Elevator kit

by brae  

I bought a STEM elevator kit from amazon expecting it to be low quality (I paid less than $6 for it). It is cheap, but it was a good learning device for gears and motors.

There are no English instructions, and the photos are very small. You can get a decent idea of it from the amazon photos at least.

The controller is garbage. I suspect damaged in transit, but the return/replace window has passed. It's a great concept; it just doesn't work as it should.

The up button works consistently, and the down works intermittently, hence the one-way elevator. :D

Ah, well. It was worth the money just for the motor and lesson. I won't be using it for the garage door because it's too fast, but it will go in my stash for someday. Now to shop for a more suitable motor.

Garage door - part 4

by brae  

Continuing work on the garage door. I backtracked a bit here. After removing the center 3D printed hinges, I decided that I really needed five hinges across instead of three for better stability. I would need to add styrene under the additional hinge surfaces to make them the same height as the others. I didn't like the look of the small brackets with this new setup, so I removed those and replaced with long strips of styrene. I primed and painted for the next steps.

I thought about doing this from the beginning on both the front and back, and I probably should have done it then...but, I like the front enough to not start that over.

When you buff the metalizer lacquer with a paper towel, it becomes shiny and metallic. It's a delicate surface that needs to be sealed, but its delicate nature makes it easier to age. I began lifting the silver paint to expose the darker under layers, bringing out the finer details. It was a tedious process but worth it. :]  The bottom panel is what it looked like before and the upper panel is after the aging.

I didn't worry about lifting too much paint since I plan to add acrylic paint details in the final finishing.

On the front, I wanted more of the silver lifted than the salt technique removed. Here is the before on the left and the after on the right.

Just enough to even out the corrosion.

Delightfully ratty! :D

Garage door - part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the garage door. I primed the backs of the panels flat black and then sprayed with Model Master Metalizer Lacquer in Aluminum Plate. The initial finish is light matte silver. More on this later....

On the front, I added some burnt sienna to the corners, around the brackets and other random areas.

I thought I was going to be able to keep the middle 3D printed hinges on the back, but they were going to bind with my metal hinge substitution so I cut them off, patched and puttied the gaps. I touched up the paint and returned to the front.

I again consulted a great tutorial on achieving chipped paint on plastic models. I had used this before on my abandoned bathtub.

I used water and regular table salt, concentrating on the corners and the rest leaving to random patterns.

Once dry, I sprayed with Model Master Metalizer Lacquer in Aluminum Plate.

I removed the salt with a paper towel and washed the panels with soap and water.

After you buff the metalizer lacquer with a paper towel, the surface gets all shiny and metallic. The dark brown and rust color under layers do show, but this won't be the end of the aging I have planned.

Garage door - part 2

by brae  

Continuing work on the garage door. On the backside, I found the 3D printed hinges to be rather delicate. During the first dry fit, I popped one off completely (luckily, I had a replacement panel), but I split another one while fitting the screws. I'm planning to use metal hinges instead since I don't trust myself to not break these after it's all put together, so it was back to the drawing board on aligning the door with the track.

I've used a Timberbrook garage door before (a wooden residential door), so I am using that as a guide. It has rollers on the sides that fit inside a wooden track.

Since I'd like to use the 3D printed track detailing, I can't add rollers and will have to use the bolts as recommended. But, since I'm replacing the plastic hinges, they won't fit or align the same way. This actually works in my favor since my plan would make the front of the garage door closer to flush with the front of the track, which will be easier for me to fit to my building.

Using the spare eliminated fifth panel as a test piece, I drilled a pilot hole in the side of the door panel and then added a bolt.

I determined the length needed to fit in the track without binding or slipping and snipped the head off. This seemed like it would work well, so I moved on to the actual panels.

I shaved off the plastic hinges and filled with putty as needed before adding thin styrene patches for stability.

I used white putty to fill in the gaps where the parts join. After an initial primer coat, I could better see where I needed to fine tune the putty application. Filling the gaps was never going to be perfect, but I could try to make them look less like "errors" in building with the putty.

After sanding, I touched up the primer and sprayed the fronts dark brown.

I used some really old spray paint, and it gave me an orange peel texture, which on a new piece would mean sanding and sanding and sanding. On an old piece, it will save me some time and work in my favor. I didn't necessarily want a shiny finish, but there are so many layers still to come it doesn't matter.

More to come....

Garage door - part 1

by brae  

In researching parts for my build, I ran across a 1/10 scale functional garage door with parts that could be 3D printed. The cost of the design was modest, and Amanda graciously helped me print the pieces. Because her printer bed was smaller, she had to split some of the parts to print them. That added a little more complication to assembly, but I've had experience with models and felt I could make up for the changes.

Amanda printed it as is in 1/10 scale even though my project is 1/12 overall, and I asked her to print the open window design. The door design comes with other solid panels, or you could use clear acrylic for full glass panels. With the original five panels, it's a little overwhelming.

With only four panels, it seems more proportional for my project.

The usual house garage door would be too small and residential in appearance.

Since the parts were split, I needed to join them to make the solid panels. I added styrene pins and used super glue gel to make the initial connections.

To add stability, I cut small brackets from sheet styrene for both the front and back. Since the splices were not the same distance from the middle, the brackets could not be evenly placed, but I tried to make it look as balanced as possible. I am going for a derelict door either repaired or cobbled from pieces, so it worked well. After finishes and aging, I doubt it will draw much attention.

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