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.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Sanding sucks!

We went with plate steel for the base of the 2 Counterspy agents. It needed to be heavy, but not ridiculous! I decided on 1/8" thick steel. Once the legs and torso were assembled with the armature inside, we welded it to the thick steel plate. This agent won't be going rogue any time soon!

Then it was just a matter of attaching the rest of the appendages. With the exception of the hands and gun. These will get attached at the very end, after it's all painted and clear coated. It would have been way to impossible to spray these guys with the hands in the way. We also left the silencer on his gun as a separate piece, solely to reduce the height of the shipping crate he would ultimately have to travel in.
There was quite a lot of sanding to do at this point. Lots of little spots that needed filler, and doing the final blending between the mated parts. I think Jody must have sanded her finger tips clean off!

The final prep state before paint was the primer. I really like the ease of use of water based finishes, but I really hate the fact that water-based usually means "crappy-based" on some projects. That's why on this job, we opted for a 'new to us' product. It's basically a spray able auto-body filler. Like runny bondo. You mix it with fiberglass resin hardener, spray it on, and it's hard in 30 minutes. Each layer can be sprayed upto a 1/16" thick without cracking when it dries! I sprayed up a nice thick coat on the two guys, then Jody and I headed to lunch! After lunch, I sprayed 2 more coats, giving us a minimum 3/32" hardcoat thickness! This turned our 15lb HDU material rock solid. The final guy felt like you were knocking on a piece of oak! However, it did leave a slightly textured surface (you can see it in the depression of the sunglasses) so that meant more sanding............
I'm comfortable enough in my marriage with Jody, to not let these sort of images upset me. But the old saying "what happens at the shop, stays at the shop" is something we live by :)
Poor Jody did the bulk of the sanding, and as much as it sucked, the final outcome was brilliant!


No comments:

Post a Comment