDF to position/sink the stainless shoulders. The shoulder section is made of a couple pieces of MDF and some stainless faucet or pipe covers that I got at the habitat for humanity outlet store cheap. The arms will fit in them perfectly. The rotozip also was better than using a drill to start the holes in the hard stainless steel metal. The shoulders are attached with 4 bolts into the mdf. The Christmas tree stand conveniently covers the bolt heads.

The neck as I've stated in the past is a plastic christmas tree base trimmed back. The head is attached to some plastic drain covers and a large (around 6") piece of pipe is connected to another drain plate that's bolted to the bottom MDF part of the shoulder. The attached pictures show it better than I can explain.

I also shot foam into the area under the neck (Christmas tree base). The foam expanded and made a tremendous mess. I wanted the foam as a base before I laid in fiberglass between the head and the neck. When it came time to do the fiberglass, I first covered the bottom of the head with thin styrene and taped it into place. That way I could slide the head out after laying the fiberglass. That actually turned out pretty good. I still have a lot of fileing and filling to do but the part for the head is smooth and perfectly sized. Another advantage of a removable head is it's posable. I can turn the head left or right using this technique.

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