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So, I have forgotten to update this blog in a while, and had just been posting on the forums again. So, this will be a mega update, of all the stuff I have missed posting here over the last few weeks 🙂

My styrene 300mm dome arrived!

The gap at the top is maybe 3/16″, so I think I may possibly be one of the lucky ones who can get the inner and outer together without cutting. Perhaps not though, one way or the other, I won’t force it.

I got most of the smaller cutouts on the dome done, like the holos, dome bumps, and logics. I marked for the pie panel cutouts, and cut out the top circle thingy. I used a pencil with a small bit of drinking straw over the point to get lines inset from the pie panel cutouts on the outer dome. That way there should be a few mm of ledge for the panels to sit on. I intend for all the pie panels to open with servos, and have a periscope and maybe LFS on lifters as well. I will probably ignore having the little perimeter panels on the dome open, since they are sort of less interesting.
I bought a movable holo off of selgus, which arrived very promptly (thanks!), and already have the logic surrounds, and one static holo. I have some resin dome bumps but they don’t seem to be the right size, so I’ll have to find something that fits better. I ordered a resin radar eye from wayne, though I also have my scratch built one, which if I use it will need some adjusting to fit the dome curve properly. I’ll probably just use the resin one and save the scratch one for later.
Once I get paid I can order several little things I’ll need to continue on the dome (MDF craft rings, cabochons, another static holo, etc…)

Then, its several months of saving up for the frame, skins, feet, drives, etc. 😛

I have an idea for the slides for my 2-3-2.
I would get aluminum C-channel, in 5″ and 3″ widths, and with the 3″, and a pile of skateboard bearings, make little rolling trucks that ride inside the wider channel. For the shoulder rotation I will probably do a single linear actuator and lever with a piece of 3/4″ keyed shaft as an axle connecting the legs.

For the leg drop itself, I’m undecided. Everybody does screw drives, i’m tempted to try the window motor like rmeyer, or maybe just chain and sprockets with hardpoints to pull on the leg carriage. Ah heck even just a lambert system with some other kind of motor who knows.
At some point I’ll make up my mind, but I won’t have a lot of cash to dump on this for a bit so whatever heh 🙂

After having gotten all my pie panels cut out of the inner dome, and drilling some holes around the carapace for tacking it together better (idea blatantly stolen from bmunger), I glued my inner and outer domes together with some weld-on #3. Also sprayed all my little dome panels and pie panels with primer, and painted the pie panels too.

My wife tells me I work too fast and should slow down so I don’t run out of stuff to work on again 😛

I painted my dome metal-colored…

I used my nickel shimmer again, in the interest of having it match the metal color on R5, so that I can swap domes and have it look good.

I also painted the pie panels before, and now have painted the other dome panels too….

I have 2 HPs, and a full set of logic surrounds to shape, paint and mount, and I even have PSI lens plastic 🙂

still need some support rings, so far I have been using one of my old embroidery hoops i had for the PVC tube cutting. Works great, but not much actual vertical support or any good way to attach it to the lower dome ring….

I’ve been gluing all the non-moving red panels in place, now that they have had several coats of paint.

Also hit my two HPs with some primer…I will still need to acquire a third HP, preferably another static resin one somewhere…

I ordered my MDF rings, so those should come soon-ish. I had some of those mcmaster hinges, but cant find em now… I’ll need several of those hinges to attach my pie panels so they can open, so I might just order more.

I got 2 more LED flashlights at harbor freight to light up the 2 static HP’s as well, so i should be able to do a nice little light show 😛

WHEW!! Ok so will try to keep this updated!


Legs all routed out, Think I killed a router bit…

Welp I got my legs all routed out, I finished up the 3/4″ pieces and the little 1/4″ mdf bits.


At some point towards the end of doing this, the sound of my router bit changed sort of, and it began to catch and pull the wood more often. I’ve used pretty much just this one bit for all my routing so far, its a diablo 3/8″ pattern bit from home depot, and I think I’ve just dulled it or something. I finished up the 3/4″ bits (I was on the last one) and then retired that bit.
I used a spare bit I never used because it only has 1/2″ cutting length to finish up the little MDF pieces.


rough cut legs

Well taking a break from fretting about 2-3-2, I spent some quality time outside with my jigsaw, and rough cut all the pieces for a full set of wood legs.

I might still get to routing some of the pieces tonight, but pretty soon it will be dinner time, and since it’s father’s day in Atlanta, I pretty much have to go have some barbecue 🙂

I like research and designing new stuff, but just making something you already understand, and just “doing the work” is very satisfying too.

