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A.J. Hamler

A.J.'s O.F. AM 2.0 Build

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Glueup Part I -- Thoughts on glue

 

OK, this is it.  Time to slather on glue and make things stick together.  First, my thoughts on sticky stuff.  Warning, though.  I get longwinded, so feel free to skip this and jump to the next post with more Star Warsy content.

 

Since my build was considerably interrupted by a move and lots of Life Stuff, I've had my armor well over a year.  Plenty of time to think about how I wanted to handle the glueup.  I know that the #1 go-to glue is E6000 for ease of reversibility.  But I've used it before for other things and I hate the stuff.  The fumes and odor are overpowering, and the frustrating wait times for clamping can sometimes exceed 24 hours for a single clamp-up.  But there is that reversibility thing, which is important.  

 

But here's the thing: As a woodworker I'm very familiar with gluing things up that simply are not reversible -- simple joints like butts and rabbets can conceivably be undone, but more than likely it destroys the joint.  More complicated joints like dadoes, mortise-and-tenon, and dovetails simply cannot be undone in any real sense.  I'm used to this and accept it as part of the permanence of glue and am comfortable with it.  The key is being really, really, really sure you're doing it right the first time.  As an example of big project I've done in the last couple years (and, indulging in the opportunity to show it off any chance I get), here's a solid-cherry Civil War officer's field desk I designed and built as a project for Woodworker's Journal magazine.

 

desk%20lo-res.jpg

desk%20details%20lo-res.jpg

 

This desk incorporates butt joints, dadoes, rabbets, half-blind dovetails, mortise-and-tenon, and tongue-and-groove joints -- and every one of those joints is done with standard woodworking glue which you just can't take apart.  So the point is this: I'm willing to take the risk with permanent glue for the sake of shortening the working time, lowering the odor and being able to serve the Emperor.

 

With that in mind, I plan to use four kinds of glue for my armor.

 

For the main build, for strength and speed of curing time I plan to use regular ABS cement and Duco cement.  Both make pretty permanent joints, cure quickly, and are very strong.  Although I've used ABS glue a lot for plumbing work, I hate the stuff.  The fumes are awful, and the working time is very, very short -- you just don't have much time to get it on and get things in place.  For that reason, I'll probably use more Duco than ABS cement.  The fumes aren't nearly as bad and the working time is a good bit longer.  Also, unlike ABS cement which you have to brush on or use that funky swab thing attached to the underside of the lid, Duco cement comes in a tube with a fine-tip nozzle, making application very easy.

 

For small things that require only little dabs of glue, I plan to use a gel formula super glue.  I'll probably use this for the Ab button plates and the belt rivet covers, and maybe the sniper knee.  Just a couple of tiny dots at the corners will hold great, and if I ever do want to remove those it'll just take sliding a razor knife under the corners to pry them free. 

 

Finally, I'll attach the outside cover strips on the arms and legs with good ol' E6000, for two reasons: First is that there is inevitable glue squeeze-out when doing the cover strips.  Don't care about that on the inner strips, but I do on the highly visible outer strips.  E6000 squeeze-out is a snap to remove with stick or thumbnail, and the strips will look perfect.  Second, I do want the ability to resize the armor someday should I lose weight -- always a goal for me -- or sell the armor to someone smaller than me.  By using E6000 on the outer cover strips, those can easily be peeled off in the back, and I can then cut through the joint seam and resize from the back as needed.

 

So there you go, my thoughts on glue.  Starting in the next post, I'll actually start using the stuff.

 

A.J.

Edited by A.J. Hamler
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I would try the glues out on scrap pieces first. I know I was going to use super glue until I tested it. I will agree, its super strong and quick, but seems like it weakened the ABS next to it. When I tried a durability test by attempting to remove the strip, it easily snapped the plastic next to the glued pieces. Maybe others had better results, or used different glue, but that test steered me back to e6000.


