Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Che Chuy on 22nd October 2012, 9:10 pm

Drool 30% charging.

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Setbacks and Workarounds

Post by Redshirt on 28th October 2012, 8:36 pm

Che Chuy wrote:Drool 30% charging.

Thanks!

OK, I'd hoped to be further along on the lift system for the front
shroud, but I've realized I'm not ready to do that. In addition to
discovering that I would need to remake the lift mechanism last week, I
also found that I can never adjust it right to open and close cleanly
with the state of my fiberglass. The lift mechanism will attach
directly to the lower receiver, but the shroud will mate against the
fiberglass upper receiver. Until the mounting of the upper receiver to
the lower receiver was stabilized, I was nowhere. When I set out to
mate up the two receivers, I found two problems: The front end of the
upper receiver was bent up, making the long (horizontal) lines of the
fiberglass receiver not parallel with each other or the lower receiver.
I also discovered that the left and right sides of the upper receiver
turned out to be not even close to symmetrical.

Bottom line: I had to stop cutting metal and go back to work on the fiberglass.


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Here's the upper receiver as well-positioned as I can get it. See what I
mean by not being parallel? Before I can revisit the upper shroud
mount, I'll have to not only get things square, but work out all of the
attachment points between the upper and lower receivers.



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So i sawed the front end almost all the way off and reglued it in the
correct position. I followed up with more fiberglass on the inside.

Unfortunately, that doesn't even begin to deal with the asymmetry
between the left and right sides. That's going to be a much longer job,
but it will be less work to put it right now than to try and match up
unequal parts later.



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But wait, there's even more that's jacked up. As I was trying to figure
out how much room I had beside the BB hop-up chambers for the shroud
lift, I found that I'd gotten the mech boxes so close to each other
that they interfered with each other. Not sure how I'm going to fix
that!

Anyway, in some respects, this isn't too big of a setback because I knew
I'd have to get back into the fiberglass at the end of the project,
anticipating that I'd clean everything up and figure out the mounting
points at the end after the mechanics were done. Instead, I see that
now is the best time to mount up and clean up all of the fiberglass
parts rather than later. Looks like I'll be back in the model building
business, rather than engineering for the next few updates.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Che Chuy on 29th October 2012, 4:40 am

Oi. not insurmountable, but, oi. Asymmetry is a very difficult thing some times. I thought I built quite a few things just right, and they look correct to the eye, but the moment I took a pic, 'blamo!', uneven.

I feel ya.

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HALOween Update

Post by Redshirt on 1st November 2012, 6:48 pm

Long ago, I'd hoped to be done by Halloween, then I hoped to be done by Halo 4 . . . . not so much. I am getting close though.

I had my Halo costume on for Halloween. I decided to bolt together the Spartan
Laser and snap a few photos to show the detail and scale of it.


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Yup, it's a big *$$ laser

No actual progress here, just gratuitous posing. The sharpie writing
all over it is my note taking method highlighting what needs raised,
cut, reinforced, etc.

Before anyone chimes in on how I must / must NOT take the field, I have to say that while the Spartan Laser is destined for airsoft greatness, the costume has no place on the field. It's flimsy, has limited vision, prevents me from raising my hands above my shoulders, won't allow me to kneel. In short, there is no way of having fun airsofting in this crazy getup.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Che Chuy on 1st November 2012, 6:53 pm

Unless you rock out on a Warthog.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Redshirt on 1st November 2012, 7:00 pm

That would be badass!

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Ugh!!

Post by Redshirt on 5th November 2012, 8:17 am

My crappy garage finally struck back. I walked out to be confronted by
the shelf above my workbench that had collapsed, sending the Splaser
tumbling off the bench onto the ground.


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There was some pretty good damage to the front zombie smasher as well as
to the rear upper receiver. In a way, it's not all bad, because it
revealed the weak points. Because I'm going to airsoft this, it need to
be tough enough to handle this sort of thing.

