i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

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Bundle
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i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Bundle » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:20 am UTC

Ever since i saw The Glass Necklace (comic #260) i knew i had to make one for my girl but I was waiting until winter to start anything.

I don't think a balloon will really work, mainly because i don't have one. So i thought i'd strap the thing to a metal post of some kind.

My main trouble is making the "device" for keeping the sand. It's obviously needs to be made of glass, so i took a glass jar and i'm planning on making a small hole at the bottom so i can put a nail there (less resistant then glass). I'll make a glass lid from another jar and do the same to it. The problem is in making the hole. you see, i have no diamond drills.

Any thoughts?

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Charlie!
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Charlie! » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:36 am UTC

Bundle wrote:Ever since i saw The Glass Necklace (comic #260) i knew i had to make one for my girl but I was waiting until winter to start anything.

I don't think a balloon will really work, mainly because i don't have one. So i thought i'd strap the thing to a metal post of some kind.

My main trouble is making the "device" for keeping the sand. It's obviously needs to be made of glass, so i took a glass jar and i'm planning on making a small hole at the bottom so i can put a nail there (less resistant then glass). I'll make a glass lid from another jar and do the same to it. The problem is in making the hole. you see, i have no diamond drills.

Any thoughts?

Find a nice blowtorch or bunsen burner and melt ye hole, I'd say. Hold the place you want to melt over the hot part of the flame (right above where the bright blue ends) and wait until the glass starts to sag in a spot. Then remove from flame and quickly take something and poke the glass. Voila, hole!
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Bundle
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Bundle » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:11 am UTC

Charlie! wrote:Find a nice blowtorch or bunsen burner and melt ye hole, I'd say. Hold the place you want to melt over the hot part of the flame (right above where the bright blue ends) and wait until the glass starts to sag in a spot. Then remove from flame and quickly take something and poke the glass. Voila, hole!


good idea, I never thought of that. but i don't know anyone with a blowtorch, so i think it stands on the same theoretical ground with the diamond drill.

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Mr. Freeman » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:07 am UTC

Why do you have to use a diamond drill? Perhaps a normal drill bit with plenty of lubricant and a very slow feed will work?

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Zak » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:08 am UTC

Or just go to a glassblowers? They can be found in artist colonies sometimes.
*waggles eyebrows*

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Carnildo » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:08 am UTC

Mr. Freeman wrote:Why do you have to use a diamond drill? Perhaps a normal drill bit with plenty of lubricant and a very slow feed will work?


As a rule of thumb, you can't cut a hard material with a soft one. Tool steel is slightly softer than glass.

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby oxoiron » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:12 pm UTC

If you plan on putting this much effort into into your project, go ahead and spend $10 to buy a drill bit from one of these suppliers I googled.
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Velifer » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:48 pm UTC

Carnildo wrote:As a rule of thumb, you can't cut a hard material with a soft one. Tool steel is slightly softer than glass.


I'll wear down your rule of thumb to the bone with a horde of fluffy kittens. Sure, the tool steel bit will wear faster than the glass, but it will still drill through the glass.

An experiment: make a monofilament saw (a hacksaw and some fishing line) try to cut something nominally harder than the monofilament. You might not get all the way through before it wears out, but you can do damage. The demonstration I saw was a fishing pole sawn in half.

OP: Just use a bunch of cheap drill bits. Go VERY slowly, and wear protection, you don't want glass dust in your eyes (...or a pregnant mason jar. Hard to explain that to her folks).
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Carnildo » Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:37 am UTC

Velifer wrote:
Carnildo wrote:As a rule of thumb, you can't cut a hard material with a soft one. Tool steel is slightly softer than glass.


I'll wear down your rule of thumb to the bone with a horde of fluffy kittens. Sure, the tool steel bit will wear faster than the glass, but it will still drill through the glass.


For certain values of "eventually", yes. Based on my experience trying to drill a 0.050-inch hole in hardened cobalt alloy using tungsten carbide drill bits, it might take a few weeks.

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby gwillums » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:45 am UTC

From experience, the ~$10 benz-o-matic blowtorches you can buy from Home Depot are more than enough to melt a small hole through glass and then reseal it as long as you're careful. Be sure you aren't using pyrex or similar borosilicate glass, as those will take a lot more heat and are much harder to work with.

And when you're done, you can make your girlfriend a creme brulee with it too!

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby JazzyG » Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:49 pm UTC

So has anyone actually successfully done this yet? I'd like to see the results. Good luck Bundle, I hope the experiment works.
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Velifer
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Velifer » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:26 pm UTC

Safety first.
and
When you don't listen to Leo.

Might be better to call lightning by launching a wired rocket from a secure location, like real researchers do, rather than by flying a kite, like soon-to-be-electrocuted people do.
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies have nothing to lose but their chains -Marx

Bundle
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Bundle » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:04 pm UTC

guess what, guys?

apparently, my mother knows an amateur glassblower who made this for free.

