How to make panels for ICARUS.
For these panels we will be using a very smooth 1/2" Sanded Birch Plywood from Home Depot.
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Step 1: Setup a Projector
Setup a projector on the ground facing a 4’x8’ sheet of plywood.
The projector should be at a 90 degree angle to the board, with the projector lens centered with the board. The board also should be 90 degrees perpendicular to the ground for accurate projection. Load the 'Calibrate 4x8 board image' to set up the projector and board. Download from this tutorial if you don't have it.
If the projected rectangle is skewed, the angle of the board to the projector is not 90 degrees, tilt the board until there is no skew.
Step 2: Load a Template Image
Load a template image. Verify that the black border is touching the edges of the board. Also make sure the 12 inch box measures 12 inches with a ruler.
When image is correct you will want to use a sharpie and mark the 4 dots that represent the guides for the 'fence', these 4 dots are in the 4 corners of the rhombus near each rounded corner. The 'fence' is the rail that you will use to guide the router, to keep the cut under control.
You must trace a straight line between the dots, to help you align the fence.
You must also lightly trace the edge of the board to help you later.
Step 3: Attach the Fence
Using the prepared steel rail, match the angle of the corners of the rhombus. Screw down the fence in 4 places, 2 close to the corner and 2 at the far ends of the rail, always screw in 4 screws (use tiny screws, they should not go all the way through the board.)
Step 4: Cutting a Side
After the fence is secured to the board use the plunger router with attached 5 inch jig to cut a side.
Place the router up against the rail with the 'center' arrow touching the rail. When moving the router you must always move it from left to the right, it is made to cut in this direction. Have an assistant hold the board down while you cut.
Keep the arrow always touching the rail and be sure the wood does not drift away from the rail, if it does, move back a bit and try again.
Turn on the router at high speed and push down until it is all the way down, and then flip the yellow lever to lock the height in place, be sure you are fully down, and be sure to not cut unless the yellow lever is locked.
As you approach the corner, keep the center arrow on the corner of the rail and rotate the router around.
Note: Make sure nothing is below wood, the router will cut it, unless you are on a junk board and it is ok to cut. As you see in the photo, the router cutting bit is just slightly longer than the plywood is thick.
Step 5: Bevel the Edges
After the shape is cut free from the board you will bevel the edges. This puts a nice 1/4" round edge on the edges.
Using the standard router with the 1/4" rounded bit, just move left to right allong the edge, keeping the router flat to the board and up agaisnt the edge. There is a guide built into the bit to keep you from cutting, it just will round the corner.
Do both sides.
Step 6: Sand Any Hanging Bits
Using the sanding sponge or a fine sandpaper go over the rounded edge making it smooth.
Step 7: Putty the Sides, Holes and Surface Smooth
Use wood putty and a putty knife to fill the sides. (I personally used rubber gloves and my finger to fill the sides).
Use a putty knife to also fill the holes left from the rail screws.
Use a larger spackling knife to fill any cracks or separations in the wood. The more putting on the surface, the less smoothing and sanding later.
Let dry about 30 mins.
Step 8: Sand the Putty
After the putty is fairly dry, use the sanding sponge or fine sand paper to do a quick once over and further smooth the surface.
Step 9: Label Your Sides
Each panel has a right and left side version, be sure to label the 'outer' side of each panel.
Step 10: Add 'Bolts'
Using a sharpie go around the perimeter and make a dot every 6" inches, 1 inch in from the edge. Then go back and using your thumbs push in an upholstery tack into the dot as far as you can. Use a hammer to nail it flat the surface.
This will only be done on the 'outer' side of the panel.
Step 11: Seal the Wood With Oil Based Paint
Using Rustoleum Gloss Aluminum Professional Oil Based Enamel and rollers, put down a coating of paint.
Note: Oil based paint fumes are highly flammable, keep away from fire, smoking, sparks and idiots. Ventilation will keep you not dizzy.
I recommend rubber gloves, it's a bitch to clean off your hands.
Clean any brushes etc with mineral spirits, water and soap will do nothing.