Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gemstone Steam Machine

After making my glass steam machine and nearly falling over backwards when it actually ran, ( like, “Anne you saw it run, you my witness, you saw it  right ?”), I started on the gem steam machine. Can it be done?IMG_8273Many years ago, when we were at the Tucson Gem show in America, I bought to ‘optically clear quartz’.

Apparently the USA military went and bought tons of the stuff for their machines and what not, and then some company invented synthetic quartz and so the  government sold all the natural stuff off the the dealers.

Anyway, that’s the story the seller told me.

So I sliced off a piece and drilled a hole through it using a core drill and WD40 and a fracking lot of patience. There is no way you can lean on it like you can do in wood or metal. It shatters chop chop.

As you can see, my operation is not exactly high tech, but hey, it works. The white rim thingi is epoxy putty to hold the WD 40 in place. A core drill does not really drill accurately, so I reamed it out with a 10mm diamond burr and then polished the inside.

IMG_8296Then I made a chrysoprase top for the cylinder and resined it on with Uv resin. I decided to make the cylinder ( can I use cylinder and piston in this context?) out of quartz. I purposely used some that has a flaw or two, sort of to prove its pedigree. I also made a rose quartz pivot and drilled a hole and resined that in place. The hole in the front I am, if this thing works out, going to put a gold tube set with a sapphire I cut.IMG_8302This is the other side. I made a piston out of sugelite and just for fun, I faceted the top. The inside is polished.

In fact, everything is polished.IMG_8308The main beam, ( my name) I make out of nephrite jade from Canada. I love carving this stuff, so I am going to take a bit of time to add some bells and whistles to the beam.
All these various components have been joined not using Hxtal resin, ( I'm to old to wait so long), but rather a UV curable clear resin. I have been experimenting with this product for a month or so and it certainly has its uses. I have also dopped with it and it has not let me down.
I doubt it can be used for all clear stones, certainly if they are susceptible to UV damage. But its nice stuff. You coat the two surfaces, position everything, switch on the UV light, wait a minute so that it is semi hard, wipe off the excess and put it under the light for another five or so minutes and it's cured.
I was going to use tourmaline as the main shaft, but I decided its just to finicky.
IMG_8323The pieces caught one millionth of a second just after they exploded.

IMG_8381 I made the con rod out of red jasper and attached it to the piston with UV resin.
The bottom end is made out of rose quartz and the pear shaped crank is made out of a laminate of chrysoprase and sugelite that I had made last year for a pendant. I never used it as a pendant, so with some serendipity, it became part of a crank. The main shaft is made out of smoky quartz.

IMG_8382I have just temporally glued the beam to the lapis supports and the nephrite base, so I can get a handle on where the further supports will go.

The pink washer in between the crank is a spacer made out of Botswana agate. I think I will make all the spacer washers out of agate. Nice and smooth and hard.
All the quartz shafts are made long, because I have found that it is much easier to cut stones smaller than bigger.
The next thing is to make the flywheel. After that is to drill the inlet and outlet holes .
Then push will come to shove, and we will see if this thing can turn.SyncroCheck out this mean Syncro.

Even better than the one I owned in Botswana, before it was removed from me through affirmative shopping and involuntary  transferred to Mozambique, where it now resides as a chicken coop.Merc1

Don’t think that just because you own a fancy doo da car you can park anywhere.Merc

Or that it will be there when you pitch.

Actually, the dude on the left is the owner. He pitched just in time, and he was really cool to the traffic cops.

No agro, no hanna hanna.  Just very easy, smiles all around and he even gave the tow truck guy some ching for his troubles.

Pity. I was hoping for at least some fire and flames and at least a gun battle.

Sometimes you just don’t get lucky.

But, while this car was being lifted up, all the people walking past either burst into laughter , smiled, or spoke to the planted foreskin  traffic cop.

Like the degree of schadenfreude was amazing.

EVERYBODY is envious of that car---even myself……….

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