Saturday, February 3, 2018

Remote Control Cheapness Turns Into New Part

Today was my first Saturday that I could do anything.  I had some stuff to do (like cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, and mopping the floor).  I also had a request from someone that I needed to do.  They had a radio-controlled car that had a piece of plastic in the controller.  That little piece had snapped - it wasn't built well enough (many people had that same problem).  He wanted me to make a replacement (probably thinking 3D printing, but I ultimately chose brass).

I initially tried to glue it together to get it solid enough to get an outline.  Epoxy didn't do very well.


Again, if I'm going to make a part that has stresses applied on it, I'm going to make it solid, so I chose brass.  There was one issue, though - the part was 0.1" deep.  Nobody makes anything exactly 0.1" thick.  I grabbed a chunk of brass cutoff from a local shop (I love my local supply store).  It came at 0.1875" thick (3/16"). I needed to break out the mill, but I had to clean it first to have it ready to run.  I took it apart.


Once it was dismantled, I started cleaning things off (lots of cosmoline coating everything on it).  I grabbed a few photos of the cleaning process, just to show how much cosmoline was on that thing.  Appearances of the differences are pretty stark.






Next up was the actual intent for breaking it out - I needed to machine the brass from 0.1875" down to 0.1".  I don't have a hold-down clamping set for this thing, so instead I found some 3/8" threaded rod, grabbed some scrap and punched holes in it, and bolted it down.  I found the top, then milled it out :



Now that I had the brass "plate", I could cut the part out.  This was when I tried to epoxy the two pieces together.

It didn't work, but I was able to clamp both parts down in place enough to get a trace of the part.  Once I had that, I used a cutoff wheel on the Dremel to slot down to the outline.  Once I was "close enough", I used some small needle files to finish it to size.  I also filed some of the edges down to get it to the right part.



Next up is giving it back over to that guy to see if he can make it work.