Daily Diary

Egeria Home Page

All diaries

Table of contents:

ShipYard space [was: RE: generator] -- Fri, 31 May 2002 19:43:34 -0700
COPPER!!!!! -- Fri, 31 May 2002 08:41:32 -0700
Copper bowl tests! -- Tuesday, May 28, 2002 at 02:02:39 (PDT)
Miller Maxstar 140 dream -- Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 10:29:00 (PDT)
Fwd: interesting bits on copper welding -- Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 10:28:15 (PDT)
ShipYard power update -- Tue, 21 May 2002 19:37:34 -0700
Cutting large circles -- Tue, 21 May 2002 19:26:28 -0700
Utilikilt fundraiser -- at last! -- Tue, 21 May 2002 14:25:37 -0700
TIG stuff -- Mon, 20 May 2002 21:39:40 -0700
Update: copper, t-shirts, Utilikilts -- Monday, May 20, 2002 at 00:35:20 (PDT)
We've got work to do! -- Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 13:53:46 (PDT)
URGENT free plywood! -- Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 09:16:12 (PDT)
Playa assembly schedule -- Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 09:58:17 (PDT)
Schedule -- Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 09:56:44 (PDT)
Drive w/ Jim Mason -- Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 09:56:27 (PDT)

ShipYard space [was: RE: generator] -- Fri, 31 May 2002 19:43:34 -0700

At 07:29 PM 5/31/2002 -0700, Jim Mason wrote:
>actually, the best use of space and cleanest solution for you and others
>might be for you to take that whole space and make it formally yours for the
>summer.  that makes a clean line where your stuff ends and others can begin.
>it also protects your stuff and process.  you are doing the biggest project
>this summer, so you should make the first space claim.  if you want to claim
>the shared shop area, i think that's fine.  we can put rebecca by the house.
Putting me next to the generators also makes the most sense.  I'll be wearing ear protection most of the time anyway! :)  So let's go for your old shop area.  I'll move the copper there tomorrow or sunday.  Yay!!
Taking that space would be fantastic!  I will leave some room, of course, for others [in particular, the Cube] and make room with notice if need-be.
That sounds great!  I was thinking I'd have to pack up each day!  This makes working so much easier!

COPPER!!!!! -- Fri, 31 May 2002 08:41:32 -0700

Copper was, indeed, delivered yesterday!  YAY!!
Here's some pics so you can drool with me. :)
This is my new favorite picture:
The guy arrived and said, "oh, you don't have a forklift?"  Um.  "Well, we *do*, kinda, but it's broken..."
So we unloaded by hand.  Sandy was there to capture it on film, but ended up helping us unload.
We unloaded on two rolling cards -- thanx, WebVan!  And Sandy and I had fun with the video camera and digital camera, fondling the copper and basically making Burning Man artist porn. :) :)  The picture above ["copper_like_water.jpg"] is my favorite porn picture that I will now keep by the bed. ;) ;)
I changed my order some.  I got 062 for the bottom bowl and 043 for the other two bowls and the labels.  The 064 sheets are *heavy* and I couldn't move one of them alone.  Ug!  but it's much thicker and will be far stronger in the end.  I think it's the best decision.
I left it on the rolling carts, but will probably unload it today against our container to free up the carts.

Copper bowl tests! -- Tuesday, May 28, 2002 at 02:02:39 (PDT)

