Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Again With The Hinges!

So here we go again. Round three of hinge-mania. I may make mistakes as I go along, but I always learn from them. I've learned a lot from these false starts with the hinges, and I'm hoping I can apply everything I've learned to this iteration. And hope that this one is the last.

I start with a fresh pack of hinges. Got these at Home Depot.

I start by sanding off the laquer coating from the back of the hinges. Remember, It's all about conductivity with these babies.

I didn't need to sand the back of the middle hinge for conductivities sake, but I did it just to make sure they were all the same thickness.

After sanding, I tested each of the hinges to make sure they could carry current. They all did, and they were very stable. No flickering of LEDs when I opened or closed the hinge. So far, so good.

And then it was time to try something different. One of the things that bugged me about the previous versions was the sloppy way that the wires were soldered onto the hinges. Not only did it leave a big glob of solder that would often make it difficult to line the hinges up properly, but I'm not sure it was the most secure method. So I'm going to drill a hole in each side of the hinge, thread the wire through it, and then solder it.

In order to make sure the hinges were going to take putty and paint, I sanded the laquer off the front face and hinges themselves.

I soldered in my red and blue wires, then filed down the corners and edges of each hinge to make them easier to fit into their respective recesses.

Of course, I tested each of the hinges to make sure they were STILL carrying current.

With the hinges all set, it was time to turn my attention back to the body. I wanted to re-do the bondo squish on all of the recesses, to make sure the hinges will all be sitting at the same depth. I thought this would be easiest if I built a new jig. This will allow me to do the bondo squish on all three recesses at the same time, with predictable and repeatable results.

Here's the main body, getting the squish treatment. Fingers crossed!

As I write this, the putty is curing. I'll leave it be for now, and post results when I have some.

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