Anyway, I cleaned up and then cleaned the garage this weekend rather than make progress on the Splaser.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Che Chuy on 5th November 2012, 4:05 pm

Well damn it and yay.

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Back At Work

Post by Redshirt on 8th November 2012, 8:06 pm

Enough hamming for the camera and moaning about mishaps. I'm back on
the job. This week it's metal repairs and welding on the hard points
for the upper receiver to attach to the lower.


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Cool welding shot of the repairs to the zombie smasher. Tough welding
because the smasher is very thick. It is hard to get that up to welding
temps without liquefying the thinner piece I'm welding it to.


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Reworking the front hard point. This gets dressed later to not look so crude.



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Mid mounting points before cleaning them up.



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Rear hard points. These are beefed up because they will serve as a main
mounting point for the back piece of the upper receiver as well as the
lower rear alignment point for the main portion of the upper receiver.

With the mounting points set, it's time to work the upper receiver into symmetry and proper alignment.

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Fiberglass--again.

Post by Redshirt on 12th November 2012, 8:48 am

With the metal hard points on the upper receiver all added or filled in
to be re-drilled, it was time to get back into the fiberglass and Bondo
world again. I have to say that I was not in the mood for this at all
as I'd just finished a couple of giant fiberglass jobs for my squadron
and opening a tin of Bondo was about at the bottom of my list. However,
since we'd all like to see this thing finished, I got busy.

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Here's the cut at the front to bring the forward portion of the receiver
into alignment with the rear. I cut through all surfaces except the
bottom. I heated and bent the remaining surface, then superglued the
cut edges into position before fiberglassing the inside. Easy part
done. Re-cutting the bevels represents several hours of work over a few
days.



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These bevels needed some thickening as they are supposed to cover where
the largest metal side plate of the lower receiver vanishes into the
upper receiver. This area had two problems, it didn't fully cover the
metal plate and the angle of the bevel didn't match the angle of the
metal plate. More material to fix this--plus a whole lot of sanding and
grinding.



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I'd cut the bottom edge too short on the right side initially. This
repair needed to be structurally sound, so I ground the overlap areas
down so I would get a good bond as well as a tapered seam rather than a
butt joint on the new material after I ground it back to level.



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Here's the extension dressed back and re-cut. By blending the new
material in, I got a nice bond with no risk of the seam failing later.
Notice how well it mirrors the other side now.

Getting there!

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Che Chuy on 12th November 2012, 8:55 am

What squadron?

So glad you're not dissuaded and too frustrated to continue.

As a side note, I am looking at patterns for curiass pieces for a certain marine of a colonial variety. Not sure which route I want to go yet, although rockin' a steady cam might be the way to go.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Redshirt on 12th November 2012, 2:08 pm

Colonial Marines as in Aliens? The pulse rifle is affordable now. Were you thinking of something like this?


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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Che Chuy on 12th November 2012, 2:14 pm

yuppers.
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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Redshirt on 16th November 2012, 10:26 pm

Working on the initial fiberglass cleanup after cutting and realigning.
I also filled in some details on the right side so I can recut them as
exact mirrors of the left side.


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Here's the clean up following the changes I made to get the upper receiver to better match the lower receiver.



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I filled in the bottom portion of the vent on the forward right side as it was much lower than the vent on the left.



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Same type of work at the rear. In addition to the vent, the lower edge
had to be extended (see last update) to give me enough material to recut
to match the left side.

There really was an amazing amount of asymmetry in the receiver. I took
some time to figure out where this all went crooked. Believe it or
not, the broken mold blanks show the problem goes all the way back to
warped pepakura (folded paper model) during resining and rondoing. Yes, check the early
posts, this thing did begin as cut and folded card stock gone wild. Anyway, if you don't
already believe that it's better to start over than to try and fix a bad
pepakura model, just keep watching to see how long (and how much material) this
takes to fix.

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Jigging!!