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Glueup Part II -- Strip club

 

OK, I'm back.  Got a lot done on my TK glueup and have plenty of photos.  For this portion of the build I've pretty much ignored the "body" of the suit (plus I already did the Thermal Detonator and Helmet a while ago) and concentrated on the limbs, which is really where most of the gluing takes place -- all of which involves cover strips that join the components of each limb.  In the previous section of my build I noted that I'd attended Garrison Carida's annual armor bash/BBQ, and got a lot of outstanding fitting help.  Back home in my workshop and after a lot of cutting, taping, trying on, and more cutting and fine-tuning, I'm pretty confident I have the arms and legs sized just about as well as could be.

 

Keep in mind that for this part of the build I did all the appendages -- two shins, two thighs, two forearms and two biceps.  Although I started gluing the biceps first, the photos here don't follow any particular order.  Rather, I took the shots that best illustrated each part of the glueup. 

 

The first thing I did was to finish cutting all of the cover strips, both outer and inner.  A.M. armor comes with a generous amount of plain flat ABS for this.

 

TK%2083%20lo-res.jpg

 

To prep the strips, I first gave the glue sides a light but brisk sanding to rough up the gluing surfaces.  This was fast work by laying them out in groups glue-side up and going over them with my friend Mr. Sanding Block.

 

TK%2084%20lo-res.jpg

 

I followed this up by beveling all the strip edges with a razor knife.

 

TK%2085%20lo-res_1.jpg

 

Note that I'm beveling the corner edges on both the glue-side and outside of each strip.  This is a good thing to do for two reasons.  First, for the outside of the strips beveling removes all the sharp edges or any ridges created by the scoring and "softens" the sides of the cover strips.  For the strips inside the armor, that's less sharp stuff near your under suit and body; on the outer cover strips, it means no sharp edges at all -- your hand can run smoothly over the armor.  It will also eliminate unwanted snagging if you brush up against fabric (which you can do while wearing armor: curtains, tablecloths, the clothing of people with whom you interact, etc.).  It also gives the overall appearance a nice finished look.  Beveling the glue side of the strips slightly not only allows the strips to sit perfectly flush against the armor (remember, scoring can create a tiny raised ridge), but it creates a tiny area where glue can accumulate.  It's very small, but having this little bevel there can help make minor squeeze-out much less visible.  By the way, see those little "strings" you make when beveling?  Collect them in a jar for ABS paste -- they're so thin and wispy that they dissolve almost instantly.

 

The last bit of prep is to lightly sand the gluing surface of the armor itself, easily accomplished with a bit of folded sandpaper. 

 

TK%2085%20lo-res.jpg

 

By the way, for all this prep sanding I used medium to coarse grit paper.  You don't have to go crazy here: The idea is to scuff sand the area where the glue goes so it makes a better bond.  Although not quite as important for "dissolving" glues such as ABS cement, Duco or anything with acetone in it, a rougher surface really helps non-dissolving glues like E-6000 or the various super glues (cyanoacrylate).

 

For the first inner strip, starting with the biceps, I used regular ABS cement.

 

TK%2086%20lo-res.jpg

 

I don't particularly like this stuff, but the strips on the biceps are very short, meaning it doesn't take a long time to get it on, plus not as much time for the container to be open fuming up the shop.  Still, with this stuff you gotta work fast.  If you look closely at the photo above, you can see that I've penciled a line down the center of the glue side of the strip.  You only want glue on half the strip, but more importantly having that line there acts as a guide for placing exactly half the strip on the component -- stick it on, and adjust as needed till the line is right on the edge of the component, and then clamp it up. 

 

TK%2087%20lo-res.jpg

 

At this point, I decided to switch over to the Duco cement and did the same process with each of the limb halves -- one inner strip on each edge of half of a limb, except the backs of the shins (which I'll do later).  I liked the Duco WAYMO better than the ABS cement.  It doesn't smell or outgas fumes nearly as much, the working time is longer, and the narrow nozzle on the tube makes applying the glue much easier than using a brush.  The real beauty of Duco is that it sets in only five minutes, although I left pieces clamped up for at least 30 minutes for a really solid bond, meaning that once you get rolling the glueup process can go pretty quickly.  (By the way, the cure time for Duco as listed on the packaging is setting time five minutes, handling time one hour, full cure in 16 hours.)

