Wayne's blog
design, development, hobbies

Dome Surfaces Finished

This weekend I finished both the inner and outer dome surfacing. Using 400, 600, 1000, 1500, then 2000 grit wet sand papers, followed by two rounds of Mothers Billet Polish. Also I marked all the panels according to the specs from Astromech.net.

Finished surfacing. Hands tired. Dome panel map

Mothers Billet Metal Polish

I read yesterday a post by a metallurgist in the Astromech forum. He said the best way to polish billet is to avoid sanding and removing material, just use some Mothers Billet Metal Polish. You put a small amount on a terry cloth and just rub on the dome until a black residue appears. Wait about a minute and then wipe the residue clean with a fresh terry cloth. I was skeptical, and the billet polish is not cheap, but I’m a believer now. Below is a photo of the dome after polishing the left side for less than 2 minutes. I used about a quarter size dab of polish.

Obey your Mother, use this polish!

Left side polished

Deburring Tool

Get yourself a deburring tool! Don’t know what I would have done without one. Many builders report losing some quantity of blood in the deburring process. But with a deburring tool, it is so slick. Both domes and rings took about 45 minutes total, and now all those jagged laser-cut edges are smooth and soft to the touch, and I’m able to grip any part of the dome for the next phase of sanding and polishing.

Deburring Tool from Home Depot 7 bucks

Circles are deburred