[This is a summary of a lot of short things.  Sorry it's so long!]
Today I did a pounding test of 050 copper.  It went very well!
I remembered that I had hammer-formed copper at Penland Art School many years ago.  [Oh, what a paradise Penland is!]  It wasn't hard at all.
And it still wasn't. :)  Even though the copper was much thicker than what I'd used before.
I pounded a rather round small bowl.  I wanted the curve to be far more drastic than we'd have to deal with in the big bowls.  All in all, it was quite easy to make and to make it right.  The little bowl is still a little bit wonky in places, but that's only a matter of being patient and working it until it's perfect.
[The copper is oranger than this -- it looks like pewter! -- it's just the fluorescent light color...]
So here's some thoughts I had come out of this little excersize:
Open air pounding: I tried first pounding a ball-peen hammer [round end] against the copper against a steel anvil.  but pounding the copper in plain open air worked far better.
So Scott and I discussed a method of supporting the bowl with open air room to pound underneith.  We'll build a support structure topped with cut plywood to make a hard corner edge.  We'll drill through and bolt through the left-over edges of the square *before* cutting out the circle.  This should hold it well into place while pounding.
[To reiterate, BTW, we'll be making a "top hat" shape instead of pounding the whole form from a flat circle.  This should reduce the pounding work, though *increase* the amount of copper as well as welding work...  This seemed a good trade off, since the bowl will be stronger in the end, and it will save time, which is our shortest commodity right now...]
We'll pound the bottom first, then cut the two circles, then weld the top hat walls into place.  We might do a little more pounding to round out the edges, but only if we have time.  This might be saved until near the end to focus on necessary things.
Measuring the roundness: this is a fun and tricky problem!  There's a number of solutions Scott and I talked about [plywood arc that can be set against the copper, a string radius mounted over the bowl and brought against the point to be measured, etc.] but since a parabola is the ideal shape, draping a chain across the bowl is the best method.  So you would drape the chain along your working area and pound down any places that the chain can touch.
Pounding upwards: you might have to crawl under the support structure and pound a spot back that had been pounded too much.  A chain could possibly be hung under here too.
In all, I'm betting the small bowl will only be a day of work from welding to finished bowl.  Plus, things will only get easier as we learn tricks and get practice.
Keep your eye out for working-on-the-railroad songs to pound to the beat! :)
Other copper stuff:
Still haven't ordered the copper.  Called on thursday and never got a call back.  I will try again tomorrow.
Since they didn't have all the sheets in stock [according to Pouneh], I might just get creative with the types and thicknesses.  Meaning, I think we could do 3 sheets of 4x10 064 and have enough for the big bowl and top hat sides.  Then go with 050 or 043 [4x10 or 3x10] for the middle and small bowls and the UK labels.  In a lot of ways, I think this will be better all around.  I'll find out what I can do tomorrow.
Scott and I discussed the support structure as well some.  I want the ribs to be a T shape, but this shape cannot easily be bent -- which is the idea.  So I'm planning on having the ribs rolled, then cut and weld the T shape.  This cut piece would be cut *curved* to match the bowl curve, to make the curved T.  Don't worry if you don't follow this.  It's in my head. :)
We put in for a quote for a copper stamp but still haven't heard back.  Got some rivet samples from Michelle and they look great!  [Michelle, I'll talk with you soon!]  Dave Cherry has a friend who might be cheaper than Ashbury Images for the t-shirts, so we're waiting to hear back from him.  As soon as we hear back and figure out how many shirts we can order based on their prices, we'll get the order in!
I'm going to call or visit LadyBee this week and figure out money.  I'm starting to panic that we haven't gotten a check yet!  We *must* get started soon to finish on time!
Water: A new volunteer, John DeVenezia said this:
>In summary, I estimate for an 10mph mean wind we can expect an
>average loss of 2.6 gallons per hour (~62 gallons a day);
> if the wind is averaging 5 mph we can expect to lose an average of
>1.6 gallons an hour  (~38 gallons a day).
This is *great*!!  Talked with Snook about it and he says this is no problem.  In fact, if I could get my hands on another drink syrup container [350 gallons] this might have to be filled only *twice* [or at most 3 times] the entire Event!  This is great!!
He also said he has a friend who lives out there who will let him fill up with his hose.  So water is covered [as long as Snook's 1500 gal water truck gets out there!]  One of Snook's priorities with water is to keep me filled.
Stones: I still haven't finished a form to use for casting the stones.  Ug.  Lots going on!  I hope to get this done soon!
I realized that though the stones will take up a lot of packing space, they could probably simply line the floor in a few layers and be fine!  Maybe plywood in between the layers.  But in any case, they can be shipped without too much worrying on my part! :)
Also, Snook said that someone at Empire store has a bunch of garlic kiln drying bricks he wants to get rid of.  This might be an option to fill around the stones if we don't get them all done.  They are kiln brick color, which is an off-white -- perfect!
In the mean time, try to keep the momentum.  I know I've been silent -- now that the proposal is done, there's been less planning and research, yet no work to do -- but try to keep the energy flowing!  We'll begin work soon!  I know things are getting late, but this will only be a matter of doing fewer stones or fewer torches.  The bowls will still go on!!  And that's what counts!

Miller Maxstar 140 dream -- Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 10:29:00 (PDT)

I dreamed last night that I had bought the Miller Maxstar 140 -- a Miller TIG that weighs only #10!  I'd gotten the super-cheap deal for $740 with no options [ -> Prices -> Miller] and was currently searching for the things I needed, and even saw another cheap deal on a water cooled torch on eBay like the one I'd missed out on.  []
I hugged it to me everywhere I went, like a baby blankey, and even when I crawled under someone's dormroom bed for a nap, I slept with it.

