The weather has finally gotten good enough that I can work outside and do some stone work. Started to layout the digital armillary and found a serious mistake... can you spot it?
Depending on how you look at it, the numbers are either cut upside down or laid out in reverse order. Back to the CNC ... hopefully in a few days I can finish this one. Sigh.
A few years ago I volunteered to be embedded as a civilian in a squad of Marines. My job was to act as a scientific advisor for such things as optimal antennae placement, observation tower placement, and predicting when/where IEDs were expected. Spent a few weeks in Ft. Benning being inoculated and indoctrinated, filling out wills (a rude slap of reality for my wife and kids), being armored up, and reviewing various implements of destruction. My wife bought me a concertina to annoy the hapless crew who were supporting me. Unfortunately, I had broken my thumb so many times that the air valve button was beyond my reach and it severely hampered my promising career. After trying tongue depressors and duct tape and various other items, I made a hinge that extended the reach of my thumb. Now, if only Lawerence Welk would come back in style ...
Took the plunge and started putting on a patina. Patina: 10, Overlay 0 . The patina was awesome, but unfortunately I think the silver was too thin (0.02 mm) and the rusting juice ate away at the steel holding the overlay. BUT, the patina came out incredible. Now to find some thicker silver sheet (0.08 mm) [The first two pictures are after the acid etch, the second is after the rusting, and the final picture is the amazing patina and the silver aspen leaf falling off. ]
Starting out simple with some spoon handles. Still need to burnish the lines and patina. The silver sheet is the right thickness for brass, but is too thin for steel. Going to press on anyway and get the practice.
The wood post that I was planning on using for this particular plinth was splitting. I decided to try my hand at making wedge and strap bracing to head off a complete separation. Took me three tries to get the right wedge shapes. These aren't too fancy and lot of room for spicing them up a bit.
Finished the elements for the stand. Had ordered a post from the local sawmill a few months ago. Too early to tack everything together - still need to work out the number system for the dial, the hardest thing for me to do.
A simple gnomonless equatorial sundial. Made one like it in the past and gave it a toss; I didn't like it. Having another go at one.
Finished the first of what will be a trio of smaller garden armillary sundials. This is about 8" in diameter and about 40" tall.
Forging a sundial and my favorite tape measure got stuck open. Spent 20-30 minutes trying to convince it to retract with no luck. Tossed it on the floor in disgust and, with a whirring fanfare and associated dance, it retracted. Guess we know who is in control.
This is the start to one of my simple armillary sundials. Probably a donation to the local Creede Arts Council, but still TBD. I think there are about 4-5 of this style that I've made that are scattered across the US. This is the first of three sundials that I'll be forging this week - all of this style. Drawing out the gnomon by hand can take a couple of hours. The sundial is unique in that the gnomon and dial plate are forged as one piece; together the piece is just short of a meter long.
the Mad tinker
Just an archive of projects as they progress. Nothing really to see here. Move along ...