Monday, May 7, 2012

N7 Upper arm (bicep) plates

The upper arm plates were made out of ABS pipe that was cut on the band saw. They were then sanded with a belt sander. The pieces were then covered with sheet aluminum. We bent the aluminum using clamps then polished the rough edges on the belt sander. The next step was to glue the aluminum to the ABS, this involved a lot of clamps and about 24 hours to set. The tops looked a little rough so we used what we call "Red Sand" to smooth things out, its like a bondo putty that can be sanded (Bondo spotting putty- Z)-The idea came from the legendary prop and replica artist and designer Harrison Krix of Voplin Props   - Electric

Tool wise we are using a Jet 14" bandsaw (the hero of this project), a 4X36" Rikon table top belt sander, and a Rikon 1" band sander. The bandsaw cuts all our sheet stock and pipe to rough shape. The 4" sander does the bulk of our reshaping and finish sanding, and the 1" does all our tough to reach corners like the slots in the bicep plates. _My weightlifter friend tells me its a TRICEP plate...whatever man. Anyway, I convinced Electric early on that the look and feel of real metal just couldnt be beat. So most of these pieces are getting full metal wraps.  We buy aluminum sheet from the local metal distributor at about $3.50/lb. We are using .032" sheet which is difficult to bend to shape but it takes smooth curves and doesnt dent easily. Later on I moved into using 1/4" thick aluminum plate and pipe. -Zoot

It is very difficult to glue and bend aluminum
Close to the final version of the plate, not including the paint. That bevel on the edges was hard to make!

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