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Old 06-01-2008, 12:58 PM   #1
JJL567
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Default 44" AB Eagle Grab Arm.

Hi all,

Since AB Eagle 1 is now at a stage where I'm happy to display it, it's time to build the final component, which I feel should go with this model...

The Grab Arm!

After consultation with David Sisson, I feel I'm ready to undertake this new project.

I'm awaiting delivery of materials ordered currently, so as soon as this arrives we'll get cracking with the file and the soldering iron, and begin work on this interesting assembly.

As preparation, I invite members to post any thoughts.

Stay tuned!

Jon

Last edited by JJL567; 09-02-2008 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:35 PM   #2
Senmen
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Jon,
wow this sounds great....
Can´t wait to see it attached to your Eagle.....

Oliver
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Old 26-01-2008, 12:44 PM   #3
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Quick update, I've been busy working on assembly drawings for the 44" scale grab arm spindle, trying to decipher exactly what it's made up from, and how.

I would like to thank James Murphy (Tobor) for sending me a supply of brass towards this build, probably offcuts from some of his fantastic 44" Eagles.
(See his web site - http://www.btinternet.com/~tobor/index.htm)

Second thank you goes to expert model builder David Sisson (Mark42) for his patience.

Similarly, you will need to bookmark David's amazing web site to see the original grab arm (which as well as Eagle 1, he also owns!) to know what I'm talking about in the absence of pictures in this, my first post in this build.

http://homepages.tesco.net/d.sisson/index.htm

Now to business...

The grab arm spindle, or the main shaft that plugs into the port (front) leg pod of the Eagle, is made up of a number of tubes, and as far as I can see a central shaft, soldered and encapsulated by two square nuts with their threads drilled out to allow the tubing to pass through.
Four rods are then soldered externally, to the faces of the nuts which secures the assembly as one. To this 'spindle' (as I call it) the main primary framework structures of the grab arm are then attached, projecting outwards.
My objective here, is to keep everything soldered for this assembly sequence, and not to resort to glue at any stage. The main reason for this, is if anything has to be removed or adjusted then any glue used in previous assemblies will not appreciate a great deal of heat.

Using pictures obtained, and scaling up or down using a photocopier, I've managed to make a side on view of the grab arm to just about the same scale as the original grab arm. This has proved a great help for ordering materials, and (cautiously) measuring from.
The creation of assembly drawings then began, first focusing on the main shaft of the grab arm, and it's makeup.

I'm on my second assembly drawing currently. I feel for me, the first drawing always experiences the steepest learning curve when back engineering, hence further drawing works has the objective of reducing this curve and moving towards something that looks more and more like the build subject in hand.

I'll let David's pictures on his web site accompany this first posting, and next time I'll post the first pictures of the initial building work of the 44" grab arm for you to view.

As always, absolutely any comments are always appreciated, so feel free to have an input.

Stay tuned folks!

Jon

Last edited by JJL567; 25-02-2008 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:24 AM   #4
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Top brass!

Here's an update on the grab arm build. Read on!

Drawing work has reached a point where I have discovered some interesting dimensional relationships in the spacing of the various tube sizes on the grab arm spindle assembly.
All to imperial sized spacing, I feel that my scaling work directly from blown up photographs reveals that the arm must have been made to some decorum, indeed to a drawing.

Firstly, with the aid of David's web page you need to take another look at the arm itself.

http://homepages.tesco.net/d.sisson/grabarm.htm

Now at last we can actually begin to manufacture something!

Thanks to the teachings of DX, I can show you how to hold the materials firmly in a vise, which of interest, cost me no more than a fiver from a tool sale in my local village hall.

From a wood that I have worked with before from my spares cupboard, great to drill and cut, but also very strong, I cut two squares shown thus...


Then using one of the blocks as a stencil I cut out a cardboard sandwich filling...


Line these all up and clamp in your vise...


In readiness for a pilot drill straight through the sandwich!


Finally, pass the appropriate size drill bit which matches the size of tube you want to hold through the previous drilled hole...


Here, shown with one I made earlier, are the finished blocks and their brass subjects just waiting to be clamped...


The cardboard is then discarded, and the clamp will hold it's subject firmly when clamped in the vise. Note how it's important to mark each block with the size, and to aid orientation...


The square blocks will allow any position in the vise...


