I had an old pc lying around -- one that due to my ignorance or laziness I couldn't get to work. So, I dismantled it and used its parts to create a night light robot. The night light was really added to give it more of a visual effect -- I could have made it an actual lamp.
various ordinary hand tools (screw drivers, hammers, pliers, etc.)
Dremel - this project would not have been possible without it.
Anvil (or RR rail) - optional but helpful.
SAFETY EQUIPMENT! - safety glasses, proper clothing, a safe working area, etc. Please take this part seriously. Dremels are dangerous (all power tools are) and cutoff wheels can break without warning and fly into your eye. No, you cannot blink in time to save your eye. Blinking is a REaction - not an action - that means it comes after you get hit -- too late! Also, tiny, stylish glasses look good on your face, but they aren't big enough to protect your eye -- wear goggles over them.
Glue gun and glue sticks -- or some other heavy-duty glue (like gorilla glue) - another necessary item.
jb weld - i needed this to glue near the light bulb, since jb weld is heat resistant (temp range is listed on the package).
Craft wire or floral arrangement wire - not necessary but helpful.
Random screws and bolts
Obtainium - in my case I used an old pc, metal banding, an old microphone stand, a night light, and a salvaged power cord.
Step 1: Find Obtainium
First step is to find Obtainium - that ubiquitous material that no one wants, but everyone has (junk).
I happened to have an old pc lying around - perfect for a non-functioning robot. I dismantled it and used my dremel to cut it into parts (insert evil mad scientist laugh here). Old pc's are full of magnets and screws/bolts - a perfect combination! find a plastic bowl (i never use something breakable for this step) and as you dismantle, put the magnet in the bowl and the screws/bolts will have something to cling to. It turned out I didn't use any of the pc screws/bolts in this project, but I saved them, and I'm sure a project will come along that needs them.
I needed material to make a skeleton on which to attach the pc parts. I found some metal banding that was discarded in the industrial district near where I live. It turned out to be harder to work with than I expected, but still manageable.
After you have your obtanium, take stock of what you have and start to design your robot using those items.
I also used a lego figure as inspiration (see pic).
Step 2: Build Skeleton
I bent and broke and cut and drilled and fidgeted with the banding until a skeleton emerged. The bolts used are from one of those cheap metal shelf units you buy from walmart -- those things eventually get dented. A dented metal shelf cannot hold much weight so it isn't long before you have to throw them away -- BUT not before saving the bolts.
I used my RR rail to bend the metal - a precisely placed hammer blow against the corner of my RR rail puts a neat crease in the metal, which tells it where to bend.
Step 3: It's Alive!
It's all down hill from here. Glue your obtanium parts onto the skeleton. I used some craft wire to hold things in place that were heavy enough to move while the glue dried. I selected parts that looked weird/cool and/or moved. His left hand has the cd armature that slides the laser with the cooling fan from the processing chip (with its frame removed - revealing a sawblade-looking fan) glued to it. So, the "weapon" slides along the cd laser track and the fan spins (by hand). The right arm has the hard drive armature glued to the cd tray gears.
Everything that was movable in the pc is still movable on the robot.
I wrapped wires around everything, and i cut up circuit boards to stuff into gaps. His chest is the circuit and wire-wound stators from a floppy drive. I kept the power supply circuitry intact and strapped it to his back, letting the wires snake around his limbs.
I removed the prongs from the night light and soldered in a two-prong power cord. This night light wasn't grounded, so getting the wires backwards wasn't an issue. (i.e. fat prong/skinny prong - the placement didn't matter). I knew this because the original prongs were the same width. If your lamp/night light has one fat and one skinny prong, then be sure to keep it that way. Light bulbs run just fine if the current is backwards, but LED bulbs do not.
I craft wired and jb weld glued the night light to the frame. I used jb weld here because it can withstand a lot more heat than hot glue - and the bulb is only millimeters away.
I made two masks because when i was finished with the first one (the skull), my son (whom this is for) said he had another mask in mind and didn't like mine (even though the skull looked more like the lego figure inspiration he gave me - grr!) -- so, I made the second one - which appears in most of the pics. It turned out that the second one was easier to make, since metal is bendable and heat resistant - and plastic is not.
We named him "REDNAZ 1.0"
Please vote for me in the gorilla glue make it stick contest.
comments are always appreciated!