With the materials all unpacked and ready to be assembled, today's build day started out with a bang ... or rather a high pitched hum of the Dremel saw.
As per Jenny by-law (of which I haven't been able to find in writing yet), the noise making was allowed to start at 11am. That's pretty much when I started laying out the wooden frame patterns.
But first, espresso!
Ah, yes. When I'm not drinking my cold brew, I do enjoy myself a cup or two of strong black espresso.
Transferring the pattern was really quite easy. This I owe to my trusty digital angle that I purchased from Canadian Tire a while ago. I try with all my designs to follow the Measure straight from 3D-CAD philosophy. I was taught this when I worked at CAE, back in Montreal. It stuck. This means I don't really make drawings ... I just have my computer open and measure any of the dimensions I need straight from the model.
I also prepare my angle tie-downs. I need to make a bunch, at various angles. So I use my trusty vise with 2 angles irons that I've used in the past to bend things.
It's really easy to just bend the spot you want to bend (in this case the middle) to exactly the right angle using, again, my digital angle tool. I actually just eyeball this measurement, and make adjustments if needed.
Here's the MVP of this project. I actually don't think I could do this project without it.
Now we're ready to continue onto the wood cutting. I still have a few angles I need to bend, but I'll do these next ones as I go.
Adjusting the dremel saw depth is easy. This makes sure I don't cut into my table too much. But since my table is built using a bunch of 2x4 on end, I'm fine if it cuts a little (I find it actually adds character to the table).
I use my metal meter stick to make sure all my cuts are super straight. The dremel has 2 tabs that make the guiding of this saw really easy.
After a bunch of noise and dust was made, I came out with 8 separate pieces. Just like the drawing! Yay. I actually took a break after this. Wife & I were getting hungry and we were scheduled for an oil change ... so we went to the bar for a few hours.
The first issue came up after I tried the fit. Looks like the angle of one of the pieces may have been off a little. The only way to line up the pieces was to leave a 1/4" gap ... well, that's not gonna work. So I decided to share the difference as evenly as possible, then trimmed the pieces flush with each other. This worked perfectly!
See, can't even tell now.
Now the fun part begins ... I need to put a whole lot of these Tee-nuts to fasten everything together. I think I kinda under-estimated how much work that was.
But, once assembled, it looks good. fits well, and is quite sturdy. So, I added the same to the rest of the pieces.
I actually use my vise to press the nuts into the wood. This keeps the noise making to a minimum ... otherwise I'd be hammering like there's no tomorrow (oh and with Jenn in the house, there would not have been a tomorrow if I was hammering these in!).
One other small issue (this one I knew about during the design phase). The tee nuts interfere with each other on the tight angles. I saw this while I was designing it in 3D. Simple fix is to just saw cut the interference off. This worked exactly as well as I though it would! This is inside the helmet, so you can't see the cuts.
And finishing up in the back as well. The back wasn't too hard since the angles are not as tight. Also, the pieces are smaller and easier to handle.
Here is the structure fully assembled with all the tie straps bolted in. Actually looks really good. all the angles worked perfect. The fit is nice. A few of the screws need some "screwing" around with during assembly, but this keeps it nice and tight together with very little gaps.
Now, just adding in the Black Steel Pipes. This makes it look badass!
Adding the rear Unions also made of Black Steel (Cast iron). These are my favorite of all the cast iron pieces ... Something about these unions that just feels good about them!
Adding the 3D printed Helical Gear to the back. I really love how this print turned out! The first print actually failed. There was issues with the base transitioning to the dome. I actually modified the file to have double the thickness at the failing points and increased the chamfer at that spot too. The second file printed like a champ! Thanks Almost Everything 3D Hub (i.e Andrew)
Now that the structure is complete, tomorrow I can add the screen mesh, Paint, & finish the foam helmet that will velcro to the inside. Thats enough for today!