Friday, January 2, 2009

Internal Frame for MSE-6 Droid

I started working on the frame for the MSE droid. The frame portion is what sits in the upper and lower halves of the vacuuform shell to provide greater rigidity. I did this a couple of different ways. One I attempted by using Aluminum welding rods to bring the corners together.

This literally took about 15 minutes per edge to heat the metal up enough for the welding rod to work. I finished up the one frame and decided to try an alternative method for the other.

A quick stop up at the Ace Hardware and I found some corner brackets that I thought would do the trick.
These corner brackets worked like a treat. The assembly of the second frame piece went together in about 15 minutes, and that included running a tap for the screws. Since I can hide the bracket inside the shell it doesn't really matter what they look like. Lessons learned.

The brackets were extremely snug inside the shell, so I ended up having to sand down the corners since they are rounded slightly. I rigged up my belt sander and sanded down all the corners to get the best fit.

It was a little jury-rigged but quite stable and it did the job quite nicely. I fitted the pieces as they were supposed to go in and now I needed a method to hold the top and bottom frames in place securely. Looking around the garage I had a 3/8" aluminum rod that fit the treat so I put both frames together and drilled a quick guide hole for the rod.

Last but not least here is the frame in place. You can a small shelf I made the rides under the frame made out of plexiglass. This is designed to hold my sound system and speakers for the MSE.