Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Still tweaking!

And I thought these enhancements would only take a week or two, tops!

This evening was fraught with some progress, some uncanny malfunctions and the sort.

First was the charging port door.  Its been hinged for weeks and I was working on how to mount a fullsize servo to actuate it, the JB Weld failed on one of the hinges.  So, that set me back a day fixing that yesterday.  

Today I wanted to size up and see how the hinge would work with a servo.  It turns out the gaps in the charging plate for the hinges were a bit high, so I would need to file those down a bit.  It looked perfect...then I realized the frame rod was right in the way too.  Ugh!

So, with the dremel and a grinding wheel attachment, I marked and gouged two spots in the frame rod to allow the hinge to open and close without being blocked....

As I lined the skins up, it became really obvious that there is no practical way for a servo linkage to fit in all of that.  (Not that being impractical hasn't been tried before!)  So, I decided to call that section "good enough" for now and decided to move on.

One thing I have been meaning to fix was the mounting screws for the skin to the frame.  Short screws keep working themselves out, so I wanted to lengthen the hole and re-tap it.  I carefully started to drill slowly when I heard a pop.  I removed what was left of my drill bit and see that my Craftsman drill bit had failed, snapping off inside the hole.  


Well, I thought, I can just patch the existing hole in the skin, add some touch up paint and just drill a new hole.  I drilled the new hole then started on the new hole for the other side.  Pop!  My second Craftsman drill bit snapped 10 seconds into the process.  

Amazing.  I've drilled and tapped holes for years with these bits.  For two to fail within 10 minutes of each other....remarkable.   I dug up my new set of DeWalt bits and finished the job with those.

With GREAT caution, I tapped the holes with a 4-40 tap so that a 3/4 inch hex screw would go inside.  That went fine and now R2's front skins have new mounting holes....

I was seriously pondering if I wanted to continue work at this point.  However, I decided to do one more task...cut away spots on panel insert so I can access the center vent set screws.

It wasn't very elegant work but its also not in very noticeable area (til now!).

At this point, I decided to quit while I was ahead!