The horizontal platform
Six wheels of power in a circle lie.
Six wheels are placed in a clockwise manner around the middle of the coils through which the water flows.
from the transmission of the Urusak
While the prototype of the spiral, the center piece of the device is under construction, I decided to look into another important component: The horizontal platform. The spiral’s dimensions determined the size of the horizontal plate.
The materials I researched for the plate at this stage were glass and Perspex (Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)) often called acrylic glass. At this time I did not consider solid materials like wood, but may do at a later stage.
I contacted several glass processing companies and again only one replied! The problem here was the weight, finish and price. The round plate must be thick enough to carry the weight of the spirals and the crystals, should be cut and finished for safety and aesthetics (appearance). Further, it must contain a hole in the centre for the spiral. Additionally, I wanted the option to engrave the glass with the wheels. This is where it became quite complex; not all glass can be engraved which limited the choices considerably! I decided to investigate the Perspex option.
I contacted several Perspex processing companies and this time most of them replied (What a refreshing change).
The first challenge was: a round clear plate thick enough to carry the weight with a hole in the center.
The second challenge was: the plate with the wheels laser engraved.
I found out that there are different types of Perspex manufacturing processes resulting in different clarities and scratch-proof properties.
There was a huge difference in pricing between the quotations I received. Following consultation with 3 of these providers, I decided to commission one full set from a specific supplier. Their instruction was to provide a horizontal plate including the 6 wheels laser engraved and 2 bottom plates with the wheel and the alchemical equation. I choose the clearest Perspex version because of its looks, its strength and engraving properties.
Preparing the engraving template was the next step. With great care and respect we carefully and meticulously digitized the wheels and alchemical equation.
It was very clear to me that the configuration of the wheels, the spacing and alignment was very important. Besides the aesthetic considerations, it was clear that the top of the wheels should all point towards the center of the disc, where the spiral passes through. Another option I implemented was a process called mirror engraving. This does not mean the wheels are a mirror image, but they would be engraved from the bottom of the plate! This meant the plate and engraving would not be prone to damage. It took me a while and several attempts to resolve this before it could be sent for laser engraving.
To be continued