Monday, September 22, 2008

More Foot Details

The half moons for the feet presented a bit of a dilemma. On the plans, and sort of evident in pictures of the real R2, the little square raised panel on the outside of the half moon has a taper so that it gets slimmer towards the top--where the two horizontal slots are. In practice it turned out to be very hard to produce a piece like this in my shop. You'd think it would be easy, but the damn thing is 2" x 2.5" inches, I think, by 1/8" thick at the bottom (going from memory). So that's a pretty little piece to be machining, sanding, grinding, or trimming. I tried several ideas for it. I built a little sanding jig that might let me grind it evenly off. But nothing worked. The plastic I was using melted. I might have been able to do it with fiberboard--but I wanted to make this parts all plastic. And that fiberboard when you sand it puts loads of tiny particles in the air and a big label on it says that the State of California knows it to be carcinogenic. I've breathed enough dangerous fine particulate matter in my life.

So I abandoned the plan to taper it and just used the piece and full thickness all the way up. Maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal, and I don't think it will show much. someone would have to really know what to look for and maybe bust out the calipers to see the problem. But that's the first time on this whole project that I have deliberately punted on some problem because it was too hard--makes me feel like a baby just saying it. "Suck it up, you baby, and MAKE THAT PIECE RIGHT!"

Not really a big deal.

So then I hatched a plan to put those little 1/8" slots across the panels. I set up my router table, ran some test pieces, and just ran the whole half moon piece through, cutting through the edges of the rectangular pattern where it's supposed to be solid. Then I cut some tiny little replacement pieces and glued them back in. You can see them in this picture. But once I've trimmed them, and sanded them a bit, and then painted, they won't show. That "cutting through" trick has made a several little recessed slots on this project much easier than they would have been.

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