Day 4 (Saturday): It’s been a few days since we’ve managed to get together to continue on our food computer and with real work getting in the way I’m a little late posting this update.
The day actually went pretty smoothly. We decided that one of us should start on the shell while the other continued on assembling the rest of the frame since we’d cut all the holes and hopefully the rest was therefore just a meccano set.
Frame: I got some shorter bolts (15mm and M5 rather than M6) to replace the longer 20mm M6 bolts we already had since they were sticking out too far and would have interfered with the shell. I made one rooky error putting it together which leads to a short word of advice. If you’ve customised bits of the frame by extending holes in any way, then number them and put them back in the right place afterwards! Seems obvious in retrospect but I only realised when I got to the last piece and then had absolutely no idea where the piece I actually wanted that fit was instead because all the holes were covered up by washers.
Eventually got all the frame together and it’s pretty satisfying when you tighten everything up and it’s suddenly really sturdy . It did take longer than expected though.
Shell: NOTE: THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY AROUND TO GET ALL THE PIECES YOU NEED OUT OF THE INSULATION WITHOUT HAVING TO STITCH PIECES TOGETHER TO MAKE A SIDE. We really should have drawn it out beforehand . It’s not actually the end of the world if you get this wrong but it’s just slightly more difficult to put everything together - more gluing. Also, turns out using the table saw to cut the insulation creates really neat cuts and really straight edges. It also creates an amazing amount of practically invisible PIR dust in the air so having learnt this the hard way after the first cut - either keep your dust mask on for ages after you cut it, or use an extractor! Or cut it by hand - though the result isn’t quite as nice.
We didn’t get as far as sticking the shell pieces together, but we have now got them all cut. The photo below is the result of dividing the sheet up the wrong way in the first place (the lines just below the top of the window are cuts so this isn’t one sheet with a hole in it but two with blocks cut out that line up). It’s definitely not a disaster, just means more aluminium tape will be needed later and more glue will be needed to stick it all together which makes for a slightly less sturdy shell.
Turns out the old adage, “measure twice, cut once” is totally true
That’s it for now. Ashley and I are out of town on work for a few days. Hopefully next update on Thursday night.