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Author Topic: Covering robot with metal  (Read 750 times)
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I have a large robot made out of wood. The robot is 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide and 2 feet long. The robot's structure is fine with just the wood however I am looking to cover the wood with some type of material preferably some thin metal like sheet metal. I am planning on needing 50 square feet of the material. I am open to using other substances such as plastic. I am trying to do this for about 100 US dollars. What options do I have? I know I can use some really thin metal but I know it is a lot of money for this.

Thank you for your help.
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Very thin, and under $100?

You can get aluminium and tin foil from the store for less than $10 and if you do a good job wraping it, no one will ever know the difference.

 smiley
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Would aluminum or "silver" paint do the trick?
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What function is the metal covering intended to perform? Rolls of aluminum flashing are available at the home improvement stores.
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The function of the metal would be for aesthetic reasons as well as keeping the wood safe from dirt or water.
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Silver mylar?

Too bad you need so many sq ft. Joe Barker wrote a book on making models from soda and beer can metal.

Don't laugh too hard, can metal is plated to make the labels stand out. Some cans like Coors are highly shiny silver and some cans have a gold-color plating. The book covers recovering metal from the cans, removing the painted label and aspects of joins and all. The results just look fantastic. Check that bottom model;
http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/other/WSAM-Explained/sodacans/sodacans.htm

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is aluminum flashing cheaper than other sheet metals?
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If you can find a company that does sheet metal work, you might be able to buy sheets or rolls from them. The more they buy on an order, the better the price they get. An honest shop will charge a 10%-15% markup but even double is still way better than retail.

Shop around. Check places that do duct work. Maybe they can put bends and holes in for you, at a price but they have tools for that though what tolerances they'll hold are more house building than cabinetry. Good luck finding a shop that does that any more and better luck being able to afford their rate if you do! Sorry, but I was in that business once and the work dried up long ago.

You could maybe fiberglass the wood instead? It would become way stronger. Or even replace the wood with glass over foam, a monocoque shell body like a custom aircraft?
Warning; learning curve involved, I've seen some "just do it" overweight messes that just looked hairy. My old rocket-buff neighbor told me about squeezing the excess resin out but not wanting to lose too much, but he was going for extra light and strong on 4" tubes.

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You can get Plastidip in an aerosol spray can and use that.
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Home Depot 3' x 3' sheet 26 ga aluminum:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100351161?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100351161&R=100351161#.UTqn9YeReo0

Home Depot 20" x 10' roll of aluminum drip edge flashing with red stripe:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100071450?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100071450&R=100071450#.UTqosIeReo0

Flashing is much cheaper and 0.0092", it's just a bit more than thick tin foil.

26 ga is 0.019", twice as thick, less thick than a 22 ga jumper pin.

But how about this (except for the price):
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202509274?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051&superSkuId=202939024&N=5yc1vZbrdg&R=202509274#.UTqrVoeReo0

It'd be snap, just don't scratch it up!
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120$ if I go with the sheet metal. only 50$ if I go with the flashing. Will flashing tear? is it more like aluminum foil or sheet metal? I just don't want it to tear if the robot happens to scrape a wall.
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This is potentially going to be quite heavy. Is weight an issue?
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120$ if I go with the sheet metal. only 50$ if I go with the flashing. Will flashing tear? is it more like aluminum foil or sheet metal? I just don't want it to tear if the robot happens to scrape a wall.

Flashing is not like aluminum foil, but more like sheet metal. Go to lowes or Home Depot and check it out. As to protecting the wood, caulking and a good coating like outside paint or spar varnish might also be in order.

edit: also check in the heating section of the same stores for thin galvanized steel sheet metal.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 11:20:13 pm by zoomkat » Logged

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used offset printing plates. Find a large printing company that has an offset printing press, the plates are thin aluminum that are etched to hold ink. the inside surface is generally pretty clean and yu can get the plates for salvage value, or free with a good story.
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Quote
I just don't want it to tear if the robot happens to scrape a wall.

That's what duct tape's for.....

Does it have to be metal?- what about that sticky plastic stuff for covering kitchen shelves or school books? I don't know the brand-names or prices though.
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