Archive for February, 2012


Posted in Things with tags , on February 28, 2012 by Spark

I stumbled across a set of rules for a 3D chess variant called Raumschach.  The board is 5 x 5 squares by 5 boards, making a 5 x 5 x 5 cube of spaces.  Pieces move in any plane as they normally would in the single plane of regular chess.  Raumschach has an extra piece called the Unicorn that moves on the 3D diagonals.  After reading about it, I immediately wanted to try it, and that meant I would have to build myself a board.

I started off by cutting five Plexiglass squares.  I used a tablesaw with the blade height set low to score lines for the squares in each board.  I used electrical tape to mask off every other square before sandblasting the board.  I drilled holes in the corners to fit 8-32 threaded rod, and took all the parts home.  Leah helped me assemble the pieces into a pretty decent looking Raumschach board.

We finished putting it together late last night and didn’t have time for a game.  I can’t wait to play it!


DIY Secret Santa

Posted in Sculpture, Things with tags , , on February 23, 2012 by Spark

I’m still catching up on posting a couple of older projects here.

Back in December, Artisan’s Asylum ran their second annual Do-It-Yourself Secret Santa event.  Participants filled out a brief survey about their interests, and their secret Santa made something for them based on their survey results.

Here’s the wire sailboat I made for Max Eskin.  I spot welded most of it and TIG welded a few spots I couldn’t get with the spot welder.  I probably spent as much time tying the sails on as I spent welding the rest of the ship.


Wire sailboat I made for Max Eskin


Leah made a wire flower/candle holder for Bronwen.  When the candle is lit, it throws beautiful shadows on the walls and makes you feel like you’re sitting in a jungle.

Flower candle holder made by Leah for Bronwen


Ecco made me this kickass glow-in-the-dark kitty skeleton out of Sculpey and wire.

The glow-in-the-dark kitty that Ecco made for me


Bevan made a sculpture for Leah.  One of the questions on the survey asked where/when you would go if you had a time machine that would only work once.  Leah wrote that she would go somewhere where she could float on her back in the ocean with her eyes closed on a beautiful sunny day, and Bevan made something to remind her of that feeling.

Bevan's sculpture for Leah captures the feeling of floating on your back in the ocean on a sunny day

An actual finished sculpture!

Posted in Sculpture, Things with tags , , , , on February 16, 2012 by Spark

After a year of off and on work, I finally completed my first kinetic metal sculpture.  It’s a flower that blooms when the temperature rises above ~70 degrees F.  Check out the photo series below of it opening up, along with my full description below.

Flos Metallica is a rare specimen of plant life from the year 3072. It was collected via a wormhole left unguarded by the benevolent robot overlords (all hail his mightiness Omnicron Prime!) The flower blooms only when the temperature exceeds 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flos Metallica uses a cylinder from a greenhouse vent to actuate the petals of the flower. Wax inside the cylinder expands when it is heated, forcing the piston upwards. A spring is needed to retract the piston as the wax cools.