Sunday, August 31, 2008

Adventures in etching I

From one of the members of The Steampunk forum I got the instructions for etching metal.It is a very simple process:put half a cup of salt in water(I used about 500 ml),get a battery(or batteries)or a solarcell,use some clips,put a nail or screw on the - cable and put the material you want etched on the + cable.
Of course you have to cover the part you don't want etched with tape(or something else that can be removed easily).
The results I got so far are mixed:a piece of iron worked pretty good,copper not so good(but that might have been the particular kind I used) and aluminium gave some interesting pitting.
Next test I'll up the voltage,maybe even to 12 volts........

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Adventures in electroplating

From Instructables I got the steps to start electroplating.It really is a very simple process:
  1. Get some vinegar and put it in a glass or plastic container.
  2. Take one ,new ,or two used batteries.Old weak ones are ideal(they have no use anymore anyway).
  3. Get two alligator-clips,attach them to the battery(batteries).
  4. Put a piece of copper(or a coin containing copper)on the + wire.Make sure the clip itself is not in the vinegar.Put another piece of copper on the - wire.Let it stand for a few hours.
  5. After the vinegar gets a greenish tint,replace the copper on the - wire with the item you want plated.It should take about 30 minutes to get a good layer of copper.
  6. Take the item out,let it dry.Give it a clear varnish for protection.

I'm still testing different pieces of steel and iron to see what gives the best result.So far I have one piece that met my expectations,others turned blackish.
Edit September 21st:the photo above shows some of the results I got,two springs electroplated,one not.
Here is the link to the Instructables page.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another restoration project

Last weekend and the one before that I bought these two amperemeters(with a number of other meters)that were very cheap.The reason being that they are in a pretty bad condition:dirty,rusty and one of them has a cracked glass panel.This is easily replaced though.
The order of the restoration process will be:
-remove the rust
-clean them
-repaint them
-replace the glass
A nice project to add to the growing list of future projects.....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Artists that I admire I :Jos de Vink

A member of The Steampunk forum has made this wonderful machine called Machine nr8 ,"Robinson motor".It is based on a design from 1889.On his
website many more of these Stirling engines can be found most of which run on a single tea light(candle).