Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Fate of #6 and Warm Weather

The day after cut #6 was a sunny day in the mid 40's, not very good for ice, but great for maple syrup. (I tapped three of the trees in my front yard and collected over a gallon of sap that day). Then the next day it dumped about 10 inches of snow. The combination of these two days basically ended the ice season for me.

I went back to the nudie pond to check on the cut #6 after the snow, which was so deep the justy literally plowed through it, leaving a nice wake. The piece had fallen at some point during the past 48hrs, and there was a bout 3-4 inches of slush on top of the whole pond. I don't think it will get cold enough to freeze that mushy layer. The temperatures are hoovering around freezing in the day and only getting down to the 20's at night.

I took apart the big gantry crane, and hauled it on dry land. I'll leave it down there just in case, but with all the snow that has fallen I don't think the odds are in my favor.

But not all is lost. I still have plenty of work to do on the ice saw design, and I just tried waterJET cutting a couple slabs of ice I cut from some of the older ice-cuts that are still standing.

The waterJET cut through the ice effortlessly, but overall the process didn't work very well. When the waterJET would begin to cut by piercing the material the ice would usually fracture from the force of the jet. I tried adjusting the pressure from 60,000 psi to 15,000 psi, but the results were basically the same. All in all, it does work, however melting is of course a huge factor. The water coming out of the jet nozzle is very hot from the intense pressure. That and the room temperature quickly works against you. Routing the ice would probably be a better option, but I wouldn't be allowed to put a big, melting block of ice on the router table.

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