Wednesday, April 22, 2009

progress on the distortion-triggered spark gap switch

Yesterday, the 1/2" aluminum plate arrived for the titular project. I cut out two squares, but just couldn't face the idea of roughing in the circles with a saber saw. (the parts I am making from this material are the round end caps, visible here as the two silver colored disks)

That would have been tedious, slow, and hard on my hands, and my hands were already very unhappy from cutting the two squares. (just two 4" cuts)

I started to rough out (off) the corners of one square on the mill, which seemed kinda clever until I realized I would need a couple of nice straight and flat surfaces to clamp on when the time came to drill the circular bolt hole patterns. So I stopped, because while I do intend to do those bolt circles before anything else, I didn't know the dimension of the circle with certainty.

I seem to have lost my shop drawings (also made in SolidWorks from the afore-linked model). Grumble. If I get time today, I shall attend to that. If memory serves, the shop drawings didn't have all of the dimensions on them that I wanted anyway, and I want to double-check the model for interferences again, mostly between the rods which hold the thing together and the trigger plane electrode.

I'm glad to be doing something in the shop again. Even if I am being a spaz and flitting from project to project. Again.


Oh, and the meter I bought on eBay for the Mad Scientists Light Switch project might be a bit small. 

It's, um, cute

It's an antique, round, bakelite housing, 2.5" across the entire face, with a window a bit less than 2" across. I thought it would help make the HV insulator bushings which will share the front panel with it look larger by contrast, but now I am not so sure. I maybe should have bought a bigger one. Grumble. Well, it's a very nice meter, in like-new condition. I suppose it wouldn't kill me to save it for another project. Sigh. And it's not as if old-fashioned bakelite meters are particularly hard to come by on eBay, although I am a cheapskate...

See, this is (one of the reasons) why I run multiple projects at once.

Oh, and remember the Rolling Ball Sculpture Without A Name? Yeah, me neither. It still needs a shaft for the main ball lift. I am tempted to make another attempt to straighten the one John Morse gave me, which turned out to be rather bent. Which kinda sucks for something that has to rotate and maintain a constant distance relationship to stationary parts. Mutter, mumble.

Pictures of some of this stuff soonish.

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