09 Jun. 1977|
Wooden model tank plans,woodworking king size bed,dremel bits - .
The hull of the model is cut from four quarter-sheets (2' x 4') of ¼" Lauan plywood. It is be controlled by an X-Arcade joystick, modified to make it shorter, mounted in the left (my son is a lefty) sponson.
The bogies are modeled after the Horizontal Volute Suspension System (HVSS) used on the M4A3 version of the Sherman - mostly because it was easier to model than the original Vertical Volute Suspension System design. After letting it dry overnight, I sanded it carefully and glued it into place in the turret base, filling the inevitable gaps here and there with home-made wood filler (wood glue and sawdust). The sides of the turret were cut from corrugated cardboard and glued in place - I had to take a box cutter and slice up the inside to make it bend smoothly, but it worked quite well and is surprisingly strong. Investigation revealed that the geniuses who designed the motors used a plastic worm gear in the gearbox.
Finally being able to test the tank, I've found a small problem - the road wheels keep falling off the axles.
Several people have urged me to write up a set of plans and instructions and offer them for sale.
Boy, I can't wait for warm weather so I can take the tank outside and get some decent pictures. It was such a nice, warm, sunny day that my son and I tried to take the tank on an outing to photograph it.
One effect I noticed - when my son isn't in the tank and it's being operated remotely (by a long wire plugged into the back), the center of gravity is WAY aft, causing it to do some pretty spectacular tailstands over relatively small obstructions. By the way, anyone who bought the Plans and Instructions will be receiving an updated version incorporating all these changes.
As it turns out, it's an infra-red camera, so the tank will have "thermal imaging" just like the big boys! After years of being ignored in favour of metals and plastics, wood is getting a high-tech military makeover. In the long run, I want the tank to be radio controlled, and a camera will allow the driver to better see where he's going.
Militaries still used wood to build bridges, living quarters and other temporary structures, and to package materials. But as far as weapons were concerned, metal, plastic and fibreglass were either lighter and cheaper, or stronger and more durable.
Inside trees there's an organic compound called cellulose that gives wood strength and lightness. Once mass produced, it will give military engineers stronger, lighter, more durable materials to make their boats, tanks, aircraft and weapons.Nanocellulose is essentially wood fibre broken down to the nanoscale.
Michael Wolcott from Washington State University's International Academy of Wood Science, explains that when applied to biopolymers, the nanocellulose particles drive multiple properties within the composite material, simultaneously.
Scientists in Brazil have already used nanocellulose from bananas to make a plastic that's 30 per cent lighter, but four times as strong as petroleum-based plastic. Wooden batons, night sticks and even wooden bullets are part of most militaries' non-lethal weapons arsenal. Traditionalists still prefer wooden gun stocks to metal or plastic.Taking a bulletThe cellular structure of wood also makes it a useful military material, or to be more precise, what scientists can learn from its cellular structure. Back in the 1980s, Professor George Jeronimidis from Reading University was intrigued by the way wood could absorb energy from an impact. Jeronimidis and his team made them blast resistant containers with a wood-like structure out of glass fibre, carbon fibre and Kevlar. If Ikkala is right, it could in the not too distant future replace petroleum, a key ingredient in everything from plastic to tire rubber.Defence departments and contractors around the world, take note.