Post by Redshirt on 22nd November 2012, 7:33 am

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wish I'd done this months ago, but I finally figured out how to set this
up in a jig and mark up the right side to exactly mirror the left. I
hate redoing work, but that's expected when you are inventing as you go.




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All bolted down so it can't move. I took card stock, stood it up on the
left side, traced the locations of the edges, cut the patterns, then
stood the cut patterns up along the right side and traced the cut lines.



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Once I had the cut points marked, this drove other details to be moved
up, meaning that the profiles of the rounded center section had to
change as well. All the extra marks up top are to set up for the
regrind of the curves.



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The change of the location of the rear disk is going to be a pain. I'll
end up grinding these areas inside and out then grafting on the
fiberglass extensions, cutting the new edges, then grinding it thin.



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This should be good to get everything squared up. Once this is cut, I
should be able to finish mating up the front and rear upper receiver
properly.

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Cutting and Building Up

Post by Redshirt on 29th November 2012, 11:06 pm

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Even after the previous build up work, there were still a few areas without enough overlap.

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I built up fiberglass extensions from the inside to have plenty of strength along exposed edges.


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I roughed in the new cuts into the upper receiver as well as completed
the build-up and reprofiling of the top of the receiver. The relocated
disk cut out caused me to have to build up the edges in the back piece.
This was done with fiberglass (can't be seen) from the inside and a
skim of Bondo on the outside (pretty in pink). I won't recut the hole
until both pieces are firmly bolted together and hard mounted to the
metal lower receiver. BLEEP-BLOOP Achievement Unlocked--Lesson Learned
the Hard Way.


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Just a look at the seam. Lots of work needed here to tidy up the joint,
but not practical until mounting points are fixed, establishing the
true relationship between the parts.

I'm now working on welding up the bracketry to mount this rear piece to
the metal receiver. This back piece will host the feed mechanism as
well as the BB hopper and will not normally need to be removed to
service the weapon's innards.

Until next time.

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Cleaning Up the Details

Post by Redshirt on 4th December 2012, 7:04 pm

Not big progress here, just cleaning up the edges after the major
alterations. This is one of those jobs that takes lots of time for
small payoffs. I need to clean up all of those stepped edges before I
drill the final mounting holes that will permanently set the alignment
between parts.


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Lots of Icing spot putty to straighten the edges. This turned out to be
too soft for high impact areas like corners. In order to keep the
edges chip resistant, I had to come back with spots of fiberglass and
resin or super glue to beef up the edges.




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Even though I've done this job before (sculpting the stepped edges) I
had a whole new learning curve. After being unsuccessful at cutting
straight lines deep enough, I attacked with my Bosch oscillating tool.
This tool made short work of cutting straight lines into the mix of hard
fiberglass and softer spot putty. This picture shows the high point of
frustration where I'd made sloppy cuts using knives and files and had
to refill and start over in several spots.

With this project finished, it's time to bolt the receiver parts together once and for all.

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Mounting It Together

Post by Redshirt on 9th December 2012, 8:29 pm

Finally I'm ready to mount the fiberglass to the metal permanently.
Well not permanently mounted, but the mounting points are permanent.
This update, I'm redrilling the forward mounting points and getting the
rear upper receiver interlocking with the main upper receiver.


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Front right attachment point. All exposed exterior screws are black
oxide button-heads. Internal screws are stainless. ALL screws take the
same allen wrench for easy field repairs.



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Mid mounting on the right. Still some clean up to do on that beveled
corner, but nothing that needed tending to before mounting the receivers
up.



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Using the metal-forming pliers to create spring-loaded clip to lock the upper receiver to the rear upper receiver.



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All folded and marked for cutting and drilling. I'll get two clips out
of this and have some left over for future needs. Every dot gets
drilled out to allow the clip to be fiberglassed into the front receiver
with good adhesion.



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Hopefully this makes things clearer. Here's one of the clips glassed in. It's not going anywhere.