 

I worked through all the limbs in turn until I had a pile of half-limbs all with inner strips in place on the halves.  Gluing and clamping strips on half-pieces is easy, as nothing impedes the clamps as you can see in the previous photo.  Joining the halves, however, means clamps are only useful on the ends.  Fortunately, my woodworking arsenal includes some fairly lengthy spring and ratchet clamps. In the case of the biceps, I easily joined the halves for those with just clamps:

 

TK%2088%20lo-res.jpg

 

All the other limb pieces are longer, and while I could still use three clamps of increasing lengths on the ends, the center of the joint was where magnets did their magical thing.

 

TK%2091%20lo-res.jpg

 

For the even longer thighs and shins, it required a few more magnets.  Also, because getting the slightly curved fronts of the shins and thighs to close properly, I also relied on tape.  The tape worked in concert with the magnets -- the tape pulled the joint together, while the magnets squeezed it closed till the Duco set.

 

TK%2092%20lo-res_1.jpg

 

As before, at this point it was just a matter of working my way through all the pieces, gluing the halves together in turn.  Occasionally, though, as you work on armor you're likely to bump into the same issue I had.  You'll probably find that gluing the first side of a two-part piece like an arm or leg is pretty easy -- everything glues up nice and flat.  Trouble is, those joints aren't really flat because you're working on a round object.  Add to that the fact that during the trimming process you probably removed (or added via shims) a certain amount of material.  As a result, when it comes time to gluing the second side of a two-part piece, that joint may not close properly.  In fact, it may be way off.  The least troublesome way this typically occurs is that the piece is "sprung" open, with the mating edges some distance apart, like the forearms here:

 

TK%2092%20lo-res.jpg

 

That's usually not too bad to work with if the gap is small.  However, you may also find that the gluing faces of the mating edges are nowhere near parallel, as they'll need to be when joined.  For example, not only did my forearms have a pretty sizable open gap as you can see in the photo above, but the mating surfaces here are at a severe angle to one another:

 

TK%2093%20lo-res.jpg

 

To apply glue and get this clamped up properly, I'd have to really force this closed with a lot of pressure, and the odds of getting it closed and clamped properly are slim -- in fact, while clamps might handle this OK magnets may not be strong enough to hold this closed. Plus, with joining faces this far off even if I could get it glued and closed with clamps, the stresses involved on the plastic would continuously try to pull that joint apart.  (Even, to some extent, long after the glue has cured.)  So before proceeding, I headed up to the kitchen and set a pot of water to boiling.  I'll water-bath all the parts at the end to do some final shaping of course, but this issue needs some reshaping now.  I dipped the forearm into the water and when sufficiently softened reformed the mating edges so that it not only eliminated that sprung-open gap, but also made the mating surface more parallel, as you can see here:

 

TK%2095%20lo-res_1.jpg

 

It still wasn't quite perfect, but with that open gap gone and the surfaces a lot more parallel, it took only a light pressure to close the joint.  Now I could far more easily apply the glue, clamps and magnets.  By the way, the two forearms where the only places I had this issue.  The shins, thighs and biceps were fine in this regard.  Now, I just worked my way through the rest of the joints, plus I glued the 25mm closing strips to the backs of the shins. 

 

With that, the main glueup of all the limbs is complete.  Let me give you a tip on how I work with glue, by the way.  This is something I also do with my woodworking, and that's to "isolate" the glue as much as possible.  I like to use some kind of dish or shallow tray, and always keep the glue in it. 

