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DIY Projector Build

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-16 August 2008-

Time for more updates! In today's episode we'll be tackling the exhaust struts, routing some channels, and as usual, drilling some holes. Enjoy!

Alright, let's start off with some exhaust struts. These will be the two pieces on the back that the plywood or sheet metal attaches to in order to deflect any light leakage through the exhaust fans. First we'll draw it out. Oh, how I love trying to draw a decent arc!

Once that was done I was able to cut it out, slap it down, and trace out the second. Once they were both cut out I clamped them together for a good even sanding.

Next up was routing out the grooves on both side, top and bottom for the sheet metal to slide into. For this I decided to go out and purchase the proper routing bits for my Dremel since I had so much trouble with the multipurpose cutting bits from earlier. I should have just used the multipurpose cutting bit, it would have probably been easier. Here's the setup: 1/8" routing bit with the adjustable fence installed to keep me following the edge of the wood.

My first pass showed amazingly good results! I t cut straight, flat, true, and clean....that was the last time it worked that well. Later, after this pic was taken I realized that these grooves should go all the way through the end to meet up with the back piece. Here's the back piece with it's grooves. These went pretty well too, but required more force on my part to keep it moving. *Blurry pics FTW!*

In this pic you can kind of see where I came back later to cut the grooves the rest of the way through the end. You can also kind of see the scorch marks only on the ends. The bit was pretty much shot by this point, doing less cutting of wood and more burning of wood.

Now, let me stop here for a moment and offer a little public service announcement for any of those looking to use a similar tooling method. This, I learned the hard way.

***Routers, and more specifically, router bits are one way tools! Used properly the tool will try to pull into the wood, pulling your rake up against the edge of the board giving you good clean lines as shown above. Make sure you know which way the bit spins and make sure your routing the right direction! If you come at it the wrong way the router will try to push the rake away from the edge and try to climb out of your work piece.***

This is the end result of that mistake. Something I knew and never should have done!

Oh well, live and learn! It will be fixed. Next was to drill some holes. These holes will be what mounts the back panel to the two side panels.

And just to add a touch of class, and because my drill bit kit comes with the bit, I countersunk these holes. This will also help when it comes time to mount the exhaust struts.

Here's a shot of the back panel. As far as I know this piece is done and ready for assembly. Now if the rest of the pieces would just catch up!

That's it for this evening, more to come soon!

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