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Here's the right side clip seen from the inside looking forward. This
is a tight fit and will ensure that my seam between the fiberglass parts
is tight without gaps or rattles.

I still have another upper receiver mounting point up high in the back
as well as the rear upper receiver to complete to finish this job.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by allout on 10th December 2012, 11:34 am

very nice work

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Che Chuy on 10th December 2012, 12:16 pm

Indeed, it is not often one gets to watch insanity take a near perfect shape Very Happy

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Putting It All Together--Part Deux

Post by Redshirt on 16th December 2012, 6:34 pm

This update covers some important
foundation work. Here's some of the work on the rear sub frame.
Unfortunately, I didn't end up with great pictures, so I'll try and show
it off better in the next update.

My vision for the rear sub frame is to provide rear attachment points
for the upper receiver and fully support the rear upper receiver. The
rear sub frame will also serve as the attachment point for the
electronics circuit box and the BB feed mechanism and hopper.


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In this awful photo looking toward the back of the Splaser you can
squint to see the initial bend of the sub frame being fitted inside the
upper rear receiver.




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Welding in the cross-piece inside the lower receiver. The sub frame
will bolt solidly here. To the left of the cross-piece, you can see the
lower receiver weld that split on me when it got hot on me during this
job, a fairly common occurrence with the Alumiweld. I went back and
re-welded it later.




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Wider picture of the same area. The cross-piece location was driven by
the location of the screw holes in the receiver and the space needed
forward of the sub frame for electronics components.




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Rear sub-frame being held sorta in place. Horizontal bar is for
mounting the electronics project box. Small tabs at the top are where
the rear most screws on the upper receiver will attach. Notice those
tabs are set inside. This lets me recess the screws on the exterior of
the upper receiver.

I promise better pictures the next time with it all buttoned up--except
for the front shroud, the mid shroud, the barrels, the BB feeds, etc.
Still, we're getting there.

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Christmas Craft Special!!

Post by Redshirt on 22nd December 2012, 12:17 am

We take a break from our regularly scheduled Spartan Laser Update to bring you the Christmas Craft Special

(Spartan Laser update at the bottom)

Building a DIY Spartan Laser leaves you with a lot of tools and a lot of
scrap aluminum. So, when the challenge came to gift wrap the wife's
presents cooler than she was wrapping mine, I headed to the garage.
After some head scratching I came up with--Polished aluminum gift tags.
This ended in an exercise to see just how many tools I could involve.

Start by squaring off a few scraps on the band saw. Sorry, not pictured.


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Break out the trusty drill press, and drill a hole in one corner for the ribbon or twine to secure it.



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Now get busy with one of the bench sanders and round off the corners and
clean up the sharp edges. Safety First! Having my wife get cut on the
package just wouldn't do.



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Back to the drill press, this time with the buffing wheel and brown buffing compound to make everything super shiny.



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The one on the left is polished, the right side is standard aluminum sheet before buffing.



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Now take out your stamp set and hammer in your message. Here's a
representative sample of the completed project. No, the one's for my
wife aren't addressed to "Woman". Though that would give me some
flexibility . . .


Now in the world of the Spartan Laser, I did promise some pics of all the receiver pieces bolted together:


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The back end all bolted together. All of the edges along the bottom are
nice and straight, the cutout for the disk is aligned well. The other
seams need work.



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Angle shot showing what works and what doesn't. I have a lot of work to
do on the seams between the rear upper receiver and the upper receiver.
The whole region needs to be filled and re-leveled as well.



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Here's the whole thing together. It is rock-solid!

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you get the tools, BBs, guns or whatever airsoft supplies that you asked for!

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Redshirt on 27th December 2012, 12:18 am

Time for a real update. Now that the parts are bolted together, I kept
on going with tidying up the seams between various fiberglass and metal
parts.


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Finalizing the gap between the mid shroud and the upper receiver.



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Almost right, the front is still slightly high, but the gaps are gone.



