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January 8, 2004

It feels like it's been a lazy beginning to the year.  While I've been doing some reading and research on various topics (SHSG, DCG, web tools) I haven't made any holograms.

This morning I started tearing the table down so that I can put some additional bubble-wrap under the main supports.  The canopy is off (and likely to stay that way) and I started marking 1" lines across the top so that I can more easily record where various mounts are when documenting the setups we use.

Some of the things I'm going to be doing over the next couple of days weeks:

  1. Finish the grid on the top of the table.
  2. Add new bubble-wrap to the table.
  3. Decide if I want to build a second layer to the table so that I can have a master and copy setup going at the same time or if I want to add a second "half" to the table so that I end up with one 4x4' surface.  The setups are getting increasingly complicated and the 2x4' table is feeling cramped.  At the moment I'm leaning toward the 4x4' setup.
  4. Build two new plateholders.  The ones we have at the moment aren't quite stable enough.  These new ones will be made out of thicker steel and likely use springs to hold the plates.  More details when I have them.
  5. Rig a curtain around the table that is hung from the ceiling.  This will allow us to push the curtain back to the wall and out of the way when we need to move around the table.  Lon Moore once made the comment that he strongly disliked canopies and that he couldn't wait to "get out of there" when he had to use a table with a canopy.  For us, the canopy has been more of a benefit than a hindrance (it allows us to enter and leave my office without ruining film on the table and shields the table from warm drafts generated by my computers) but will will be nice to change the canopy so that we can move it out of the way more easily.
    This will also get the curtain supports off the table and remove any chance that outside air currents will move the curtain and transmit that movement through the mount and into the table.
  6. Design a mirror mount that I can make with my limited tool shop that allows me to rotate my mirror mounts with limited affect on the beam paths.  The mounts I have now (especially the ones for the larger mirrors) have the hinge point at one edge of the mirror.  This means that as I rotate the mirror, it also translates and causes one leg to lengthen while the other becomes shorter.  I need a mount that allows me to put the rotation point at the center but still allows me to rotate and move the mirror up and down.

I'll post pictures when I have them.


January 12, 2004

Our table has sprouted an extra 8' of surface area.  With the help of a friend (Andres Ghisays) we added another 2x4' section beside the existing 2x4' table and some additional bubble-wrap under it all.

I'm not sure yet but this may not be quite stable enough.  I may (very likely) have to come up with a way to securely bond the two halves together to form a single single unit so that any movement of the top won't occur in two parts.  At the moment I'm seeing a fair amount of movement that could be attributed to settling of the table or perhaps movement of the new top.  I'm going to have to watch it for a day or so to see how things go.


January 25, 2004

It was a busy Saturday.  In the afternoon I met Andres at Lowes (where he was shopping for holography materials for his own lab) to begin my shopping spree in order to expand the base and concrete layer of my table.  After spending a few hours getting all the materials we needed we took a break and then reconvened at my house to start assembly.

We carried 22 cinder blocks upstairs and deposited them in Susan's office (she was so thrilled) since my office was not only a disaster area but also full to overflowing.

The new table section was going next to the wall so the first order of business was to roll the existing half out of the way.

The area's cleaned up and ready to begin work

First carry in the 3/4" plywood that will make up the "flooring" for the new table and help to distribute the weight load across three floor joists.

Ok, I slacked off on taking pictures but here you can see the second half (on the left) with the two 3/4" glued-up sections forming the base (with casters on the bottom, the whole business can be rolled around), four cinder blocks for support, another 1.5" plywood section for the secondary base with the old concrete top moved over so we can get at the sorbothane layer. Everything has a single layer of carpet in between.

Now we've removed the sorbothane spheres (several were squashed flat) and we're preparing to glue the two existing sections so that they'll form one solid layer that is 1.5" of plywood.

We've spread glue on the first section and slid it underneath the old table top.

In this picture we've already glued up the second half and now added the final piece and clamped the three pieces together.

After letting that all dry, it's time to add a layer of carpet and begin assembling the new cinder layer.

Laying a few out

Put insulating foam in between all the blocks.

Mash them together and repeat until...

We have the entire layer assembled.

Start drilling the holes for then new end caps.

and stick them on the ends, thread the 1/2" rod though and put on two 2" washers.

Add the lock washer and nuts and start tightening them down!

Ok, that's all done, but since I haven't decided exactly what sort of honeycomb table I want to make, just put some temporary carpet down and...

Slide the steel on top.

Andres plays with a laser pointer while we take a break.


2003: Feb | Mar | Apr | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2004: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2005: Blog
2006: Blog
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