John Biggs.

Wimhurst         .064

Sterling silver, Phenolic, Machinable ceramic. Delrin, Mahogany, Stainless steel and Pyrex glass.

15” x 15” x 12”       Completed  2005.

    The Wimhurst generator was a commissioned piece. I started this piece in 2001 and was called to work on the movie, “ The Last Samurai”. Subsequently I worked on the movie for about a year and was sent to New Zealand for the shoot which lasted for three months. Luckily the client was not on a schedule and upon completion almost two years later he was happy to see it. This piece was a fun challenge a few of the change ups were fun like a phenolic floor and experimenting with high voltage. I found that the wires from the laden jars ( the two glass pods in the back) would leak high voltage and not create a spark unless they were elevated and insulated. I found a machinable ceramic and made the four post which hold the wire off the deck. another curious problem was to isolate the whole mechanical works from the two revolving discs. This was done by making the gear chain in to step up the crank motion out of delrin. The hand wheel crank is turned and thru the gear chains the opposing discs spin at about 40 turns to one crank. There is a clutch bearing in the hand crank ( not unlike a bicycle) so as you crank the handle you can return and crank again with ease. I had a lot of fun making this one mainly due to the challenges the piece presented.