The building of the dragon begins (Antti)
Friday, January 2nd, 2005
The smell of sweat, ozone and steel greeted me as I arrived to our workshop today. It was a sign that the work on the dragon had begun. We finally have all the parts we need, skill to put them all together and we even seem to have enough time and manpower to do it.
The first part to be done was the lower jaw of the dragon. Our work started by welding seven large square steel pipes together to an approximate U shape. Several support pieces were welded to it and then another U shape was welded to the top of it to give the jaw some depth.
As the jaw started to form it gave some insight about the scale of our dragon. The lower jaw is large enough to fit a small person in it, and it is quite a small part of our dragon.
When the basic shape of the jaw was ready it was time to build the hinges for it. Heiko's motto is "Oversizing is the best sizing" so we used an boat propeller axle for the hinge material. That's 20mm of solid steel. On a rough estimate it can withstand ten tons of pressure so it should be enough to keep our jaw in place.
Last we added some support bars to the jaw so that it doesn't bend if we ram the dragon to a tree or do something equally stupid. It was the first time that I managed to cut a piece of metal so that its shape fit perfectly other pieces around it. Too bad that I made it one centimeter too short, but a piece of scrap metal and some welding wire saved the situation.