In this post I'm focusing on Step 4: Assembly of the Inner Structure responsible for supporting the thrusters, and Step 5: Assembly of the Acrylic End caps for the e-Chassis. In preparation to work through the video tutorials, I decided to buy all the additional materials I’ll need ahead of time (see http://wiki.openrov.com/index.php/What%27s_in_the_OpenROV_Kit).
Honestly, anytime I've asked for assistance at Home Depot, it's not only wasted my time, but also caused me to lose some faith in humanity. So, I'm compiling a list of brands for products not included in the kit you can ask for specifically & pick up at your local store (Lowes, Ace Hardware, Harbor Freight, etc. may not carry these exact brands). Hopefully your shopping experience will be less psychologically-damaging than mine, heh.
Assembly of the internal structure went swimmingly. Colin's video does a great job of explaining how to use the acrylic cement applicator properly, and takes you step by step through the build process – It's pretty much like snapping legos together.
When going into endcap assembly I forgot to purchase a tabletop vice, so here's how to secure the syringes with tape...
Not the most elegant solution, but it got the job done. Try to secure the syringe with vertical strips of tape so it doesn't wiggle up and down with the direction of your sawing. If you have the money to spare, I’d highly recommend investing in a small tabletop vice, as mentioned in the tutorials. Adding a piece of tape around the 0.13mL line also makes it easier to see where you're sawing, as well as to help keep your cutting square.
I previously used Tap Plastics Acrylic Cement to assemble the inner structure, but ran out and tried to find some more on my shopping trip. It was impossible to find acrylic cement at Home Depot – I ended up going to Hobby Lobby and purchasing Flex-i-File's Touch-N-Flow in the meantime. It claims to work on various plastics including acrylics, so why not. I wasn't expecting such a fast set time with this solvent! I screwed up the first end cap I made. Thank goodness the kit comes with extras.
Something strange happened when gluing the syringe to the end caps: I began to see some very small cracks along the edges of the acrylic (pic isn't the best). I also noticed the same on my OpenROV outer shell. I'm not sure if these superficial cracks could lead to material failures in the long run.
Do any of you guys know what's going on? Let me know in the comments below!