Now you can hold your subject, brass in this case, you can begin to cut the various lengths needed. By wrapping 10mm thick Tamiya masking tape around the tube you want to cut, you can use this as a guide for both cutting, and filing the ends nice and true.
Remember that when you wrap the tape around the tube it must match perfectly when you meet the tape where you started. Then you know your guide is ready.
I used a junior hacksaw in this instance, twisting the tube a bit at a time and worked around the circumference of the tube until it parted company.
Next load your piece in the clamp and make the end good, whilst carefully observing the length needed using calipers or a rule as a reference.

Final finishing is all by hand, rubbing in one direction to achieve a smooth end...


Note the joy of working slowly, is that you can achieve dimensions of an exact nature, both satisfying, and truly precision. Shown is the desired 3/4" length on the calipers...


After a couple of hours work, the parts list begins to grow, and the components, after careful deburring, await assembly, and soldering.
Note the silver steel rod, which will act as the plug in part to the relative Eagle leg pod...


After a final dimensional approval against the best reference possible, preparations for soldering can begin...


Stay tuned folks!

Jon

Last edited by JJL567; 25-02-2008 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:15 AM   #5
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:29 AM   #6
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Jon,
what shall I say: cool man!!!

Oliver (senmen)
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:02 AM   #7
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Solder Solder!


I was going to take my Triumph Bonneville out for a run this very afternoon, but then I thought, hey, I've got something else to be getting on with!

Never let it be said that filing pieces of metal, and letting off lots of strange smells (soldering that is) is not fun. It's a blast!
I list below my afternoons work, as soon as you remind yourself what's being made:-

http://homepages.tesco.net/d.sisson/grabarm.htm

Here we are then...

The grab arm spindle has what appears to be two square nuts situated at either end (top and bottom) which support the four tubes, two either side, that run along most of the vertical spindle length.
In order to recreate these components, rather than create them from stock material, it was well worth a good look in my nuts and bolts containers for some actual square nuts.
A short while looking paid off, and I managed to locate a small handful of worthy looking subjects.
More studies of my grab arm photograph collection were then made, incidentally I need to thank Chris Potter (w8cmp), for donating some really good material from his awesome archive collection. Cheers Chris!
After scaling off, and calculating sizes from several pictures, my resulting numbers began to repeat themselves so dimensions were set, and a drawing was prepared for the nuts.
The donor nuts I had found were thankfully a little too big, so out came the files and the digimatic calipers, and work proceeded.
My first task was to drill the clearance holes through the nuts, and rid them of their threads.

Pictured here, the sizes illustrate that filing took a little time to complete...


Whence they were immediately test fitted over their respective brass tube inserts. Note the internal relief area to give the solder somewhere to go...


Consequently, a dry test fit was carried out, and everything looked quite good. Note additionally, the practice insertion of the silver steel support rod..


Next, equipment was gathered, before cleaning and degreasing all the pending joint areas to be soldered. Note the gas soldering torch, and the marvellous Carrs 188 solder paint.
Augmentation of the joints on this occasion, would be with 227 degrees melting point solder pictured here. (Carrs 188 solder would be used for all further close proximity joints)


The first to go on would be the central, larger diameter brass tube. Datums were set, both ends were lined with solder paint, and heating began. A little after the solder paint had gone off, a prod with the 227 wire and a perfect capillary action took place. (Strictly speaking, only the integral flux is utilised in the 188 solder paint, since I'm going a little hotter with the 227 solder) This appears to work fine, whether it goes against the book I am not sure.

Seen here is the first completed attachment of the larger tube...



Then followed the remaining tubes, between each, a measurement check was carried out.
Shown is the finished spindle sub-assembly after a gentle clean up...


Again, a test match overlay was made against a known scale...


I've studied many photographs of the original grab arm, and as it looks today, the spindle assembly is somewhat twisted, and a little distorted. As a consequence, this has made it extremely difficult to finalise dimensional confirmation of some of the fits.
As a result of many measurements and calculations, good repitition of results were experienced, so I've used those results for the build you see here.
I don't admit that I'm trying to build a replica, it's not twisted for a start!

l'll have to base an opinion when we see it completed.

Now, where's my crash helmet and leathers?

More soon.

Jon
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Old 11-02-2008, 05:16 PM   #8
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Jon,
a real great building report you are delivering, but you should illustrate it with pictures.... :-)

Oliver (senmen)
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:43 PM   #9
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To bend space, time, and brass!

Remember this...
http://homepages.tesco.net/d.sisson/grabarm.htm

I've put my Airfix Nimrod aside for a moment, and work continues on the grab arm...

