Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Building Internal Support for the EVA Foam T-21

I found a wooden dowel yesterday when I was helping my son build a balloon-powered car, which gave me an idea: the dowel was the perfect diameter to put perpendicularly into my aluminum tube.  I got a general idea of where I wanted to insert the dowel and marked the spot on the tube.

I drilled the hole with a Dremel, then I needed to figure out how to secure the dowel inside the aluminum tube.  Quick ideas that came to mind were e6000 and hot glue.  But I wanted a less messy and more robust way to glue things together.  Then I remembered that I had a few packs of Sugru hanging out in my craft chest!
I kneaded it into two parts.  One was a smaller bit that I inserted directly into the hole of the tube.  Then I pushed the wooden dowel inside.  From there, I simply molded the second half of Sugru into a shape that surrounded and supported the dowel against the aluminum tube.

Have you tried Sugru yet?  The stuff is awesome (expensive, though!).  It dries into a super strong rubber in 24 hours, and it bonds to everything.  I fixed a stress crack on a shelf inside our refrigerator door with Sugru two years ago, and it's still holding firm!

Attaching the wooden dowel to the aluminum tube might be over engineering things a bit, but at least I have peace of mind that the grip will not be an area of weakness in this blaster.

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