DCA: Final Build and Show

Well, it’s been almost a week since the show and I think I’ve finally physically recovered.

The 48 hours leading up to the show were exhausting.

On Thursday night, with my friend Davids help, I was able to get some LED lights installed under the tray. Because the steam engine vibrated I needed some way to keep it fixed in relation to the piece so the chain would stay on. David also helped me set up a nice stained piece of wood for the both the DCA and the steam engine to screw down to.

I finished the patina at NIMBY some time between Thursday night and very early Friday morning and then rushed home to “quickly” boil the copper bowls in baking soda and water to remove the plastic coating the manufacture had put on them.

This took far longer then anticipated and I finished the first bowl as the sun was coming up. After a couple hours sleep I got up and boiled the second bowl. After then rubbing them down with acetone the plastic was finally off but they were covered in water stains so then I needed to spend a couple of hours buffing them to a nice shine.

I’m not sure where the time went but pretty soon it was approaching show time. It was pouring rain, I’d not eaten at all yet and I need to get to the show with enough time to set up before people started to arrive.

I arrived at the show tired, hungry and wet with about 45 minutes to set up. Thankfully there was some food which instantly revolutionized my world view. When I arrived KSW was already mostly set up they were still getting the kinks out of the pipes.

Once I had the piece set up it was time to get it running under steam power. KSW ran a copper steam line from their manifold to my engine.

Once I checked all my gear alignment we opened up the engine.

That’s when the problems started.

First we got a few good spins but then the engine started to knock because there was water in the steam line. Once we got the water out the engine was chugging along beautifully and the DCA was spinning around pleasurably. For about 3 minuets.

Then with a POP and Hzzzzzzsszszszszszs the copper steam line sprang off the manifold which started spewing steam straight up.

Well at that point the show had already started and it was too late to redo the line — so for the rest of the show the DCA never spun under steam power.

I was disappointed but to exhausted to get bent out of shape. Hey, these things happen. In the end I looked at it as a bit of blessing. Since the engine was not running I didn’t need to stand and keep a responsible eye on it all night which was nice because it freed me to have a drink, dance around, hang out with my friends and blow off some of the stress that had build in those last few days.

Luckily, I had some really great friends there who took turns manually turning the engine to drive the piece. Thanks again Benna, David and JMJ!

The DCA was a smash hit and as predicted it traveled through time at exactly 1 SPS (tha’s 1 second per second for those of you who are not almost scientific).

On Saturday when I went to pick it up I was asked if I would install it on the main stage for the the next two nights of ball. I picked it up late on Sunday night it was in perfect condition although covered in fingerprints and strange smudges.

I was too tired to take any photos at the show but below are some I took once I got it home and below those are some photos I found on Flicker.

I’ll post some video soon.

Before you skip to the photos I’d like to thank the following people for their help and support:

David Shule: Grinding, threading, cutting, staining and lighting

Nathanial Taylor: Machining

Jo Slota: Fabrication

Ryon Gesink: Patina and tools

Orion Fredericks: tools

Dick Vennerbeck: Steam support

KSW: Steam, tools and propane

Kelly Parkinson: Snacks

Eveyone at NIMBY

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Here are the photos from Flicker

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