Fwd: interesting bits on copper welding -- Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 10:28:15 (PDT)

Since we may all get a hand at welding copper [I want *everyone* who *wants* to to get a chance!], this was quite interesting.
Note that Greg and I didn't pre-heat nor carefully clean the copper before welding and it was quite easy.  There was some spattering ["foam"] but it wasn't consistent and we couldn't figure out why some welds spattered and some did not.  It was suggested to try back-filling the seam while welding, but we got spattering even when doing test beads on flat copper with no seam.  We'll probably back-fill anyway.
From: Ernie Leimkuhler
Subject: Re: Questions About TIG & Copper  
Newsgroups: sci.engr.joining.welding
View: Complete Thread (24 articles) | Original Format
Date: 2000-12-31 09:17:38 PST  
In article <3A4EB70C.1644251E at>, Lane Gustafson wrote:
> Ernie, thanks for the feedback.
> Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:
> > Doing a lot of copper with a 180 would be tough unless you added a water  
> > cooled torch.
> > It would od it though.
> > 1/8" or under.
> I don't understand the last 3 sentences though. My local central welding
> shop says that the 180 doesn't need a water cooled torch. What
> determines if a water cooled torch is needed or not?
Aluminum running in AC puts a lot of heat back into the torch.
YES, you can weld aluminum with an air cooled torch, but not for very long.
The torch just gets uncomfortably hot.
I had an Econotig for 6 years, and I added a water cooled torch after the first 4 months.
Copper in many ways is aluminum's uglier, meaner cousin.
It takes much more heat and has a very sharp break point between solid and super liquid.
Most metals when you weld them, have semi-liquid state, where the molten metal is in a molasses like  
Copper goes from solid to water and back to solid in a blink.
Another problem with copper is that it continues to suck away heat even when molten.
This is another reason to get a water cooled torch.
The Copper piece will get hotter and hotter as you work, which can end up slow roasting your hand  
and torch nearby.
Of course as the copper gets hotter less and less heat is needed to melt in, hence why you have to  
monitor heat constantly.
A syncrowave 180 can weld 1/4" steel, and 3/16" aluminum, but only 1/8" copper.
Unless you preheated the entire piece of copper.
Mind you if you add so much as 5% tin to the copper and get something like Silicon bronze or Phoshor  
Bronze, the whole deal changes and suddenly the stuff is a dream to weld.
  NEVER NEVER NEVER use an aluminum plate as a welding tabel when welding copper.
The liquid copper will fuse to the aluminum creating a spot of aluminum bronze on your piece.
Always remove the oxide layer before re-welding any joint.
If you don't clean it off it will promote porosity (foam) in the welds.
I have had much better luck using DCEN rather than AC.
Helium mixed in your Argon helps a lot on Copper.
> "It would od it though."  huh?
It would do it though.
Meaning that while a Syncro 180  would not be ideal, it will work.
I have a bad habit of reversing letter pairs if I type too fast.
I try to catch them before posting, but my Newsreader doesn't have an auto spell check.
Stagesmith Productions - Architectural Metal Fab - Renton, WA, USA
Death: "If I were you, I'd run".
Buddy: " If you were me, you'd be good looking".
                                                                                 Six-String Samuri
Google Home - Advertise with Us - Search Solutions - News and Resources - Language Tools - Jobs, Press, Cool Stuff...
2002 Google

ShipYard power update -- Tue, 21 May 2002 19:37:34 -0700

Jim and I brought back a bunch of broken, old generators from the playa a few weeks ago.  Her's currently working on fixing them, and hopefully one will work.  This is critical for 220V power, ie critical to doing real welding on Egeria.  We can probably get away without 220 for a little while, working on the smaller bowls elsewhere, since they're more transportable.  Once the big bowl kicks in [and even the 7' middle bowl...] we will have to be working on the yard.
Right now, Jim's working on a 12V solar system to run fluorescent and LED lighting systems for security.  He's also toying with strange and unique power generation systems.  Kinda cool.
The fire inspector came and saw no fire extinguishers.  He wrote it down on his clipboard.  Jim promised it would be fixed, but he came again and it was not taken care of.  He was not very happy about that.  I partly feel to blame, since this is important in a personal way, but as you all know, I've been pretty frazzled and busy and couldn't volunteer to take care of it.  Jim simply took care of it, finally, but two inspections that did not make the inspector happy are not a good thing.  Bummer.
On a more positive note, we just got our first permit -- we can now legally weld in the yard.  Yay!  The show slowly rolls forward...
Space has been a big issue recently.  Jim has a lot of *big* vehicles in the yard, as do others too.  The yard is crowded.  I complained and things have gotten some better.  We need to move the Firetown trailer to Sac'to.  That needs to be done before June 1st.
Pouneh still hasn't gotten the copper order in, but will in the next few days.  Jeremy Lutes has suddenly switched gears, done a total redesign of his project, and decided not to use copper!  Oop, ak!  So it's kinda good that Pouneh hadn't put in the order!  But I was really hoping to actually start welding this weekend...
What else?  I think that's it.

