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Project Blog - It's-a me!
Project Blog

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It's-a me! 
Sunday, August 17, 2008, 12:21 AM
Posted by Administrator
Today I made ears, attached the head to the body, redid the end of the tail so it didn't look so much like a skunk, attached the tail (inc stuffing and wire) to the body, and made the skeleton.

The ears required me to shave fur again. Here's a lesson about electric trimmers: oil them regularly. This is especially important with fake fur which doesn't provide any of its own oils.

The skeleton was, of course, the most complicated part of today's work. I made it out of PVC pipe with more fittings than you can shake a stick at.

I put this together using real fittings and real pvc cement, which means if you piped water through one end it would come out the others and not in between. At least, it would have before I drilled a hole in it for the tail wire.

Later on dad told me there's a stronger sort of pvc I could have used, but too late now. The skeleton is pretty strong though, I was able to put a decent amount of weight on it.



Here's how you attach PVC!
1. Figure out which fittings to use and how long your pipes should be. Be sure to account for the amount the pipe slides into the fitting. I was using 3/4" pipe and it went in about an inch. Don't worry if you can only push your pipe into the fitting a little ways, it gets easier with the cement.

2. Measure, mark and cut the pipe. I used my dad's pipe cutter which is meant for generic piping rather than specifically for PVC, it worked fine.

3. Clean the pipe ends and the insides of the fittings with something. Generally some sort of cleaning alcohol works.

4. If you have any strange angles you want to be making, now is the time to mark them. You won't have time to measure anything when you're putting it together. This won't matter when you're putting a pipe into a fitting, since the pipe is round. If you have an elbow already on the end of that pipe, though, you'll want to make sure you have them going off at the proper angles. Make sure you are set up to make those angles quickly.

5. Lightning round! Take your PVC cement (make sure you shook it first) and coat the inside of the fitting (just the side you're using for this join). Then coat the outside of the pipe, about to where the fitting will cover. Then put the lid back on the cement (the brush is on the lid, see) and smush the pipe into the fitting! Turning it slightly while you slide it in is helpful, and try to line it up while you push it in with any marks/angles you wanted to make.
Try to do all of this without breathing, because PVC cement smells like it is going to kill you. It won't be hard, because you're going for speed here. This stuff sets pretty much as soon as you let go of it, you only have one chance to get that angle right.
PVC cement works by melting the plastic and actually fusing it all together, so you get some excellent joints. The melting is also what makes the pipes slide together more easily than they did when you tried it dry.

6. You can't do anything to this joint anymore because your cement set. Take the next one and go back to step 5, or if there's no more, you're done! Yay.


Plumbing and video game characters. Who woulda thunk it?
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