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Author Topic: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter  (Read 6200 times)

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Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #80 on: October 16, 2018, 04:55:29 am »
I'm enjoying watching this come together.  When you design in CAD or sketch up or similar you can explore complex solutions to design challenges before ever cutting any wood.  Heh, fabricating those parts you designed in 5 minutes is another matter!  I wouldn’t approach a project any other way though.

Thanks, Ond.  I'm having a great time watching RoToron, so I'm glad to return the favor. 

This evening was metalwork.  TOTALLY METAL.  work.   \m/   


People have asked me in this thread what my go-to tools are, if not a router.  My all time #1 answer is my horizontal/vertical bandsaw.  If I can possibly use it to make a part, I probably will.



Here, I'm about to shorten one of the 2x2 square 1/8" wall aluminum legs to 34" to be one of the rears.

It's a metal cutting bandsaw, which means small teeth and a slow feed rate.  It doesn't make a big fuss or commotion, it doesn't shriek like a wood saw - it just quietly cuts.  You can have a conversation at a regular volume while cutting things.  I use it on wood without changing the speed or the blade; you just have to take your time.  It doesn't require quite the eternal vigilance a wood cutting saw does, either - if you were to touch the running blade, you'd pull your hand back with a relatively minor injury.  It's downright friendly.



The cut quality is decent.  As the scrap end shows, this is mostly flat and square, though not perfectly square.

I have a fix for squaring it up, though.  This is an appropriately sized job for my little benchtop mill.



All I had to do was make sure the leg was bottomed out in the machining vise when I grabbed it.  I've dialled this vise and mill into being pretty true, so, just putting it in the vise sets the leg reasonably level with the bed and parallel with the ways.

Then, it's just making incremental passes until full contact on one end, flip it around, and make passes until you are at the exact desired length.



With this hasty setup, this tiny mill seemed happiest taking about .005" off per pass. 

Good thing I'm not in a hurry.

I don't want the legs to have directly visible fasteners on them when this is done, so I'm going to be using pem nuts to bolt them into the wooden structure.  The 3/8" pem nuts I got want a half inch drilled hole to install.  They press in, and displace metal around the serrated portion of the crown.  Here's an example of one in a 1/8" aluminum sheet that I was practicing with.



You're supposed to install them with a press in a very specific way, but, I'm going to be putting them into a deep blind space that I can't possibly get my arbor press into.  In a pinch, you can as an off-label method draw them tight using the screw threads.  It's utterly wrong, but it works great.  (Don't do this if you're in aerospace.)

Here's the result, and one of my back-cabinet side panels test mounted onto the first completed leg, to check all the hardware works right.  They'll all have washers in the end.



Six 3/8"-16 screws per leg should be enough, right?   :)

Here's the view down the top, to see how the hardware stacks inside.  It also shows how flat and nice the end milled finish turns out after just a touch of sanding.




So, that's my plan for the legs!  Now I just... gotta make three more of them.

Mike A

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #81 on: October 16, 2018, 05:42:28 am »
Nice. I have always wanted a bench top mill. It would be the gateway into metalworking.

Nephasth

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #82 on: October 16, 2018, 09:59:26 am »
Mmm... Threaded inserts... :drool
%Bartop

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #83 on: October 17, 2018, 03:07:46 am »
Now I just gotta make two more of them.  (And resolve a handful of correctable fitment issues.)

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #84 on: October 22, 2018, 11:07:48 am »
Lots of progress on the back cabinet.

My backbox isn't hinged.  I wanted a neck there to visually separate it from the playfield and the main cabinet.  However, an LCD panel runs through that joint, so the best trick I could come up with is a reduction of thickness of the front plywood there.



Here's the front of the neck being skinned. 

The backbox sits above that neck.  Here's the floor, with the LCD monitor passthrough and ventilation holes.



The speakers will mount in the lower corners.  Yeah, the mounts taper to almost nothing in a few spots, but they won't be under much load at all.  There's just not much clearance in here.



