Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rick's Ramp Project 08 - Adding the Bumper

Its early in the morning on Saturday and no one is awake.  Snowing again.  Better go to the basement!

The test fit of the ramp looks good.  There will be a small gap there, so I'll fill that it in once I get it attached.  I finished the assembly of the bent underneath and glued it on, then set aside to dry.

When the truck backs up to the dock we want to make sure we have something to protect the dock from accidental bumping.  Having worked with warehouses for many years, I so know the importance of impact absorbers.  We'll start with a prestained 12" x 12" beam cut to 20 feet.  Then we'll take a 45 degree cut off each end.

I never drill holes and insert bolts.  It takes way too long and often damages the wood.  Using a sharp razor blade, I just cut the bolt heads off and glue them to the surface.  NBW is nut/bolt/washer casting.

If the bolt heads were on the surface of the wood they would damage whatever they came in contact with.  So most bumpers have recessed bolt heads.  To do this I use a grinding bit with a flat head in my Dremel tool.  I don't use a drill bit because it has a point on the end, and I need a flat surface for the NBW.  After I drilled the holes I took a hobby knife and distressed the wood even more than normal as bumpers get a lot of damage.  After that I sanded it lightly to remove the fuzz from the basswood.  This is a part that is probably better made in plastic, but since I had the wood prepped, I just finished it.

Using CA I glued the NBW's in the holes that I made and then touched up the stain on the wood.  We'll let this dry and then detail it later with a little rust.  Click on the photo to enlarge.  I am working with lighting and lens to bring you better photos this year, so please be patient with me.  This one photo I shot 30 times under different light and camera settings and never did get what I wanted.

I glued the bumper onto the end of the dock.  Once we rust the bolts a bit she'll look great!


1.  Nut/bolt castings are often better handled by cutting the nut casting off the "bolt" part and just gluing the casting to the surface, rather than drilling holes.
2.  Have one special set of tweezers just for very delicate work, and don't use them for anything else.  When they are slightly worn, replace them and relegate this pair to general work.
3.  When partially drilling on a model, remember that a drill bit has a pointed end and may leave a small pocket at the end of the hole.

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