Some good success today. I coated the horseshoes in JB Weld and LabMetal to fill in the little V-grooves that I ground in each side layer. It was ugly once it dried:
Next I clamped the part in the vice with some wooden shims:
Then I ground the welds and filler down with an aluminum grinding disk that Keith gave me the other night (thanks, Keith!) They looked really good after I was done. Nice and smooth and flush with the surface. Since I was using a disk and not a belt, though, it was easy to make little divots and gouges in the soft aluminum. There’s a bit of waviness on the edge of the part in this photo:
So I’m ordering some Rage Gold body filler from Amazon (the same stuff I used to make the Tri Delt clamshell prop about five years ago). I’ll do a few layers of filler on the outside so I can cover up the metal edges. But before that I still need to drill out that broken screw (you can see it in that top photo).
So in spite of the expected (and unexpected) little snags it appears that I have a clear way forward on the shoes! Really happy with the way it’s turning out.
I spent about 3 hours at TechShop this afternoon and in addition to the grinding I also did some thinking about the center leg ankle. The finished part should look like this:
with this inside (I’ve already made the rectangular part):
I had what I thought was a shoe-in idea for this and spent some time at TechShop designing a file in Fusion 360 (what a great program), but now that I look at it in the first picture above I’m not so sure it’ll work. More thought needed.
A lot of this thinking is due to the fact that I can’t TIG weld (yet). I really should get off my butt and just do it. I’ll probably ask some advice and start that process next week. So much would be easier about this project if I could just TIG. Even badly. Grinding down that aluminum results in an amazingly clean joint (see the post-ground horseshoe pics above). But the process kind of scares me.