Cutting large circles -- Tue, 21 May 2002 19:26:28 -0700

Hey, Dr J!  Sorry we missed you the other night...another time!
So, I was just trying to figure out how I'll cut the copper into large circles.  I'll be welding large sheets together, then cutting out a big circle from there.  In fact, I'll want to cut a smaller circle out of the bigger circle and weld in a "wall" or strip to make a "top-hat" shape to make the fountain bowls from.
But basically, I'll need to cut some large circles out of large copper, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to do that.  Any suggestions?
Tin snips are, of course, out of the question!  Even cutting small squares out using tin snips is *very* difficult!  This is 050 copper we're talking!  It's nearly as thick as a dime!
The other options I'm thinking of are a plasma cutter [uneven edge] and a bandsaw [unweildy, but doable, but difficult for the inner circle, since I'd have to cut my way in...]  Jig saw?  Sabre saw?  Spiral saw?  Hack saw??? :)
In any case, I'll probably have to rig up some kind of turn table so I can turn this thing slowly and make a perfect circle, however I cut it.  Or rig up a string/cable...
Any ideas?  I'm sure you're the one to ask. :)

Utilikilt fundraiser -- at last! -- Tue, 21 May 2002 14:25:37 -0700

Okay, this web page SUCKS, but I'm spending too much time trying to get it right and send it out, and, frankly, I don't have the time.  It needs to get out there.  Here it is.  It sucks.
If any web guru person out there wants to tackle it, by all means!  That would make me happy.  I promise to like *anything* you make, as long as it covers the basics of ordering info, and shows the label design.
Anyway, pass this along far and wide!
PS While I was at it, I also made this:

TIG stuff -- Mon, 20 May 2002 21:39:40 -0700

Hey, Greg!

I've been thinking about your EconoTIG and the torch head heating up, and have been thinking about possibly buying a water-cooled torch either to share with you or simply give you in exchange for using your TIG.
In the Miller catalog, the torch is about $150 or so.  But then Scott said I'd *also* need to get the circulation system which is about $1500.  Eeeks!  Okay, let's think this through...
So I went by PraxAir to talk about what I'd actually *need* to have a functioning water-cooled torch.  And the answers were quite interesting!
First off, he showed me the torch.  Funny thing is it uses the *water* to conduct the electricity!  How weird!  So there's three lines: water in, water out, gas out.  No wires!  So the water cooled torch is actually quite a bit *lighter*.  Nice!
I asked if you actually use regular tap water, and he said yes!  Very strange, since tap water conducts poorly.  Esp. since the lines aren't all that wider than the electric ones.  I don't actually get it myself.  I suggested maybe you add salt or something and he said some people use [I forget which, but ethyl-something maybe?  Sorry my memory is so bad!]  But tap water was most common.  Hmmm!  Strange!
Then, I delicately asked if one *really* needed the circulation system, if one couldn't just stick a pump on one's self...and he said "sure!"  I mentioned that I build fountains, and he said definitely I should be able to do it myself.  And he showed me the connector that the water lines screw into that attach to the torch end of the TIG.  I now want to look at your TIG and see just where this attaches to.  It looks like a big bolt hole.  he said it attaches to the positive end or negative depending on the application, and showed me how the water lines simply screw right in to conduct the electricity!  So weird!
But we talked some about welding copper, and I saiI'm seriously thinking of buying a used heavy-duty TIG, then selling it after this project. [and then buy a *nice* TIG for me to keep!! heehee!]  So keep your eyes peeled!]

Update: copper, t-shirts, Utilikilts -- Monday, May 20, 2002 at 00:35:20 (PDT)

