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"Every time I go by the [Mighty Owl Oak] there are children, parents or teachers standing around it. It is wonderful to see the kids bring their parents into the school to see the tree and their leaf."
--Lisa Pavlet, project coordinator, Litchfield Elementary School PTSA

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How to Fit a Shaft for a Kinetic Sculpture

Kevin is looking at a piece of stainless steel pipe and a stainless steel shaft. He has 2 washers welded onto to the shaft.

He needs to get a thrust bearing to fit on the shaft so the sculpture will spin. The first race and the bearing itself will fit. The final race, though, is a little too small, so Kevin Caron is going to use his lathe to turn the shaft down a few thousands. He'll also clean up his weld and some other areas.

Kevin secures the pipe in the lathe and applies a little cutting fluid before he uses the lathe to clean up the weld so the race fits on nicely.

Then he puts the shaft into the lathe, applies a little cutting fluid, and turns on the lathe's autofeed. About 7 minutes later, he checks, and the shaft is still a little too big.

Instead of cutting the whole length, Kevin just makes a shallow cut on the end of the shaft, and checks the fit. That works, so he runs his tool in until it touches the metal, then turns the dial indicator to "0." Now he backs off the cutting tool, then starts again at the top of the shaft.

When he's done, the race fits just right, and the thrust bearing fits together perfectly. He puts the shaft into the pipe, and his sculpture will now be able to rotate easily.

This bearing mechanism is just like the one the solid section of the sculpture rotates on - now the innermost section and the solid section can spin independently.

That's just another step in creating a kinetic sculpture.

Kevin is ready to go back to work, so you have time to see Kevin get distracted ....

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