7 Jan 2012

Had a good work day and completed the right-hand gills. Building one of something is great fun, building a few, less so, and building six, well, not so much. But they’re done so on to other things. The round object at the back-center of the nose is a big hunk of brass. Brass, being fairly heavy, is very handy for keeping things in place during fabrication, but I discovered that it has another feature, that it’s really awesome at absorbing heat. This was discovered after using it to weigh down a tube I was welding, and long after the metal tube cooled, I went to move the brass – big mistake. Yeah, it was still really hot…

Someone recently asked why I hadn’t made a hammer-form for the gills. The answer is that because each gill is unique, it would take six hammer-forms, which would very likely take more time to fabricate than just doing them the way I did. Also, because metal is springy, a hammer-form really only serves as a template for how the finished object should end up (such as a fender.) Actually using it to form the metal over will – without a couple trial pieces – result in a part that needs to be bent more that the form permits if it’s the actual shape.

Another couple panels are needed on each side of the nose to block off the big openings on either side. As it is, the nose lets incoming air bypass the radiator. Either metal panels or composite can be used, but since the panels are so simple, it’s not worth making a mess over, meaning composite.

The cover over the air filter is needed and I have mixed feeling about how to fabricate it. As mentioned above, a hammer form could be used, but as said, it’ll get me close, but not to the extent that I can just hammer a sheet of aluminum over it and be done. Unlike the nose, this might be a place to use composite due to the compound curves. I’ll have to check to see how much carbon/fiberglass is on-hand. Since I’m not into the clear-coated carbon “thing”, it doesn’t make much sense to use carbon other than for bragging rights. Meh, maybe if I’m in a good mood I’ll use composite on the nose, too.