User avatar
By Mat
#4782491
...that will weigh less than the average engine block!

I was going to wait but there's no better motivation than tracking a build as you go, so here we are. I'm not going for 100% accurate with this build, going for more of a "representation of a piece of science-fiction equipment" ™*. That being said, by no means will it be a hastily rushed, thrown together in a night build; I'm going for a clean look but I'm getting ahead of myself!

For the time being, I will be using a matty thrower on it (mind you, I won't be modding it) but down the road I may upgrade to a better piece of kit. I ordered a bunch of resin parts (bumper, misc etc) from Nick-a-tron's website which I am in no rush for (I stress that with everything; I figure he keeps pretty busy! That's why we source parts in January :mrgreen: ) Lighting is from Jupiter Electronics; it'll be wired to a switch attached on the frame...same story with the battery; it'll be mounted on the frame as well...near the bottom, out of sight! Might use an RC battery down the road.

The ion arm and injector tubes I'll build from...steel..As the steel thickness will be around 1/16" and having only the end caps 1/8" thick to accept more threading, they shouldn't be to heavy. The mounting brackets for the shell I'll probably end up cutting from 2 x 2" x either 3/16" or 1/4" angle. Motherboard spacers I'd like to cut from aluminum flatbar, but I haven't decided on that detail yet. Pack shell is the gbfans one as well as the motherboard and other misc parts. A bit of cleanup here and there on the shell and motherboard, but nothing out of the norm! I think that's pretty much all I have to say for now regarding planning!

So the hardest part for me regarding projects is picking a starting point...so I decided to start with the part I was dreading...drilling the holes in the n-filter! I used a unibit and of all things, teflon bike chain lube which worked like a charm. I did end up chipping one hole, but at least it was the ignorant one; nothing a little bondo can't fix closer to completion!(of which I've never done before...should be a learning experience!)

I used a dewalt 3/8" drill to drill the holes. I like the dewalt because the trigger is really nice for controlling the drilling speed! I ran the drill at maybe 1 revolution a second and let the bit do the work. at each step on the drill bit, I ran it backwards for a revolution or two before continuing forwards. It was surprisingly effective! A few fuzzies of death on the inside, but nothing that couldn't be sanded out! The Uni-bit came from a Canadian store that also sells Tires.

Go get em, roomba!
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The aforementioned chip; one out of nine isn't bad!
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Now to clean up the holes, you could use a round file, maybe a dremel...Personally I prefer to use the handyman's secret weapon,..
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Sandpaper taped to a pen.
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Not pretty, but it did the job! Could use a bit more sanding, but good enough for now.
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That's all for now! The injector tubes and mounting angles are next! We'll probably drill some holes in the Mil-Spec Alice Pack as well! :mrgreen:

*not a real ™...more for comedic effect.
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#4782509
Off to a good start there, and aside from a few small chips the N-Filter holes look really nice and clean. :)
User avatar
By Mat
#4782637
I can work with small chips, it's gouges that scare me! The marks for the holes that are molded into the shell helped a ton with the hole layout (as it should)!

I'm upping the steel gauge from 1/16" thick to 12 gauge-ish come the ion arm, figured 1/16" would warp like no tomorrow...not to mention how "fun" it would be to weld!

Anyway, I made some progress tonight. I went digging through my "scrap metal rack" (to be read, the pile of randomness under my workbench) and found a bunch of crop cutoff from a playground I helped build a few years back; size wise with certain reference images they should work nicely for the injector tubes...technicolor aside! 1 1/4" OD.

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Albeit a bit long...but we have the technology! I scribbled down some measurements based off several sources; Stefan's plans in part, other build threads for others. I cut the tubing to length on the bandsaw and sheared the mounting plate/tube end caps to size. The plate on the right will be the end-caps, I need to cut it in half and round them out yet; only so much one can do on 15 minute breaks!
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I rough cut some brackets as well; ended up using 3/16" 2" x 2" angle. The internal 4 I cut 1 1/4" wide; the leg that mounts to the motherboard will be cut down to 1 1/4" as well; I'll be pre-drilling that leg prior to installation. The external bracket will tie into the side of one of the injector tubes and bolt through both the shell and the motherboard; still working out the finer details for that part; I cut it an inch wide but that may change; not really a big deal if I need to cut a narrower one; need to do some research yet. Built like the Bismark (same buoyancy as well)!

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Still need to drill that Alice pack; I'll get to that in the not-so-distant future. Next update should show more progress on the injectors and brackets!
User avatar
By Mat
#4782876
That fifth bracket is way to short; figured it would be.

