The Big Think

May 14, 2015

Tapped Out

Filed under: The R2 Project — jasony @ 9:08 pm

So here we are, nine days after my long post about finishing the basic frame and starting the 151 tapped holes. Tonight I completed all of the drilling and tapping! What a slog.

Since writing that post I’ve spent maybe 70 hours at either the lathe or the manual mill. I’ve tapped and drilled and center-finded and changed bits and adjusted X/Y zeros until I can do it in my sleep. In fact, I probably have done it in my sleep. The shortest day at the mill was 6 hours. The longest was when I got to TechShop around 6am (couldn’t sleep) and didn’t leave until almost 10.

But hey! The basic frame is DONE. And when I finished all the milling and threading I assembled it, screwed it together, and took a minute to step back and admire the work. I made this. Sure, you can buy it, but this one is all mine. I’m profoundly proud of what I’ve done so far. Also kind of surprised.

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I am taking tomorrow off and not going to TechShop. The employees have (no kidding) started to joke that I should just clock in like they do since I’m there so much. One time this past week I got there about an hour before the night shift left, worked through both day shifts, and left just as the night shift came on again. Crazy! The funny thing was that the entire day was spent in a flow state that made time pass really fast. It’s so much fun to learn new things.

Next up: I’ve decided that instead of working on the dome and skins (which are ready and waiting), I’m going to pull the year 3 schedule into year 2. So once I finish up year 1 I’ll start in on the legs. Some good reasons for this that I won’t go into here, but mainly it’s so R2 can have some legs to stand on and not just be a sad little aluminum trash can shape. Before that, though, I need to figure out the “skirt” (the sloped bottom part of the body) as well as decide how to go about making the “bread pan” little cubbyholes in his frame. Once those are done I’ll polish and anodize the basic frame and start designing the pattern that I will laser cut into the anodizing. Hopefully all of this will be done at the one year mark of Sept 1st. If not then hey, it’s all for fun, right? 🙂

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