Happily Using Technology

Yep. To make my models I use a computer for drawing, making lists, ordering fasteners and materials and tools on Ebay and from suppliers, driving CNC 3D printer, driving CNC machining tools. And laser marking parts. I also do a lot of traditional machining, hand filing and sanding.

This is 2mm thick brass sheet. I asked Stuart T, who has a 30w fibre laser, to mark the elevation scale protractor for my Armstrong 1:10 RML cannon. Not sure of the outcome, I supplied some blanks (LHS), and cut out parts (RHS), and a CAD drawing of the part and the text.

The cannon barrel will elevate to 30º, and depress to 5º for firing, although in practice deviations from a degree or two from 0º were rare. Plus there is an extra mark for 17º depression, which was the reloading angle. The numbers which the laser marked are only 0.6mm high. Hard to see with the naked eye. But in scale.

Lasering the tiny marks and numbers took 2 seconds per pass. That is, 2 seconds to make all of the marks and all of the numbers. After some experimenting, we settled on 50 passes. Which was still less than 2 minutes per part.

Click on the following frame to see the video…

How fantastic is that????

So quick, precise and clear. Yep. I am quite happy to employ any new technology which is available to me.

Then today I made the fittings to secure the recoil tube, and drilled and tapped the 8BA fasteners.

The carriage, chassis and bling is really coming together. Just a few more bits to make and install, then the final riveting and painting. Ready, I hope, for Xmas.

The recoil tube is a commercially available gas strut. It was so close to my 1:10 scale dimensions that I decided to cheat, and use it.

I drilled a 1mm hole in the gas tube to release the gas and oil, turned and re-threaded the front end of the piston rod to 6mm, and made the brass supports and end cap. I released the gas because it was too stiff for the model. Even without the compressed gas the strut has some “shock absorbing” activity, and I am quite happy with the decision.