Sunday, August 23, 2009

Putting Domes together

The biggest challenge with the R and J dome I got has been getting the inner dome that's too small to fit snugly with the outer dome. Earlier I had cut the inner dome into two pieces to introduce a bit more diameter into it:

That solved the problem for the bottom half, but the top half was still fitting poorly. In the end I made another cut up most of the way of this smaller dish piece and bent the whole thing out a bit to add diameter. Then when I still couldn't get pressure on the two dome for gluing, I drilled several holes under where the pie panels would cover. These could be hidden, and I expect I may want to add a radar sensor or a periscope later, so it wasn't a problem to cut them, although my nerves were shot from all the important and potentially disastrous cuts. But the holes made it possible for me to do this:

I traced out the outline of the outer dome onto the inner dome, keeping the placement for the pie panel holoprojector carefully in mind, and put glue on the inner dome and then clamped the whole thing together. Makes him look like some post-apocalyptic mad scientist or something.

Even all of this work didn't get me a clean tight fit between the domes all the way around. But I didn't see how I could improve on it. And once I started laying the pie panels in there, the gaps weren't evident. So I had to just stop myself from putting too much work into something for diminishing returns and I moved on.

Once that inner piece was in, I could put the painted pie panels in and glue them.

It was very cool to see these go in.

BTW, this:

is the handiest tool on my workbench lately. I put a couple of rounds of duct tape around the lip so that it wouldn't scratch the dome and it's perfect for holding it while I work on it, upside down or right side up. I keep thinking about the Mike Senna videos where he puts all of his tools down on the ground to work with them and has to bend over or get on his knees to do anything. If you make your working body positions comfortable and ergonomic, you'll enjoy the work much more and you'll do much better work. Getting your eyes and hands straight and square to the work piece is always important too, like when I glued these pie panels down for good.

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