Antique Scientific Instrument restoration

As you may have surmised from my handle, I run an electricity museum. One of my activities is restoring antique scientific instruments, & I recently had the opportunity to put the GF to work. I received a Voss static electricity machine (ca 1900) that had broken disks. One of the disks was 12.4" in diameter, so it didn’t fit in the bed of my gf. Fortunately I have a PRO, and using the slot was able to create a new disk. What surprised me was I got perfect alignment just using the camera, without a jig.

The smaller disk is 10.5" so I was able to do it in the gf.

I wish the gf would cut aluminum foil, but I used a stamp to cut out the new aluminum foil disks.


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Wow, cool! Was the original disk made of glass? I’m guessing you used acrylic for the replacement.

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Thanks! Yes to both. This machine is relatively common, otherwise I would have stuck with original materials.

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How very cool is that!

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Cool!
Does using acrylic instead of glass change the performance? E.g. Is acrylic as good an insulator as glass, and any issues with static charge build up on the acrylic? (but even if so, I suspect it’s not something a visitor to the museum would even notice–esp. if you don’t have two side by side to compare…)

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I have replaced glass with acrylic in several modern Whimshurst machines & I can’t see any change in performance.

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Polymethylmethacrylate has a higher surface resistivity than glass and therefore build up a static charge better. Other plastics may have higher surface resistivity and adsorb less moisture, but they would not cut as easily with a CO2 laser.

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If you could harness this energy and channel it into the flux capacitor…

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What a beautiful piece! Nice work getting it cleaned up.

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That might interfere with the dilithium crystals :slight_smile:

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As it turns out, I built a fusion reactor complete with Flux capacitor for our electrical show at the museum. We use it to “power” our 4.5 mega volt “MegaZapper”. That’s me getting hit with its 15 foot arc in my profile picture.

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What a fabulous piece! Thank you so much for posting.

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Love this. Fits in nicely.

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Thanks everyone! I’m looking forward to seeing other ways I can use the glowForge in restoration. It’s a fantastic addition to my shop!

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