As viewed from the back.  All this structure is now glued and screwed together.  In places, screwed a lot.  The legs are still removable for painting.  I'll be filling over all the small screwheads here, only the big leg bolts will show in the end.



Here's the floor being installed.  The front panel of the floor is a removable piece for installing or swapping the intake fans.  The power relay goes through the fixed back panel of the floor. 



Here's a close up of the power area.  I found a 3x2 power strip that fits along a wall under the 3/4" hatch clearance, so that mounts on the wall just above the power relay. 

At this point I couldn't resist screwing the rear hatch on, because the backbox roof can attach to it, just to get a sense of the scale of the thing when it's done.



It is big.  Looks about right to me when standing at the lockdown bar, though.  I can dig it. 

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #85 on: October 29, 2018, 01:23:18 am »
Builder's log, build date 102.

With the fabrication of the front pair of legs, the construction of all legs are now complete. 
I had to bolt them up to test the fit.



The spacing of the inner leg-attaching button screws is set so that, once this box is sealed up, the upper two can be reached through the open coin door, and the bottom one can be accessed through gaps in the partial floor (which is still to be built).  However, after playing with it a bit, I think these six inside the front cabinet would be easier removed via a ratchet and socket, so I'm going to flip these over to normal hex head bolts.  (The other 18 leg attachments will stay button head.)

Moving to the back cabinet...

 I've been confirming and fine tuning the layout of parts.  This is roughly the current idea for the back lower cabinet:



The DMD panel looks off center, but that's an illusion caused by the unused speaker area formerly below the display, but now beside it.  The display glass is centered in the neck, and that's also the defining reason for the neck's total width.

The amplifier power brick is above the amp, tucked off on the left.  The amp is up on a shelf, which means you can't see the driving-mode speaker directly behind it.  Below that is the Ultimark IPAC Ultimate-IO that will be the main computer interface brains of the thing, which I'm giving fairly prime real estate here to ease future diagnostics and servicing at the header pins.

On the right side, from top down, there's a chunk of DIN rail housing several relays and a breakout box.  Then, a 3x2 power strip, a 12v power supply (to run fans, linear actuators and solenoids) and the USB-controlled power relay, which is also the main power in.

The unused area in the center is a wind tunnel to get airflow from the bottom-mounted intakes, behind the DMD panel in the neck, and up into the upper backbox. 

The entire PC will live elsewhere (just in front of the rear legs) and there's also going to be a few other large project boxes elsewhere to house other guts - so this is by design only a portion of the internals. 

This weekend was, however, mostly about bodywork.  So much bodywork.

The bondo goes on.



The bondo comes off.



I am not good enough at this to nail it in one.  So, at this point I can see everything I've failed to fill sufficiently, and coat two goes on. 

While I'm a big fan of the strength of the cured bondo, my technique with it leaves much to be desired, and it's a much bigger hassle to work with.  By the third pass, I flipped over to using jointing compound instead. 

More filler goes on.



This picture of filler going on the bottom also nicely illustrates that shelf that the amp rides in, and how the speaker sits beneath it.



This stage of power sanding had me looking like possessed King Theoden by the end of it, white beard and all. 

But, I'm now mostly done with the bodywork on the back cabinet.  I think.  At least, until I put a layer of primer on it and see all the sins that still remain, at which point it's probably back to more filler again, because I don't want to disappoint Ond more than I absolutely must.

Behold, three layers of fill:



From here, there's only a fistful more things before priming, I think - I have some fine adjustment to do to clean up the leg mounting holes, I have to fabricate the partial roof and floor panels for the front cabinet, and I think then I get to proceed to priming and painting the interior.

I gotta admit it's kind of funny that Malenko has built an entire vpin in the time I've been working on this... and I'm maybe 1/3 done.   :lol

Malenko

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #86 on: October 29, 2018, 08:47:21 am »
I gotta admit it's kind of funny that Malenko has built an entire vpin in the time I've been working on this... and I'm maybe 1/3 done.   :lol

Apples to Oranges man. I took the existing guts, setup/config/etc and put them into a prefab kit. I wasn't making my own legs with threaded inserts and everything else :)
And, it wasn't my first vpin. You're making something that's never been made before!
No matter one's station in life, the Dance of Death unites us all.

