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Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals
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PostPosted: Sep 22, 2018 17:55    Post subject: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

Minerals as art, perhaps but I tend to look on minerals as the feed-stock of technology with the net outcome being art with purpose made by man!

If permitted, I would like to highlight this aspect of minerals on FMF under the banner of Machines, Metals and Minerals. Thus I hope to highlight why mineral collecting is important to me. I also hope to show many practical things that might be of use to the mineral collector, such as making quality mineral stands from plastic, wood and metal.

I have three principal interests in retirement.

1. Machine tools – used to turn rusty iron/steel into things of beauty and value. I have a fully equipped machine shop with metal-turning lathe, milling machine, metal cutting band-saw and all the paraphernalia needed to make mechanical things by hand. At the moment I am completing the construction of a working replica (1/8th scale) of a 19th century steam engine.

2. Chemical elements. I build periodic tables of the chemical elements made from real elements in my home laboratory. I have finished assembling the s-block, d-block and p-block chemical elements. I am now focusing on building a world-class display of the f-block also known as the lanthanide elements.

3. Minerals. The building blocks of technology and of art.
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PostPosted: Sep 23, 2018 03:20    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

Post away. Only some may find your path interesting, but that's true of any posting.
I appreciate your thinking on minerals and their use for content. As a mineral processing engineer I've worked on the processing of many minerals as sources of raw materials and have come to appreciate them for many reasons. Some of the specimens I enjoy the most are those showing the complex deposition of many minerals through time.

Thanks,
Bob
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PostPosted: Sep 23, 2018 15:55    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

Thank you Robert – I will. As a collector of minerals I try make the chemistry of the ore-body my main focus. Sometimes it is easy to do other times it is not. Thus I have a full suite of material from the Milpillas mine which includes the azurites, malachites, brochantites, cuprite and native copper. I have a similar suite of material from the Poteryaevskoe Mine which includes native copper, copper after cuprite, cuprite and azurite. The highlight of the suite is a large cuprite crystal about 7 cm tip-to-tip. I have similar collections focusing on the Trepca ore body, ore bodies in Romania and Morocco mines too. I have decided to post a photo of one of my chemical elements, which in terms of eye-candy appeal is one of the best – 35 ml of Bromine. The block containing a vial of liquefied chlorine is just as nice, but the liquid is yellow of course. My children assert that everything I do is either dirty or dangerous, and they say I make things that I could not buy or afford to buy.


THE BROMINE BLOCK.jpg
 Mineral: Bromine 3N
 Description:
Bromine
100 mm X 100 mm X 40 mm
Bromine – Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals.

The block is 100 mm x 100 mm x 40 mm and comprises a ‘squashed round bottom flask’ containing about 35 ml of 3N Bromine under vacuum (0.0005 Torr). I made this block in my home work shop. The substrate used to create the block is neither acrylic nor styrene, and it took about six months to perfect the encapsulation technique, which is now very pedestrian. The block shown had not been sanded and polished to size
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THE BROMINE BLOCK.jpg


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 16:09    Post subject: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

I have decided to highlight my interest in minerals and other related hobbies under the banner of Machines, Metals and Minerals. Thus I hope to highlight why mineral collecting is important to me. I also hope to show many practical things that might be of use to the mineral collector, such as making quality mineral stands from plastic, wood and metal.

I have three principal interests in retirement.

1. Machine tools – used to turn rusty iron/steel into things of beauty and value. I have a fully equipped machine shop with metal-turning lathe, milling machine, metal cutting band-saw and all the paraphernalia needed to make mechanical things by hand. At the moment I am completing the construction of a working replica (1/8th scale) of a 19th century steam engine. Such engines often find homes in Museums that often connect 19th century mining with the Industrial Revolution.

2. Chemical elements. I build periodic tables of the chemical elements made from real elements in my home laboratory. I have finished assembling the s-block, d-block and p-block chemical elements. I am now focusing on building a world-class display of the f-block also known as the lanthanide elements.

