Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Trying to make turrets ...

I have just spent a rather frustrating time trying to make a turret for my prototype Turreted Ironclad ... and failing!

I was trying to use a section of 1-inch diameter wooden dowel as the basis for the turret. The first problem I tried to overcome was drilling two holes in the dowel so that the smaller diameter wooden dowel that I was going to use to represent the turret's armament could fit into them. I just could not get the holes drilled so that they were level ... and when I did finally manage it, the gun barrels were not parallel!

The second problem was trying to saw the wooden dowel into the correct lengths for the turrets. This sounds easy ... but for some reason none of the tops and bottoms of the 'turrets' were parallel with each other after I had cut them off the dowel ... and this was in spite of me using a proper cutting block with a fixed saw that is supposed to cut wood at an angle of ninety degrees!

I have now given up for the evening. Perhaps I will have more luck tomorrow, when I am not quite so tired. If I cannot solve the problem, however, I will have to find another solution.

11 comments:

  1. I wonder if you could make a jig. Something like this: using a drill press, drill two (or three...depending on the number of barrels you want in each turret) parallel holes of the correct barrel diameter through a block of wood. Then, using a hole-cutting saw fitted into your drill, cut out a hole the diameter of your turret, cross-wise through the block so that the barrel alignment holed you drilled first intersect this turret-diameter hole.

    Then you cut a section of turret dowel (can't help you with cutting these at 90 degrees...except to suggest you buy pre-cut round disks from a craft store). Drop that section of dowel into the large turret-diameter hole and clamp in place in the jig. Then stand the jig up and use your drill press to follow the barrel-diameter guide holes down into the side of the turret piece.

    I hope that's as clear when you read it as it was in my head. Good luck!

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  2. Looks like wooden disks are readily available for the turrets, with or without domed tops:

    http://www.craftparts.com/geometric-shapes-circle-disc-wood-c-252_281.html

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  3. Not a scratch builder of machines but

    would it be possible to cut the turrets slightly bigger than required then sand them down to ensure they are square?

    Likewise with the gun slots. If you were to drill oversize holes and fill them with putty then you might be able to adjust the guns so that they are both level and parallel?

    -Ross

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  4. Hi Bob,

    I feel your pain with this Bob and to be honest, for me to use dowel and having to cut this stuff square is not only the stuff of nightmares but will also be a last resort. I am considering using plastic tubing from 'The Model Dockyard' because although the squared edges problem will still remain the material will be easier to work with. Good luch with a solution though and perhaps this is one for when you are feeling less tired!

    All the best,

    DC

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  5. Concentrationally Challenged,

    Thanks very much for your two comments.

    If I get a chance, I will try the method you suggest. I am sure that it sounds more complicated that it is to actually do.

    The link also looks very useful, and I will spend some time later ‘trawling’ through the website.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Ross Mac,

    Many thanks for your suggestions.

    The problem is that the thickness of the wood I am using does not seem to allow for minor errors. I have tried sanding the turret blanks that I have made so that the tops and bottoms are parallel, but it did not seem to improve the situation very much (mainly because I am not very good at woodwork!).

    I will try your suggestion regarding making the holes oversize and then using filler as this may well be an answer to that problem.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. David Crook,

    What I thought would be quite a simple job is turning into a bit of a nightmare ... and the situation was not helped by me feeling so tired. Perhaps I will wait until the weekend to try again, although the stubborn part of me wants to give it another go later today.

    We shall see what happens!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Bob,

    Have you considered using a plastic bottle top? All surfaces should be flat and parallel. Also, it shouldn't be too hard to make holes in it to hold the guns (I'm thinking finishing nails or brass tubing).

    Just a thought...

    Best regards,

    Chris

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  9. Chris,

    I assume that you mean plastic bottle tops? The only ones I have available at home are from large Diet Coke bottles, and I am not sure what glue to use with them. If you have any ideas what I could use, I would be only too willing to try.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Bob,

    The kind of tops I had in mind are from medicine bottles, or spices, or other small containers. (Soda bottle caps are the right diameter, but have vertical indentations--at least on this side of the pond!) I would think epoxy would work--some types are made expressly for plastic--but unfortunately the stuff is smelly and hard to work with.

    Best regards,

    Chris

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  11. Chris,

    Thanks for the advice.

    I shall try to find something suitable (both in terms of glue and bottle tops) over the weekend. If I do, I will try your ideas out.

    All the best,

    Bob

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