Saturday, August 15, 2009

Attaching Dome Panels--Bolts instead of glue

I started attaching the blue panels to the dome today. I used my method from the foot strips. I cut some 1/2" pieces of 3/16" threaded rod (I think), and some pieces off of some machine screws. I used the old carpenters trick on the inside of the panels to find the center. Draw two diagonal lines connecting the corners, the intersection (for squares and rectangles) is the center. But these are funky curved trapezoids. So the X marks a spot that is centered left to right, but not top to bottom. That's ok, because I marked the X for the hole on the dome the same way. Be sure to scuff up the panel before you glue to get good adhesion. Make an X by drawing diagonals across the pie panel or dome panel too and drill a slightly over sized hole (for adjustments to center the panel):

Trim off the snags from the hole with an Xacto or sand paper. I put a small dollop of gel superglue on the panel X, carefully placed the threaded rod into it, and tried to leave the hell alone for a while to set up.

Disclaimer: I am quite pessimistic that this method will work in the end. It's got two problems: 1. The gluing of the rod onto the panel is a really weak joint. I doubt that it will be able to withstand any pressure from the tightened nut on the inside of the dome. I'm going to let this cure over night and see. 2. Since there's just one post here, the panel will no doubt slide or rotate out of position is the nut isn't tight. That'll look like crap. Maybe if the glue holds, I'll put another tiny drop of glue on the panel to lock it into position. Then I'd be able to get them off if I choose.

I'm just worried to commit at this point and secure these panels permanently with tape or glue or JB Weld. I know that I'll want to separate the domes at some point when I start adding electronics, and I'm not sure which if any other components like life form sensors or periscopes I'll be adding. But maybe this will work. Here's the result of all the panels bolted in from the inside:

And finally, since I couldn't stand to not put some it together today and because there are no pictures of me with the droid on here:

I shouldn't be doing it at this point, but I keep walking through the shop while I'm doing something else and the droid catches my eye, and I think "Holy shit, there's an R2D2 in here! How cool is that?"

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