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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ready to party

I finished the front ankle/wheel assembly and added a coat of paint around 9:30 pm last night.  What a busy day that was.  At 4:30 AM I awoke to reassemble R2 and run tests to see how the new front wheel assembly worked and most importantly ... to see if the new design fit on the ankle and foot shell correctly.

After putting everything together, it started raining so the test drive ended up being in the garage.  Everything seemed to work perfectly.  Only negative event was the electronics door hinge broke.  It still kind of works but one of the sides broke off.  It's a plastic removable hinge which seemed like a good idea at the time but when I get around to replacing it, I'll use an old fashion metal one.

To fix the front foot I used a piece of 1" square tubing and cut one side off with my plasma cutter.  This gave me a nice square piece of strong steel.  The next thing I had to do was cut most of the steel away from my existing ankle/wheel assembly.  Because it wasn't a consistent size and I needed it to fit the square steel tube.  It took a lot of cutting and grinding but eventually I got everything to fit.  I used the MIG welder extensively to strengthen and lengthen the back edge of the assembly and also used it to add a strong glob of steel to the front of the assembly so there would be no play or pivot in the assembly.  Even a small amount of play will wreak havoc.

When putting it all back together, I made sure to use loctite so the bolts wouldn't loosen up with all the vibration.  That's a very important detail that I left out last time and allowed the bolts to loosen somewhat which gave it a bit of lateral movement.   Now it's nice and tight all the way around so we're good to go.

That gives me time to weatherize C3PO's packing crate and add some foam padding.

Just about ready for a road trip !

Cutting one side of square tube using a plasma cutter

Welding / formulating front bracket

Final result - most ugly weld marks won't show

R2 Ready to go

C3PO waiting in his moving crate

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