User avatar
By Smeghead
#4834622
Well, it's high time I got round to building my first pack. This build is highly unlikely to offer anything you haven't seen before, but that's not the point, is it? ;) I'm sure I will have many questions as I go along, so all advice and criticism is welcomed.

My overall plan is to build the pack in stages. This first stage will use a Matty want with Spongeface's kit to interface with the GB Fans pack lights. At some point in the future I will upgrade to a metal thrower with pop mech, sound kit, e-cig vent, and all the other bells and whistles.

I didn't want to rush in to things and ruin it, so I've waited over a year from when I joined this fine website, trying to learn from the masters. I've been slowly collecting parts, and while I still have a few orders to turn up, I finally have enough to do something with! :D

A couple of days ago, a very large box turned up with Nick-a-tron's name on it. I tore in to it like a child on Christmas morning who had found his dad's party stash, then been given a puppy and told "we're going to Disneyland".
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Naurally, after taking that picture, you just have to try assembling what you can...
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... and yes, I know the ion arm is the wrong way round. I was too excited to notice, OK?

The shell, and resin componants are from Nick-a-tron, with other parts (so far) from Ejgunth87, Spongeface, Master Taran, Nosllit, the good old GB Fans shop, and a few random local shops. I'm still waiting for a few parts to come in from GB Fans, nstevic01, and Hijacker.
I must confess that I asked Nick to mount the shell to the motherboard for me. I've never rivited anything in my life, and I just knew I would cock that up somehow. Being the gentleman he is, he obliged, and I forwarded him the brackets I got from Eric.

So anyway, This afternoon, I decided to make a start. I have heard some horror stories about shells cracking when you drill in to them, so I decided to practice on the inside of one of the cyclotron rings. I used a hand drill and tried turning it backwards... all went well. So I tried forwards... all went even better.

The very first hole... an important milestone!
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So far, so good. So let's experiment with how to enlarge that hole. First I simply used a bigger bit, and did all four of them.
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But there's only so far you can go with notmal drill bits. I tried a spade bit...
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... But it didn't do much, so I switched to a circle cutter.
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About half an hour of hand drilling later, I had this:
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I decided to take a risk for the next hole and try a power drill on a low speed...
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It worked perfectly and took less than a minute. Bye bye hand drill, you will not be missed! Before I knew it I had 4 holes in my pack.
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Next step was to clean them up, so I broke out my trusty Drem- I mean "cheap JML multi tool", and got to work.
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- A short interlude to talk about safety: The ammount of dust produced was insane. I kept stopping ever minute of so to hoover it up just so I could see what I was doing. Tomorrow I am going to pop to the hardware shop and get a better face mask, as the cheap fabric one I was using is clearly not up to the job.

Ta-da! Four cyclotron hole cut and sanded!
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Feeling on a role, I decided to move on to the power cell. A string of holes drilled round the edge...
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Then a cutting disc to link the holes...
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- Another short interlude to talk about safety: 1) I'm glad I was wearing safety glasses, and 2) maybe it's about time I invested in a proper Dremel? :P

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After going to town with some small sanding / grinding bits, I now have a power cell window.
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********

At this point the daylight was starting to fade, and there was dust everywhere in our living room, dispite my best efforts to hoover it up as I went along. So I've left it there for now. (I don't want to rush things anyway). I've re-boxed the shell and given the place a thorough clean up before the missus gets home from work. And now I think I'm going to jump in the shower and scrub this dust off me. But naturally, I just had to share what I've done so far. The first steps towards owning something I've craved since childhood have finnaly been taken. I believe the word I'm looking for is "squeee!"
User avatar
By PssdffJay
#4834643
You had me at "idiot"! I popped on at work and saw the thread titled actually laughed out loud. I got a few looks, but thats normal for me I suppose. (Not saying you're an idiot, just a great thread title!)

I found that when I drilled into or cut the shell, the dust really irritated my skin. If you find that too, wear some gloves and long sleeve shirts. Even thinking back on it makes me itchy.

