Fabrication: Sarcophagus Construction + Internal Walls
This section details the construction of the sarcophagus frame. Three ¾” x 4ft x 8ft wood panels from Home Depot were ordered and delivered to MIT. I used the PDL space and various tools to cut the wood to size, including a circular saw, guiderail to ensure a straight cut, tables, clamps, pencil, T ruler, regular ruler, and tape measure. Safety was a big consideration during the fabrication of these walls. Firstly, it was important to prevent getting splinters from handling the wood with bare hands. Hearing protection was used to protect ears from the loud noise made by the circular saw as well as from nearby machinery. Respiratory protection was also used to minimize inhalation of sawdust. Clamps secured the wood onto the tables and the table wheels were locked into place to prevent rolling. Here is a preliminary diagram that was drawn to lay out the principle dimensions.
Five 2ft x 7 ft panels were made as well as two 2ft x 2ft panels for the ends. After I had cut all the pieces, it was time to move it to our working space. Luckily, we were able to fit all the pieces in this elevator!
We wanted the sarcophagus to be strongly assembled and so purchased brackets to help keep it rigid. Initially, these white bookshelf brackets were purchased but then we realized the middle part of it protrudes too much and would interfere with the rest of the gag, namely the infinity mirror. So we returned them and got L brackets with a slimmer profile.
We started drilling 3 long wood screws into each corner of the wooden panels.
This is us when we got 4 panels drilled together.
Now onto installing the brackets for reinforcement.
Then we installed the bottom panel, middle panel, and top panel. We used a hole saw to drill a slot in the middle panel for the wires from the electronics to pass through. We also installed a piano hinge for the top panel to pivot about the middle panel.
Next, we had to install the linear actuator.
Here is a video of the lid opening up upon me manually connecting the electrical wires.
However, we noticed that with all the force being generated the metal plate was being pulled up!
So we added more wood screws to the middle part of the metal plate which secured it in place better. We were all so relieved once we fixed that!