Saturday, September 16, 2006


The Imperial Menace

Despite being a country that converted to Metric decades ago, Canada's close trade relationship with the States prevents it from making much headway. Walk into a hardware store and everything's Imperial. Unless you feel like paying for overseas shipping, most everything you mail-order is Imperial too.

So I'm making do with Imperial parts, materials and measurements and leaving a lot of breathing room for mistakes. I go by two rules.

* Drill holes too small, enlarge them later if you need to.
* Get rod too large, lathe it down later if you need to.

From left to right, we have:

* 2" of 1/2" PTFE rod, with a 1/8" bore all the way through, and a 1/4" section of of tapped 1/4" on the end.
* 2" of 1/4" threaded brass rod, with a 1/8" bore all the way through.
* A 1/4" brass acorn nut, drilled out to serve as a nozzle. Note the solder holding it together, I machined a touch too far in and made a crack in it.

The brass rod is teflon-wrapped and fitted with nichrome wire the traditional way. I had to get special plumbers' tape meant for gas pipes, though -- ordinary stuff wasn't pure PTFE, just "teflon-impregnated".

Beautiful! :-)
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