Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by MaximumBubbleMods, 15 May 2020.
That's what I thought!
I agree with the first part! And thanks!
I was hoping for some appreciation for the wood choice! haha It is marbled claro walnut I have left over after making and selling some natural baby rattles. Probably won't make it in this build though!
Just channel your inner Ford Woody and everything will work.
I don't really expect you to chop down such a massive slab but do consider some nice trim/inlays.
Time to kick off the shaping of all these square grill pieces.
I 3D printed the front chunk of the topper so that I would know how far to shape the very top grill.
Without this physically in place, I would have no idea where to shape this grill up to. You can see in this next picture clearly that I have a lot of material to remove to bring the curved grill up to the topper.
This was hours of work. Aluminum is tough to shape for one, I also wanted to be very careful I was removing material evenly. When you polish metal (or any material) it REALLY shows how wavy a material is. I want the reflection to look consistent across the grills and for the flat sections of the side to reflect relatively evenly. It would be unfortunate after all this work to have a finished product that has a wavy/warped finish.
I used the disk grinder with a 40 grit flapper disc to do some of the heavy removal and then used the belt sander with 40 grit paper to finish the rough shaping. I used that belt sander in a motion similar to block sanding a curved fender or something. Relatively large sweeping motions. Never stopping in one spot.
The hours of handling and vibrations from the sander and grinder did break a few welds so I will have to go repair those before I start tackling the polishing of this beast.
I am really happy with the lines of this grill really coming together how I wanted. I'm excited to start polishing soon!!
That's sooo dammm sexy i want to be a sponsor !!!!
This is THE Grill
It reminds me Isaac Clarke's helmet inDead Space
I've been thinking 'kendo helmet' for a while now.
While you are doing all this shaping, you might want to consider a rounded bevel on the back edge of the main body. -Say, about an inch down from the top and taking another inch and a half to fade into a full bevel/round over. It would make the back more shapely in the angle in the last pic.
It looking sweet, I'm glad its you and not me having to do all that sanding lol
I feel the same about your build!
Haha thanks! I can see why it reminds you of that!
I'm down for any comparisons to helmets it does look very kendo helmet
Also thanks for the ideas! The back seems a little sharp for sure
I will be glad to be through sanding/buffing/polishing/grinding
Had some more time to spend on the Spirit so I started by working to finish all the grill shaping.
The very top most grill pieces have some compounding curves that I want to look good so I finished those up with a file. I also used a file to smooth some of the areas where I noticed some inconsistent light reflections.
I then started what turned out to be the VERY long process of getting all the grinding marks out of the grills while keeping the surface curves smooth. I had to go over the entire grill with a coarse fiber first and then jump to a fine fiber to finish the process. You can see in the photo below that I was grinding on the left side of the upper two grills to eliminate the markings left from the aggressive shaping.
I was using a simple harbor freight die grinder and quickly found the limitations of my air compressor. The die grinder was a great tool for the job, but the compressor simply couldnt keep up with tthe CFM demand.
I also made the choice to finish the aluminum with a fine brushed finish that goes along the direction of the grill. Using long straight strokes by hand with 120 grit sandpaper. I am happy with the bright shine I am getting.
I then jumped over to the air spring bracket. I drilled and tapped a hole to mount to the rear plate of the grill.
I have a small spring scale but it didn't have the capacity to lift the grill. To fix this limitation I 3D printed a small pulley and mounted it to the bracket attached to the grill backplate.
I strung some paracord through the pulley, held one side and tied the other to the spring scale. Pulled both ends up and was SUPPOSED to get the numbers I needed to choose an appropriate spring.
After getting the numbers from my pulley setup, the poundage didn't make sense as I should have been able to lift the grill just outside the range of my scale. When I lifted the grill with the scale I could clearly tell I was more than a few pounds beyond my scale's range. Because my bracket is so close the backplate, the diameter of the pulley was actually playing into the test more than expected! I ended up using a very smooth 1/4" oak dowel and retesting. Numbers are now making way more sense at about 25lbs of force required to lift the grill from its closed position.
I'll get that ordered soon! I'm excited to see this working.
Those curves are looking beautiful.
An incredible hassle to grind, sand & polish them to shape but my goodness does it look worth it!
Kudos to you for sticking with it and not doing a 'that'll do' job
In the summer heat its been tempting to say that'll do! I'm really excited for the results though so I'm pushing on. Thank you for the support Theo!
I'd save the fine grit work for Fall/Winter. It's TOO d*mn hot this year. Besides, it's likely to get scratched up in the construction process.
simply wow. this is gonna be great
Don't jinx me!
No, not me.
Thank you! I'm super excited for your Qin build!
Who else is happy about this long weekend?!
So that back of the grill had some tails that needed to be cut off now that the shaping is all done. I started by putting a little tape on the back plate to protect it slightly. I grabbed a reciprocating saw, threw a couple drops of oil on the blade and chopped the pieces off as close to the backplate as I could.
The vibrations of the saw broke one of the little welds on a grill unfortunately. With the hours of grinding, sanding, sawing, ect. I've definitely learned that small aluminum welds are not really as strong as you would hope.
I started grinding what was left off with a rough fiber wheel on the grinder.
I was a little discouraged at the welds being less strong than I hoped and the one that was now broken. These welds to the backplate are where all the force of the grill hangs from the grill is opened. So they need to be well attached so this lasts a very long time.
I made the choice to screw them to the back plate. Using some nice looking M3, black, button head cap screws to be exact. I marked out the center points to start.
Now most of these were welded so I had to drill through the grills and backplate together with my 2.5mm drill (the one for tapping M3 threads) I then came back with a 3.5mm drill and drilled through only the grills so that I was only tapping the backplate. I then ran my M3 tap through all the holes in the backplate.
I put my screws in and like how it looks a lot! Kind of gives your eye something to stop on when you look down the length of the grill.
Now that you mention it, that's a ton of twisting force on the back. Getting something to hold on to the center rail is looking really important to me.
Well thanks! This is definitely the way to go
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