Routed out all the 1/2″ pieces, then called it a night 🙂


Better wood leg templates

For R5’s wood legs I just used my one leg template, and then altered the pieces to nip off the point, or cut them at the ankle bracelet. Trouble with that was I didn’t get them all the same, so I had to use a little filler, and even do a little trimming of the legs to straighten stuff out. This time, I made a full set of templates, a template for every unique piece. I’m probably not done for tonight quite yet, I might trace these on the real plywood and even jigsaw a few out. Tomorrow, I will be trying to get all the pieces cut out for the full set of legs.

The sharp eyed will notice I didn’t make a separate template for the pointed pieces of the center ankle, I just re-use the one from the outer leg. I consider them to be the same size, even though they are very slightly different in the official blueprints. Again, me playing fast and loose with the specs, I consider them guidelines 🙂

Since I am re-using many processes I learned for my first set of wood legs, I anticipate making these will go faster than the first time.

I am researching linear actuators for my 2-3-2 design. I was looking at the track actuators from firgelli automation.
The worry I have with these, is the wiring for them appears kinda specialized, like they designed it so that it works with this special power supply and hand control that plugs into 120AC. I would want to operate it from 12 or 24VDC and a speed controller. I have not yet found a write up of somebody hacking one of these to operate this way, So before ordering something that expensive I wanna know that it can work. Has anybody here used one of these before?

I am still thinking drawer slides for the leg carriage, and perhaps an axle between the legs, like a gas pipe, then a lever and 4-6″ stroke actuator for the tilt. Then some kind of locking mechanism for each the tilt and the center leg. Oi. lots to do 🙂


Buhatkj’s Hybrid 2-3-2 R2-D1

One of the funny things about having leftover droid parts, is inevitably one finds themselves thinking “well all I need is these 50 other things and I’ve got a SECOND DROID!”

I am not immune to this.

SO! Without further ado, I announce I will officially be beginning a second build, starting well, now, and ending, well, whenever it’s done 🙂

For my first build, R5-X2, I went with the good advice of others on this forum, to start simple, and take on something I could more reasonably accomplish. So I have built a straightforward 3-leg mode only budget-oriented droid, with basic RC and no particular bells or whistles. I am quite proud of this, and it was undoubtedly very challenging, but my success has given me more confidence to really reach and do an UBER droid.

With this one, its GO time. I want to do a 2-3-2 droid, with a periscope, servo-operated panels on the body and dome, and a full kit of the Ardu-D2 setup, so Teeces logic displays, a SSC-32, and rMP3 shield, all run by an arduino.

for my color scheme, I am going with R2-D1. What can i say, I like red and white, and I’ve already got some of the right color paints 🙂

Here is what I have so far:
My scratch built radar eye, having just recieved a coat of Red Pepper

And a nice pile of resin goodies, much of it from Steele, and some secondhand, and some Azman utility arms.

I also have more than enough good quality plywood to make another full set of legs, and a 4×8 sheet of .040″ styrene, good for all sorts of things. And of course, an overflowing box of various scraps from R5 heh.

Since this is an R2, I will need to get a dome at some point, I will probably try to pick up a 300mm styrene dome on the next run, or secondhand, as i don’t have the money now for it.

For the frame, i will be buying a secondhand T&J frame, one of the earlier aluminum frames, from Samurai early next year when he upgrades his. I have voted in the aluminum skins poll, and will be buying a set of those when John runs them, probably this fall.

This is very early, and it will likely be some time before I really make progress on this new droid, as i still have a few little things to finish on R5, but as time and money allows, i will start taking baby steps 🙂



I made some foot hoses tonight. I had misplaced the nice resin KHFs I had gotten from Steele, but finally found them tonight, so i painted them up, then snipped up the sink hoses I had gotten at Home Depot a week or two ago and made some foot hoses.
The only hard part of making foot hoses is figuring out how to get them to fit into the KHFs. What I did was snip off the metal fittings on the end of the sink hoses I had, then cut them in half. (I had 2 30″ sink hoses, minus the fittings, they were ~27″ or so each which should be about right for 4 hoses…)
Then to make them fit nicely into the fittings, I pulled back the braid over the plastic hosing inside, cut out a rectangle 1″ long and .25″ wide of the plastic hose inside, pull the braid back over it, then wrap the end tightly in vinyl electric tape. This gives it a snug fit in the resin KHF. I put some E-6000 glue in a ring along the inside of each KHF and just push in the hose end.
Done! heh I’ll let them dry then these should be good.

I ordered some PVC battery boxes from Matt McCormick, so those should be covered, and i ordered some resin battery harnesses from Wayne’s new site. That leaves the foot shells. I’m still looking into how to make those. I have a reasonably refined design, but have not gotten a quote for it yet, or figured out if the R2ATL CNC will be able to cut them yet.

