Motion Control Begins, Dark Night Perseids Rises

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Construction has begun, and already I’m deeply saddened that I don’t have a CNC machine at my disposal. I was strongly considering using a laser-cutting service like Pololu’s, but then I thought to myself: “I’m the king of stingy, I really ought to suck it up and do it the old fashioned way.” I used a jig saw to cut out wooden panels and sanded them down, using a combination of 60 grit and 200 grit. I originally oversized everything by 1/8″ so that I wouldn’t irreparably screw things up if I made a cut slightly crooked. The sanding brought everything down to within 1/16″ of perfection. Asking for any more precision would be a waste.

I broke out a ruler, a drill, and a Dremel and set to work making holes and other features I’d designed earlier. When designing everything, I had made sure each and every step of fabrication could be done with hand tools and a tape measure. The tolerances I’m looking for are about +/- 0.05″. The cheap plywood gave me a little bit of trouble, because it delaminated at the drill-exit points, but the damage was purely cosmetic. I’m going to go to Home Depot on Saturday to pick up a few more pieces of wood (I underestimated the amount of material I needed) and then I should be able to complete the innermost gimbal of my Moco Rig.

I’m hoping on Friday to crudely glue a highly-geared down motor to my slider apparatus and try a time-lapse of the Perseids meteor shower outside my house on Saturday night.

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