Friday, June 19, 2009

The Skins Strike Back...making them line up!

Last time I posted I had bolted the inner skin into the frame.

I wanted to see if I could bolt the inner and outer skins onto the frame. This way I could avoid the trouble I had last time gluing the skin layers together.

One problem cropped up when I clamped the rear inner skins to check for alignment. As you can see below, they weren't lining up (pictures of each side)....

I took a few days off to reflect on why I was coming up short. I posted on the Astromech Forums and other builders mentioned they had similar situations. A few ideas were suggested...
1.) Sand the frame ring a bit to decrease the size a bit.

2.) Check for slack in the front skin
3.) Use a different clamp type (strap-type was suggested)

4.) Get a second set of hands!

I strongly suspected that if I unscrewed the skins from the frame, they would fit fine. But they were still off. So I kept searching and noticed that the recent addition could be the issue: my electronics tray.
Upon looking it over, I noticed that the side pieces of the assembly stick out beyond the frame ring. I removed the tray assembly and used both a metal file and Dremel sanding bit to remove the offending material...

After sanding the pieces flush, I was closer...but still off an 1/8th of an inch or more.
So...I unscrewed the front skins and re-aligned everything. Ding. Everything fits.

I'm not quite sure how I wound up off but I am begining to think it might be a huge timesaver to just bond them together after all.
We'll see!