High Voltage Sparks and Arcs (by )

A friend sent me this lovely link:

The site has three MPEG videos of things going wrong with high voltage equipment. insane giggle

Busy busy busy (by )

Well, the furnace plans are having to wait until I get some time to go outside and blast the refactory material samples with the blowtorch to see how they perform...

I've been really very busy. When we decided to have a baby, my plan was to take on loads of contracts during the early stages when she wouldn't need all the looking after so I could save up spare cash and then take the work a bit easier when she needs me most, and when we have a new child to be fascinated by!

However, as luck would have it, several independent jobs have all ended up overlapping their deadlines to the same week a while back, at the same time as everyone deciding to have major important parties every evening and weekend (which, to us living out here in Zone 6, means a two-hour journey in and out, often getting home REALLY late when there's no option of sleeping in the next day)... so I've just kept my nose to the grindstone.

And Sarah's not been very well; morning sickness kicked in pretty early for her, along with growing back pains due to the increasing weight, and she's been more prone to colds lately, presumably due to her bodily resources being tied up elsewhere!

But now the deadlines are starting to pass, leaving me with just the glut of non-important work that I couldn't do because I was busy with deadlines, so now need to sort out. Paperwork, that sort of thing.

Today, I'm getting replacament hardware for love, my main hosting server, ready. It's a nice fast machine, and the current machine is going to become an NFS and database server for this one - without an external IP address, it's going to connect to it with a loopback cable, and basically just be an external disk pack with brains. The actual upgrade will occur sometime next week, but I need it ready today because today is my one chance to get a lift into London on a car, whereupon I will leave it over with a friend until a day the hosting place is open.

Furnace – MARK 3 (by )

Ok! Right!

Furnace Mark 1 was made in a coffee can, and was a bit too small. The crucible it was designed for was too small to pour some of the things we decided we wanted.

So we made the Mark 2, which was bigger. And then it was nearly ruined when a crucible (thin steel cup, since I can't find any iron pipes anywhere, and couldn't weld until recently) leaked molten Al everywhere, so we moved up to Salamander crucibles. And then we had to make crucible tongs, since we couldn't fit them with lifting lugs. And the Mark 2 turned out to not have enough clearance to fit the tongs around a crucible inside, as well as the inside having gotten rather crumbly and fallen to bits a lot. We tried to chop it down the side so one half of it (except for the base) could be removed to get the tongs in, but it just turned to power.

So on to Mark 3. Read more »

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