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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Files, sandpaper and dremel bits

I woke up this morning determined to finish the difficult cuts remaining on the inner dome. Yesterday after work I removed several panels and was starting to get comfortable cutting the aluminum dome and started getting into a routine. I used a cheap standard circle cutter to cut the 2" and 1.5" circles. The hardest part was finding the exact center of the circles for the circle cutting drill bit. The circles came out beautiful.

For the logics and pie plates, the first thing I do is to drill (with a larger bit) holes in all corners. Then I use a marker and mark where I want to drill holes just in from the line I have drawn on the dome. A nail and hammer then taps little holes where I marked to limit the drill bit from wandering. After all holes are drilled I use a cool new bit I bought for my dremel. It's quick release metal cutoff disc. The cutting disc mount on the dremel in seconds. Much better than the cheesy ones I used to remove the HP's. By drilling the little holes, it makes the dremel's job easier and keeps the wheel from wandering. After the piece is removed from the center, it's very rough but using a very rough file makes short work of filing the area. Then you can work up to finer files. All files are not created equal. The very rough file I have did a great job taking the aluminum down quickly. It took a ton of elbow grease and patience but the dome cutting and filing is complete. Everything needed trimming and it really was a big job. But if you're dreading this like I was don't worry about it. Once you get going it's really a piece of cake. Just don't rush things. Take plenty of breaks and look at a lot of pictures.

So after I got the dome complete, I put it all together for a trial run with the outer dome and logics and hp's all attached (with tape). Everything fit perfect too. I was very worried that once everything was cut there would be something that wouldn't be in line with the inner and outer dome. But the measurements were dead on .... surprise ! Actually I am surprised because usually this is about the time I get a visit by Murphy.

After the wife was paraded out to the garage to admire my droid, it was time to grab a beer and take it easy. Actually this may just be stalling tactics as I'm still not too keen on gluing the outer and inner dome together. But that will happen bright and early tomorrow when I'm fresh. Probably will use goop too.

I also decided on the white paint I'm going to use for R2's skin and legs. It will be the Lowes brand Vaspar satin white. I like the color and it's reasonably priced so that's what will be on my R2. I tested it out on a couple of the panels I cut out and primed. Nice paint and reasonable at only $2.75 a can too.

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