Last week I made a new aluminum dome drive mech to replace the Daren Murrer’s HDPE version I’d been using. There wasn’t much wrong with the one I had to start with, but I gotten it in my head I wanted to try making one myself from aluminum to go with my new dome motor.
The one I created is a combination of Daren’s and the original Atomic Pickle design design. Here’s a photo of my original HDPE mechanism on my aluminum frame.
I used some 1/4″ scrap aluminum that already had a few holes in it, so I had to work around them using the original bracket as the template.
I don’t have a mill at home so everything would have to be either cut on the band saw, Dremeled, drilled or worked by hand tools like a file.
I rough cut the piece on the band saw and drilled the initial holes
The long hole in the center was greater from three smaller holes I’d drilled and filed away to create one big hole.
One issue I knew I would have was making the center hole/cut-out large enough to accommodate the approximate 1″ wide lip/step on on the motor. Also note how the drive shaft is off center due to the gear box.
At first I thought I could file away enough material but it would be slow going. I could also have bought a $40 1″ drill bit but I had another idea. My Dremel has a router attachment that could create a lip on the long slot that I’d created.
I forgot to take photos of the next few steps, but the rest of the mechanism that bolts to the frame is pretty simple, and just two blocks with a few holes in them. I made the main support piece a litte wider than on the Atomic Pickle design as I wanted to add extra support to the main bracket that holds the motor.
Here it is installed in the frame. Note, in some of these photos the motor is flipped the wrong way and the shaft should be toward the center of the frame.
At the pivot point I drilled and installed a bearing like the original Atomic Pickle design, but on hindsight I probably could have just stuck with Daren’s idea of just having a regular hole with a bolt through it.
Here’s the motor position correctly in the bracket
Overall I’m happy with how it came out and given a template and basic tools anyone could make one at home.
Here’s a short video of the new mechanism in action
I forgot to post this small update a few days ago. I’ve figured out most of the other skin detail parts and made brackets to attach them, but still needed to work on the coin slots. There’s a slight problem with the design of the frame and/or the latest run of coin slot strips. It’s slightly to long and bumps into one of the frame rings – and either it or the frame needed ‘adjusting’. They don’t call this building for nothing.
I opted to just cut a small slot in the frame ring as it seemed easier than cutting the strip. It also save two screw holes in the strip to allow me to use them to fix it to the frame.
I put on the skins loosely with the slot in place and marked from the inside where it touched the frame.
I then took my Dremel and cut out the slot
I cleaned it up with a small file to make the corners square and did a test fit
All that’s left is to make a small L bracket to secure it to the frame, but I’m also tempted to simply silicon it to the skins permanently.
I’d posted a few weeks ago that I had a problem with the bolts on the Knurled Hose Fittings (KHF) hitting the drive wheel in the foot. Well I finally got around to cutting down the nuts and at the same time making some small nuts for the battery boxes.
For the feet I simply cut the nuts in half and filed them down. Here’s a before and after shot
At first I tried to cut the nuts with a hand saw, but it was slow going so I switched to the dremel
Here they are attached to the foot with the expandable rubber plugs which hold the hose in place
I also had to adjust the holes in the feet to get the foot strip to line up properly. I just used a hand file to remove some material
For the battery boxes I had to grind down the nuts to fit into the tight space.
Last week I finally got around to cutting out the skin panels and tackling the rear door. After I’d figured out the right tool for the job, removing the panel was a breeze and clean up was quick and easy.
Next up was the rear door. The outer skins already have it partially precut, but the inner skin is solid and it’s up to the individual to decide if they want to add a door or not.
I really wanted a rear access panel/door to make it easier to maintain things, but I’d been dreading cutting but it had to be done. The plan is to have a totally removable door fixed with magnets.
I started off by fixing the outer and inner skins together, outer skin door panel, and marked out where the back panel sits on the inner. I then drew a line just inside that by about 1/8″.
It’s probably worth noting that the only panel I removed from the inner skin was the two long doors. I wanted to keep the skin as ridged as possible, and if I’d removed any more sections before cutting it would have been very flex and prone to bending while cutting.
I then clamped on a scrap piece of aluminum from one of the front door panels and used it to guide the dremel.
Here it is after cutting – not bad and pretty straight.
I did the same to the top edge and the other side
Here’s the door cut out and shown with the outer skin
I cleaned up all the edges with a file and I was done.
I also cut out some extra space on the inner skins for the octagon ports and power couplers to help them sit flush with the outer skin.
I have two different versions of the octagon ports, the old tacked box version and another set from Michael McMaster. To be honest I really like the newer version from Michael but it requires a lot more work on the frame to get it to fit, so I decided to use the older version.