Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the penguins are coming! the penguins are coming!

Day one was quite successful. Our ice had several large cracks (and the heat of the giant chansaw produced an additional one), but we've managed to work around them well. We have been able to find high quality sections for our mechanical parts. We made a last minute decision the night before the event to increase the overall size of the piece. This has required a considerable effort to add large chunks to the top of the pengiuns, but we think it will be worth it. Hopefully the additional time required to do this doesn't burn us later.

By the end of the day we had both penguin bodies very roughly formed, a cavity for moving parts carved out of the mechanical penguin, one of two axle holes drilled, a head roughed out and lifted (oof!) up on top of a body (not yet oriented correctly), and both axles turned on the lathe.

Toward the end of the day, we started doing stupid things. Lars had to remind me to get my safety equipment on before using a chainsaw, we forgot that we should have drilled the axle holes before cutting out the cavity, and we drilled a hole through two panels that only needed to go through one. Fortunately we decided to quit early in the evening before doing anything terribly disastrous. That enabled us to get an early start today, and we are making good progress again.

Lars had a wonderful (terrible?) idea for a technique to deliver liquid water to a weld. We were attaching the shoulders to the body of the mechanical penguin, so we packed the edges with snow and then drilled a 3/4 inch hole all the way from the top of the shoulder piece down to the thin gap between the parts and poured water right down the hole. Unfortunately the liquid water never spread further than an inch from the hole because, we suspect, it encountered too much snow deposited by the drill bit. Maybe it would have worked if we had blown out the hole with compressed air before pouring the water. Anyway we'll have to try to bond the pieces together better today. We hope to have that and the head of the other penguin done very soon.

Watch us on our webcam!

1 comment:

Dominic said...

It's looking great! I'm off to Nokia/Symbian today, I'm going to show them one of the webcam shots.

Good luck with the rest of it.