 

TK%2089%20lo-res.jpg

 

In the image above, I'm using a plastic coffee lid as my Tray of Isolation.  I put my glue in it before I start, take out the glue to use it, then immediately put it back in The Tray of Isolation.  Glue is easy to spill, drips on a glue bottle or tube can get on your work (or on you, which you then get on your work), and if you work like me and never set something down in the same place twice, glue is easy to lose on a crowded work table.  This way, I always know right where it is and it's easy to slide it out of the way.  It may take a while to get into the habit of always putting things back in The Tray, but it's worth it.

 

Oh, wait... Did I just say the limbs were complete a bit earlier?  You're probably thinking, What an idiot; those aren't complete without the outer cover strips.  You're only partially right.  But before I do that completing-up part, I have to do a personal completing-up part and eliminate every gap and open seam that would be visible on the armor.  This isn't a requirement for any level, but those gaps would drive me nuts if I didn't do something about them and give my armor a more finished appearance.

 

I started by mixing up a small jar of ABS paste.  Then, I brushed a bit of acetone into the gap, seam or crack I wanted to work (you can see the brush in a jar with a bit of acetone in the below image).  Not a lot, but just a bit of acetone brushed into the seam first really helps for the ABS paste to adhere.  Then I used a thin applicator stick or that same small paintbrush to dab ABS paste into every seam or gap I wanted to fix (except the bottoms of the thighs, more on which shortly).  Here, I'm doing the biceps.

 

TK%2094%20lo-res.jpg

 

I didn't bother with any seam or joint that would be covered by the outer strips later, so that meant only dabbing ABS paste on the very ends of the pieces that are visible past the ends of the strips, plus the edges themselves and a little bit on the inside.  Do this quickly, as ABS starts drying the second you dip it out of the jar.  Clean your applicator stick or paintbrush frequently with acetone (I do this between every dabbing) and continue working your way through all the gaps and seams you want to hide.  Now, just let it dry.  ABS paste dries to the touch in seconds, but it takes a few hours to fully harden.  This is a great task to do before calling it quits for the night.  Here's what the patching job on the bicep seam looked like next morning:

 

TK%2095%20lo-res.jpg

 

Now, use sandpaper to level and shape the hardened ABS.  For this, I like to start with a medium/fine grit, maybe 180-grit or so.  Always use a sanding block when leveling, whether the surface is flat or convex.  For concave surfaces, wrap the paper around a curved object.

 

TK%2096%20lo-res.jpg

 

The reason for this is that the fleshy pads on your fingers and thumb are very soft, and the flexible sandpaper will simply ride over the bump of plastic you want to level out.   It'll get smoother, but it'll take forever to level it.  For finish sanding and polishing, no sanding block is really needed, but for leveling it's a must.  In the photo above, I'm using what amounts to a tiny stick of scrap with the 180-grit sandpaper wrapped around it.  I continued sanding with increasingly finer grits, progressing through 220, 400, 800, 1200 and then a final polis-sanding with 2000 grit without the sanding block.  After the last sanding, the ABS was smooth, the seam has disappeared, and the ABS has even started to take on a bit of sheen.  Novus polish brought all those gap-fillers to a nice glossy shine.

 

Now, for the bottoms of the thighs.  There's a square molded portion that runs around the entire lower opening of the thighs, and the tops of the shins.  The outer cover strips go all the way to the top of the shins so there's no big gap there, but there is on the bottom of both thighs.  Yeah, yeah those are mostly hidden -- by the sniper knee on one side, and the small ammo belt on the other -- but Mr. Perfectionist here didn't just want them hidden, he wanted them gone. 

 

To secure that gap, I first adhered a small piece of ABS inside the molded portion at the front of each thigh, using ABS paste as the glue.

 

TK%2099%20lo-res.jpg

 

Then when that was hardened, I dabbed on a small amount of ABS paste on the other side to fill the gap there.  When it was cured, I sanded and smoothed it out by progressing up through sanding grits as before, then hit it with Novus 3 and Novus 2.  Now the gap looks much better.  Wait... gap?  What gap?

