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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While exploring the site of a long abandoned 19th century Acme factory destroyed in a boiler explosion, I spotted the corner of a rusted piece of metal sticking out of the ground. Two things were immediately apparent as I excitedly dug it out and brushed off the dirt: First, it confirmed that this was indeed the site of Acme’s Chimerical Navigation Controls factory. And second, that the artifact perfectly described the kind of things I produce and would be an excellent addition to my shop. I gleefully snatched it up and took it home for restoration.

[Pull up your socks, it’s starting to get deep in here.]

The navigation controls produced at the old Acme CNC factory were used on many of the more advanced airships in the mid to late 1800’s. As I understand it, the controls were known for the unusual celluloid coatings applied to the intricate gear system which was visible through a glass window in the sealed box encasing the peculiar device. Sadly, no Acme CNC navigation devices still exist due to the the fragility of the glass and the flammable nature of the celluloid. The enormous pressures exerted by the airship steam engines often cracked the glass and exposed the gears to wayward sparks from the engine fire box. Some have said that Acme designed this flaw into the product to ensure repeat sales in a limited market.

[You really should move on. He’s clearly lying through his teeth and this is embarrassing.]

I don’t know if this piece was signage or if it was a cover plate for one of the the giant steam powered machines used on the production line. The gears are rusted solid so I have no idea of their function. Perhaps they were merely for decoration if this was actually only a sign. More research is needed on that.

[You know he’s done this before. Don’t encourage him by reading any further.]

Anyway, you can see the restoration process from the photos as I remove the rust, give it a coat of primer, and finally a fresh coat of white paint. Hmmm … I’m not sure where that last photo came from or what we’re looking at. You should probably just ignore it.

See? Busted by his own photos. He clearly produced this in his own shop. What an idiot.

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way to go Oliver..
 

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Great recreation. Good job, Oliver.

Now about that boiler explosion. When I read that, it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. For more than thirty years, I operated (either from the control room or on the deck) three 600 psig boilers which could generate as much as 450,000 #/hr. of 600 # steam at 750 deg F. Boiler explosions were always on my mind. Especially since our control room was only a couple hundred feet from the boilers...and the deaerator was above us. If it fell due to the explosion, we would have been scalded.

I have been gone for 9 years and counting and all is still well at the plant.

Still, your mention of a boiler explosion got my attention real quick like!
 

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Once again, Oliver gets the prize for creative writing. He might not get one for the piece, however, because the gear doesn't turn and trigger spring loaded lettering to pop out at you while a "doooiiiiiinnnnnggggggg" sound goes off. But now, the challenge is on. What next from the fertile minds of Acme imagineers?
 

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Mike
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Oliver love the story. Love the rusted paint job on the sign.

Maybe you should look into 2 sided carving so you could cut pockets on the back for the gears, cut the gears separately and mount them with a crank on the front to turn them so Tom won't be disappointed.
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Paying attention, Mike?????

What's it cut out of and what you finish it with?
What was it cut out of and finished with? Am I to assume you are doubting the veracity of the original post? Okay, I'll fess up.

The sign was cut out of 15 lb. Precision Board that is available in cut sizes from Interstate HDU. Precision Board is a High Density Urethane material that cuts like a dream and finishes easily.

For the finish I first applied a coat of standard spray can primer before moving on to The Secret Ingredient. There's nothing better than a secret ingredient to finish off a project.

Pssst. Are we alone? Okay, keep this under your hat so no else will know. I used Iron B a product from Sculpt Nouveau. They make water-based paint-on metal coatings that can be applied to most anything. Their metal coatings include: iron, brass, copper, bronze, pewter, and silver and contain actual metal particles.

After applying the coating you use various patinas to get the effect you are looking for. In my case I used their Tiffany Green patina which quickly (8 hours or so) creates rust on the the iron coating.

I think I may try their copper coating on some future project.
 

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I absolutely LOVE that sign. My father worked as a steam engineer for over 35 years and I am wondering if you would have copies of this sign for sale. I would love to get copies and paint them up for gifts for my sister and my 14 grand children as well as for myself. Please let me know if you would consider selling these....
Great Job.
 

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Great recreation. Good job, Oliver.

Now about that boiler explosion. When I read that, it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. For more than thirty years, I operated (either from the control room or on the deck) three 600 psig boilers which could generate as much as 450,000 #/hr. of 600 # steam at 750 deg F. Boiler explosions were always on my mind. Especially since our control room was only a couple hundred feet from the boilers...and the deaerator was above us. If it fell due to the explosion, we would have been scalded.

I have been gone for 9 years and counting and all is still well at the plant.

Still, your mention of a boiler explosion got my attention real quick like!
Would that make you a stationary engineer? Dad was a 2nd class and worked at Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario for quite a few years before moving to southern Ontario in 1970 (because of the weather) and took employment elsewhere.
 

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I absolutely LOVE that sign. My father worked as a steam engineer for over 35 years and I am wondering if you would have copies of this sign for sale. I would love to get copies and paint them up for gifts for my sister and my 14 grand children as well as for myself. Please let me know if you would consider selling these....
Great Job.
And you could personalize each one with their names.

There ya go, Ollie - - - I see a new bigger machine in your near future!!!!

Paying attention, Mike?
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
And you could personalize each one with their names.

There ya go, Ollie - - - I see a new bigger machine in your near future!!!!

Paying attention, Mike?
Okay FULL DISCLOSURE time. I have already ordered a bigger machine. NextWave Automation allowed me to trade-in my Piranha FX for a Shark HD4. I built a new table to support it over the weekend and I'm waiting for it to be shipped. :grin:
 

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You probably should have gone bigger than that, Ollie. I see big things in your future -- and bigger IS better in the CNC world!!

See what we mean, Mike??
 
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Mike
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Oliver you will have fun with that HD4.

I'd say you won't know what to do will all that new room and extra Z height but knowing you there are probably already new design files on your computer that use the extra cutting area and Z height of the new machine.
 
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