Tag Archives: machine

Sink grinder

The “Sink Grinder” shown bolted to the wall above the sink. Rendered with Autodesk Inventor

Last December I realized that I need to up my game.

I have always been unsatisfied with the final finish of the etching process I use. I’ve spent hours and hours at the sink with various wet abrasives and despite how long I scrubbed I was never quite satisfied with the results. Furthermore, I have a long term goal to incorporate more champlevĂ© into my work. I’ve ground enough glass (very little) to know that power assist for that task would be the bees knees.

So I stared looking around for a powered grinder of some sort that was versatile and large enough for me needs and finally happened upon the Single Arbor Grinder (SAG-1) made by Denver Glass Machinery pictured below. It would be the perfect solution if I had a much larger workspace and a few grand of extra dollars.

The Single Arbor Grinder made by Denver Glass Machinery sells for $2300.

Then, I found this image showing the guts of the SAG-1 at the WarmGlass.com forum. A motor, two pillow blocks and a shaft? Is that all? I can build that.

I’m calling my design a Sink Grinder because there is where it will reside. The frame and motor will both be attached to the wall and easily removable. I’ve drawn three versions of this machine in Inventor so I think I’m ready to build the first prototype. Hopefully this one works so well that I don’t need to build a second.

Th last of the parts are on order, the shaft has been machined, and the frame is fabricated. All that’s left is assembly, and paint. Then the grinding can begin.

Mechanical peacock saves the day

The cosmos speaks incessantly to the inquisitive mind.

This week, through my brief inquiry into the Cordel literature traditions of Brazil, I encountered a startling gem of inspiration for the automata artist. As it happens, the indisputably most popular folheto ever published is O Pavao Misterioso or The Mysterious Peacock and the story goes like this:

A young man named Evangelista falls in love with the jealously-guarded and radiantly beautiful daughter of a Greek nobleman. In order to visit his love he acquires an aluminum-framed mechanical flying peacock from the great artist-engineer Edmundo. In due course the maiden and Evangelista escape her father and elope on the back of the peacock. Shortly after setting up house in Turkey they are reconciled with the bride’s mother (the father having died of extreme vexation) and receive her full inheritance.

Happy endings thanks to a wondrous automaton. My kind of story. Shades of Hugo anyone?

In her splendid book, Stories on a String, Candice Slater reports that this tale is so intoxicating to some readers of Cordel that they believe the mechanical peacock actually existed and continues to exist today. It is as though this fictional automata is a saint!

Slater’s book is available on Google books. And here is a link to a Google translation of The Romance of the Mysterious Peacock by JosĂ© Camelo de Melo Rezende from Wikisource.