Sledgehammer Model Build

20160501_134951

Sledgehammer has been my favorite ride at Canada’s Wonderland ever since it debuted in 2003. It’s a fun ride, but, for me, it’s an extremely interesting piece of machinery and engineering that I enjoy just watching and listening to.

One evening, I decided to dive into my small stockpile of foam core boards and try to build me my own miniature model of the ride. It’s the first time I’ve done a model, or this much work with foam core.

Use the photo above as reference as you go through the build photos!
20160815_193532

There wasn’t much planning with this project. Most of the parts cut out were simply sketched out directly on the foam core, then duplicated by tracing the first part cut out.

After some cuts, I got the arms and their central piece together.

20160815_214333

My plan was to make the model posable. At this point, it was with the help of pins.

20160822_180610

Unfortunately, it didn’t stay as cooperative as the build continued. Eventually, I gave up on making it poseable and glued it into this position. At this point, I had cut out and put together the entire top half of the ride. I used wooden dowels as the guide columns and hydraulic piston.

20160822_190739

To make the tower, I took a piece of foam core and made even slits down it which allowed me to bend it into a circular shape.

 

20160823_203528

The gondolas were the trickiest part of building the model. Each one is made up of several small parts that had to be duplicated for all six gondolas.

20160823_205249

After a while, they started coming together pretty good. I made a small support stand to keep things together as I glued the pieces.

20160824_183022

Once I got them into place, the ride took shape…

20160824_191827

… And once some color was added, it really started to look good.

For my next model, I will definitely paint the parts before they’re put together, even if I may have to go over them with a second coat since there will probably be some scrapes and visible unpainted glue in the process. It was difficult to paint this model, especially when trying to navigate a paintbrush between the dowels in a tight space.

20160825_203514

Even with the difficulties painting the top half, it was about as hard trying to figure out how to paint the lower half of the model since it doesn’t have such a straight forward paint job there. I don’t consider myself to be very talented when it comes to painting so I needed some time to figure it out. You can see the checkered red and white pattern covered up by the yellow paint…

20160826_213554

In the end, I used a marker to draw out the outline of where I wanted the paint, and then broke up a sponge paint brush so I could have finer control over the painting. From afar, it looks great, but it gets a bit more cartoony and rough as you look closer. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the way this project came out and am looking forward to doing another one again!

Advertisements

Field Trip: Rotblott’s Discount Warehouse

Ever since the closing of Active Surplus on Queen, I never really know where to go for certain things. There are always big-box hardware stores like Lowe’s and Canadian Tire but the selection and variety can’t come anywhere close. It was a rainy day in the beautiful city of Toronto, but I was determined to check out Rotblott’s Discount Warehouse, a hardware store I found while searching Google Maps.

Just west of Spadina on Adelaide, you’ll find this brightly colored place. Appropriately colored because I felt like I hit a goldmine for certain things I could use.

With the project I’m currently drafting up, I was happy to see that I just found myself a supplier for wheels! There are a few different types and many sizes. I ended up walking away with a few small ones to get started with.

I was on the look out for are swivel ball-bearing joints. (Not sure what the actual technical name is.) These higher quality wheels had some swivel bases with excellent ball bearings but I’m looking for just the base without the wheel. If anything, I’ll probably edit my original plans so that I won’t need that since I don’t really want to shop for something like that online. I want to be able to handle and test it out in person.

They have tubing which I can use for my fountains, whenever I get back to that project.

They’ve got a nice selection of metal hardware, including pulley wheels which I will need for my project. The scale of the project is still up in the air, but with some of those wheels in hand, I hope to get some plans worked out so I can figure out what size of pulleys, among other things, that I’ll need.

Some rope to go along with those pulleys.

Since I was in the area, I decided to check out Lee Valley which I also saw on Google Maps. I didn’t find anything in there for me since they seem to mostly do with actual home and garden projects and didn’t carry any materials that I could use. It seems like a very high quality place though!