DGP

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #87 on: October 30, 2018, 02:29:05 am »
Simply amazing, makes me wish I had your skill-set and tools as my current vpin build is child's play in comparison.

Can't wait to see the end result.

 :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:
 :cheers:



Multi-Cade x2 (full size and bar top)

Ond

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #88 on: October 31, 2018, 06:19:24 pm »
You won't disappoint my friend  :).  Plywood is always a bit trickier to surface finish than MDF.  There's nothing wrong with filling over with jointing compound.  Your work is excellent.
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

bperkins01

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #89 on: October 31, 2018, 09:17:01 pm »
You're making me want to build one  :)  - good thing I don't have the room..
Nice work & joinery.
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Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #90 on: November 06, 2018, 05:08:07 am »
Quick update...

The front corners of the front cabinet are tricky, with how I want the legs to work.  Aligned the corner blocks, glued and screwed them on, and gave it quite a bit of fill.



I want to blend all this such that it looks like one piece when painted, so I made myself a sanding longboard out of a two foot bar of aluminum I had around.



Got all that fill sanded back down to something resembling flat.  The longboard helps... though the aluminum turned out to rub dark grey onto the wood, oops.

Installed the legs, and here's the current layout.  It looks as though I'm building the shortest pinball machine ever. 



The upper backbox doesn't have it's sides yet, as I'm deciding whether or not to groove them so as to hold a bezel type overlay in front of the screens and speakers.

So now I'm finally at the point where I can prime and paint the inside of the front cabinet, I think - since painting it once finally assembled will be impossible.



From the back here, you can see the profile of those side blocks, and how the top of the leg tube interface works with them.

I set this all up to prime... and then decided to sleep on it, just in case I realize some other urgent step I really should do first, heh.

SOON.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 05:20:55 am by Laythe »

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #91 on: November 13, 2018, 02:48:08 am »
Well, this has been a heck of a journey.

I went ahead and primed the interior of the front cabinet panels.  Priming is easy and fun, nothing much to say about it - I've primed a lot of things before and I'm comfortable doing it with a roller brush and a foam brush. 



I knew I wanted the interior of the front box painted because you'll see it when you open the coin door.  I kind of regret not painting the interior parts of Mimic, so I figured I'd go ahead and paint up the inside of the back cabinet too, though it'll only show when the access hatch is off for service.



It'll help block light leaks on the buried DMD monitor.  There's no good way to get a paintbrush up into the side cheeks, though, so I'm just going to do the main atrium / wind tunnel down the center.



I dry sanded the light grey primer with a couple passes of 250 and 400 grit, then rolled on a coat of gloss black latex paint, and it looked bad.  That's okay, though the first coat on primer always looks bad, that's to be expected.  I knocked the high spots off with another pass of sandpaper, rolled on the second coat, and that's about what most of the bookshelves I've made get - full coverage, but it could perhaps be called utilitarian.

My base layer sanding didn't do as much as I thought.  But hey, I thought, I've watched Ond's video, I just need to do the process.  Sand more. 

So I sanded down to accidental burn through into primer, and rolled on more black paint, and sanded through it, and rolled on more, and the results were just wretched.

I mean, awful.

Awful, like, this is what I had after about 10 hours of work.



That is like five coats of paint.  I'd gone through maybe ten complete sheets of sandpaper by this time, full of pilled up impacted paint bits.  If anything, it looked worse than the brute force two-coats-and-done I've used in the past.

My spirits at this point were pretty low.

I found myself remembering:

You won't disappoint my friend  :).

... yeah.

I kept going.

By hour 18, with rigorous care dry sanding and the most careful sanding block discipline, I had something that reflected light like this:



(That's the white specular reflections of the shop lights in the high gloss valleys, and I'm maybe halfway down to meeting them with the flat matte finish left from the hours, and hours, of dry block sanding I've done.)