3. Minerals. The building blocks of technology and of art.
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Robert Seitz




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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 16:18    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

I'll look for the pictures and discussion.
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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 17:13    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

As an addendum to my previous post I would like to indicate my style of mineral collecting. As a collector of minerals I try make the chemistry of the ore-body my main focus. Sometimes it is easy to do other times it is not. For example, I have a full suite of material from the Milpillas mine which includes the various azurites, various malachites, brochantites, cuprite and native copper. I have a similar suite of material from the Poteryaevskoe Mine which includes native copper, copper after cuprite, cuprite and azurite. The highlight of the Poteryaevskoe Mine suite is a large cuprite crystal about 7 cm tip-to-tip. I have similar collections focusing on the Trepca ore body, ore bodies in Romania and Morocco mines too.

I will begin by showing some photos of my engines - working replicas of ancient 19th century technology.
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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 17:23    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

Photo of a replica of a beam engine representative of those used in the Cornish copper and tin mines of the 19th century. They were used to dewater the mines, and to provide winding functions on the surface. The noteworthy aspect of the engine is Watt’s parallel motion, which is mesmerizing to watch in action. It can be seen in the right of the photo at the end of the beam. the replica is 50 cm long, 25 cm wide and 30 cm high. It weighs about 15 kilograms.


BEAM ENGINE 1.jpg
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BEAM ENGINE 1.jpg


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 17:24    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

beam engine


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 17:25    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

Beam engine another view


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 17:27    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

Beam engine another view


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 17:32    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

One of the most exciting aspects of these engines is their creation. They begin as a box of rusty iron/steel with a few brass and bronze bits just screaming to be machined.


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 17:37    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

After the machine was complete I decided to nickel plate it in my home lab all the ferrous parts so rusting would not become a problem. The photo shows the cast iron version prior to plating. This engine is for display. I am building a much larger one also from castings that will generate about 1/2 HP.


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 17:38    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

I will post more photos of the 19th century machines I am building as soon as i have them available.
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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 17:50    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

Attached is a photo of one of my periodic tables of the chemical elements that I made at home with materials (except the elements) purchased from the local hardware store and stationary store. The elements were either purchased online or from chemical suppliers and bullion sellers. The table is 130 cm long, 50 cm high and weighs about 30 kilograms. Each block is 100 mm x 100 mm x 40 mm and contains a generous amount of each element. For example the Cadmium block contains a 450 gram ingot of cadmium that I cast on the kitchen stove. I have made similar tables for the s-block elements. I am working on a different style table for the lanthanide metals. To construct this table I used nothing that was beyond the reach of anyone – really!!


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 18:03    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

Attached is a photo of my chlorine block. The block is also 100 mm x 100 mm x 40 mm. The block contains 1ml of liquefied chlorine at 116PSI in a thick walled silica tube. I find this one, like the bromine block to be extraordinarily beautiful.


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 18:04    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

Attached is a photo of my Iodine block. The block is also 100 mm x 100 mm x 40 mm. The block contains 40 grams of re-distilled iodine in a “squashed round bottom” flask. Like the bromine block this one was evacuated at 0.0005Torr before sealing. I have noticed that the iodine crystals migrate to different parts of the flask over the course of a year depending on the ambient temperature.


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 19:19    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

I will be posting some pictures of my minerals soon, probably starting with those I have from the Milpillas mine. I just need to get the photography right!

One of the main problems with displaying the gases is their colour or lack thereof. Most samples just look like empty bottles. Attached is a photo of the plasma tubes I made to contain argon and oxygen. I have similar tubes made for nitrogen and the other noble gases. The tubes are about 30 cm long, with a bulb on each end connected via a glass tube about 1cm ID. I sealed the gases at 40Torr. Varying the pressure, the exciting voltage of the driver and the frequency of the applied AC voltage has a dramatic effect on the colour of the plasma stream. 40Torr at 2.5KV (25Khz AC) gave the best visual display. To drive the plasma I made a simple electronic device. I was not happy with those that were commercially available – too expensive and not appropriate. Argon ‘plasma’ tube is on the right.



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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 19:20    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

The plasma tubes unenergized!!!


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 19:22    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

The electrode (Graphite) to energize the tubes at 2.5kV/25 Khz Graphite block is 50 x 50 x 50 mm with a 25 mm hole in the middle.


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2018 19:25    Post subject: Re: Collection of Machines, Metals and Minerals  

The electrode (graphite) that I will use to create the elemental gas light show! It is 300 mm x 50 mm x 50 mm and the holes are 20 mm wide.


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