This is one post in a series detailing the construction of my kids "Spaceship." See them all here.

Now that the “skeleton” is in place, I’m thinking this thing needs some skin.  I picked up these 4’x8’ sheets of plywood at Home Depot.  They cost a bit more than I feel like they should.  Something like $25 a piece.  But it’s about the only thing that will work for this. The other thing is it’s impossible to find a sheet that is perfectly flat.  Makes them tough to cut in the extreme cases.

The prototype for this is easy: two clamps and a sheet 🙂

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I’m thinking I may need some help cutting these and and hanging them.  Let’s see what where my helpers are at…

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Okay, what else have you guys been up to?

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Alright, at least they are playing in it 🙂

And fast forward, here we are:

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I think I may hold off on a completely wrapping this, now.  I have an idea for more seating space and the wall will get in the way.  On either side of the entry way, I’ll put fold down jumper seats.  So I’m off to home depot again.  Let’s see…

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Okay, that looks like it would be really cool.  Unfortunately, after trying it out, the legs that would need to flip out are just to hard to create in a reasonable amount of time.  I’m going to bail on this one.

But how about the entry way?  It must be something special.  My thought in all of this is to create something the kids can use their imagination with and maybe even learn something about Simple Machines.  I also love Sci-fi and 2001: A Space Odyssey.  This spaceship must have Pod Bay Doors!  Let’s try some pulleys and cables…

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I made the bottom “ramp” pretty heavy duty to keep up with the kids’ play.  The top hatch is lighter than the bottom, but still really heavy.  I’m starting to have waking nightmares about a cable or pulley breaking and that door swinging down on a head.

Also, I’m beginning to suspect I can’t do what I want with the position of the pulleys.  When the bottom ramp opens out, the top ramp should be in sync with it.  I think I need more pulleys.  Here is a video of it in action…

Needless to say, with the complexity of additional pulleys and the weight and the disastrous failure mode, I think I’ll figure out a different way to make these doors work.  I know I could use pneumatic struts, but I really wanted for the kids to see simple machines in action.  Pulleys are cool!  But fatal head wounds are not…


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