I bought the acrylic this week ($325) from Johnston Industrial Plastics and here is the guy cutting the 1″ thick acrylic (snapped with my iPhone)
I then drove down the street and dropped it off at the waterjet cutting place ($80) who cut it today. I also got permission to tape the “Flow” water jet cutter in action because it is pretty neat to watch. Here are some shots of the video footage as it cuts my acrylic:
The waterjet manufacturer has a pretty funny “Can Water Cut It” website where they cuts all sorts of crap in half like iPods, snowboards and a lawnmower.
I then dropped everything off at the university this afternoon, ready for the build next week (the protective brown paper comes off):
The only part to source yet is the vacuum gauge and I have a bid on one. (removed eBay link) I also have to buy an assortment of bolts, aluminum plates and a support for the upper shelf, but those can all be purchased locally. With the acrylic cut, all the ports now have covers.
Once the L gasket and the drill bits for the acrylic ($90) arrive, the vacuum chamber can be pumped down for the first time!