When I design, I write my brain-dump to this list.  When I'm working, I work and shut up. :)
The past couple weeks have been very long -- and mostly filled with a magical David Wilcox visit!  Much of my magical batteries have now been filled full.  I have two new albums, and even new songs I can sing parts of that are on no albums.  Ah, back to the old days! :)
Aside from that, there was a crucial meeting with bman.  I haven't written much yet about that because my head's been in a turmoil over it.  LadyBee was NOT happy that I talked to other artists.  I've apologized a number of times, and I think things are smoothed over now, but probably not back to normal...  The new contract should come in this week, and that's when I'll get the check finally.
[Started this letter days ago, and here's an update...]
A saw her at the Blue Ball, where I gave her a hug, and where she called me a "bad girl" then asked me about the FLG firefall I had on display.  Yeah, I think things are much better now...
Saw Will Roger too, who mentioned the contract stuff, and to which I replied, "they were good changes and needed to be there," and he agreed and the topic died.
Copper: Pouneh ordered copper for me and Jeremy as well as the FLG.  Not sure when it'll come in, but hopefully soon.
ShipYard: The ShipYard is *crowded* with vehicles of every sort!  Crowded with Jim's boomtruck and box truck, boat trailer, and occasionally his small pickup, with Snook's water truck and live-in box truck, Chris' pickup truck, Firetown's trailer, Tom's hottub trailer, a giant generator, and the Carthedral.  I started the first step of bitching about it. :)  It's ridiculous!
T-Shirts: I put in an order and they came back with a bid -- which was *twice* the cost I was led to believe!  I'm a bit pissed by this...  So I'll probably change t-shirt places, thanx to David Cherry.
Utilikilts: egads, I need to finish this up!  I need to make a nice webpage.  Also, PayPal became far too complicated to deal with -- and they take too big a cut...  So we'll have to deal with checks, MOs and cash.  I'll send something soon.
Oh, and a new update -- I might be able to make an *affordable* copper stamp for the labels!  Cross your fingers!
Plywood: I only get as far as unloading the plywood.  It still needs to be laid out and cut.  I plan to do that by the end of next sunday.
Molds: Just got too behind on other things and haven't finished the spiral model.  I need to do some more scaling stuff in Photo shop to see how many we will need before I start working on them...  But I've got a test kit of the mold compound, and Dan Foygel and I will make a test mold soon.
So there's things going on, I just haven't had time to post about them.  Stay tuned!  Real Work to begin soon!

We've got work to do! -- Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 13:53:46 (PDT)

So we went and got about 20 2x8 sheets of plywood, and about 15 2x4 sheets too!  All 3/4", which is pretty hefty!
This is plenty to make all of the seat surfaces for the outer wall of the basin area.
Now...I had realized that I could put off the size of this area until the last minute [up until I order the pond liner.]  This would give us room to see how many cast cement stones we finish by Burning Man...  However, we're all revved up with nothing to do until we get money -- and then order stuff and wait for it too.  We now have plywood to work on.  Should we?  Shall we just assume we can do a 25' basin, and go ahead and cut and prep the plywood?  I kinda think so.
So let's do this sunday!
What's best for cutting arcs in plywood?  Saws-all?  Something else?  If you have something that can cut an arc in plywood [probably not a skill-saw/circular saw] then bring it!  Let's cut out the arcs for the outer wall seats!
I'll see about getting some free paint too.  [Probably not by this weekend, though.]
BTW, I did it again...on the way to my house, up the steep hill on Vacca...the whole load of wood, dumped as one unit, out the back of the truck.  This is the *second* time I've been so dumb!  The bed liner is *so slick*!!  The first was 150 sticks of conduit we bought for our camp dome last year...  I'll never forget the sound of that falling out the back...
For the math folks:
Quick back of the napkin calcs:
25' is ~75' circumference, which is less than 10 sheets of 8' plywood.
1/10 of 360 is about 36 degrees of arc or so.
cos(36) of the radius, so the left overs [1-0.809] times 12.5 = 2.387'.  Hmm.  Okay, so the wood won't be wide enough.  [There's quite a bit of round off in my calculations, but .387' has probably used up all that roundup...]
Let's try 12 pieces instead of 10, which I like better anyway. :)
cos(2*pi/12) is 0.866, 1-0.866 times 12.5 is 1.67'.  That's better, but then, the piece is 1' wide...  I guess there's more curve to the arc than I thought...
Well, anyway, looks like we can't get a whole arc on one piece, now that I napkin it. :)  So we'll have to lay it out and see what we can do.  Should be enough in the end, though -- we got a lot!

URGENT free plywood! -- Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 09:16:12 (PDT)

Got this this morning -- thanks Greg!!!!!!!!
I'm heading out to get it at 10!  [No need to join us or anything -- we'll get everything we can!  Just letting you know of this amazing treasure!]
Scott wisely suggested I build a flat "copper storage box" to put the copper in when we get it to keep it out of the elements [since I'll probably have to store it all outside.]  Thought I'd share that tidbit of wisdom, and if this plywood is good enough, we should share it for this purpose!  Yay!
Keep your eye out for more.  I will need a lot to build the outer wall for Egeria...  [Preferably free, of course. :) ]
Kiki -- how fortuitous I unloaded the truck yesterday!
>ACK! So I was reading the diary again, and this e-mail came to mind. The  
>catch is that if you want it you'll need to call me ASAP so I can wake  
>up/shower etc and get my butt to Oakland to meet you so you can pick it up  
>(All by noon)
>Figure at least an hour for me to accomplish said items. If you want it,  
>there were when checked 2 sheets of 4 x 8 about 40 sheets of 3x8 maybe 50 or  
>so 3x4 sheets. Most of them have some ammount of screws/nails still in them.  
>It's all 3/4"
>If you want it, call me!! ...., if I don't pick up, leave a message  
>(I'll likely be screening calls)
>The wood is currently at on 42nd street between Adeline and Linden in Oakland.
>Oh, and this is all with the caveat that someone else may claim some or all  
>of it sometime tomorrow morning.
>As a result of the recent shipping department purge, we have dismantled some  
>of the wooden docket holders from the warehouse (as they were no longer  
>We have left over ply wood that we will be throwing in the trash bin if no  
>one can use it.  The wood is stacked againt the maintenance warehouse - help  
>yourself.  You have until noon tomorrow to take it.
>Kim C.

