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Old Sep 14, 2012, 03:56 PM
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tchalfant's Avatar
United States, NV, Las Vegas
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Progress on the build (so far)
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Got some basic painting done and began fitting parts together. Shoot forgot to take a picture of the ends, I will do that tonight.
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Old Sep 15, 2012, 02:36 PM
TheyreComingToTakeMeAway!
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USA, ID, Coeur D'Alene
Joined Dec 2003
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looking really good man! keep it up
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 04:41 AM
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Thank you Derk!

Let me take a step back, I jumped a little forward on the last post I did here.

I used Marine epoxy to attach the o-ring bulkhead to the bow end piece.
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To do this with the o-ring installed, push the bulkhead into the body tube leaving about 2mm or so out then I carefully added a very thin solid bead of epoxy around the edge of the bow end piece that will mate with the bulk head and then a slightly thicker solid bead on the face of the bulkhead that will mate with the end piece. This bead is more on the inner part of the face. My thinking was I did not want this gushing out and spilling onto the tube and o-ring I would rather see it gush inward. By being sparing on the epoxy, when the two pieces were placed together, I could see a slight wetness along the edge. I placed the tube on a table and adjusted how it aligned by touch and eye. Left it to cure. To fully cure,the epoxy takes 24 hours, about 50 minutes to set. Then repeat for the other end. So far this was the most difficult part. Mess these up and your in for some work - so take extra care here, if you are going to build one.

Next I drilled a hole for the deck's motor wires to come in.
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Since this deck will be attached to the aft end piece, I am going to put a couple of pins in to strengthen the joint. Something we did a lot of in the resin garage kit days. You can see the marks I made on either side of the hole for the wires.
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This will get sealed with more marine epoxy. For those not familiar with subs do not use the 5 minute epoxy or even the 15 minute epoxy, these will get soft when exposed to full water and time. Look for the slower longer cures or like I am using a marine epoxy that is waterproof.

Earlier I mentioned about making the channels wider for the port and starboard motor wires, here is a picture of that.
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The channel will be filled with some metal glaze body filler and the holes into the WTC will be filled with epoxy. That is the plan so far - I will let you know how that goes.

I could not help but put some parts together and noticed the tube was slightly longer than the parts.
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I saw this in the dry fitting before painting, but thought it might have been my imagination and the fact that I was trying to hold things together by hand. Not a big deal,
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I have two choices, fill with body filler the gap or trim the tube down. I will ponder on this because either choice has issues.

Still this thing is real cool. I am not sure how long the internal parts will take to come in from China, but I can't wait to see this work.
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 01:47 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
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Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
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Heh.. I'm currently sitting about 2 miles away from the real thing!

the model looks nice!
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 02:59 PM
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Thank you... I would love to have the opportunity to visit some day. If you have a suggestion, please let me know! Any pictures you can share would help too!
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Old Sep 16, 2012, 06:05 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
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They have her parked behind the Science Museum of VIrginia, here in Richmond. Reynolds Metals, who built and owned her was Headquartered here ( once again.. right down the street from me..)
once the vessel was retired, they donated her to the museum as a static display. You can crawl around on her and stuff

Cant go inside it unfortunately.

I'll try to get some photos sometime.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 03:40 AM
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The deck railing was created out of brass. and if you look closely, you will see the pin from the deck to the bow. This is an alignment pin to keep the deck locked in. The pin is glued to the deck portion.
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But I did not like the look of the rail it seemed a little too tall. Yep I measured it and it is 2mm too high. Out it comes.
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Here is version 2 of the railings ready to be painted.
Pins were placed in the aft end cap.
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and another view.
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there are corresponding holes on the deck
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A little epoxy and wait
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Last edited by tchalfant; Sep 19, 2012 at 09:25 AM.
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Old Sep 21, 2012, 12:02 AM
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To shorten the tube, I used 240 grit sandpaper in a flat surface and a little water.
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Using marine silicon attached the keel and ballast tanks.
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Just a thin layer of silicon to get it to stick. I will be interested in seeing how this sticks.
O.K. a little tape and we wait again....
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Old Sep 21, 2012, 09:14 PM
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So, the remaining stuff to finish, railings, lenses (will make my own), front basket, create decals?? for sail, and touch up paint (maybe weather), I love the bleached out look on this one....
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Then hopefully get to the innards and ballasting.
Any thoughts?
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 08:23 PM
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Put the rails on. My first attempt at the cabling was to use a thinner gauge of brass wire. It looked bulky and out of place. So I found some wire from computer parts. It is thin (and I will probably break it a couple of times before it even gets wet!), but I think it is more scale looking. My uprights are a little thicker than I wanted.

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Next it is time to make a basket.
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Last edited by tchalfant; Sep 26, 2012 at 08:33 PM.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 09:03 PM
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Wichita, Kansas
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Very nicely done, Tom!
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 01:00 AM
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Thanks Matt! Nowhere near the quality of your work, still fun none the less.
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Last edited by tchalfant; Sep 29, 2012 at 05:39 AM.
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Old Oct 02, 2012, 04:33 AM
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Working on the basket.
Researching the basket, found out that there have been many changes during the Aluminaut's life. So, I settled more for the one on display (mostly).
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If you look to the left on the arm of my bench, I have wrapped some painters tape with the sticky side out.
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I use this to hold parts while I am working and to keep the parts in place so they do not roll off. Another use I have found is to put a drop or two of CA then use a wire or toothpick to apply the CA from the drop to whatever. Cleanup is a breeze, slide it off and throw away. So shown is the beginning of the layup for the basket.
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Slowly getting put together. Here it is with some mesh epoxied in.
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Old Oct 02, 2012, 07:43 AM
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BUCURESTI
Joined Feb 2009
198 Posts
HI,
CONGRATULATIONS.Man You have Skills and most of all PATIENCE!.Well done!.
I look forward to see him in the water.

What kind of motor are?;what are from?;how will resist in water?.
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Last edited by profesorul; Oct 02, 2012 at 07:52 AM.
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Old Oct 02, 2012, 06:41 PM
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USA, TX, Cypress
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33 Posts
VERY nicely done, Tom!
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