Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dome Progress

I finally started on the dome. All of this was done yesterday, but was too lazy to add the photos today. I want to say that all the work you see here took place over about 3 hours.

For starters, I tried to use a mouse sander on the inside to remove the burrs. However, due to the dome being a 'dome' and my sander being flat, it was VERY difficult to get it in there and actually do anything. So I abandoned the mouse and will just do it by hand.

Next, you can see the start of removing the dome panels. I was nervous as hell to do this. Actually, i'm nervous about the whole dome....playing around with a $500+ piece of aluminum, and one flaw causes all of it to be ruined is a scarey thought. Anyway, I bought a hacksaw blade with a handle at Lowes for around $7.00 and a small can of WD40. What I did, was spray some WD40 on the saw blade, and then spray it on each of the tabs I planned to cut.

What I did was cut all but one tab out, and then I simply would bend the part until it would break away.

Finally, here is a shot with all the panels removed!!

Next, it was time to start filing the tabs off the dome. I used a D-shaped file. This allows me to have a flat side for the flat surface, and a curved side for well......the curved parts.

Finally, I had to de-burr, sand, and file the panels.....I came up with quite a process for this. First, I would take a panel, and start filing the tabs. Once that was done, I then went around the whole thing and de-burred it. Once that was done, I took a sanding block, and slightly sanded all of the edges so that they were extremely smooth.

Finally, to remove any coarse lines that were sanded on the dome, I took a brown brillo pad, and lightly sanded everything. I want to maintain a duller look, more of a "Empire Strikes Back" look and I feel like this dome definitely achieves that.

In other news, my legs are now awaiting clear coat and I have also ordered a Radar Eye and well as a lense!!

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