(Topic ID: 89063)

Homemade reflector disc assembly for F-14/High Speed


By Pac-Fan

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 6 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Ghoen
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 5 years ago

As those of us with missing reflector assemblies from our F-14 or High Speeds know, it's hard to find an original one at a reasonable price. Well, mine was missing one when I got it, so I finally decided to make my own.

I hit a few thrift stores and finally found a non-flat (somewhat domed) thin, non-painted aluminum saucepan cover. Only 25c -- even better . Sadly, the aluminum ones are generally pretty flat, where the stainless steel ones are a bit more curved. The closest I found (online) was the aluminum cover for a wok. But I couldn't find any locally at the thrifts, so decided to try what I could find first. Here's how I assembled it. Sorry, I didn't take pictures in making it, just the final results.

1) Unscrew the plastic top handle
2) Using a rubber mallet and on top of a foam knee pad (for gardening), repeatedly hit the underside of the cover with the mallet, striking from the center outward, constantly spinning the cover. Keep going until the square center hole that held the carriage bolt starts radial cracking outward from the 4 corners.
3) Ideally, use a 3.5" hole saw or a variable width radial saw to cut open a ~3.4" disc. I didn't have one so I actually was able to use an old pair of silver w/black handles pot metal scissors to trim it down and notch it out. Aviation (tin) snips would work well too.
4) Using a round file, perfect the two notches as needed
5) Using a random orbital sander, sand the edges of the disc so they're not sharp, and make as round as possible.
6) Find a thin large center washer to cover the now widened hole, and reinsert the original carriage bolt in, or use a larger one with a thin enough bolt part.
7) Find a metal piece about 5/8" wide x 1/16" thick and bend it and trim appropriately with a metal cutter or angle grinder. (I found mine when taking apart an old dead computer CDRom drive)
8) Drill two holes, one on the long edge to hold the disc, another with a smaller bit to mount on the motor shaft.
9) Find a ~1/4" tall aluminum spacer washer that is the same diameter as the motor shaft or a a tiny bit larger.
10) Drill a small hole in the side of one side of it. Find a screw barely larger than the hole and tighten it in slowly and carefully (or use a real tap + die set) to tap the hole which will be the set screw to tighten onto the shaft.
11) Carefully epoxy the washer to the base, and also epoxy the disc/carriage bolt to the bracket so that it doesn't end up spinning from vibration.

For reference, the dimensions of the original disc are: .0265" (3/128th)/.67mm thick . The diameter is 3.41" (3 13/32nds)/86.62mm and the concave depth is only .5230" (87/128ths)/13.28 mm

This will have to work until I can find a good deal on one.

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#2 5 years ago

Nice one. We do what we can.....
-Kyros

2 weeks later
#3 5 years ago

If you go to Party City, or Spencers, they have "Party Beacon Lights" that have the exact piece needed, except that it is of a durable plastic. Slight customizing necessary for attaching, but took me like 2 minutes. Its exactly the same size and shape as original.

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#4 5 years ago

Another pinsider requested full measurements from a real reflector to build an identical one. Here you go. Please note, I would expect a slight variation in the width/depth of the disc itself from the mere fact it is very thin metal. Also, not measured here is the taper of the disc. It starts out pretty flat, then starts curving more as it reaches the edge.

Also note that the 'depth' of the disc was measured including the back bracket so you'll need to subtract its thickness accordingly.

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#5 5 years ago

You should measure center to center on your rivet holes and top edge to center.

#6 5 years ago

CAD work for the reflector is done. Waiting to get my forming die turned and a few test reflectors plasma cut (we don't have a laser at work). The real question is do you polish the aluminum reflector or do you leave it as is?
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