Monday, February 21, 2011

Drilled Drivetrain Channel

Today I did a little work on the drivetrain for droid #2.

I started by measuring where to drill the holes in the channel pieces that go at the top of the drivetrain. These will be screwed to the main drivetrain body using 1/4" screws and nuts. The target is 1" from each end, centered in the middle of the width of the channel.

I used the drill press to drill these holes.

All four holes are drilled in short order.

Next, I wanted to clamp the channel pieces in place, and use them as a template for drilling the holes in the main drivetrain body. First, I marked center alignment points for each piece.

I also clamped a piece of plywood to the side of the drivetrain, and wedged a 1/4" piece of MDF and a 1/8" piece of PVC between the plywood and the channel, to perfectly center the channel piece on the main drivetrain body. There should be 3/8" on each side of the channel.

I then clamped down the channel and prepared to drill, using a hand drill. The wheels and gears make it impractical to put this on the drill press as-is.

It's almost art.

Unfortunately, my almost-art project didn't work out so well. As I was drilling with the hand drill, the whole drill and bit wobbled quite a bit, as I was struggling to keep everything steady while holding the work down on its two wheels. I could tell this approach was not going to work.

I revisited the drill press. This meant removing the wheels. I realized that I'd have to remove the gears as well.

At this point, I looked ten minutes into the future, and saw disaster. I decided to stop in my tracks, get a good night's sleep, and continue tomorrow. It's the discretion/valor thing.

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