Category Archives: #portal

Project Industrial pipe shelf – Upgrade, Level UP!


Puny shelf … I will destroy you!
Remember that old industrial pipe shelf project from a while back … I combines a few 3/4″ pipe fittings and some pine wood planks into a 4 layer shelf (all for about $170 … download the CAD model here). Well, this shelf started getting a little crowded over the last few months. My wife asked how easy it would be to add another layer … Well my wonderful Jelly-Jube as long as you don’t mind me making some noise …

A pre-cut 12″ x 36″ Pine Wood … About $60 later …
When I first made this shelf, I had some incredible difficulty placing the pipes in the wood. There’s actually a great picture of me (mostly my behind) trying to insert these little pipe nipples … oh the agony … and the noises I made. That was actually Jenn’s first comment … “hey, I didn’t hear you struggle … did you use a tool this time?” … “ya honey, this tool … with 2x thumbs!”
Ya well, this time i learnt. I’m using my vise grip to just press them into the too-tight-holes … I could have made the holes oversized … I really wanted to … but something in me said, “no”. I have to make it just like the other ones. Well, that was dumb. Next time make them oversized.

Removing the top of the old shelf was quite easy. Especially with the help on my favorite hammer: the Dead On Annihilator. This thing is a beast of a hammer and I try to use in in as many projects as I can. Just feeling its destructive power in my hands makes me want to DESTROY. ok, calm down, I’m building, not destroying …

Now I have a super tall shelf. Not only does it have more room for things like books, and pictures, and portal guns … but it also towers over my 5′-X” wife … he he he (oh and if you like the little boxes advent calendar, check it out here)

Bye for now
-DropBOB Designs!

Aperture portal gun (codename: project aperture)


So now that we’re so close to the finish line, it takes just a little longer to get things accomplished as you take just a few more moments to admire the almost-finished-product…
As a push to the finish, and also a matter of trying to respect building noise bylaws, I cut all the claw pieces out in one shot. I also do the drilling.
The claws are assembled using 10-32 socket heads with washers.
Once all the pieces are installed I add some silicone caulking to all the tabs to prep for painting
The paint seriously nails it! Right after the first coat of paint is done you realize: “holy sh*t, it actually worked”. Kinda like in home alone when Kevin realizes his wish came true and his family is gone … Except Better.
Happy Halloween!
And no portal gun is complete without it’s very own mini turret!

Aperture portal gun (codename: project aperture)


Once the molds were done, I proceeded to make the fiberglass shells.

I coated the mould with three layers of flour wax, then applied one generous layer of fiberglass resin (this is when you pray to the fiberglass gods that you don’t fuse it together)
I used about 2 to 3 layers of fiberglass and I rubbed in the resin with my fingers to make sure there were no air bubbles (this last part is seriously the most important part).
 Once all shells complete, I fitted them and trimmed to suit, attached them with industrial grade Velcro, and added some plywood tabs using epoxy.
 I
I added double sided screws with one side ground perfectly to fit the air compressor tubes I bought.
One claw was then tested using MDF. I wasn’t sure if it would be strong enough. Turns out it was.

Aperture portal gun (codename: project aperture)


This next step probably took about 2-3 weeks and was painful and arduous. The process is simple, using solidworks I printed cross sections of the shape, I was making, I even had the surface extended so that I could more easily work with the mold. One the cross sections were cut from foam, I used super 77 glue to glue the pieces together. It’s the only flute I could find that does not melt foam. After that it’s layer after layer of bondo then sanding, then bondo, then sanding, it really never ended…

For the front piece, I opted to start with a plug, then I made a mold from the plug. I did this so I wouldn’t have to sand a ridiculously concave structure.

Once my plug was fully sanded to a baby smooth 1000 grit wetsanding, I used floor wax (3 layers) to prevent the fiberglass resin from sticking to my plug. Worked like a charm. I even liked the texture it left on my mold so I didn’t even have any sanding left to do once the bondo was done.

Aperture portal gun (codename: project aperture)


A few more days of work and I created the base using ply wood and some sturdy cardboard. Then with a little spray paint (flat black) I got myself some nice looking  base structures.
The part that you don’t see is the fact that the back of the gun opens using a wing nut on a large screw attached to the PVC.
Also, I had to use Bondo to make the foam paintable. Fyi, don’t try to spraypaint foam, it melts.

Aperture portal gun (codename: project aperture)


So today I’ve decided to begin keeping track of my plethora of projects. From design to completion. My current project is this year’s Halloween costume. Jenn and I decided that this year we would go as escaped test subjects from aperture laboratories.

The first step I took was was to figure out the electronics part of making a portal gun. I had to figure out how to make an orange and blue tube of color. I decided to use a RBG (red, blue, green) LED strip. For it’s versatility and hackability into other projects (I got 5 meters of this sh*t).
After about 2 days of tinkering after work I got the right color and setup using 2 switches, an 800{ohm} resistor and 4 diodes.