I’ve also been scratch building a radar eye for fun. No need for it on this droid, but if it turns out nice, which it has so far, I’ll use it on the next one 🙂

I have still neglected the center ankle cylinders and wedges. Those are easy, so no rush I guess. I’ve been taking it easy build-wise the last several days. Once I finish R5, I want to clean up my garage, and then I will probably have a bunch of little projects until I begin droid #2 in earnest. I wanna build a periscope/LFS lifter with a drawer slide, and do a 2-3-2 center leg lift in a similar way.


R5 assembled!

So, I got R5 all assembled again, and he has all his leg greeblies mounted now. I will still need to make and attach the cylinders and wedges for his center ankle, and of course he needs feet and battery boxes and hoses. Also, there are still minor issues with the center foot (somehow not surprised…) The center foot is not 100% level, so all the weight is going on the front caster, and the back one is just hanging there maybe 1mm off the ground 😛 . I’ll have to remove the center ankle lock bolt, and allow the foot to sit level, then while its standing, widen the hole in the foot channel slightly, then tighten it down again.
I messed with the various “curve” settings on my radio a bit, trying to get less touchy throttle response, as he is still massively overpowered and too fast.
Anyways, its good to be at this point 🙂


finishing up the legs, frame painting

So I got my other scratch-built ankle cylinder painted up and mounted on the other leg, so I have a pair of these now 🙂

Then I began working on getting the booster covers mounted….

The resin booster covers are glued onto these painted aluminum trays, which i cut from 1/16″ aluminum sheet with my jigsaw and sanded to shape. The trays then bolt to the legs, using threaded inserts set into the legs.

From this same aluminum sheet, i cut out this dual battery tray.

That mounts on the little block of 2×4 pictured with it, and bolts to the frame base plate. The 2×4 acts as a riser, and gets it out of the way of the center ankle bolts. I do want the battery to be as low as it can be though, so when i get around to replacing the ankle bolts with shorter ones that won’t stick out as much I can reduce the thickness of this riser to 1/4″ or something and get the battery weight lower.

The frame has been painted flat black, I just quickly masked off any areas with threaded parts that I didn’t want paint gumming up, and sprayed it down, then gave it a quick sanding to smooth it out. It is not my best paint job, but it should help hide and protect the frame some.

My frame top plate has been primed, but not painted yet

I am coming up on the feet and battery boxes being quite literally all that is left. I hope to finish painting the top plate today, weather the boosters, and then give the body, legs, horseshoes, and boosters all several more coats of clear coat to toughen them up.


One Outer Ankle complete…

I finished up one of the ankle cylinders, and got it painted, weathered, and mounted to the ankle. I had already painted the wedge, holder, and ankle details, so I weathered those, then glued it all on.

The other ankle cylinder has had it’s end bits glued on, so they are drying now. Tomorrow night when those are dry i can bondo glaze them a bit to smooth them out, then that one will be ready for paint too 🙂

I drew up a pattern for the little aluminum sleds for mounting my booster covers. I hope this weekend to get them cut out and bent and mount the booster covers. That will pretty much complete the outer legs. Then I have to worry about feet, battery boxes, and the center ankle cylinders.
I have plenty of PVC pipe for the center ankle cylinders, so that should be a cinch, just gotta do it 🙂

I have been considering, maybe before I put humpty all back together again, I should tear him down completely, and paint the wood frame black. I had gotten a few cans of flat black paint for this purpose a while back, just to help hide the frame and to help preserve it against moisture and such. It would also give his insides a finished, professional look.


scratch-built Ankle cylinders…

SO I have been working on making some scratch-built ankle cylinders out of PVC pipe. I got some 1″ ID PVC water pipe at home depot, and cut it into 6.5″ sections.

THen, Using this jig

I cut the grooves into the surface

And the slots for the cutouts

The jig is just an $8 miter box from home depot that came with a saw. It is screwed to the table, then a bit of pipe is clamped to the side for the workpiece to rest against so it stays the right distance from the cutting slot. The two plywood bits act as a depth stop for the cutout slot cutting. They are a little under 1″ thick, so roughly right for the dept of the cutout.

The grooves were cut by clamping the offcut bit of pipe at the different distances from each end that the grooves are at, then putting my hacksaw in the cutting slot, and spinning the pipe bit under it with my fingers. This is a little difficult, since the saw teeth aren’t meant for this material, but it cuts very smooth grooves. I tried a method Dan Baker suggested, of wrapping the pipe in .020″ styrene bits, but could not get the styrene to bend well enough to follow the tight curve.

I actually went ahead and finished cutting out the side cut on one piece with the dremel cutoff wheel, then glued .040″ styrene circles to the end with silicone to dry overnight. I’ll sand down the flashing, then make a tab and glue it on each end to finish the piece.

December 2017
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