 

TK%20100%20lo-res.jpg

 

With the fronts finished I backed up the corresponding spots on the inside/backs of the thighs, but didn't bother doing the outside portions of those rear gaps yet.  I haven't done my strapping yet, and will probably need to make the half-moon relief cuts at the backs of the shins and thighs for movement anyway, so I'll wait to fill and polish anything in back after making those cuts.  

 

Likewise, since I haven't done the strapping and upper body yet, I may still need to shave a bit more off the tops of the thighs -- and the bottoms of the shins -- for final fitment, so I'm not applying the outer cover strips to the legs just yet.  I'll do that last after I've done final fitting.  (In the previous photo, I'm just holding that cover strip in place.)  And since I'd just as soon do all the outer strips at the same time, even though I consider the forearms and biceps completely done, I'll do those outer cover strips at the same time.

 

So there you go.  The main glueup is complete, and I have a full set of Stormtrooper arms and legs!

 

TK%20101%20lo-res.jpg

 

From here, it's on to the main body.  Not a lot of gluing there, except snap plates, so it's strapping and fitting.

 

Yikes, am I actually in the home stretch?

 

A.J.

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Well Done AJ. This is a great Thread for everyone to follow. :popcorn:

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Thigh ammo belt question...

 

The Billhag diagram shows that the edges of the ammo belts should be from 3mm to 5mm away from the "boxes."  Out of the Big Brown Box, the already-trimmed A.M. thigh ammo belt is 5mm (and I've marked it in pencil at 3mm in the photo below).  Can I leave it as-is at 5mm, of do I have to start cutting?

 

ammo%20question%20lo-res.jpg

 

And while we're on the subject of the thigh ammo belt, how should it be mounted -- level/parallel with the ground, angled upward, or angled downward?  I've seen all three ways in the builds, as well as in movie screenshots.  Since I've seen it all three ways, can I assume it's personal preference?  

 

Thanks!

 

A.J.

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Not absolutely necessary however if you plan on shooting for the higher levels of approval trim it.

 

Canon armor

gallery_12157_59_63914.jpg

gallery_12157_15_41437.jpg

 

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I am definitely going for L2 & L3, so a-trimming I shall go.

 

How about the second part of the question, the belt orientation?  In the two canon photos you included in your post, the first one is clearly angle upward, but the second appears to be level/parallel with the ground.  Personal choice?

 

Thanks Tony!

 

A.J.

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Level or upward unless you're building a Sandtrooper.

 

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How's the trimming on this -- better?  It was 5mm, and it's now a hair under 3mm.  You can see the trimmings in front of the belt.

 

ammo%20question%202%20lo-res.jpg

 

Thanks!

 

A.J.

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The knee belt has been giving me fits.  The A.M. knee belt comes already curved, but the curve is really more of a stop sign than a curve -- really angular bends.  Spent an hour or two carefully heating and trying to re-bend it to more of a curve.  Slow going as I didn't want to ruin it, but I finally smoothed it out a good bit.  Still more angular than I'd like, but much better than before.  Now, I need some eyeballs on it and some advice.  

 

I currently have it clamped into place so that the ends are about 1/4" from the rear "angles" on the bottom thigh ridge.  Keeps sliding around, though, so it's been a bit hard to measure, fit and take photos.  I *think* I have it about right.  Here are three shots, working around the knee from right-to-left.

 

Right side (outside of the thigh)...

 

TK%20102%20lo-res.jpg

 

From the front (note that I've offset the center box so it's toward the inside of the thigh, per the screenshots)...

 

TK%20103%20lo-res.jpg

 

Finally, the left side (inside of the thigh)...

 

TK%20104%20lo-res.jpg

 

I currently have the knee belt at an orientation that would be pretty much level with the ground when in a standing position.  Also, I've put a red dot where I think the rivet should go (yes, the dot is on the clamp in one photo).

 

Thoughts and advice?

 

Thanks!

 

A.J.

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Looks great AJ. You could leave it right where it is, or rotate it very slightly so the space between the bumps on the belt is centred/aligned with the thigh cover strip. OCD kind of thing. :D

 

Beautiful build BTW.

