Friday, April 29, 2011

A little detour to fix a door problem

With all the time and work I have invested on the gripper claw, it quickly became obvious the door panel had a problem:  It wouldn't open all the way.  The door would rub against the skin and not open as widely as it should.

What happened?  When the door and hinge were epoxied together, it looks like a clamp slipped off, pushing the hinge away from the door opening.  As a result, at first glance, it looked fine but when I went to open the door and check the radius, I could tell the hinge was crooked.

Further complicating things was I had used a different epoxy.  I used GOOP instead of JB Weld on these, since I have a love/hate relationship with JB Weld.  For somethings, it works really well.  For others...not so much, especially the Qwik version.

That said, I had to find a way to remove the GOOP adhesive.  Being an epoxy, I found that toluene will dissolve and is suggested by GOOP to remove it.  I went to my local hardware store since no one at the big box store had any idea or personal experience with the solvents.  It was suggested I use a paste/gel type solvent, lightly brush it on, let it sit, pry a bit with a scrapper, then do a bit more in a few hours.

This is really, really nasty stuff so I did this outside, in the garage, with the door open.
(Incidentally, it seems EVERYTHING is bad for laboratory mice)

Once I had the door and hinge off the skins, I let them dry in the sun for a few hours.  I need used the mouse sander to remove the larger residue.  For the rest, I used the Dremel sanding flap to bring the surfaces to a shine yet rough enough for a good bond with JB Weld (later today).

As you can tell from all of these side tracking tasks, my R2-D2 hasn't moved to the new frame.  With 4 events planned for May, I thought it best to leave things alone and working on the new accessories for my second R2.

So, if you have lost track of what I am working too!

Progress will be focused on R2-D2 #2 now, maintaining my first one until #2 is ready to take over.  Once #2 is up and working, I can come back to the first one, paint the blue pieces pink and do a complete upgrade and rebuild into the new frame.

(That plan may change in an hour tho!)