As you well know, referring to David's web site picture, there is a curved brace attached to the rear of the spindle assembly, which is soldered to the two square nuts in situ.
Scaling off from my picture, I found some suitable brass stock in my workshop, to use as a bending former for my brass rod.
After a little while wrestling with the appropriate size rod over the former, I soon had a perfect curved piece which looked just right!...


Shown thus, along with the now cut down to size bracing piece...


Back, as usual to a known scale, we now compare with materials laid out roughly against our guide. Note that many are still longer than required to allow final shortening, and matching to the exact size required...


Parts now begin to grow...


To an already (albeit not even half finished) sizeable inventory of components...


The spindle, after a good clean and degrease, was then clamped together with the brace and then soldered using Carrs 188 solder paint. After a little further heating, I applied the 227 melting point solder for two perfect joints...


Following this, a dimensional check was carried out, and all looked good. Cleaning followed, until all was free of tarnish and excess solder...


See how the brace is beautifully proportioned equal about the two square nuts in situ...


Build-up of solder is minimal, but adequate for stong joints. The original grab arm actually appears to have much more solder in these areas, whether on purpose, or as a result of repair work I do not know.
I opted for the clean version...


Shown thus...


And beneath, a clean joint is consistent with the upper version...


Finally, a rough check with the scale picture suggests things are not looking too bad ...


For further soldering, I'll use the 188 solder paint, in unison with Carrs 188 solder. The 227 melting point solder does give a little insurance againt the inadvertant use of excess heat, but experienced readers will agree this is over caution. Those readers will also spot, that a few small brass pins have been used here and there. Not for me you understand, but for the person who may repair it in a hundred years or so!

Hey, I'm not going to last forever!



More soon, so stay tuned grab arm fans!

Jon
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:03 PM   #10
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Jon,
simply COOL !!!!!

Oliver (senmen)
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Old 02-03-2008, 05:36 PM   #11
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Jon, that's looking really good and the quality of your soldering is excellent. I can't remember if you'd done much before but how are you enjoying the results you're getting? The reason I ask is to encourage others to have a go because once you get up to speed, it's easier than most people think and very satisfying.

BTW, if you ever need to bend brass rod like that again, you'll find it easier if you anneal (soften) it with a butane torch first. Heat the rod up until it glows red and then let it cool slowly at it's own pace. You'll probably have to clean it again as the surface will dull off but you'll find it much easier to bend and it'll solder as normal once you've cleaned it.

Nothing wrong with using pins to reinforce the joints either. Big models tend to get knocked so the more bullet proof you make them, the better.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:05 PM   #12
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Inspirational as usual Jon...you attention to detail never ceases to astound me...
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:15 AM   #13
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Jon,

Excellent details so far. ^5ss

Any chance of making your detailed drawings available when you finish? The scale freak in me is always on the prowl to feed my hunger.

Cheers,
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:20 AM   #14
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You actually make me want to try some soldering. As Mark42 says on his site about finishing a brass spine, that just looks too nice to paint.
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:19 AM   #15
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Thanks for your comments.

Soldering is extremely satisfying, especially after lots of research, lining everything up ready, and then having an excellent soldering session. There's nothing like it!

I've actually done more silver soldering than soft, but I think I'm getting a feel for it now.

Many thanks for your comments too DX, heating the bar is of course the correct method. I suppose I didn't go this route as I'm doing all of this particular build in my bedroom, and wanted to keep the use of the torch to a minimum.

Come on everyone, don't sit there wanting to try soldering, raid the bank, get a small torch and have a go!

More soon.

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Old 03-03-2008, 05:26 PM   #16
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The bathroom is in actuality the spray room. Most residents in my area have bathroom windows that allow steam to escape, but ours emits strong paint fumes.
Good thing is, it keeps the sparrows at bay during nesting time.
The bath also doubles as a resin catching device, hollowing out the AB combustion chambers with a motor tool for example. (Noisy though).

I'm banned from the kitchen. . You know when you draw around tools with a black pen to show you where they go, well our kitchen is the same...
The positions for the microwave, cooker, washing machine and cookie jar are all clearly marked. All non-placement furniture areas are tinted with matt black, and for variation over the darker kitchen surfaces, the occasional hue of Ford Diamond White.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:22 PM   #17
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In my old flat, I used the spare bedroom to spray my eagle. When I moved out and emptied the room, you could see the outline of the desk, posters on the wall, even boxes piled up in the corner.
I wonder what the new owners thought.
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Old 21-03-2008, 03:16 PM   #18
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Default IMPORTANT NEWS BULLETIN

Greetings!