I left the city happy with my new discovery of Rotblott’s. I also left realizing that I don’t care much for Pokemon Go anymore, considering where this photo was taken is Toronto’s goldmine for PokeStops and I didn’t bother taking advantage…

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed taking this virtual field trip with me.

Project Updates – August 13 2016

20160723_122152I’ve been thinking about the next little while and where I want to dedicate my time to. I did have some time to get some work done on the next Arduino Fountain Show, but it hasn’t been touched for weeks now. I completed a few minor projects but the big ones are always on my mind. To get myself organized, I thought I’d write a post to work things out.

CoasterCircuits.com

homebanner_cc

At the beginning of August, I launched the CoasterCircuits.com blog, a blog about Canada’s Wonderland and other amusement parks. Along with it, I made a few improvements at my main website, MWHProjects.com. It’s been a fun process and I hope to continue with the blog at least through to the end of the season in October. I’ll see where things leave me then in terms of motivation and inspiration to write during the off-season.

The next Arduino Fountain Light Show

You know the stuff you saw in my last post about the show? Well, it’s just been sitting there since. I’ve gone back to the drawing board and have figured out a few things I want to try. However, as I will get to shortly, I have another big project in mind. After some thinking, I’ve decided to effectively put this show on hold. The workbench where everything is will be cleared off as I will need it for what’s coming next.

So what’s the other project?

SkySeeker? WindHawk? Two rides that I enjoy at Canada’s Wonderland are Windseeker and SkyHawk. They’re both tower rides that spin riders around but they’re built quite differently. Basically what I’d like to do is to make a miniature model of a hybrid of both. I’ve already started sketching out details that I hope to continue to develop and improve well enough to share on the blog soon. I’m also trying to source parts and figure out what kind of materials would work best, be cost-efficient, and be the easiest to handle with the tools and space I have at home.

Since this project is taking the spotlight from the Arduino Light Show Project… well, actually, in reality, it’s not. 😉 Again, more details on this soon.

Thanks for visiting!

I hope I can start being more consistent with my posts on the blog. Thanks a ton for reading. Happy making! 🙂

Revisited: Desk Lighting Project (v3)

For the past couple of years, I’ve been experimenting with adding LED lights to my desk. The first time, I basically scattered 5mm LEDs all over my desk. The second time, I used a decorative LED string of lights. Now, I’m onto 12v LED strips! For this revisit, my workstation next to my computer desk will also get some lighting too.

IMG_20160810_191527I took the switch enclosure and enlarged the hole to fit two new switches. I used hot glue to fill any gaps and black paint to make it blend with the color of the enclosure. There’s something about this process that’s just so satisfying!

IMG_20160811_154919The switches basically open and close the positive connections of the two LED strip segments. All of the grounds are connected together. It’s a very simple circuit that did not take very long to put together.

20160811_163944The longest part was organizing the cables and strips. The switch panel is in a lower position so it doesn’t exactly blend in quite as well as it did before. The reason that it’s so low is that the cord for the power supply is much shorter so it wouldn’t comfortably reach the power strip outlet.

20160811_163928 The LED strip is much brighter than any of my previous attempts at adding lights to this desk.

20160811_163936This is my workstation with the LED lighting. This has actually had the LED strip installed for a while now but I was using the lab power supply to power it, which was noisy. It had a hand in motivating me to get this project done.

20160811_172920My battlestation’s getting better.

Thanks for reading!

Revisited: Bluetooth Speaker

20160804_172458 In the last little while or so, I found myself using the Bluetooth speaker I made last October. There were a few minor things that I wanted to address so I went ahead and made the modifications.

20160804_173243The main technical modification was adding an on/off switch to the power supply. I would have to keep plugging and unplugging the unit which got a bit annoying after a while having to do that almost daily whenever I wanted to use it. It was very easy to do since the electronics are completely accessible from the open underside. I simply cut the positive power line and soldered a switch in place.

20160804_175950The other modification was purely aesthetic. I removed the label and painted it all grey. My original choice was blue but I didn’t have that color paint. Either way, I think it looks good.

It’s always nice to revisit old projects with new techniques and materials. Stay tuned as I’ve revisited another project as well!