Sunday, October 28, 2012

R2 won't be ready for Halloween but progress continues

We won't be ready in time for Halloween

With Hurricane Sandy making its way up the East Coast, plus the failure of the van's battery, we won't make it.  Even if the battery were replaced, we still face the obstacle of having to drive it on a hurricane soaked yard.  I've done that before and the van sank quickly!  Toss into that my left hand is still on the mend, so man-handling a very heavy R2-D2 is probably not a good idea.

Having said that, I have made some more progress on R2!

With the new frame and skins modified, I ran into another issue with them...they were not lining up properly where the center vents meet...

If you look closely, the vent rail on the right side is visible

Close up...the vent rail should be behind the skin
 The fix is awkward, drill new holes so that it will fit behind the skins.

Next up was the two 5 inch by 5 inch side pieces that cover the gap between the skins.  I had previously sanded, primed and painted them.  I lined them up in the frame, drew a line where they met the top of the bottom ring and used silicone to bond an L bracket to it.

I'd rather have screws show from the bottom, which I can later trim off and cover up with touch up paint.  Three 5/32 holes and threaded for 10-24 machine screws

Installed.  Since it is held in place with silicone, it has some play but too much and it will pop off.

Both pieces in.  Too firm this up, I will use servo tape (double sided tape) on an L bracket to secure the panels in their proper position.
 When tweaking, you run across pieces that were problematic the first time.  In that case, the internals for one of the center vents was a real challenge.  It took quite a bit of time to dismantle and attempt to repair.  I'll eventually replace these with new internals.

The bottom vent required a lot of JB Weld to re-attach and secure.  The bolts on the sides hold the vent surrounds in place, another area requiring ongoing work.
 And here's how R2 looks now...slowly coming back to its old self!