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i look at that and think... man... doing a white guitar was insane as I kept collecting fuzzies... I can't imagine a whole white cabinet!  Looks very nice - you did a great job.  that top is clearly one solit piece 2" thick?  massive.  beautiful.  bet yer fingers were soar sanding out those coves.

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Thanks guys.

On a completely different note...

Built my second beetleweight (3 pound) combat robot and competed with it at a local competition this past summer. It's a lifter named 'Vrepit Sa' (from Voltron). I hand made all the parts. The chassis, motor mounts, self righting arm, struts, etc, etc, are made out of 6061 aluminum of several thicknesses. The lifting fork is 1/8" thick mild steel. The wedge is 2mm grade 5 titanium. The plastic parts are UHMW.

Finished 3rd in the competition losing to the eventual champion in the semi finals.



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And once again, something completely different. I purchased a Harry Potter wand at Universal Studios some years ago, and thought it would be cool to make a display stand for it. If you're familiar with the movies, I went with a sort of creepy 'Borgin & Burkes' vibe. It was the most extensive wood carving I've done outside of an instrument, and it was a blast! Not a lot of thinking and measuring, just get after the wood until it looks like something cool!

It's three pieces of walnut glued up, finished with a couple of coats of danish oil, and then a black glaze to give it a more weathered and antique look.


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  • 6 months later...

A bunch more non-instrument related projects that have taken up my time this year. Here are a handful.

The big one was a master bathroom renovation. New plumbing fixtures, new light fixtures, new mirrors, painted cabinets and walls, etc, etc. But the big thing was the new vanity cabinet I built with custom gothic mullion inlays. There's also a matching cabinet in the water closet room over the toilet. It's rare when a project actually turns out pretty much exactly as you expect it to, but this one did. 



You can see in the reflection of the left mirror the towel rack I made as well. It's made of a piece of the figured walnut out of the big stash I managed to score for free a few years ago. A simple project, but man that walnut is 'purdy'!



Also, my kids started getting into Harry Potter so hey, it's time to learn a little bit about lathes and turn a few wands for them! Walnut and walnut + figured maple (more free wood from a cabinet maker buddy of mine). 



And finally, we had a robot combat competition here in town last month, so I decided to throw together a bot in just a few weeks time. Mostly with stuff I had on hand. This one is an 'antweight' (1 pound) named 'Gus Gus'. I finished 3rd in the competition, and if not for catching my plow on the chewed up floor I probably would have won the whole thing. Had a blast competing too! That's grade 5 titanium that's all bent up like that. It's impressive the amount of power that some of these little guys have!


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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Almost un-killable, Scott. We lost in the event final to an articulating saw bot who managed to slip his saw into one of the slots in the top plate and punctured the LiPo battery, releasing the magic smoke and earning us a trip to the sand bucket of shame... Still, 2nd place, I'll take it.

Here are a few of the fights, sorry for the video quality:




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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/5/2021 at 12:05 PM, komodo said:

What is Gus Gus's method of attack? I mean how does it win?

Gus Gus is a control bot. The plow is designed to break horizontal spinners and keep vertical spinners from getting any bite. It's worked quite well through these first few competitions. It's also got a really fast and powerful drivetrain usually used in larger bots, so I'm able to push other bots around, another means of control. So I can break them, pin them against the wall, push them around, and eventually hopefully push them into the 'pit' area, which is a corner of the arena with a 1" wall that you can push other bots into. They have a 10 second countdown to get out of the pit or it's a 'knock out'.  I managed 3 knock outs in 5 matches in this past competition.

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On 1/24/2021 at 11:48 PM, mattharris75 said:

managed to slip his saw into one of the slots in the top plate

Other than that yuur design looks indestructible! Obviously the slots are needed for proper cooling so getting rid of them is not an option. Narrower slots sunk below the surface in the style of upside down ventilation grilles should provide both sufficient airflow and protection from saws and spikes. I don't know how difficult it would be making that type of grille to the material you're using, though.


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10 hours ago, mattharris75 said:

I don't know how I'd manufacture that out of titanium.

Hmm... I can think of two ways: The backyard method of using a ball-peen hammer or a more sophisticated way using a hydraulic press to shape the edge of a precut narrow slot. Both would require a mold of sorts, and the latter would also benefit from a similarly shaped tool on the other side. I guess those ventilation grilles are made by one pass which both cuts and shapes at least one slot at a time but the material is both softer and thinner than your titanium plates.

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