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This was mine, had the same struggle :)

JfsMYMs.jpg

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I had issues with my AM knee belt as well. It just didn’t go right then I screwed it up more. So I’d say leave it as is. It’s not bad at all.


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Thanks, all!  I finally got it attached pretty much as in the photos.  Devil of a time doing those split rivets.  Not a lot of working room in there, and managed to whack my finger mightily. 

 

The bruise goes nicely with the magnet-pinch blister about 3/16" away from it.  (That blister, in turn, is pretty much centered between the new bruise and a cut from trimming.  War injuries in service to The Empire.)

 

Anyway, the knee belt is attached with the correct rivets, and secured with a dollop of E6000 here and there.

 

Finished knee belt photos to come.  Meanwhile, I've also done the sniper knee, and it came out fantastic.  And, with the legs done I've been adding the outer cover strips, and those are also coming along nicely.  Photos on that to come, too.

 

A.J.

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Glueup Part III -- Stuck on you

 

This will mainly be outer cover strips, but before I got to those I did wrap up the knees.  The Knee Belt was difficult, probably the hardest thing (so far; still lots to do), but I got it taken care of and it came out pretty good, methinks.

 

TK%20105%20lo-res.jpg

 

Once I had it riveted and angled the way I wanted it, I added a few dabs of E6000 on the inside to hold it in position.  All that's left now is to paint those rivets.  I'll probably let that go till I paint the Ab/Kidney rivets, and do them all at the same time.  Meanwhile, I also took care of the Sniper Knee.

 

TK%20106%20lo-res.jpg

 

Since I'll be shooting for Centurion, I made sure it was trimmed and glued in-line with the top of the Shin.

 

TK%20107%20lo-res.jpg

 

OK, on with the outer cover strips.  I'd mentioned earlier that although I used Duco Cement for most of the armor build, I had planned to do the outer strips with E6000 for two reasons.  The first is that I wanted to be able to remove them down the road if I ever lost weight and wanted to resize the armor -- with the outer strips off, I can easily cut through the inner strips, resize as needed, then redo outer strips.  Of course, the chances of me losing weight are slimmer than I'll ever be, so the second reason for using E6000 is really the main reason: It is so easy after it's cured to take care of squeeze-out.  More on this in a moment.

 

My cover strips have been cut for some time, so the first thing I did was give the strips registration marks to aid in getting them lined up correctly.

 

TK%20108%20lo-res.jpg

 

To do this, put the dry strips in place and lined them up exactly as you need them, then mark the center of the strip and the surface you're going to glue it to in pencil.  In this case, I've lined up the outer strips so they exactly mirror the inner strip with the seam right in the center.  Then I squeezed a line of E6000 right down the seam (in this case, on one of the forearms), then squeezed lines of glue all around the outer edge of the cover strips.

 

TK%20109%20lo-res.jpg

 

You've probably noticed here that I'm using white E6000.  I have both clear and white, but am using the white for all the outside gluing because I think it blends in better.  Also, as you'll see shortly, when trimming the squeeze-out it leaves the joint between the cover strip and the armor with almost no visible gap. 

 

One of the things I dislike about E6000 is that it's very difficult to get things clamped up without everything sliding all over hell and back.  Seriously, the moment you apply clamping pressure, you can almost count on the strips sliding one direction or another.  To combat this, I put the glued strip in place on the armor -- again, the forearm here -- and pressed it gently down.  Then, I taped the strips in place to keep them aligned while putting on the clamps.  The tape isn't putting a lot of pressure on the strip, just enough to hold it securely.

 

TK%20110%20lo-res.jpg

 

With the strips secure, add clamps and magnets as needed and let everything go about drying.  Notice here that I've placed that tape such that each piece is under a single clamp.  The reason for this is that the glue doesn't dry well under the tape, so I'll come back in an hour or so once the glue has begun setting up, take those single clamps off and remove the tape so air can get to it, then reset the clamps.

