Friday, June 26, 2009

Everybody should have one of these...

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!

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