Looking forward to your build!
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User avatar
By pyhasanon
#4834644
Be careful with the fumes generated from the resin/fiberglass... don't be afraid to spend some money on a quality respirator mask... a good $30 one with replaceable filters should do the trick... keep safe, your body will thank you for it... first day I started drilling holes and sanding, I got a massive migraine and started throwing up... don't be an idiot like me... =P
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User avatar
By Smeghead
#4834645
Yeah, it was slightly itchy, but nowhere near as bad as after my rats decide to try climbing up my arms using their claws. I thought enough about safety to wear glasses and a mask... but was otherwise in shorts and T shirt. Still, I might wear my flight suit next time I attack the shell. It'll just add to the "used" look. (Typical that it's finally warming up over here, the glasses kept steaming up.)

I'm definately going to get a better face mask tomorrow. the simple fabric one I was using did very little. Though being a heavy smoker, my lungs seemed to handle it well. :P

As for the "idiot" bit, that's because this is so far out of my comfort zone. Plastic and resin I can deal with (used to build Airfix kits), but fiberglass and metal are new and scary. I'm a "glass half empty" kinda guy, so I always assume something is going to go wrong. Best way to avoid dissapointment. If the worst happens, at least you get to say "I told you so"!
(It may also have been inspired by An Idiot Abroad ;) )
User avatar
By Hammer
#4834649
I've been an idiot this whole time so don't feel bad. Drive on friend!
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By Parflagush
#4834652
Now you've done it! You've gone and started building. There's no turning back now! Now you HAVE to finish it!

Best of luck to you as you embark on this exciting journey!
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User avatar
By bishopdonmiguel
Supporting Member
#4834667
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By Smeghead
#4834684
I've been thinking, imperial sized tools and bolts are a grade-A pain in the nethers to find in the UK. Every shop I've tried gives me a weird look and says something like "why on Earth would you want those? We haven't sold them for decades."

Is is possible to get metric bolts with heads that match the ones I'll be needing? I'm thinking of things like the bolts on the HGA, bumper etc.

Or failing that, is there a definitive list somewhere that I've missed, of exactly what size imperial bolts (and matching bits / taps) that I'll have to track down online?

I'm sure all you Americans find this amusing, but with the exception of speed, my brain works in metric. Fractions of an inch may as well be Martian to me! :P
User avatar
By Hammer
#4834686
I've dealt with it all my life here.....fractions of inches is such a pain in the ass. Metric is so much easier. I now find my sketches littered with both flavors.
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By Smeghead
#4834689
Hehe, surely Canada is even more metric than we are? I was over there last October on a roller coaster trip, and seeing all the ride stats in metric rather than feet / mph was strange in an English speaking country. It was like being in Germany (the spiritual home of European coaster enthusiasts). :P
User avatar
By Alex Newborn
#4834703
(It may also have been inspired by An Idiot Abroad ;) )
That was what I hoped the title might mean when I wandered in here.

As for protecting your lungs, I generally wear a mask for everything from sanding to painting. My Dad's on oxygen from all his years climbing around in attic insulation as an electrician.

And I was telling a friend recently about the time I gave myself chemical pneumonia painting a stage set indoors with gold spray-paint.

Alex
User avatar
By Smeghead
#4834705
Today's update:

The first task of the day was to cut the hole for the wand loom. Mark it out...
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When drilling the guide hole for the circle cutter, I had my first taste of the dreaded "chipping".
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Just as well this was on a disposable bit of the shell!
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A few minutes work with good old Mr Grindy-Bit later...
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Today I tried holding the hoover nozzle next to the shell as I ground away. It was a bit awkward, but totally worth it. Combined with a new, better mask, this massively helped the dust problem.

Next task was the hole the ribbon cable dissapears in to. No drama here, just a nice neat hole.
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... And then... Then I got cocky and decided to attempt mounting the V hook....

Somehow the drill wandered and made quite a mess of the hole on the right.
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OK, DFI: get the middle two bolts through...
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... and use the metal plate as a guide for the other holes...
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... Sweet smegging hell, that's ugly. Good job it'll be covered!
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The next setback was that the inner metal plate wouldn't quite fit. Maybe I should have allowed a few more mm for the thickness of the shell?
"No problem", thought I, "I'll just file down the plate a bit."
Could I find my big file anywhere? Could I hell! Eventually I gave up hope (I can only assume the Underpants Gnomes have made off with it), and had to use a tiny file normally reserved for subtle work on plastic.
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... Needless to say, this took some time.

After an hour or so of feeling like I was trying to tunnel out of Shawshank with a rock hammer, I eventually got the damn thing to fit. I need to get some washers on those middle bolts.
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.... Aaaannd then I decided to check how straight it was on the outside...
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... You are probably starting to see why I chose the thread title I did.

