Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Starting work on the 300mm dome!

Over the holiday weekend, I made plans to link up with fellow builder Kevin Helmig at his New Hampshire home. Kevin was a professional carpenter before starting his own business and has an amazing workshop. Anytime he invites me over, he teaches me so much!

We were both itching to work on the new 300mm domes that are available to R2 builders.

One thing we noticed right off was the amount of slag, or laser residue from the cutting process inside the outer dome.

In hindsight, at this point, I would suggest taking a mouse sander with 60 grit sandpaper to the inside of the dome. This would knock down a lot of the slag with all the panels attached, saving a good two hours of doing each piece separately!

The first step is to label all of the panels, so that when you begin to piece things back together, you know where everything belongs! I also made sure to number the panel pieces in the upper left hand corner. This way pieces do not go in upside down in the assembly process.

Perhaps the best tool in Kevin's shop was the air compressor and reciprocating saw. Using the thinnest tip available, it really made quick work of the panels. Below, the scrap piece of material under the dome ring...

Outer dome done, now a good hour's worth of filing out all the laser residue.

Now on to the inner dome.
After carefully using the outer dome as a template and ensuring everything is aligned (thus why you really need the outer dome to be smooth and slag free), we can begin cutting out the panels. Kevin showed how to drill near an edge, then use the air saw to slowly work your way around.

Kevin has already built a droid before, so he gave some good ideas on where and where not to cut openings. Here's the results!