Saturday, September 4, 2010


Sandwiched between a great breakfast meeting with family and an apple-picking trip this afternoon, I had a good chunk of time to work on my droid.

I spent nearly all of it on the frame. A month ago, I fitted four reinforcing rods to my A&A frame. They braced it so well I decided even before going to Celebration V that I'd add more. So, late this morning, I took three 1/4-inch threaded rods, purchased way back in 2007 from a Lowe's or Home Depot in another state, measured them for the frame and cut them.

I used a hacksaw borrowed from my father and a miter box. A block of wood was placed under each rod. I cut down no more than halfway. After that much of a cut is made, it's easy to put the rod on the ground, step on it and then lift the other end until it breaks off.

The break isn't clean, and I found that even cutting straight through with the saw doesn't leave a clean cut. This matters only in that each end of the threaded rod is supposed to screw into a coupler. To fix that problem, I took my Dremel, put a sanding attachment on it and knocked off the rough edges. Problem solved.

Three rods cut in no more than 15 minutes, finishing in another five, and I was able to attach them to the frame.

Hardware used: 1/4-inch inside diameter, 7/8-inch long threaded couplers, 1/4-inch threaded rods, 1/4-inch by 1/2-inch long flat-headed machine screws (to screw into the tops and bottoms of each setup). I also bought some 3/4-inch long flat-headed machine screws in case my threaded rods came up a bit short (a few did, so I used the longer screws).

I also replaced some round-headed screws that I had installed just before CV because they were handy. The problem with them was that they naturally don't sit flush with the frame. Properly attaching the skirt, which IS flush with the frame, would have been impossible.

Sub-project done.

Then I unscrewed the base of the A&A frame (necessary to install one of Azman Sugi's ABS skirts) and cut out the side bracers from the ABS skirt. I used silicone to hold the legs of the frame to the new bottom panel and, after I returned from apple-picking, used silicone to attach the skirt. I used what clamps I have and some painter's tape to hold everything into place. I checked a few minutes ago, and all seems to be well.

Next jobs: I'd like to get the skins finally attached. I tried just a day or two before my CV trip, and they slipped out of the position. So I took them off, and R2 went to CV unclothed, in addition to being footless, lightless, soundless and brainless.

My plan this time around is to drill No. 4 screw holes into the frame first and then to ... somehow ... match the skins to the holes. This will be for the inner skins. The outer skins I think I will attach with silicone, which is secure enough but can be pulled apart easily.

I also need to do some more sanding on the dome and cut holes for the PSIs, two of the HPs and for the dome bumps.