The Light Sharpener

Intro Build Foil Mirror Burn Epilogue FAQ
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23 FAQ

When I ran out of mirrors, I started to look at garage sales and craigslist for more material. I found a couple of old medicine cabinets and a bar mirror to dissect.

I also found this sunglasses display rack in back of Rite Aid, and quickly stripped off the six long strips of mirrors.

Do you know what is funny about mirrors on sunglass display racks? You can't see your own face very well through the dark lenses of the sunglasses.

They were actually mirrored plastic, lightweight but just as effective as glass mirrors.

Once the dish was set up, I was really eager to try it out and I was sick of waiting for enough mirrors.

I bought four rolls of extra-wide aluminum foil.

How much is inside aluminum foil?

Jane came by to help. We used spray adhesive directly on the dish, and tried to get the foil as smooth as possible.

Covering the inside of a bowl with flat strips is tough.

Sue wanted to use a Mercator projection and I wanted to use Dymaxion. Within 10 minutes, our plans had fallen into a sticky chaotic patchwork.

If you ever buy one of these things as a gift, have the store gift wrap it for you.

The dish could tilt all over the place, but with only six-foot ladders, it was tough to reach the sections closest to the top and center. We delicately maneuvered sticky sheets into place and pressed them down with a push broom.

We didn't get started until the late afternoon, so the dish was mostly in the shade while we were working. Occasionally, however, one of us would step into a hot zone and get a face-full of reflected sunlight.

"Aghh! Don't stand right here."

"Ohh! Let me try!" 

To reach the top, Jane had to stand on the very top of a ladder and poke her head through some tree branches.
I had to steal the cover off of a tray of brownies, but we had just enough foil to complete the dish.

In less than an hour, we were done. The surface was full of wrinkles, but it didn't matter. It looked incredible and powerful, and this was just a test run until the real covering was ready.

We were ready to burn some things!

Please continue reading page 8 of the light sharpener.

Intro Build Foil Mirror Burn Epilogue FAQ
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

23 FAQ

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June 3rd, 2007.   Terms and Conditions  Copyright 2007