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Sunday, March 4, 2007

Going on a Bender

I finally gave in and decided to make major modifications to Bender. After purchasing a surplus CNC table motor and realizing it was broken, I took it apart, drilled out rivets and then re-assembled it to get the thing working. The gears had jammed or something. I almost pitched it into the trash. To reassemble it, I used a tube of two part epoxy and it now works great.

The motor's purpose is to use as a base to turn Bender's head. Needless to say, I spent the entire day mounting the table to the head and gutting Bender's neck and Belly. It was very difficult because I built Bender to be a static statue ... never to be taken apart. It was near impossible tearing his stomach out and cutting into the torso area from the neck to run wires and attach something to hold the CNC unit up.

As usual, I go into these things with very fuzzy plans and no real idea what I'm doing. Fortunately everything usually turns out ok but in this case I'm kind of wondering. I got the head to turn using the controller. I will need to mount some stop switches to allow the head to only go left and right in automatic mode. But ... I'm not sure how that's going to be accomplished.

I'm sitting here Sunday night and this is one of those projects that already has snowballed. The nice clean garage I had straightened up on Saturday now looks like someone tossed in a few grenades. Tools and stuff strewn everywhere.

Cutting the stomach out of Bender busted my new Ryobi jig saw. That nifty chuckless blade changer fell apart and now the saw is useless ! I would have been better off getting an old fashioned jig saw that you use a screw to tighten the blade.

Like the rest of Bender, I only used recycled junk to build all the components for his movable head (except the CNC motor). An old Bunt pan is what is attached to the CNC and then screwed into Bender's head. I pulled the extruding tube of the bunt pan out and it will make a good Robot nose for a future project.

The Belly area is now accessible and can hold the electronics that will be required to make him move. If we're lucky a voice module could possibly fit in that area.

The other dreaded Bender project that I have been putting off is to cut out his mouth properly. It's something I just do not want to do. One slip up and ..... I can't even think about it.

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