Saturday, March 20, 2010

incremental progress on MSLS

A few nights back, I felt better than I had in weeks, so I worked in the shop for several hours. Job One of late has been to finish the Mad Scientist Light Switch. The part I've been working on is a brass mounting flange to adapt a 1" copper pipe elbow to the flat steel wall of The Device.

Here is a picture of the parts nearly completed:

plumbing fittings become jewelry, random scraps of brass become a custom miniature pipe flange

A is the elbow and reducer fitting. Both have been cut down to reduce overall height and also to move the Jacob's Ladder as close to the wall of The Device as is practical. They have been polished and then sprayed with acrylic to preserve the shine.

B is the nearly finished adapter flange, made from random bits of brass scrounged from my parts & materials bins. As seen here, it still requires a bushing to fit the pipe correctly.

C is a hunk of brass from which the aforementioned bushing will be machined.


Since I wrote the above several nights ago, the bushing has been finished and installed. Just for the hell of it, I decided to try heat-shrinking it on instead of soldering it, just to see if I could hold the required tolerances on my piece-of-crap lathe. As it turned out, I could. The OD of the flange was .0015 larger than the ID of the bushing. OD piece went into the freezer, then I brought it out to the garage and hit the ID piece with the heat gun to hotter than I could stand to touch it. Dropped ID of bushing onto OD of flange, ET VOILA! they are now one piece of metal.

Next I just need to continue boring out the center until it is large enough to accept fat high voltage leads, drill five or six holes for mounting the flange, and it will be done. Exceptin' that I need to make another simple steel ring flange to go inside and help stiffen the flange mounting so it doesn't flex like crazy or bend the side wall of The Device.

After that, I can either put together the little 6V power supply I need, or I can resume working on the Jacob's Ladder safety housing.

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