It would appear I’m two weeks behind on my updates! Eek! I’ll just have to post another update really soon. I blame the tardiness on watching Trololo Man over and over too many times.
So, continuing on with my full size autonomous “Portal” turret project, this week I’m playing with childrens toys.
Having found a box of K’Nex building toys at a yard sale, I promptly stole all the wheels and various sized gears from it. The red gear is perfect size for controlling the x-axis (rotating side-to-side) motion.
I had to drill a couple holes near the outer part of the gear to make room for the bolt that would attach it to the pipe that acts as the rotational door support mechanism. In this picture you can see the Sharpie marks I made on either side of the gear before drilling. The center hole had to be drilled out a bit as well to accommodate the main support bar and be able to rotate freely.
Having mounted the gear on the main support bar, I then drilled small holes in the rotational support pipe and screwed in tiny eye bolts. The gear is simply bolted through the eye bolts. You can see the tiny eye bolt in this picture as the bronze-coloured thing between the two nuts near the top.
Voila! Now to move the arms side to side, I simply need to mount a servo motor attached to the tiny blue gear in the appropriate spot. But that comes later.
The other thing I did around this time was a lot of paper-maché’ing. Paper maché basically strengthens the materials I’m working with, and allows me to create odd shapes that I can mount into things (like the gun barrel decorations, but more on those later).
The three basic things one needs for paper maché is water, glue, and paper. There are many, many fancy recipes out there, and I’ll be using one of them for the final layer once everything is assembled, but for just the basic stuff I just used white glue, diluted with some water. I mixed them both in that little plastic square in the picture.
I started off with the gun mounts. I ripped magazines into two inch by one inch strips (very roughly), making sure there were no flat edges on the paper. Flat edges don’t make as good a transition between the other paper pieces you stick onto your piece, they stick out and are prone to peel.
I did three layers of paper maché, alternating between flyers (pictured above) and white fax paper (pictured below), which I happened to have a gigantic roll of that was useless because it got wet at one point and the one edge of the roll stuck to itself.
And that’s all for now! Next post I’ll delve into some of the electronic items going into this beast, specifically big blinky lights. :) Stay tuned!