Playa assembly schedule -- Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 09:58:17 (PDT)

So far, I'm planning on going out on the evening of the 17th of August.  Who's planning to come out to work?
There is *nothing* like being on the playa with no one there!  In particular, it's so wonderful being out there with only other hard-core artists Making It Happen.  You work hard all day in the sun [we worked 10am to 4pn *every day* on the Opera in 1998.  It's not so bad as you think.]  You get to sit in the hot springs at the end of the day [as long as they'll let us.]
It is the most satisfying work you will ever do in your life.
We need at least 10 committed and hard-working people.
Here's the tentative schedule:
Friday 17th arrival
    basically pitch camp, walk around in the dark and oggle.
    shipment had better be there.  I may tell them thursday so it'll happen.
    if shipment is at the 80 acres
        go out there and hang with DPW folks
        stay the night there
        babysit the shipment to the playa in the morning
Saturday -- goal: get oriented
    get placed
    start upacking, start cutting and/or assembling the plywood outer wall
        I want to have the plywood cut and ready, but it might not be...
    unpack everything that can still be moved or doesn't
        need the trench plates placed
Sunday -- goal: prepare for The Real Work
    argue with [someone else] about placement
        this is bound to happen
        no one knows for certain what's going on
        lots of people think they do :)
    deal with the outcome
    dig a flat, shallow hole for the trench plates
    work more on the outer wall as sections
Monday -- goal: get placed, get plates down
    final argument on placement
    trench plates arrive and are placed
    all argument on placement ends because we can no longer be moved :)
    outer wall can now go in place
    supports can now also go in place
        possible welding of supports?
    placement of bottom bowl
        oh. yeah.
    some piping run
    assembly of scaffolding
    naphtha should also arrive this day
Tuesday -- goal: finish fountain assembly
    middle and top bowls placed
    Myrrhia's sculptures placed
    piping completed to the top
    begin placing the pond liner and stones
        if we're piecing this around welds, this will take all day
        this includes digging the wells for the pumps
        and making the wells in the pond liner
            why, yes, we're already piecing the pond liner
            and, yes, this may cause leaks
            cross your fingers :)
    assemble outer wall together and attach pond liner
    assemble "utility boxes" for housing miscellany in the outer wall
Wednesday -- goal: FILL WITH WATER!  [can this happen?? naaahhh :) ]
    place water storage
    complete pond liner
    start assembly of torches and fuel boxes
    paint the outer wall
    finish placing stones
Thursday -- goal: deal with slipping schedule
    get fuel assemblies     
        propane for torches, fish mouths, and top crown
        naphtha fuel lines run and in place
    do some tests
        assess evaporation issues
        assess dust and filter issues
        assess fire issues around people's feet
        assess splashing
        assess blowing water, mud
        frantically try to solve these on the fly :)
Friday -- goal: possible first light?
    deal with more slipping schedule
        we weren't totally done when we left
        we work slower than we think
        not many people can spend the whole week/short handed
        weather slows us down
Saturday, sunday, more finishing up
Wow.  This actually seems quite doable!  It, of course, won't happen this way. :)  It will still be hell and we'll still work too hard and it'll still get done only at the last minute. :)  Also, this means we have enough things packed the week before that we can leave that friday.  The goal that last week is to pack *parts* and *tools* -- regardless of what's done or not -- and get it out there!
Flux, who's another grant artist [he did the Dice bar last year, and the dominos in 2000] says he'd like all of us grant teams to be able to see eachother's works!  Maybe the weekend before the Event?  I'd like this very much!
Flux also said he tries to spend sunday night in Reno.  Sleep well, shower, then arrive clean on monday as if you'd just arrived, and, oh look, there's your art over there already set up.  I'd like this very much too, esp. if a group of other grant teams are going there!  If we have any money left over [unlikely] we'll spend it on a big suite for all of us who came out for the week.
Let's shoot for these things.