It's been some time since I've posted my progress on the Grab arm...


Truth is, I've lost interest as I've bought my own!



Only kidding about losing interest , I've actually been hard at work and finished my own version!

Behave, here is the REAL truth...

Yes I have news to tell!

On this day - March 21 2008, David Sisson travelled down and delivered the ORIGINAL Space:1999 Grab arm and Exiles pod, into new ownership.



Yes it's true!

Crikey, my first TRUE Space:1999 props.
I would like to thank David for delivering these fantastic items, and indeed for allowing me to purchase MY personal favourite Eagle attachment.

Now we can see the Exiles pod against a 44" spine. In actuality it's scale is surprising, seen here on AB Eagle 1...


I was extremely nervous to compare my current build against the original item, but was surprised to see that I've nailed the dimensions - FANTASTIC!...


The Grab arm, for those who have not seen it for real, is a really large prop! Pictured here, and almost as long as the AB 44" passenger pod...


Well there you are Grab arm fans, hold on to your dreams as you never know they might come true one day!

Will I continue the build thread?

Yes of course!

Now I have the real Grab arm to measure from, I can get on much quicker, and give my poor calculator a rest.

And leave David in peace!

More soon, as we'll continue the Grab arm build with added enthusiasm!

Again David,

http://homepages.tesco.net/d.sisson/index.htm

Jon

Last edited by JJL567; 21-03-2008 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 22-03-2008, 05:39 PM   #19
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You got those pics up quick!
You must have had the camera out the second I drove off!
__________________



....... S.I.G David Mark Sisson
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Old 24-03-2008, 02:05 AM   #20
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It's enough to drive you nuts!

Yes, we haven't seen the last of those square nuts, we need two more yet!

Here we are again, a grab arm richer, added enthusiasm, and a grab arm to get on with.

Ready, steady...go!

At the end of each tube in the 'H' frame assembly as I call it, the hinge assembly allows the grab arm to hinge left and right in the middle. Two square nuts, guide a hinge bar through two respective brass sleeves soldered in situ.
After measuring the original items (ahh bliss!) again design cinsistency is evident here, I discovered that these two nuts are very similar in size to the spindle nuts made earlier.

Out with the tools, I begin to file and modify two more nuts to suit...


Shown here, considerable filing is required, but a nice clean result is achieved by removing all the bruises each (standard) nut receives in it's mass manufacturing process.
Note that the correct size drill piece has already been run through the hole to rid the nut of it's thread...


It should be noted, that each hinge sleeve locating hole is not central, the reason for this will become obvious later...


Shown here, the lower hinge location nut on the original piece illustrates the workings.
Note the original jaw actuation wire is still there...


Next, we begin manufacture of the brass hinge sleeves using traditional squaring off methods. Note the employment of the wooden holding blocks again, and the Tamiya masking tape which is used as a precise filing guide...


Shown thus, we see the hinge nuts and sleeves ready for assembly and soldering.
Note the thin wall of material on one side of the sleeve hole in the hinge nuts...


Dry fit... Here the assembled nuts and hinge guide sleeves are offered up to the 'H' frame tubes, complete with their end sleeves dry fitted in situ...


More can be seen from this angle...


Following this, both hinge bar sleeves were then soldered in situ after checking dimensions, finishing with the soldering attachment of the various 'H' frame sleeves - two on each.
Here we see the results. Note that the cross tubes, and hinge nut assemblies are yet to be shortened and soldered respectively...


View left. (Joint cleaning is evident, as is the use of brass pins for strength)...


Middle. (Note the control wire guide tube)...


View right, illustrates nice clean joints...


Master and copy. Note that the cross tubes require matching to length and soldering, the most crucial stage of this sub-assembly.



Next we'll see the hinge nut assemblies soldered to the 'H' frame tube ends. This is not a straight forward affair, as there is a slight intended angle on the bottom tube, which I am determined to capture accurately in the construction sequence.


Day off from the grab arm tomorrow (Easter Monday), and time to get on with my beloved Airfix Nimrod R1. (Ahh more bliss).
See the 1:72 seats complete with straps, and pilot seat height adjustment levers...


And from the rear, we see the arm rests folded up and stowed rearwards, to allow easy crew ingress...




My dear old mum, do you know each time I visit she says:-

"What a nice man that David Sisson was, and so kind to deliver that lobster claw"

Ahh bless, I love her so.

More soon 'grabbers'.
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