I have been gathering info, parts and supplies for my Composite Skins. My molds are now in hand, but my BC weather is just a bit too unstable yet to dive in to this part of the project. I have built a simple practice frame out of standard grade 1/2” plywood, but have chosen to attempt a more minimalistic frame more suited to my new skins. I have some ideas, but will wait until I have a set of skins made before proceeding. In the mean time, I decided to tackle the Legs. It is a bit unconventional I think to start here, but hey… I’m going my own way…
I’m going to begin my Legs project by making an acrylic Template. This template will then be used to finish the ply-wood layers on my router table. I considered printing out a full-scale drawing based on the Club Blueprints to transfer to my template material but instead I did a new drawing with all the important dimensions in place, and used that to layout the leg outline by hand on my template material.
In my past post I talked about making a Template for my wooden legs. The idea was that I’d rough cut the patterns, and then use the template to finish the pieces on my router table. Well, as Adam Savage says, “No plan survives first contact with implementation”. I’ll get back to this later. I am using Baltic Birch Plywood for these legs, in 12mm and 18mm thickness. Note: Yes, I may speak in the sensible measurement scale (metric) sometimes… I’ll go back and forth between fractional inches and metric on a whim. This is a byproduct of growing up during the metrification of Canada in the early 70s. If you’re lucky (or not) you may even catch me measuring by Smoot… but I digress…
I printed an ABS template for the bolt pattern (Legs, through Shoulder Flanges to Frame) which I used to transfer the center points for the bolts which are evenly spaced on a 5” radius. The Legs were drilled out on the Drill Press, using some jigging to keep things square and true. The bolt holes were counter-sunk on the outside surface. I also used a 2.5” Hole Saw and my Plunge Router for the clearance hole for the Shoulder Hubs, which should really have been done before the glue-up of the pieces.
Well, I'm well on my way with this build and now I have finished construction of my CNC machine (router & large 3D Print Bed). After calibrating and some testing, my first meaningful project with it was to cut a full set of Birch pieces for another pair of Legs and Center Ankle. This worked beautifully. I was more than happy with the results and seriously considered (for a moment) abandoning the R6 Legs that I had started. However, I was far enough along that I had to see the first set completed… I couldn’t waste the time I had already put into them. The new pieces will be a good start on my next Astromech! (To be honest, my Hand Cut layers were every bit as good and accurate as the CNC cut ones… the only thing I missed was the ability to pre-drill accurate holes)