Anyway, shortly after posting my last post, I laid out, center punched and drilled the brackets using a cheap drill press; I'm going to fasten the brackets to the motherboard using 1/4" machine screws and Nyloc nuts on the inside as opposed to rivets. Brackets are drilled out to a 9/32" hole.

Laid out
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Drilled
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Zip-cut to size!
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Cleaned up on the belt sander. We have brackets!
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The injector end cap plate laid out to be sliced in half.
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To shape them to size, I traced out one of the injector tubes, clamped the two end caps together and sanded them to shape.
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The idea was to sand them down enough to leave room for a weld, but not so much that it can fall down inside the tube!
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Couple tacks.
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Phil Mc'Cracken at your service! Couple down hand mig hard wire welds at 20V.
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The stop/starts were blended on a belt sander and then the ends were hit with a wire wheel. I ground a flat spot on the welds to allow them to butt up with one another with no gap. I tacked both ends of the tubes and welded them together at one end. I sanded the tack on top down and fit/welded the mounting plate.
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I need to sand the edges of the mounting plate a bit more down to size, but it looks the part!
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Obligatory weld close ups
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So the next thing on the agenda is to get the mounting plate sanded down a bit, drill and tap two holes on top and eventually drill out the two holes at the bottom! I can start cutting parts for the ion arm as well. I suppose at some point I'll have to build a V-hook as well; in time!

...and I still need to drill that alice pack! :mrgreen:
User avatar
By Mat
#4783044
Ductape forever! :mrgreen:

So today I had a chance to sheer up the plates for the ion arm. First I *shhhhhnk'ed* them to width, then *katunked* them to length. I don't know how to run the brake, so a few extra welds are in order. Not a big deal as the two in question will be sanded down anyway.
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I then zip-cut a notch out of the top and bottom plates using the same method as discribed above and went too town on the injectors! I sanded the plate down to size and power brushed (most of) the paint off. In retrospect I probably should have done that beforehand, but it won't matter in the end!
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Still need to drill and tap the holes; will get to that eventually.
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When I got home I measured out for the motherboard mounts on the alice pack. The pack itself has a rivet on center between the two bottom holes, so I used that as a reference point and pulled the measurements (2 7/8" each way) from there. vertically, I went on center with the cross member. I drilled the bottom two holes out first, bolted the motherboard to the frame and marked where the top hole is. I drilled the holes to accept 3/8" bolts which required drilling the holes out on the motherboard; the Uni-bit made short work of it! Suppose I could have just used 5/16" bolts, but Bismark!
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To drill the actual holes, I pilot holed first and then went to town with a Uni-bit. Maybe don't do this over carpet! (Like I did!)
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To support the frame to take the punch, I used a massive anvil. Thing does have a use!
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It looks silly as heck, but it worked!
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Like a glove! Need to get some longer bolts (used what I had on hand for alignment purposes) as well as make some 1" spacers!
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...and then I immediately forgot how to put the straps back on...but with a bit of tenacity I figured it out!
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So next update should show more progress on the ion arm; on the weekend I might work on getting the shell mounted to the motherboard, but we'll see! :mrgreen:
User avatar
By thebigone2087
#4783216
Oh man, this is going to be an AWESOME build. I'm loving the scratch made pieces!
User avatar
By Mat
#4783298
Thanks guys! I'm definitely having fun with it! :mrgreen:

More progress on the ion arm; I basically fit the side plates first, checking each one with a square as I went and worked my way around. I fit everything flush because...well honestly I was being lazy, but in the end it'll make it easier to grind the welds flush without having to round the corners. For the measurements I used Venkman71's plans.

Working my way around, tacking on the inside and sometimes on the outside, squaring each and every piece; it's hip to be a square! Except when it's not.
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All together!
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HOT WELDS! Did I mention I ran hot? These will all be ground flush! I feel like a hoodlum when I hold this thing...it just seems so...brick like!
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So next update, probably not until Monday (read "Tuesday morning") I'll grind the welds flush, find some thin material to act as internal doubler plates and if I have time, see what I can scrounge together for the v-hook and mount! :cool:
User avatar
By Mat
#4783475
I know I said there wouldn't be any updates until Monday, but I had a chance to do some planning regarding mounting tonight. I figured out where the brackets are going to go as well as wrote out a list of machine screws, nylon lock nuts and washers that I would need. As I said prior I would be mounting the brackets to the motherboard using 1/4" machine screws. The shell I'll mount to the brackets using 5/16" machine screws and the Alice pack will be mounted with 3/8" machine screws. Additionally I'm going to run an extra bolt between the gun mount and top of the cyclotron spacer clean through the motherboard and the same on the other side that will double as the mounting location for the injector tube's structural bracket! Sunday should be fun!