Schedule -- Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 09:56:44 (PDT)

I'm sweating the schedule.  I've been so focused on fundraising, and ignoring the schedule because of check delays...  But now we've got to get whipped into shape!  [Cue Rachel. :) Let's get together this week, Rachel, if you have the time.]
As I said in the last post, Jeremy Lutes is willing to purchase the copper, and I think I'm going to take him up on this and get a copper order in ASAP -- like monday.  Hopefully they can deliver quickly.
I would like to see at least two bowls welded and one bowl completed by the end of the month.  That's my personal goal.
Note: the ShipYard *may* have a 220 generator in a day or two, depending on if Jim actually gets his boom truck fixed and driven back home. :)  He's fixing it on the playa as we speak.  However, I might want to pull in TIG favors to get these bowls worked on...  If you have a TIG we could use in any capacity, let me know.
We also need to get crackin on the stones.  Dan and I got mold-making materials last week which means I need to get making a stone model ASAP!  I have to resize the layout and do a more accurate count.  I had mis-sized the stones the first time I did this, which means there might be far more stones than I had originally counted...  Ug.
However, Scott and I had a great conversation last night [which we want to recreate for Sandy :) ] discussing the stones.  Dan said we might only be able to make 4 stone molds and one fish mold for 1 gallon of mold material.  However, the set is mixed 3-to-1 and the "gallon sized" set is really 4 gallons.  So if we can actually make 16 stones and 4 fish, we might still be fine to get them done.  This means 40 castings a weekend, and if we did a few during the week, we might be okay.
I still need to be sure just *how much* concrete we're talking here, and if this is utterly insane and unshippable. :)  Dan, if you're around today, maybe we could talk some.  [Cue Sandy: we'll be at the ShipYard so you might come around 2, if you have the time.  I'll call you later.]
We'll be at the ShipYard today.  There's still not much to do, but a meeting would be good if folks are around.  Do call if you come.  I've got a lot to do and might flake. :)  510-xxx-xxxx
NEXT WEEKEND WE MUST BEGIN WORK.  Plan for it.  I'll have things for people to do no matter what.

Drive w/ Jim Mason -- Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 09:56:27 (PDT)