Image

it's 3 centimeters thick, in case you're wondering.

there's a storm this weekend, so i'm going to get some sand from the beach after work tomorrow.

i just thought of something. say, by some miracle, it works and a lightning hits it and glass will form. won't the glass capsule shatter? i need to wrap it in something that'll keep it from shattering and thus dropping my lightning-made glass. also, say it won't drop, how do i get it out once all is said and done?

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby TaintedDeity » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

Attacha bucket underneath to catch the shards and your booty.
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Bundle
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Bundle » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:24 pm UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:Attacha bucket underneath to catch the shards and your booty.

that's problematic. I need to attach the capsule to a metal pole (probably a lightning rod somewhere) so attaching a bucket directly under it isn't possible, since there's already a pole under it.

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby TaintedDeity » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:52 pm UTC

Bucket with a pole sized hole in the bottom?
Lots of ducttape/blutac/glue holds the bucket at the correct height.
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Bundle
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Bundle » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:05 pm UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:Bucket with a pole sized hole in the bottom?
Lots of ducttape/blutac/glue holds the bucket at the correct height.

which will melt once the lightning strikes..

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TaintedDeity
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby TaintedDeity » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:27 pm UTC

Causing the bucket to slide harmlessly down the pole to be collected by you.
Also, it's really not that hard to think up a way around this, it's almost as if you're avoiding solutions on purpose.
Attach it with something metal?
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Velifer
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Velifer » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:06 pm UTC

Please videotape this. Make sure your will contains instructions to upload it to YouTube.

Seriously, be very careful. Lightning can get you before the storm shows up. It is unpredictable and quite capable of making you dead or worse.
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby eternauta3k » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:19 pm UTC

Velifer wrote:Lightning can get you before the storm shows up. It is unpredictable and quite capable of making you dead or worse.
Undead?
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Velifer » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:28 pm UTC

eternauta3k wrote:
Velifer wrote:Lightning can get you before the storm shows up. It is unpredictable and quite capable of making you dead or worse.
Undead?

No, only Joseph Smith or Brigham Young can do that.
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies have nothing to lose but their chains -Marx

Bundle
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Bundle » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:50 pm UTC

2 new issues.

i'm worried the sand-made glass will stick to the capsule. any way around that? i was thinking about coating the inside of the capsule with some material that'll make it easy to detach. any thoughts?

also, i'm having serious trouble finding somewhere to put that thing. i can't find any available lightning rods..

and don't worry, youtubing it is an important and crucial part of the process. no one will ever believe me, otherwise.

the storm is tomorrow evening, it's getting a bit too close too fast..

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby TaintedDeity » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:19 pm UTC

Yeah, a thickish coating of atlcum powder might do, unless talcum powder does some strange funky shit at really high temperatures.
Are you going to place a metal rod down the centre of the apparatus or are you hoping the lightning will heat the shit out of the container anyway?
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Bundle
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Bundle » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:21 pm UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:Yeah, a thickish coating of atlcum powder might do, unless talcum powder does some strange funky shit at really high temperatures.
Are you going to place a metal rod down the centre of the apparatus or are you hoping the lightning will heat the shit out of the container hemingway?

i'm going to put nails a little bit through each of the holes. that way it'll go through one nail to the other.

well, should anyways.

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby TaintedDeity » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:37 pm UTC

Hehe, I guess we'll find out :)
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Bundle
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Bundle » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:13 pm UTC

well, i blew it..

the storm hit a day early and i'm NOT hanging around lightning rods during a thunder storm..

hope there's another storm this year..

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby TaintedDeity » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:38 pm UTC

Damn, that's a shame. Nice to hear you;re being moderately safe.
Keep us updated :)
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fedexrico
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby fedexrico » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:56 pm UTC

Maybe I'm missing something here, but why would the lightning go through your aparattus (sand has quite a high resistance) instead of straight through the lightning rod?

Unless you actually put it in the tip of the thing...

I must be missing something here.

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby eternauta3k » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

How about this?
Two lengths of metal rod joined by a tube made of an insulating material, with sand in between. That way, it has to go through the sand. Right?
Maybe it needs some sort of pressure relief. Also the sand should be quite dry.
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby meat.paste » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:09 pm UTC

As was mentioned in an earlier post, the best way to call lightning is to use a remotely activated rocket attached to a thin line of copper.

Take a big metal bucket of sand and put it on the ground. Get a very long (1000 m?) of fine copper wire.. Embed one end of the wire into the sand. Attach the other end to a model rocket. The rocket should be activated either by a timer while you are somewhere else or by a pneumatic device while you are safely in a protective bunker. The odds are pretty good that the rocket will be hit by lightning. The lightning will follow the wire down into the bucket of sang. Because the lightning strike is carrying mega-amps of current, it shouldn't matter whether the sand is wet, dry, or surrounded by insulating material. You should get a nice fulgurite surrounded by sand.

