R&D and tooling up…

I’ve wanted to build a Terminator T-800 arm for some time but couldn’t decide on the medium.

Machining the entire thing from Aluminum stock would be very cool but metalworking is not my specialty. A metal mill and lathe would be required.

I considered machining the parts from machinable wax then casting in resin. Since there are no duplicates anywhere in the arm casting wouldn’t be efficient. Casting is ideal for multiple parts that are identical so it seemed like overkill in this case.

I decided to approach the project as a buildup in styrene and resin. First I’d do a prototype of one phalanx of the index finger of the hand. This would allow me to test the strength of the build and the epoxy & glues I’d be using.

Since the project required some drilling into very small pieces I would need a new xy-table/vise for my drill press to accurately position parts. I did a lot of research and the general consensus was that almost all those available are from China and they suck. Online discussions led me to believe that the only way to get a decent xy-table/vise was to take one of these and fix it. I found one at Harbor Freight that had the basic capabilities. See my blog posting about getting the vise up to caliber.

New drill press centering jig, check. Fresh orders of silicone rubber, resins, sheet styrene, epoxies on the way.

I found some decent blueprints on the internet that someone had made from the actual movies prop and some very good reference photos.