We're going back to Cape Town for the weekend, leaving behind a crisp & beautiful post-storm day.
Everything that spent the night outside acquired an interesting new texture...
Last night we were afforded a spectacular display in the workshop as the required modifications to the M5 test gear called for the Plasma Cutter!
The holes in the 3 steel plates that make up the stages for the M5 pinhole assembly had to be enlarged & by far the quickest & easiest way to do this is with a plasma torch.
Not only does it work superbly, it also looks & smells incredible! :)
Having made up a simple tool to guide the torch along the appropriate circular path, Eben (aka Plasma Man) could blast along & remove the offending rings.
The astronomers in the audience (who obviously don't get out much) stood as close as possible - bathed in sparks, inhaling deeply & both absolutely mesmerised 8)
Below you can see the ring being cut out of the plate.
Our very own 21st century blacksmith in action!
Sparks Everywhere :)
Out pops the ring - hopefully that'll be the end of the vignetting problem.
Ockert - looking regal in his winter finery - set about buzzing off all the rough edges.
In the spirit of the Astronomer Development Programme, Dr O'Donoghue got to have a go & demonstrated his aptitude as a graffiti artist...
Not bad at all!