Monday, September 22, 2008
Outer Feet Door Channel: hard
Lots of progress in the last few weeks. Here's a shot of one of the outer feet and the channel that I routed in it. I used a method like I used in the earlier post on the center foot. I must say that thus far, setting up this cut and pulling it off was one of the hardest things I've done. Building the template took a lot of work and a lot of fine tuning, and then actually cutting the channel was rough. The ABS plastic that I had used for the foot shells is really prone to overheat and gum up on any sort of power cutting tools. So getting a clean cut that didn't jump the tracks at all was very tricky. If you look close you can see some hitches in the cut, but it turns out that they cleaned up with some bondo pretty well. So I am content with the result.
After thinking about it a lot, I opted to not cut the panels all the way through. I like the clean smooth look that this leaves instead of having all the alignment problems that reattaching a door would cause. I routed the channel 1/8" deep in 1/4" walls. I may change my mind later, but I can't see that having the door come off is going to be that helpful with the foot motors later in ways that getting to the motors from underneath won't be. I'll try to build the motors with this in mind.
After browsing through the tool store the other day, I realized that there are some small router cutting guides that insert into the bottom plate and that can be used on a template like I have done here. But the difference is that the cutting guides can be used on a template that is much smaller. I made my templates to fit the whole bottom plate of my router. I don't know if using the guides would help. My routing skills and my routing patience are slowly getting better. But I still think it is crumby tool. Too hard to control. It feels like trying to get the Tasmanian devil to behave to cut a perfect straight line.