If that made any sense, I'll be amazed!

I figure the actual mounting process should be relatively painless; I know that the inside edge of the black outline corresponds to the outside of the shell, so if I measure the fiberglass thickness at each mounting location, I can mark a line that will represent the inside edge of the shell! By using machine screws instead of rivets, I should be able to fine tune the brackets in and outwards within 1/16" so that everything comes out copacetic.

You can kind of see the thought process
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Also another observation; the shell is slightly sagged in where the ion arm mounts, so when it comes time to mount all of the parts there may be some shimming work involved. Not a big deal; Pallet "banding strap" material should work nicely for this as it's thin enough to fine tune with!
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Sizewise we're looking good though! The ion arm end-cap shipped out today, so will receive that in a week or two. Once it gets here I can transfer punch the hole locations and drill and tap the arm to fit it!
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Until Sunday then, when we mount the shell to the mobo!
User avatar
By thebigone2087
#4783476
Why not rivet the mounts into place like the screen used packs? Also, the screen used packs used 1/4x20 machine screws (socket heads in GB1 and button heads in GB2). Just simple curiosity, I used 5/16" to bolt the Alice frame to the motherboard and 1/4x20 to mount the shell to the motherboard (via the 4 brackets). It looks great either way, I was just curious.
User avatar
By 35FT_TWINKIE
#4783495
THis build is pretty much super-fantastic. Scatch made pieces....they give me a tingle....FAT scratch made welds...oh those make my b-hole pucker up!

You did awesome on your MOBO and ion arm BTW....I LOVE seeing rough welded parts like that...it really feels like an Egon-bench-made part. Really cool.


Oh yah, and Demond Vice Commander called it....your straps....

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Let me add this in before i"m censored....I'M joking of course.

I say this because I did the same thing with my straps...and thats immediately how I felt.
User avatar
By Mat
#4783500
LOL! I didn't even notice that! Note to self: swap pack straps around! I guess I couldn't brain that night, I had the dumb! :lol:

@thebigone; just personal preference. :)
User avatar
By Mat
#4783982
First things first! :roll:
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H'okay, it took a bit of doing (about 3 hours worth of doing!) and I no longer fear drilling through fiberglass! One minor thing though is that I need to slot the top two brackets slightly at some point; height is good, but it fits a bit snug horizontally and causes the mobo to bow outwards in the center about 1/8." All things considered, I'd rather it be a tight fit than a loose one (That's what she said!) The nice thing about using machine screws for the brackets is that it made it really easy to drill and tap the brackets...mark your holes, take em off, take em to the drill press, drill em, lock em in a vice to tap em, put em back on!
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They look pretty good, I think!
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From 5' away, they look almost identical to rivets!
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Probably overkill...but effective!
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Bottom spacing is good; everything seems to line up pretty good! The center will get pulled tight when I run the bolt for the injector tube bracket through, still need to make that. Right now the shell is attached to the brackets with regular 5/16" bolts, but when I find the screws I'm looking for, these will be replaced! For the sake of fitting though, they do the job quite nicely. A keen eye will notice that I drilled the holes farther up the shell from the motherboard; I wanted more meat between the edge of the shell and the hole.
"Gun-mount" Side
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Ion-Arm side
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Bottom left
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Bottom right
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I picked up a couple other things while out and about today; a small can of bondo and a new toy!
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Tomorrow I'll get that Ion arm cleaned up and we'll go from there. :mrgreen:
User avatar
By Mat
#4784220
Just a quick update tonight; I got the ion arm cleaned up!
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...and made up some spacers...okay, so technically I turned some small pieces of 3/4" diameter by 1" long aluminum round bar into pipe by drilling a hole up the center to accommodate the bolt, but hey...they look the part! I had to run the bottom two bolts through opposite the way that they normally would go, but they'll do the job! Also means I only need to buy one 3/8" machine screw now! :mrgreen:
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User avatar
By Mat
#4784352
Tweaked my top brackets so now the shell fits how it should! :mrgreen:
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Started making a V-hook out of some scrap aluminum. Didn't have any 1/8" so I cut a slice off a small piece of bar I have. The angle the part on the far right is at makes it look crooked; I can assure you that it's not!
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A bit more sizing work yet, but it's getting there!
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User avatar
By Mat
#4784354
Ah, building character...my favorite past time! An hour and a half...that's how long it took to hand file and sand a profile on the hook to match the one on the Matty thrower!

