WHAT A FABULOUS WEEKEND
Some of you were wondering what happened to the Sunday Post this week? I should have mentioned that we were taking a few days off. Kind of wondering why I came back ? What an amazing end to the summer we had this past weekend. We went for a beach holiday to a beautiful town called Goderich on the shores of Lake Huron here in Southern Ontario. For those who have never been, at least for the month of August when the water is warm, you’d swear you're somewhere in the Caribbean. It is mind blowing that halfway between Detroit and Toronto you roll into such a paradise with beautiful blue waters rolling up onto white sand beaches. We had an amazing dinner Friday at the Beach Station Restaurant. Kudos to Herb the owner, who moved, and then renovated the historic Goderich Railway Station. This guy has got what it takes. Equal parts vision, passion and persistence. The Station restaurant project was a monumental undertaking and I can assure you the results are right on point. I hope everyone here in Anville North is taking advantage of these last few days of beautiful weather. And for those of us chilling on the Southern side of the planet right now, spring is right round the corner. Seriously though, I’d really like to thank you guys. When I came out of retirement to launch the Anvil into a new commercial endeavour I knew there would be challenges aplenty. We’ve had some hiccups but your support has been amazing and we are definitely building momentum. This may be the Sunset for Summer 2022 but this is just the dawn for Vestratto. We are energized to find as many ways to make our patented CopperCore ovens as accessible as possible. Our first Di Vetro launch with the 14mm and 14-18mm water piece adaptors went fabulously well and we are already running our third production batch. The 18mm dedicated wpa is going on the machines this week and I will have a special surprise for you next Sunday so be sure to tune in. ( Gotta admit that teaser copy like that is really cheezy when you read it back.)
HOW ITS MADE - THE VESTRATTO LOGO ON THE XL BOWL
Obviously, just like everything else that's really cool, the logo is made by frickin lasers. What makes lasers so cool is the fact that they are actually really, really, yup 3 reallys hot. Obviously we have to be able to accurately position the bowl in front of the laser, and then move it about in perfect conjunction with the laser’s own movements to burn the desired pattern. But we also have to hold the bowl in a way that can be automated to drive costs down, and also in a way that is inexpensive and easily replaced, because not only does the laser burn the logo, it also eventually burns the tooling holding the XL bowl. Positioning work for a laser is demanding because the laser is really only strong enough to melt the steel at its precise beam focus point. We are talking within 1/1000ths of an inch. The secret sauce we found was to use the same heat distributing properties of copper for the interior mandrel that we prize so much in the CopperCore oven. The XL Bowl is slid onto the copper mandrels we make in-house and is reliably held in place by the polymer retention collar. We use a high temperature, flexible polymer called Delrin for this task. Its pretty amazing, NASA stuff. You probably have a lot of it in your house as its used for everything from bearings in hard drives to bushings in car hood gas springs.
After the laser beam cuts through the steel wall of the XL bowl it is stopped/reflected by the copper mandrel. Even though the beam is defocussed a bit at this extra depth, it still packs a heavy heat punch which the copper conducts away nicely. Without the interior mandrel in position the laser beam, and the flashes of molten steel burned out from the letters, would find their way to the opposite interior wall of the bowl causing all sorts of damage. Sadly, eventually enough steel slag does build up on the mandrel such that the laser beam increasingly causes more damage. After about 100 logos we say UNCLE and the mandrel needs to be replaced. I know it all looks pretty easy in retrospect but when you start with just an idea and a white sheet of paper it takes a bit of experimentation as well as trial and error to get things working right.
Fast forward and some of our European customers have been enjoying using the bare metal base plate of the XL Bowl to sprinkle in a bit of hash under their herb. Implementing the “screen” as the lateral wall of the XL bowl to maximize volume has resulted in this unintended, and very happy, consequence. Obviously finding a real purpose for a helix, other than just getting closer to the line, has inspired us to apply this “conduction plate” lesson to our present work on Helix 2. We’ve decided that we need to hash out the right design (pun intended) and a bowl with lateral venting, a solid thermally substantial base plate, and combined with a bias to conduction may be the ticket. WE DON”T KNOW FOR CERTAIN YET! But we plan to science the shit out of it for sure :)