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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Battle droid progress

There's no good pictures of the battle droid yet as everything is in pieces. Progress is really shaping up and it's turning out better than anticipated. The one thing that was unclear for awhile was how to make the arms and legs pose -able. And I'm still considering ways to cut the wrists off to make them adjustable. I finally came up with a simple way to do that but the shoulders will be now made of sheet metal instead of using the parts I bought at Lowes. The nice thing about that is I can say I built the entire robot from steel.

Tonight I will look at reinforcing the arm pipes and welding them directly to the body. That way the steel rod going from the head into the body can be removed. If this works then the hips will also get a pipe installed for the legs to attach to in a similar fashion. Thin steel can be incredibly strong when bent and formed.

The new 4 1/2 " hand grinder with cutting disc is amazing. It cuts hard steel like a hot knife cutting into butter. Too bad I didn't have this tool when making the other robots. Cutting steel was always a lot of work before and the @$#%@# cheap band saw never worked. I often used a circular chop saw which was living life on the edge. That bad boy always had me wondering if it would to hurl a chunk of metal into a body part every time it started cutting. Even though I made sure to clamp everything down. Plus it would scatter metal shavings throughout the garage. This hand grinder is amazing.

My 36" metal brake is another cheap tool that I need to think about replacing. I made a bunch of angle iron pieces (3 sided pieces) to give the arms depth and strength. But the brake struggled when bending 20 gauge steel and I could actually see the steel on the brake bending which made for some sloppy bends. But they worked ok for this project. It really does pay to get good quality tools but sometimes the money tree doesn't have enough green.

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