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Friday, March 26, 2010

More progress

I haven't felt like blogging much lately but I have been very busy in the garage. The giraffe had a tummy tuck but that entailed removing the existing frame that pretty much held the giraffe together. It hung down too low and made it impossible to contour the belly area. So last weekend was spent cutting out the frame and welding a new support structure within the belly of the beast. It was a little shakey at first but quickly firmed up as the welds took hold. And the giraffe looks much more natural.

This weekend if I get around to it, I'd like to lift the giraffe with my truck crane and experiment with different length lower legs to see how stable (or unstable) it is and what looks best. It's a busy weekend so that may not get done.

Today I got my first major burn and it was a very stupid mistake. I delayed throwing away my favorite pair of welding / cutting gloves. They were the gloves that came with the hypertherm plasma cutter. A hole developed in the thumb a few weeks ago but I stubbornly refused to throw the pair away. Tonight after cutting a brass brush grinding wheel in half I touched the hot item and my thumb instantly melted when the thin glove spot contacted the metal. Geez ... you can bet the gloves are in the trash can and that's one lesson I won't have to learn twice. At least I still have another good thumb.

Last weekend we took R2 to a concert in Dunedin with the Dunedin Orchestra. They played some star wars music and had the 501st out there so we brought R2. It was a fun evening. But R2's front foot still needs a good bit of work. The fix I made to it kept the foot tight but put it at an odd angle which is not good. A front foot with a caster on R2 must be level or you'll have problems controlling the droid.


Mike D. said...

Jim, I enjoyed the video! You mentioned finishing with galvanized and copper material; you should know galvanized metal isn't something you want to work with a plasma cutter or welder.

The zinc will vaporize and if those fumes are inhaled you'll get the dreaded "brass chill" which is the bane of foundrymen everywhere. Needless to say, it is a horrific, convulsive and extremely uncomfortable result.

On the brite side, the giraffe looks amazing, especially the detail in the head. I can't wait to see it all done.

Jim Quinlan said...

Thanks for the warning about Galvanized metal and heat Mike. I knew about that and planned on doing the galvanizing after all welding and cutting were completed. I read many stories on welding forums of people getting very sick with the zinc fumes.

I'd like to get it hot dipped but the price for something like that is so very expensive. I may use a rattle can and bright galvanizing spray to combat rust in the humid florida climate to keep expenses down. But a little concerned about the inside of the giraffe which will probably still rust. That's where the hot dip would be so much better.

Good hearing from you again !