No bones about it………………
July 12th, 2012
The armature is now well underway with shoulders, hips and spine. Yesterday we bolted it together and then clamped it in place to the sled so that we could position it correctly. We really want to avoid it looking as if DOOP is about to bail, or worse. In the process we realized that we needed to stiffen up the sled a bit more, specifically the handle bar to which DOOP’s hands will be fixed.
It is really important that we have a firm base on which to fix his hands, because with only one foot attached to the runners (the right one will be moving back and forth, as you probably know by now), he needs all the support we can give him. So we have added a steel bar to the underside of the handlebar, and this will be welded to the main steel sub-frame.
Dog sleds are deliberately built to have a certain amount of inherent flexibility in order to allow them to move, corner and generally bounce about without breaking. DOOP’s sled is being built around just such a real, wooden, racing, dog sled (a “Seeley Slider” to be exact – for a photo of an unadulterated Seeley Slider take a look at http://www.affordabledogsleds.com/slider.htm , the source for DOOP’s chariot).
However, for us the Slider’s natural flexibility is not an asset considering the type of motion it will have to withstand, as well as the load it will carry once the fire apparatus and other bits and pieces are installed in the basket or front of the sled (the part usually used to carry a few race supplies, spare clothing, first aid kit and if necessary a sick or injured dog). This is why we have had to build the steel sub-fame. Indeed, the wooden sled is now really a slipcover – and a very finely built slipcover, if I do say so myself – for the steel frame underneath.
Video of the armature on the sled and other advances:
Or go to youtube to watch the video:
Meanwhile, please consider asking any dog lover you know if they might be able to throw DOOP some change via the Kickstarter page at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/855657917/doop-dog-out-of-place. Thanks for all your help!