So at that rate, what, it should take 30 hours to hit the bottoms if I don't screw up and knock a hole to primer somewhere first?  Hrgh.

I started getting experimental.  Why not, this is a lot of doom and ruin anyway.  I thought about Ond's video, and watching him dip his sandpaper in water to clear the dust.  I grabbed the water bottle I use to dampen my soldering sponge, and hosed a dab of water right onto the middle of the panel with a shrug.  Plopped the sanding block into the pool and instantaneous magic happened.

Where I was fighting stiction and pill-rolling and a nightmare of slow progress interrupted by dusting the paper and the work surface every fourth stroke... a fine slurry of silky paint sludge began to flow.  The feel of the sanding block changed entirely - I could read the remaining contours in the surface from the way the pad moved, and everything started to WORK.  Wet sanding this stuff is like a 10x speed multiplier.  It is -amazing-.  It is -magic-. 

About 18 hours to get to that picture above.  Add water.  And then it's about 15 minutes to get to this.



Well hello there. 

The rate of improvement of the surface is astounding.  I think some of the slurried dust of water and latex paint is reattaching in the bottoms of the valleys or something, because the surface improves faster under wet sanding than just knocking the tops of the peaks off seems to explain. 

Another fifteen minutes, and,



I think I've learned how to do this, maybe!

I kept at it with the wet sanding, learning the feel of it.  Once I got it somewhere I liked, I broke out the Novus #3 and #2 polishes, and I got this:



Not bad, for foam-rolled latex paint, hey?


Thanks, Ond.  I wouldn't have believed I could do it.  Now, I think I can.  Water is the epiphany.  Water is the answer.  I still have much technique at this to develop, but I feel I can see the way now.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 03:08:55 am by Laythe »

Malenko

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #92 on: November 13, 2018, 09:38:40 am »
looks fantastic, keep up the good work!
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #93 on: November 13, 2018, 09:43:34 am »
If you are sanding for hours and hours w/o progress - you are using too fine a grit.. 
Getting a polished finish is all about a finer grit taking out the scratches of the previous grit..

Wet sanding is great - but don't kill yourself for hours using 400G when you can cut the high spots down with 180/220 (wet) first...  then step through 320/400/600 to get the final results.
Keep up the good work  :)
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #94 on: November 13, 2018, 09:56:45 am »
Thanks for sharing those steps.  Always good to see what worked AND what didn’t.  Project is looking good.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #95 on: November 13, 2018, 12:59:48 pm »
You've done some hard yards mate!  This is why your work is excellent, you persevere through challenges.  Mimic was awesome for the same reason. Wet sanding allows the grit to cut efficiently for sure.   :cheers:
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #96 on: November 17, 2018, 06:21:18 am »
Thanks, Malenko, Ond, Arroyo and bperkins01.  That you all think I'm on the right track is encouraging.

(bperkins01:  My problem was that if I used any coarser grit dry, I was blowing through the color coat into the primer in places long before getting through the orange peel everywhere else - the only way I could get the control to avoid having one deep pill-rolling corner of the paper breaking through, was killing myself for hours starting at 400g and cleaning the paper every four or five strokes.  Doing it dry is just the the wrong way to go.)


I've got the inside of the aft cabinet painted now, and I am verifying and tuning the fits with the thickness of paint.

Here's what the bottom will look like - three intake fans, the power relay, and a big cable passthrough. 



Pardon the upper fan screws and the button head upper panel screws not being installed - the paint is still tacky so I don't want to go clamping things together yet, this was just a quick check. 

The screws through the fan guards also bite into the boards between the flanges of the fans, which is neat.  To replace a fan, you pull the guard screws, the button head screws, remove half the floor, and slide the fan out. 

The view from the inside of the cabinet looking out through the fans was also kind of cool.



(Cable routing will of course eventually happen here, to keep the fan wires tight to what currently looks like the floor.)


I am looking forward to filling this thing up with the electronics and routing cables, but there's still a lot more cabinetry work to be done before that.

  
 

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