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Old 9th March 2017, 8:07 PM   #16
DrFrag Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havabeer View Post
if you can find and buy a product called 700 by 3M perfect for these jobs as its an industrial adhesive remover/degreaser which dries to nothing
Cool, I'll put that on my list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by havabeer View Post
flap discs for drills/dremels/grinders also work great
I think I have some of those in a Dremel pack but I've never used them. I'll give it a shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by havabeer View Post
went and put safety glasses on and kept going with my job, look back now and i could have honestly lost sight in 1 eye because of that so will always wear eye protection now days
It's good to remember those "I was so lucky" moments. When I think about losing my vision for the rest of my life it's suddenly not such a chore to put on safety gear for even the briefest of power tool use.

I'll be posting all my stupid mistakes anyway, haha. I have a great pic coming up where a strip of aluminium got tangled in the circular saw. But if I can help one person avoid the same mistake then I don't mind looking like an idiot.
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Old 19th March 2017, 9:28 PM   #17
DrFrag Thread Starter
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Updates are going to slow down a bit now that my worklog has caught up with my work, but I'm trying to do at least a couple of minutes on it each day.

I finished the last of the drive holes. Quickest way turned out to be rivet the L-strips, nail punch the holes with the template, then do all the drilling on the drill press.



All frames done.



Time to start on the sheet metal. The circular saw I bought came with a rip saw (the one on the right) which has big gaps for cutting lengthways down wood. I replaced it with the one on the left designed especially for aluminium. It has a lot more teeth, they're all in line with each other instead of alternating left-right, and it has those four slots in it so that when it heats up and expands, it doesn't warp. I used sewing machine oil on the blade to keep it lubricated and cool.



I had to install it "backwards" since the teeth point in the opposite direction - my saw blade cuts upwards from below. An interesting side effect is it pulls the material up towards the front cutting edge and it's only held down by the surrounding plate. For thin offcuts of wood this would be no problem, unfortunately with metal this happened:



The strip I was cutting off was pulled into the circular saw and began wrapping itself around the axle. I stopped because it was making a weird noise. Not sure if that was dangerous, but it's certainly not good. The rest of my cuts were thick pieces.

For each case I ended up with two sheets. A wide one 900x340 for the outside, and a narrow one 900x150 for the inside. The 900s are a coincidence - if the case was taller then the thin one would be longer.



Metal folding is mostly measuring and setting up. Lines are ruled with a set square because it has to be ultra precice. I found that leaving the masking tape on didn't affect the fold.



This small brake is fine for the narrow stuff, but kinda struggles on the wider 34cm 0.8mm aluminium. The middle doesn't have quite as sharp a fold than the edges, but it's fine for this project.



Bam, the fun part.



In order to fit the internal sheet for testing, I had to remove the drive pillars. This meant disassembling the Connect-It. I used a car jack for that. It has to be done very steadily and evenly or it risks cracking the corner plastic.



The end plugs were hammered out with a dowel.



For narrow spaces, the Connect-It can be pried apart with leverage. I used some 25mm alum tubing and a block of wood.





The frame is then reassembled without the drive pillars.



The fitting is perfect.



Loosely fitted inside the frame. I had a lot of tolerance on the edges, maybe 1-2cm, but I had to get the fold exact. Each following measurement is done after each fold, since the fold distorts the length. It's good to practice this on scrap so you know how it turns out.



The outer sheet gave me a bit of trouble. It turns out I needed to add 1mm to all the folds, which I didn't realise until the second fold. It was too tight. I ended up taking the frame apart and shaving 1mm off the length of the frame. On the last sheet I repeated my mistake, but only on one side which is arguably worse. Turns out you can shave 1mm off the frame and it still fits nicely and looks square.



With all the sheet folding done, it's time to work on the cutting. I like to start with the most complex parts, cause if anything's going to go wrong it'll be that. If I screw it up I don't want it to be right at the end.

The golden rule of design is your first idea isn't always your best, so I drew a bunch of ideas (this was for the red case). I tried a bunch of mesh fronts, a bunch of 1 fonts, and some arbitrary designs before settling on a personal preference.



This is the marking out for the 2. I started with an outer box.



Then measured and marked the 2 on it.



Then shaded in the area to be cut, so I wouldn't accidentally follow the wrong line. I think this is kind of important.



I'm using a Dremel for this, with one of those awesome metal EZ Lock discs. I know there's a bit of a divide between the Dremel cutters and the jigsaw cutters, but if you have a steady hand imo the Dremel is way better. When I took the red case into the anodizers, he asked me how I was able to get such a clean, straight cut. With this kind of work it's vital that the Dremel doesn't jump, so you need a strong, steady grip and cut very slowly so it doesn't jam.

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