Saturday, August 12, 2017

Shoulder Buttons

In this post I will show how I made the shoulder buttons. Like a lot of these detail parts you can buy resin or aluminum versions of these online, but one of my design goals was to build as much as I can from scratch.

R2_Shoulder

I started by cutting a dowel into pieces the correct thickness. I then used a centering tool (see my last post) to find the center of the dowel. Normally I wouldn’t worry about the angle between the two lines but in this case I also need them to locate the small holes at the edge so I made sure they were 90 degrees to each other. Finally I marked the centers of the edge holes.

DSC02180

I put the dowel in my clamping jig (again see my last post) and drilled the two edge holes.

DSC02182

I also drilled a larger hole which I will need for the raised button in the center.

DSC02190 - Copy

For the button I used a premade wood plug. These were pretty close to what was needed but the actual buttons are a little more cone shaped and these are a more domed.

DSC02186

To fix this I drilled a small hole in the center of the button and attached it to the end of a dowel with a nail. I then used my small bench belt sander to refine the profile.

DSC02187

Here is it looked like before (on the right) and after (on the left).

DSC02189

Here is the button glued into the base part.

DSC02191

Once the glue was dry I drilled the center hole. Here is the final product with a couple coats of grey primer on it.

20170812_083336

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Working with Dowels

There are a couple details on R5 that I made using wooden dowels. When making these parts I needed to drill holes in the center of the ends of dowels. This required a couple special tools that I will talk about here.

The first thing I needed was way to mark the center of a dowel. Here is a store bought centering tool that I got as a hand me down. It has a V-shaped slot on each side that you put the dowel into and then mark along the straight edge. You need to mark at least two lines to get the center, but I always mark a third just to be sure that I didn’t mess up one of the other two lines. You can buy one of these from here, among other places.

DSC02178

Another option is to make your own centering tool. This is made with two pieces of plywood glued together at a right angle and a piece of style cut with a 45 degree angle. For this to work properly you need to be sure the angles are as accurate as possible. Be sure the two pieces of plywood are square to each other, be sure the styrene is exactly 45 degrees. This is used the same way as the store bought one.

 DSC02135

The second thing I needed was a way to hold the dowel while I was drilling it. To do this I started with a piece of 1”x3” pine and drilled holes for each size dowel I would be drilling. I then cut a slot through the center of the holes with a band saw.

DSC02272

To hold the piece, I put it in the appropriate size hole and then clamped the end of the board which squeeze it tight around the dowel holding it in place. Before drilling the dowel I used the centering tool to mark the center and then used a nail to put a small guide hole at the center.

DSC02182

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Completing the Horseshoes

The next step on the horseshoes was to skin the edges with styrene. I used the same technique I used on the legs, attaching the styrene with a 2-part epoxy. I used some clamps and painters tape to hold it in place and worked one section at a time.

DSC02224

Be careful with the end of the styrene strip that isn’t glued down yet, you don’t want to do this…

DSC02224-b

Fortunately no harm was done in this case. Here is the styrene taped up all the way around. I left the piece long and trimmed it when everything was dry.

DSC02225

I was having a hard time getting the bottoms of the two square holes clean, so I decided to glue in some pieces of styrene to give the bottom of a pocket a clean finish. The other hole was large enough that I was able to get it smooth with some sanding. Here is the complete horseshoe with a couple coats of white spray paint.

20170723_092531

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Horeshoes Continued


A while back I showed how I made the segments for form the should horseshoes.

DSC01016

The next step in making the horseshoes was to glue these up. Once again I build a jig to help with this process. The jig is composed of a piece of plywood with three 2x2’s screwed to it which forms an area that is exactly the size of the horseshoes. This allowed me to stack the four layers and be sure they were perfectly aligned.

DSC01547

I placed the first layer, and then applied a coating of wood glue to the back of the second layer, stacking it in the jig. I repeated this process with the other two layers. Once this was done I screwed a piece of scrap plywood to the plywood which acted as a clamp.

DSC01548


The next step was to cut the pockets into the surface of the horseshow that will hold the shoulder details. This is the process I used to cut them, but I was not entirely happy with the results I got from this. It required a lot more hand working of the cut outs to get them to look good.

I made these cuts using a router with a straight cutting bit and a guide collar. I made  template out of luan plywood that would guide the router. I didn’t want to screw the template directly to the horse shoe so I screwed some blocks down to my workbench in various positions to firmly hold the part and then screwed the template to one of these blocks. Since this was a deep cut I made multiple passes to make the cut.

DSC01762

It’s been a while since I made these so I can’t remember exactly how I did the square holes. Since there is a small hole in the bottom of each one I may have started the hole using a forstner drill bit and the finished it with the router and template. I did make a template to cut both of the square holes with one template.

DSC02223

Once the router cuts were complete I used a chisel to clean up the corners and did a lot of sanding and patching to clean up the holes.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Leg Skins

In previous posts I showed how I made the layers of the legs. I eventually glued these up to form the structure of the legs. With the legs glued up I decided to skin the edges of the legs with styrene like others have done. With a lot of work I probably could have gotten a smooth surface on the edges, but with the layers of plywood it would tend to crack through the paint, thus the reason for skinning. I decided not to skin the large surfaces of the leg because I felt I could get a nice enough finish without it, but I have seen people who skinned the entire leg.

To start the skinning process I used wood filler to fill any voids in the legs and then sanded everything smooth. I used fairly thin styrene for the skin so I didn’t want any defects in the wood to show through.

I cut a piece of styrene the rough size needed for the bottom portion of the leg. I started with just one side, putting the seam at the very bottom point where it won’t be seen. The piece can be a little bigger the necessary, it can be trimmed afterwards.

