Sunday, July 21, 2013

Optical finish for acrylic -- vapor polishing and other techniques

I needed to polish two acrylic lenses that were made on a CNC lathe to the best possible finish (hopefully, optical quality). I made some test coupons and tried three different polishing techniques on three different surfaces to see which combination of techniques would yield the best results. The winner was clearly 2000 grit sandpaper followed by Novus No.2 polish.
Vapor polishing

Monday, July 15, 2013

Glue chipped glass - first attempt

I've always wanted to create a decorative glass effect known as "glue chipping", and finally got to try it this weekend. My results were OK for a first attempt, and I now know what will work for me when I plan to make a real piece.

Some professional work that inspired me:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Progress on vacuum chamber build - helium leak detection, custom flanges

I machined a few custom aluminum adapters for KF/NW vacuum fittings on the lathe this weekend. Next time, I hope to have electrical feedthroughs and should be ready to start depositing material!

Thermocouple vacuum gauge teardown and explanation

I describe how thermocouple vacuum gauges work, and take apart a vintage example of such a system.