When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Stupid Octopus!

A lot has happened in bits and pieces on the octopus over the last little bit. My time to work on it gets smaller and smaller as other projects come into the shop. Our next job has us building a vacuum former to pull a bunch of parts for that.
All 160 pulleys got their patina paint job on them. As well as the bronzed sections that hold them together.
I was really hoping not to have to run the pulleys through the lathe, but it quickly became apparent that it needed to be done :(
It's a little hard to see, but every pulley assembly got a little guide pin installed. I hope I get to use it, but the time is quickly running out on the deadline, but it's there if I need it.
The tips of the tentacles got cut as well. I have no idea how I only cut 71/2 of them, but I did. So one more to cut for that tomorrow. I also need to add a bit more to it to make it look a little bit better, so I'll cut that as well while I'm at it.
The turret gear plate that all the tentacles mount to also got machined. 3/4" pvc for this bad boy! The holes around it are for screwing and LED lighting.

I also built the mounting arm assembly for it as well.

As the pulleys don't actually turn, and are strictly decorative, I used hair elastics for the belts. They hold the tension really well, and look nice and beefy.
This was the single most frustrating assembly job ever, in the history of frustrating jobs ever. Each pully assembly alternates all the way down the line, and the belts have to go on in a certain order. I actually had to make miniature belt pullers to assemble this stupid contraption. As it usually goes, the first arm took about an hour to assemble properly(on goes the belts, off goes the belts, on goes the belts in a different order!) The last tentacle took around 6 minutes. Another job I'm a skilled craftsman at now, and another skill I'll never use again!

But in the end the assembly looks crazy awesome. A ton of detail to look at. I have to stain the white of the pulley grooves, but other than that these guys are almost done! I'm going to work on them on Saturday, and hopefully get to machining the rest of the body!

1 comment:

  1. I am going through an easy period and am quite happy. The joy and consolations you provide on your blog fill me with 'as'. In the future, I'd like to hear more about skills you only develop for one use. Additionally, I still feel your bouquet.
    Well done!