I keep telling myself that the real props look like crap up close, but that doesn't mean I intend to mess things up. Honest guv.

But anyway, let's double check that the V hook doesn't clash with the shell mounting bracket...

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.... Awwww [CENSORED].
Right, that's it. It's Friday night, where's me rum?
User avatar
By bishopdonmiguel
Supporting Member
#4834706
I'm in good company. Same thing happened to me with the V-Hook and shell brackets. Was a damn pisser.
User avatar
By Smeghead
#4834707
I'm in good company. Same thing happened to me with the V-Hook and shell brackets. Was a damn pisser.
Yeah, I saw mate. At least I'm not the only one. :P
User avatar
By Smeghead
#4834715
if it really bugs you...
You'd be shocked at how much I am willing let slide. In my plastic model building days - despite my best intentions - my motto was "eh... that'll do." :P
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User avatar
By Smeghead
#4834723
Bwahahahaha! :D

By the way, I just noticed, Mr. Hoot, that I confused you with Mr. Hammer when refering to Canada earlier. My humble appologies, sir. I am well aware how insulting to both parties it is to confuse a Cannuk with a Yank. ;) ... I'll get me coat [10 internet points to any Brit that gets that reference].


.... Annnnnd this is the point where I should step away from this thread due to excessive rum consumption.....
User avatar
By Smeghead
#4834804
Well I didn't really do much today... power tools and hangovers don't mix, kids! I did potter about with the ribbon cable a bit, but there's not really much to show for it.

Thanks for all the positive feedback so far guys, it's really encouraging for someone who has no idea what they are doing. :D Unfortunately you may have to wait a few days for the next update, I'm off to visit a friend and won't be back 'til Tuesday evening.
User avatar
By Hoot
#4834845
Bwahahahaha! :D

By the way, I just noticed, Mr. Hoot, that I confused you with Mr. Hammer when refering to Canada earlier. My humble appologies, sir. I am well aware how insulting to both parties it is to confuse a Cannuk with a Yank. ;) ... I'll get me coat [10 internet points to any Brit that gets that reference].


.... Annnnnd this is the point where I should step away from this thread due to excessive rum consumption.....
Eh no worries. I'm sure my brother from another mother Hammer is ok with the reference, and I can hardly be insulted being referenced to a man as great as him.

As for the Rum, there is never enough Rum. NEVER.
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User avatar
By Hammer
#4834855
I certainly took no offense. Hell....Hoot and I are only a few hours away. Speaking of rum, I'm off work all week. I think it's time for a drink!
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User avatar
By Hoot
#4834878
I certainly took no offense. Hell....Hoot and I are only a few hours away. Speaking of rum, I'm off work all week. I think it's time for a drink!
The Sailor calleth my man...
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User avatar
By Smeghead
#4834995
Not a huge deal has happened since the last update. As I said, on Saturday I faffed about with the ribbon cable a bit...

Mark the shape of the clamp plates...
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Cut it to match...
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Jam the bolts through the cable...
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That's all I was capable of on Saturday. :P

Today, a package turned up with parts from GB Fans. Not really worth a picture in itself, but once all the parts are here I'll take another snap of them all laid out.

If I'm going to build this properly, then a large board on top of two stools in front of the sofa is not going to cut it. I need a proper work space. I have one somewhere. At least, I used to. It's a long time since I went anywhere near it. Let's see; up the stairs, in to the spare room and turn right for once...

...

... Oh god.
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...

... Oh Gawd!
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...

... Oh bloody hell.

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...

So that took me a while to clean up. I've not used that desk in at least five years, and the dust ... oh lord... the dust.
I am convinced this stuff is made of pure cancer.
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Eventually I cleared all the fest...
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Then gave it all a hoover and a wipe...
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So I now have a work bench again. It's been a while. :)
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I'll admit I gave up at this point, The will to make more dust after having just cleaned so much of it up just wasn't with me for some reason. But I now have somewhere slightly more practical to build.


Oh, and what is on the other side of the spare room you ask?
Just some Lego.
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This Post Contains Spoilers
User avatar
By Smeghead
#4834997
omg that town is insane. You should get the lego ecto-1 and modify it to run on the train track
Hehe, nah, both my Ectos sit by the telly where everyone can see them. ;) (I really should get round to converting one in to 1A at some point).
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