I would like to emphasize that this is an extremely dangerous method of producing a fulgurite. Lightning carries a lot of current, so even small resistances can generate a large voltage drop across them. Conversely, because the voltages involved are so high, even large resistances can generate a large current flow through them. The dry resistance of a human from one foot to another is ~10 M-ohm (I just measured myself :oops: ) A 100 kV drop across the feet, which seems like a low value to me, generated by the lighting strike would cause 10 mA to flow across you. 10 mA is enough to stop your heart. So, be very VERY careful.

CMA - I am not an expert in this field any advice you take from me is not warranted (either expressly or implied) to be safe or a good idea.
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby yeyui » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:10 am UTC

Question: Isn't the resistance of loose sand higher than that of glass?

If I am right, then there would seem to be a problem with the design. You'd have to either get a better insulator for the capsule, or trust that the lightning passes through both the sand and the glass.

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Carnildo » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:25 am UTC

yeyui wrote:Question: Isn't the resistance of loose sand higher than that of glass?


Resistance is measured in ohms per unit distance. If the two electrodes are close enough together, the resistance of the sand between them will be less than the resistance of the full length of the glass tube.

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby martin878 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:44 am UTC

Carnildo wrote:Resistance is measured in ohms per unit distance. If the two electrodes are close enough together, the resistance of the sand between them will be less than the resistance of the full length of the glass tube.


Mostly right. But resistance is measured in Ohms. The resistance of a uniform material will be proportional to its length, but it's still in Ohms.

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Velifer » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:49 pm UTC

There's enough juice there it ain't gonna matter.
http://images.google.com/images?q=fulgurite
Most of these are just natural strikes in the desert. No fancy set-up.

The lightning researchers I linked to in a prior post actually monitor charge before they send up the rocket. This gives them a better chance of a big strike instead of a small spark (which is still fuckall enough to kill you). There's enough current to do the job. Just don't die.
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby eternauta3k » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:16 pm UTC

meat.paste wrote:it shouldn't matter whether the sand is wet, dry, or surrounded by insulating material. You should get a nice fulgurite surrounded by sand.
Actually, I said that to keep it from exploding and breaking/spreading the fulgurite all over the place. Maybe that happens anyway, dunno.
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Bundle » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:11 pm UTC

meat.paste wrote:As was mentioned in an earlier post, the best way to call lightning is to use a remotely activated rocket attached to a thin line of copper.

...


as awesome as that can be, the unlikelihood of me getting my hands on a rocket is rivaled only by the unlikelihood of there being another storm this year. i'm afraid it just wasn't meant to be.. i'll try again next year, but i really don't think i'll be able to get a rocket.

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Zeroignite » Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:19 pm UTC

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Image

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Bundle » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:44 pm UTC

Zeroignite wrote:Rockets: Not actually that hard to get.

ok, i did not know that. now that i think about it, i have a friend who used to launch these as a hobby. i think i'll give him a call.

hmm.. any idea how long must the wire be, and how strong the engine has to be to pull up so much weight? and won't the wire snap under it's own weight, or by the force of the pull? or by the lightning for that matter (though once it hit, it probably doesn't matter anymore)

anyone knows enough about wires to tell me exactly what i'm supposed to be in the look out for?
stuff like material, thickness and length.

EDIT:
well, i be damned. weatherman said there's going to be a storm this weekend. seems like there's a last shot at making it working this year.

any ideas on how am i getting a rocket in a week?

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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby SummerGlauFan » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:30 pm UTC

Bundle wrote:
Zeroignite wrote:Rockets: Not actually that hard to get.

ok, i did not know that. now that i think about it, i have a friend who used to launch these as a hobby. i think i'll give him a call.

hmm.. any idea how long must the wire be, and how strong the engine has to be to pull up so much weight? and won't the wire snap under it's own weight, or by the force of the pull? or by the lightning for that matter (though once it hit, it probably doesn't matter anymore)

anyone knows enough about wires to tell me exactly what i'm supposed to be in the look out for?
stuff like material, thickness and length.

EDIT:
well, i be damned. weatherman said there's going to be a storm this weekend. seems like there's a last shot at making it working this year.

any ideas on how am i getting a rocket in a week?


As has been stated earlier, about 100m of fine copper wire should do you. As for a rocket, any hobby store that specializes in model aircraft (particularly ones that fly via remote) should have some. Heck, Walmart and the like probably has them...
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Re: i have to make it.. don't ask me why, i just do..

Postby Verin » Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:29 am UTC

I wish you luck!


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