To attach the styrene I found the best adhesive was two-part epoxy, I couldn’t find anything else that held as well. I first roughed up the back of the styrene with some sand paper and then coated the wood with a smooth layer of epoxy. Since the epoxy has a fairly short working time I did this in a couple steps. For this part I started with just the side flat area, and then did the angled part as a second step. I taped the styrene in place to keep it from moving while I clamped it.

DSC01753

I firmly clamped it with a piece of plywood between the clamp and the styrene to keep the clamps from damaging the surface. Once that section was dry I moved on to the part that went down the angled part, you can see it sticking out in the picture below.

DSC01754

I used this same process for the rest of the leg. I did the flat side as one piece and cut the groove afterwards. I did a second piece on the slope going up to the shoulder, and the on long piece going all the way around the shoulder. The flats I did with one glue up, but the curve I did little by little so I had  place to clamp it.

DSC01768

Once everything was glued up and dry I trimmed any overhang of the styrene with an X-acto knife and then sanded the edges. There were a few places where the styrene did not adhere completely along the edges so for these I used a toothpick to put in some more epoxy  and taped it down to dry. The epoxy works good for this since any the squeezes out can easily be sanded smooth.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Booster Covers Part 2

In my last post I built the top part of the booster covers, in this one I will show how I made the “leg” portion.

I started by gluing up some pine to make blocks big enough for the legs. This is enough to make four legs, two for each side.,

DSC01609

I cut these to width and height, with the proper top angle, on the table saw.

DSC01611

I cut them to length on the miter saw and then marked where the recessed area needs to be cut out.

DSC01613

I started the cut using the table saw to be sure I got a nice straight cut. When making these sorts of cuts on the table saw, remember that the cut is going to go deeper at the bottom the then top so you need to stop short of the line.

DSC01612

I finished the cuts on the band saw and then did some sanding to clean them up.

DSC01614

The next step was to do the flutes on the bottom of each leg. I did this with a fluting bit in the router table. The marks on the tape indicate the edges of the router bit and were used to set a stop block, seen on the right, to define the end of the cut. In hind sight I probably should have made the flute cuts before make the cut that formed the narrower portion of the piece. With that cut made I could only run the flat side against the fence which required me to do four different setups to get the four flutes. If I could have used either side against the fence I could have done it with just two setups.

DSC01616


Here are the parts with the flutes cut.

DSC01615


The next step was to create the block that connects the two legs together. I made the piece slightly taller then the legs and will sand it to the right height after the pieces have been glued up.

DSC01618


To glue the pieces together I used a second block the same width to keep the legs parallel.

DSC01617

The final step was to cut the groove just above the flutes which I did on the table saw. I did it after the pieces were glued up, although I don’t remember why I didn’t do this before gluing up the pieces.

DSC01620

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Booster Covers

 

The next part I am going to talk about is the booster cover. The is the blue part in the middle of the leg. I decided to make this out of wood and made it in three main pieces, the top block and the two arms that come off the bottom of the block. I will start with the top block.

image

I started by gluing up some pieces of pine to form a block bigger then needed, I then cut the piece down on the table saw to the correct final dimensions.

DSC01621

The next step was to form the curve at the top of the block. This is a little tricky since the curve slopes down to the front of the block. I started by printing a full size template for the curve. I then cut this into two pieces, the larger piece defines the edge of the curve on the front of the block and adding he smaller piece defines the curve on the back. 

DSC01622

I used the template to mark the block on the front and back and also marked which side was which.

DSC01623

I started the cut using the band saw to remove some of the material. This is the front of the block so the cut isn’t close to the line, but it is much closer on the back.

DSC01624

To finish the cut, I made a wedge that is the same angle as the slope of the curve. I then used that wedge along with the largest drum on the drum sander to remove the material down to the line on the front. The wedge will  assure that it comes out correctly on both the front and back.

DSC01625

Here is what the piece looks like after that operation. I believe I had to do more more to form that angles on the edges but it’s been a while and I can’t remember how I did this, probably on a belt sander.

DSC01626

The next step was to form the cove along the bottom edge. I did this with a cove bit on the router table. I clamped a guide block to keep the block against the fence and a used a feather board to keep it tight to the table.

DSC01629

Once cove was cut I marked up the block for the location of the slots in the block.

DSC01630

I started cutting the clots using the drill press. I clamped a block along the back to hold the piece in the right position front to back.

DSC01647

Here is the piece after the drilling operation.

DSC01648

I cleaned up the slots with a chisel. Here is the piece after some cleanup and a coat of primer. Still needs a little work.

20170513_084242

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Dome Top Section


To make the stop section of the dome I first needed to create two more discs. Since the top of the head slopes in I needed to cut the discs with edges beveled to that angle. To do this I used the same fixture I used in my last post to create the two next discs.
DSC01414
I cut these discs out of 1/2 plywood. I added a stop block to the fixture to set the finished diameter of the disc. The angle of the fixture will control the angle of the bevel on the edge of the disc. I used this technique to cut both the bottom and top discs.
Next I drew the layout lines on the disc. I first divided the disk into 10 equal segments. The sides and back of of R5’s head have pockets in them so you can see the wider layout lines in those positions. The remaining segments have layout lines for plywood pieces that will form the frame of the head.
DSC01417
With the layout complete I could cut out the inside of the disc to form a ring. Since this edge will not be seen it could be cut free hand or on the router table.
DSC01424
The support ribs are cut out of 3/4” plywood with the ends cut at the same angle as the angle cut on the edge of the disc. I rounded the outside edge of the ribs slightly so that the styrene skin will go on smoothly. To do this I just put the edge on a belt sander and gently rocked it back and forth to knock the edges off.
Here is the top ring that was made the same way as the bottom ring.
DSC01425