Friday, March 20, 2015

Back at it...utility arm clean up!

It has been several months since I last posted any blog updates on my R2 build! 

My last update was in July and since then, I lost my job, was unemployed for a few weeks, picked up a part-time job, took all the hours they would give me, and then found a new full-time job!  

During those weeks of unemployment and under-employment, I just didn't have the motivation to work on my droid.  Funds were tight, so the last thing I wanted to do was work on the droid, then discover I needed parts I couldn't afford.  Why deepen the depression, right?  

Now, I am working full-time and I also kept the part-time job as well.  I'm making ends meet and trying to replenish the savings account while also having a modest droid building budget!

That's what I have been up to...

Last time, I was back tracking on the Dykem metal dye, using acetone to clean it off the utility arms.  One problem was some areas of the arms still had the dye.  I really wanted to remove more than the acetone did.  The cut outs that reduce weight were still quite blue inside.  

Utility Arms have cut outs milled to lighten them.

Leftover metal dye that the acetone bath didn't melt away

The arms are very shiny and I wanted to bead blast them anyways.  This would help remove more of the dye and roughen the surface up some.  That would be great for when it is time to prime and paint them.  (With what paint formula remains to be decided!)

My pal, Fred, picked up an inexpensive bead blaster from Harbor Freight a year ago.  And as you would expect from such a bargain price, it was pretty finicky to work with.  Using 80 grit glass beads, it would work well for a few minutes, clog (spit only air), require some gentle prodding and then resume work for a couple minutes.  

Harbor Freight bead blaster and Utility Arm
After 45 minutes of work, I was satisfied I had done as much as I could.

Next time, I will start assembling the Utility Arm mechanization kit that a fellow R2 Builder developed last year.  It looks very cleverly designed and I am anxious to start on it!