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I'll tweak the middle piece tomorrow; had enough for one day! :mrgreen:
Kingpin, Sutton621 liked this
User avatar
By Mat
#4784548
Decided to take a break from the v-hook tonight and mounted the injector tubes. They sit a little tilted (maybe 1/8" or so! looking from straight on they lean right!), but when I make the third bracket, that should hold them nice and straight! The third bracket will be drilled and tapped into the side of the injector tubes.
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I also found some socket heads in my "box oh mystery hardware;" Guess I won't be using machine screws after all! I had a 3/8" socket head that I tried using as the top alice pack bolt and it looked good...one problem though; it dug into the flat of my back! So yeah, more than likely just be using a regular bolt there; might sand the head down 1/8" though. :mrgreen:
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User avatar
By Mat
#4784697
Thanks guys! It's been a really enjoyable project so far; each step has been a learning experience and I find myself continually planning ahead as I proceed forwards throughout the whole thing. :mrgreen:

I got the ion arm mounted...it was err...fun to drill and tap. I may have accidentally made it out of stainless crop (okay, I knew I made it out of stainless crop when I was fitting it and the magnet wouldn't stick! Check your material first folks!) Truth be told, it was quite spectacular to drill; fire shooting everywhere and whatnot! It's held on with four 1/4" bolts. There is a 1/8" gap on the bottom inside right hand corner but I'm probably going to bondo that at a later date; right now the corner in question is shimmed with a washer! I forgot to mention this earlier, but the injectors are held on with two 1/4" bolts.

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And the V-hook! I made real progress on that can-o-worms! :lol:

I started by verifying that my center lines were still on center and re-scribed my center line...on center and I marked a line 1/2" down from the top and 1/2" up from the bottom. No idea why 1/2", it just seemed like a nice round number! drilled the holes out to accept threading for 1/4" bolts.
Ugly inside face
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Nice outside face!
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I then did the same with the center part; you could transfer punch the holes, but I wanted to practice doing layout. I drilled these out to the same size, although later I drilled them out to be a 1/32" over 1/4" for bolt clearance. The "A" just tells me which face faces towards the hook; at one time the main hook had an "A" on it, but alas it wore off...no matter though, the big gouge up the center tells me which face is which!
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For the base I eyeballed the location and scribed a line around the middle piece.
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I scribed another centerline and marked the bottom hole 1/2" up from the line representing the bottom of the bracket. I then measured the center-to-center distance of the holes and marked for the top hole.
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Which left me with
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And after tapping the hook and drilling out the other two parts we're left with
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On my next update this will be attached to the pack! Eventually I'll build a doubler plate for on the inside out of thin gauge steel, but for now it'll be held on with the two bolts and subsequent washers; the bolts might be long, but I won't know until I dry-fit it to the pack! Even if they are long, shortening them won't be difficult! (watch, now they'll be to short! :walterpeck: )
rays_occult liked this
User avatar
By Mat
#4784820
erm...the bolts were totally to short! Need to pick up some 1 1/4" ones! Ah well, for photo purposes they'll work, but they aint staying in there for long! An observation: fiberglass drills remarkably similar to steel in that the bit does the work; anyway,

I eyeballed the bracket's placement and traced my holes with a pencil where I was going to drill (doesn't need to be super precise; so long as they're relatively center, there is 1/32" allotted for play in the fit) And then started by piloting with a smaller bit for two reasons: accuracy and ease of starting where I want the hole to actually be without the need to center punch the fiberglass; it also acts as a guide for the larger drill bit! I used regular, run of the mill HSS steel drill bits for this. Use lube.

two pilot holes
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One hole
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Two holes! (red holes, blue holes!)
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As I was saying the bolts are to short, but for a quick photo and test fit, they'll work! The mounting plate sits just off the radius of the...rectangle, not the fins! And is squared to the fins...not the rectangle!
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Not the greatest picture, but it works! One observation though: I think I need to make a narrower center hook piece for the matty wand; I could sand the one I have narrower, but I'd rather make a second one in case I decide to swap out throwers down the road!
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Next update we'll install this onto the ion arm! (Care of our "friendly certified parts supplier", aka the shop here on the site!)
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User avatar
By PssdffJay
#4784850
That's cheating! I was expecting you to fab everything!

Just kidding, it's looking great! I'm jealous that you can make a lot of this yourself. Give me instructions and parts, I'm good. Not so much if I had to make something from scratch.
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