 

TK%20111%20lo-res.jpg

 

Let's talk about squeeze-out.  I'm sure you noticed above that I'm using plenty of glue, so I'm guaranteed to get squeeze-out.  But here's the thing: No matter how careful you are, no matter how sparingly you apply glue, you are STILL going to get squeeze-out.  With that in mind, I say embrace squeeze-out, don't avoid it.   Squeeze-out is your friend.  Love it and make kissy sounds.  Say it with me: Slather on the glue, 'cause it's good for me and you.

 

The thing is, removing excess glue later is more difficult if it's in small drips and drabs in several places.  But with E6000, larger amounts of squeeze-out are actually far easier to remove than small amounts.  E6000 is very much like silicone caulk -- it dries soft and rubbery when cured and, like silicone caulk, it can be worked when dry.  Removing excess couldn't be more straightforward.

 

First, very carefully draw the tip of a sharp knife along the cover strip edges to cut through the squeeze-out.  The knife must be sharp; change the business end frequently.  Cut all the way through the glue, but avoid cutting or scoring the plastic.

 

TK%20112%20lo-res.jpg

 

Cut the entire length of the cover strip.  Now use a fingernail or tool to pry up the glue at one end.  (I'll show you my glue tool in a moment.)  Grab the end of the glue and just slowly pull it free as I'm doing here.

 

TK%20113%20lo-res.jpg

 

It'll probably break from time to time, but just peel up the new end and keep on pulling.  Occasionally, you might pull a piece the entire length.  With most of the squeeze-out gone, there will still be little bits of the glue in the very edge of the joint between cover strip and armor.  This is where my glue tool really shines.  It's just a bit of scrap cover strip cut at an angle on the end.  Just dig the point of the tool in the groove along the edge of the cover strip, and draw it back and forth to work those little glue bits out.

 

TK%20114%20lo-res.jpg

 

Keep working with the tool -- resharpening the end often by simply cutting a new edge, because it will get dull quickly -- until you've got that groove clean.  When you're done, the cover strip will look like this one.

 

TK%20115%20lo-res.jpg

 

Notice how using white E6000 makes the seam between cover strip and forearm almost invisible for a no-gap look.  Also in this photo, you can see what all those peeled-off strips of excess glue shavings look like.

 

That's it -- the glueup of the armor is complete.  Now, it's on to snap plates, strapping and fitting as I move on to the body of the armor: Ab, Butt, Kidney, Chest and Back, plus strapping up the Forearms, Biceps and Shoulder Bells.

 

I think I'm getting there.

 

A.J.

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Awesome job A.J. this build is definitely one for people to look at later. Your details are great and I’ve never been more in love with glue. Gonna go dig mine out so it can sleep next to me tonight.


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Interlude -- Aw, snap!

 

I started on my snap plates today.  I began by doing several test plates and straps, then tried snapping and unsnapping them just to get the feel of it all before doing the real ones.  I was flabbergasted at just how un-strong the Tandy snaps are.

 

Seriously, it takes almost nothing to pull a snap loose.  And it wasn't just one or two I may have done improperly -- although there's no real way to do these improperly -- but about seven or eight practice snap sets.  How anyone can use single snaps on their armor and depend on them is beyond me.  I had always planned to do the double snaps, but now I'm more determined than ever to do doubles.

 

More importantly, I've decided to put my snap plates and strapping on hold for now and, taking Ukswrath's advice, ordered several dozen Fasnap sets from Mr. Amazon.  Thanks, Tony!  I'll have them Tuesday or Wednesday and can get back to making snappin' and strappin' happen.

 

In the meantime, there are other things I can get to work on, like the belt and drop boxes or maybe the hand plates, so I can keep busy till my new snaps arrive.

 

A.J.

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"I’ve never been more in love with glue. Gonna go dig mine out so it can sleep next to me tonight."

 

Geez, Frank.  Get a room.  (And don't forget to make kissy sounds.)

 

A.J.

Edited by A.J. Hamler
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