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Building up the areas under some of the panel mis fits. This will let
me sand down the high spots later without compromising the actual
fiberglass structure.



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The final mounting of the upper receiver to the lower receiver revealed
inconsistent gaps between the metal and fiberglass, so I had to add on
fiberglass and then trim it back straight.



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Same job on the rear upper receiver. The screw holes also needed further reinforcement.


I've now started cutting metal again for the external details! Next time . . . .

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Metal Crafting!

Post by Redshirt on 2nd January 2013, 12:12 am

Happy New Year!

Big progress this week building the prominent metal knobs that go on the
side of the H3 Spartan Laser. If these aren't sharp looking, the whole
thing will be crap. Wish I had a mill, this would be easy, but I
don't. That means that, once again, I take take my life in my hands
with the router as a metal-working tool. Here goes:


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I bonded two thick pieces together with hot melt glue, and cut the basic shape.


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On the left are two thinner pieces bonded together and ready to cut. The pair of thick pieces is on the right.



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Now the thin pieces are cut out. I used a drill press and files to cut and shape the hole.



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I debonded and cleaned up the hot melt glue and paired up the complete sets (one thick and one thin per set).



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I used JB Weld to bond the pairs. I had to go this route of laminating
metal because I have no means (a mill) of cutting a pocket in metal.


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The assembled blanks ready for further machining.



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Once again I put on heavy clothes, welding gloves, as well as eye and
ear protection before trying to cut the outside bevels using the router
table. Rough cut on the first one, so far, so good . . . .



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. . . . But then the wife came out to find out what the loud "WHACK" was against the wall!


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Oops! The router grabbed one piece and propelled it with mighty force
against the garage wall. This section of wall has the drywall backed by
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Here they are with all the routing done.




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So shiny! I used the air file and needle files to clean up the bevels.
Here are the cleaned-up knobs. They will get a fine sanding and buff
later, followed by electroplating in brushed nickel to make them
tougher, and because it's cool. That project is down the road though.
Next up are the other parts associated with these knobs.

Once again, thanks for the assistance of Echo1. Their spare parts and boneyard stuff have really helped me keep this moving.
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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Redshirt on 5th January 2013, 10:11 am

Here is the first of a couple of updates on the rest of the mechanism
associated with the shiny knobs from the last update. I'm going to use
these as a latching mechanism to hold down the mid shroud. I'll need
easy and frequent access to the area under the mid shroud for BB refills
and basic maintenance so so I need a sturdy, but easy latch that's
secure. I considered a sliding latch, but concluded it would put wear
and tear on the paint job as well as be too easy to knock open without
adding a secondary safety catch. In the end, I decided to go with
spring-loaded pull pins through the half cylinders. Not at all obvious
in this update, but I'll have the rest in a couple of days.


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Here is the area we're talking about.



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I split 1 inch aluminum tubing and used two overlapping pieces to build each piece.



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This let me build up the details. I bonded these together with JB Weld, then used the bench sander to tidy up the edges.



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Inside each assembly, I bonded two small blocks of aluminum for screws
to tap into from the underside. This took a couple of try to get an
acceptable bond.



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I wanted this whole thing to be a removable component with some
strength, so I cut out a backing piece to add strength and used it to
build up the latch assembly. This is actually the backing pieces for both sides bonded together, that's why it appears so thick.



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You see where this is all going.



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To build up the other details, I split 1/4 inch round stock on the band saw--No easy feat!



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Here are some of those details going into place.



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Better look at those details. You can see that I've taken a notch out
of the backing piece. Eventually, a tab that sticks down from the mid
shroud will slide into this area where the spring pin will engage and
lock it.



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Bringing it all home. Here's the work so far up against a picture of
the intended result. I'll detail the latch in a couple of days.

Redshirt
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Redshirt
Joe Mid Cap
Joe Mid Cap

Posts : 184
Join date : 2010-10-17
Location : Gulf Breeze

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

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