Step 4: Dome
Now normally I would be providing you with tons-o-pictures of this step, but I misplaced my brand new shiny 16gb, class 10 SD card with a gazillion photos on it, the horror. Suffice to say you will all have to deal with my sketchy descriptions.
Have your dome marked out, and cut it in half. I just followed the weld lines from when it was originally put together.
Cut out a disk to fit in the bottom of the dome from your plate steel, creating your new tank. The disc should slip inside the dome by about ¾ of an inch. Don’t attach it yet.
Mark off where you want your hole for the water to be poured in and cut it out. Really the size should allow quick easy pouring yet at the same time you don’t want it to huge. From the other half of the dome cut out a suitable sized lid to cover the water entry hole by about ½ inch on all sides. Fit the lid on top of the dome covering the hole and line up where the hinge should go – mark it. Take apart the hinge and weld one section onto the door and one onto the dome.
Get your round plate you cut for the bottom of the tank and place it over the bolt hole for the BUNN tank. Mark its location and drill a hole just ever so wide enough to allow the brass locking bolt to fit through. This will lock the dome and the tank together in the end, so take your time. The tank should be below the disc centered with the hole off centered by a couple inches.
Flip the dome over and insert the dome bottom “the one you just drilled”, it should fit into the dome by about ¾ of an inch. Weld a continuous seam all the way around attempting to make it water proof. Will caulk it later just to be sure but try your best anyway.
Next cut a 1 ½ inch strip of thin steel the diameter of the dome inside bottom. Attach as you see fit, for some reason I riveted it in, I could have welded it though, oh well...
Going back to the scrap dome, drill out a hole the size you want the large black center lens to be. Then cut out the triangle shape around it. Drill 2 holes through the triangle shape and plug weld it to the top dome where you think it looks best. For the actual black lens, you are going to use a trick I learned on one of the astro-droid websites. See the finishing section at the end for directions. Remember were looking for the best interpretation of R2D2 as a coffee maker, not a museum quality copy. Assemble your various lens holders and weld or glue them on. Mine were made of brass and aluminum which you can’t weld, and just epoxy seemed sketchy. My solution was to hold the hollow tubes against the dome where I wanted them to be. Then using my welder put tack welds on the inside where the brass meets the stainless steel. Though this doesn’t weld it together, it does weld the tack to the dome. The molten metal melts out a small section of the brass or aluminum and the steel pours in. This locks it tight to the dome. It also provides a lot of irregular surfaces for the epoxy to mechanically join to. Which is what I did next, put in a heaping dollop of quick set epoxy. The pokier lens needed something special, so before filling it with epoxy I drilled a hole down the center right through the dome and out the bottom. I then put some automotive LED’s in the bottom feeding the wires through to be hooked up later. The I simply filled the entire lens with clear epoxy. This sealed the bottom hole and locks the leds in place. It also looks like a lens. Later will hook it the wires. In the event the led’s burn out, simply drill out the epoxy and LED’s all together and feed in new ones followed by fresh epoxy – easy!
Mark off the dome and tape it off. Razor trim out the sections you want painted and peel the tape off. Paint 3 light coats of anodize-it blue paint and allow to set. Quickly and gently remove the tape. Touch up where ever paint was peeled off with the tape. Anodize-it paint looks great but is a little weak being a lacquer. Paint over with clear enamel hard coat.
Make sure to study the pictures, I’ll try to add more that hopefully explain it better, really need to find that SD card, damn gremlins.