Tuesday, March 11, 2008

We're Ready to Pump You Up!

A bit of work got accomplished today. Still no movement on the Mangalore Rifle, which is a tad ironic, as this blog is supposed to be dedicated to its build. I'm thinking of re-branding this blog as a general purpose "bulding blog", instead of focusing on the rifle. After all, what would happen once the rifle is finished? Will it simply go the way of my R2 blog?? Unclear.

The first thing I did was cut out the padd screen template that I had drawn up last night. I expected to use my coping saw, but it was going too slowly. I deferred to my fiberglass cutting wheel for my dremel tool. It made short work of the thing. I ended up using a set of coarse files to get it down to shape, but it ended up fitting quite snugly inside the padd body.

I expect I'll need to do a little more work on the screen once I paint the padd body. The paint will add a bit of thickness to it, which will necessitate some further sanding. NBD.

But next it was time to do some molding. I poured up a batch of silicone, and let the vacuum pump work its magic.

Turns out I didn't need to do those silicone repairs I did last night. The force of the vacuump pulled that ring into whatever position it wanted it to be in, stripping it straight off the glue. NBD. (That stands for No Big Deal, BTW. [That stands for By The Way]) At the end of the day, the pump worked great, and did a darn fine job of sucking all the air out of the silicone.

Here's the molds all filled up with silicone. Notice that I put the molds on a piece of wood, on top of a box. Why? So I could level it out. You can even see my level on top of the wood. this makes sure that the molds are sitting flat as the rubber kicks. That way, when it comes time to pour up some resin, I can get better pulls. When the molds lay down perfectly flat, the resin will pour flat. Assuming I'm pouring resin on a level surface too. Oy, so many variables.

Long story short, they're all set. I can probably start pulling pieces out of them tomorrow night, but I'll probably let them go an extra night just to be sure. I'm in no rush.

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