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April 9, 2007

improving the next armature

by sven at 8:00 am

goodbye (for now) to the Drifter

Here is the master list of things to improve on my next armature project.


  • The biggest problem with the Drifter is that all of the joints have drift. Solving this problem has to be top priority.
  • Avoid the lathe, drill press, and grinder. Try doing all their operations on the mill. My current belief is that the mill will be able to give better results on all accounts.


1. Joints

  • drift must be eliminated
  • there should be more space between sandwich plates than just the diameter of the rod
  • leave more of a lip between a socket and the edge of the plate

2. Shoulders

  • Double-jointed shoulders kink up. Step-block joints are the minimum requirement for adequate shoulders. Hinge and swivel joints would be even better.

3. Feet

  • a foot bends at the toe, not in the middle
  • the toe needs enough surface area beneath it to be able to grip the table when it’s tied down
  • the sole should not be so long as to scrape the floor when the foot bends
  • soles should be at least as wide as the ankle joint
  • soles should be 1/16” thick, not 1/8”

4. Things To Add

  • hands
  • rigging point for jumps
  • ”rectal tie-down” for sitting


1. Set-Ups

  • make T-spacer that’s narrower than the sandwich plates

2. Ball Holes

  • make attachable milling vise jaws to correct for loose jaw tilt error when locating ball center
  • use “drill chuck tool holder” attachments to allow precise, uniform depth of holes
  • only use center drill to “center punch” a mark -- not to drill any deeper
  • use end mill to get a flat bottom inside the hole
  • countersink the top rim of the hole

3. Sockets For Balls

  • find way to eliminate plunge chatter
  • drill holes at bottom of sockets to eliminate drift?

4. Radiusing

  • use corner-radiusing end mill (to avoid grinder dust and plier marks)

5. Through-Holes

  • make a slotted riser to hold work pieces up while being drilled

6. Threaded Holes

  • try using the drill chuck method for tapping
  • countersink rim of hole

7. Brazing

  • use hard silver solder instead of SafetySilv 56
  • leave parts in pickle longer

8. Maybe...?

  • does the stock need to be squared?
  • counterbore holes for screw heads?
  • use a vibro-tumbler to remove firescale?
  • do joint trimming with an end mill and an angle table?

posted by sven | April 9, 2007 8:00 AM | categories: stopmo