All in all, a *fabulous* trip to the playa with Jim!  On the drive, we had an excellent conversation about Egeria, and he gave me some excellent advice.
Trench plates: he put a trench plate under the Ice Ball in 1997.  These are the 1" thick, 4x8 plates you see covering construction on streets.  He said the company *delivered* and placed the plate on the playa.  They also come in 6x10.  I think we'd get three of these, so the center isn't on a seam, and all "legs" of the outer support are supported.
We'd need a 1"-2" deep, square hold dug so these would lay flush with the playa, however.  I posted to the DPW list to see if they could use the bobcat to dig this, but we *might* have to dig this ourselves with shovels and hoes...  Just keep it in mind.
Supports: I have resigned to have much bigger supports under the bottom bowl.  Like 2" diameter pipes.  I have a way to make these more beautiful. :) Also, I'm keeping with the tilted idea so they run through all the bowls to the top, and function as guy wires as well as supports.  I think this will be plenty beefy enough to support the bottom bowl, and I feel much better about it.
Because they will be tilted, they should probably be connected to the center support with a strip of steel so they don't want to "slip" out.
Also, I'm trying to figure a way to weld them to the plates instead, but the pond liner becomes an issue, of course...  And I *definitely* don't want to put the plates *on* the pond liner -- it would be certain to cut it for sure!!
I'm starting to think that at 1"-2" water depth, the pond liner won't leak as much as I fear, and so piecing the liner together after welding might be viable...  I'll do some tests.  [Lay out a piece of plastic, put some bricks on it, fill it with 2" of water, then cut a slit in it.  How much water comes out?]
Filter: we can up with a brilliant plan to make a settling pond that *should* filter the water *clean*!!  It's hard to hand-wave over email, but the basic idea is to take a garbage can, pipe the water at the middle level, the dust settles to the bottom, and skim the clean water off the top!  Set up 5 of these, and it'd probably be *plenty* clean at the far end!  Morning maintenance is: clean out the first trash can, stick it on the end, done!  I want to do some tests to see how many of these we'd need.  It might even be only one!
Also note that we'd have a *separate* pump for this, *not* run all the pumps through this before pumping to the fountain.  if you think about it, you'll see there's lot of good reasons for this.  [Then we use the same sized pump as the three pumps, so if one fails, we have a spare for *all* pumps.]
I've been trying to figure a good way to use the settling pond as the evaporation storage...  I have some ideas, but again, hand-waving gets in the way...
Jim also said the fountain will become a mud pit.  Honestly, I don't think so.  I'll do some tests on pond liner leakage, but I don't think it'll be that much of an issue.  his concern is also that the stones will sink.  But I argue that if there's something stiff under all of them [like carpet] plus the pond liner, I think they can't sink by much, if at all.  He thinks I should put plywood under the stones, but I say this will warp in a week, pushing the stones up.
We should discuss these issues.
I think the worst mud problem will be the north side, towards the Man.  The wind seems to blow this direction, and will blow the water.  This might be worth putting down some [ornate] plywood or something to keep the mud down.
Liner under the stones: I want to find rolls of "milk jug" plastic.  I think this will be plenty strong, plus, being polyethaline, it won't degrade with fuel getting on it.  Jim thinks this is not strong enough.  It became a "did not did too" discussion. :)  He said I should put plywood, I said it would warp, he said it would not and bet $100, I said I'd take the bet and set up an experiment, and after more discussion he started to take back his bet. :)  Plywood is just too expensive, unless someone knows where we could get some for free.  [We need *lots* anyway, so keep your eyes peeled!]
We also talked of carpet, which he thinks would be good face-down and I agreed.  However, what do you do with a wet, dust-encrusted piece of carpet on monday??  Yuk!  So I don't think so.
Other liner ideas?  Preferably cheap?
Stones: I'm starting to sweat the schedule of the stones.  Jim suggested I get telephone poles and slice them into circles and use them instead.  I think they'll split, first of all, and second, they could have splinters, and third, could float, so I don't like that idea.  But it's a fall-back plan.
Bricks?  This is certainly doable as a last resort.  I don't like them nearly so much as stones, obviously.  But there's ways to make them work, even with *some* stones.  For instance, brick a ring on the outer edge, and put the stones in the middle area.  Put the stones here and there and brick around them.  Brick little peninsulas and fill the rest with stones.  Etc.  Also, if we went entirely with bricks, we could spiral the bricks all the way around -- ie place bricks along the outer edge, but instead of coming back to the beginning and making a circle, we angle them inwards just a tad as they go around, so they're one layer in when they get to the beginning.  This would spiral them all the way around and could be quite cool.  I want stones, though, so we'll assess that idea first.  
If we did bricks, I'd like to find somewhere I could *borrow* them for Burning Man...
Dust in the basin area: still worried about dust, and no real solution has come to me.  I'm probably just going to ignore it, and let the dust turn to mud and fill between the stones.  I'm toying with the idea that I'd hose the stones down each morning and push the dust to the middle for the filter to deal with...  But I guarantee I'll get tired of this. :)  In general, since the water is recirculating *at* the fountain, the dust won't budge between the stones, and *can* simply be ignored...  At worst, the water will be cloudy all the time.  Bummer, but livable.
Pounding the bowls: Jim thinks we should dig a hole and line it with asphalt.  Egads, what would we do with the asphalt when we're done!  He has a valid point that when we pound on one side, it warps and the whole thing and could be a nightmare.  I honestly think if we're patient, it won't nearly be so horrible.  I've formed things that do this on a smaller scale, and I've found that you bend something a whole lot, and the rest bends some, and you bend that some, and the rest bends a little, and you go around and around and eventually, at the limit, you get a fine shape.  Please discuss.
Here's ideas for the forms to pound against:
plywood form: cut curves out of plywood, lay a bunch of them upright, pound against them.  Jim feels plywood will give too much and won't work.  Probably quite valid.
pipe form: take a pipe that has a cross section like the curve you want.  Cut wedges out of the pipe by making alternative diagonal cuts.  Turn each wedge around, and this will form an arc!  [hand-wave, hand-wave! :) ]  If the pipe is strong enough, this should be a great method for pounding sections like I think will work...
We'll just have to try things and see.
I'm also going back to an idea I had about building a "top hat" kind of form -- take a circle, cut a circle about 6" in, lift the outer circle up and put a wall from top to bottom.  This would take a lot of copper and a lot of welding, but might make pounding easier.
Making this wall angled [ie slightly cone-shaped] would be even better, since it's closer to the form we want, however, this would use up far more copper, since you're having to cut arcs instead of strips, and the waste is much greater...  However, I have an idea how to do this: cut the 7' arcs from around the 10' bowl, and cut the 3.5' arcs from around the 7' bowl.  This just leaves the 10' bowl needing arcs cut, and this might be doable in one sheet of copper, which we can afford.  I need to do some drawings and refigure how much copper we'd need for this plan.  This would be the best way to go, by far.
Jeremy Lutes said he might be willing to pay for our copper so we could get the order in sooner without the bman money.  I'm probably going to take him up on this offer...  I *want* to have copper by this next weekend.  At the latest, by the following weekend.  We need to get *crackin*!
Schedule posting next! :)

Scripts and Guestbook created by Matt Wright and can be found at Matt's Script Archive

Modifications to the script and pages by Kiki.