Saturday, May 24, 2008

reinforcements & reconstruction

Here's what was left on site.
At least the body was still intact.

So I took some measurements of the body in order to build a little protective deterrent. And I actually got to use some geometry in a real life application...yeah! Math!

So the main damage was done to the back "neck" shaft which was ripped off from the head, but there was also a fair amount of denting and ripping done to the antennae. So I decided to cut them off and reinforce the head where they are attached...

...which was not as easy as I hoped.

But eventually I got them off. And then I drew out out some contour lines on the head of how the steel plates would be added. Then I traced those lines with some acetate and a sharpie to make the templates.

Then I grinded off the paint where we'd be welding, and re-drew the lines to act as guides for placing the plates.

Here's the 1/8 inch sheet metal we used for the plates with the shapes traced out on them.

And once they were all cut out, it was time to weld them to the head.

We started with the center plate, welding along one end, to keep it in place. And then using a torch, we were able to bend the metal to closely follow the contour of the head shape.

And then each of the next plates were welded in a similar fashion, trying to keep each one as close to the other one as possible.

Then the new back plate was welded onto the head, and the shaft was secured to it. It certainly felt a LOT tougher than the first edition, but we'll see.

And here she is all finished up.
Now I just have to clean it all up and then paint it.

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