Copper Cut and Vacuum Chamber

The copper got cut yesterday and the waterjet sure does a beautiful job:

To keep the copper from flexing while being cut, we nailed it to 1/2″ plywood and it helped transport the pieces afterwards.

Here is a clip from the documentary footage (Brian is checking the clearance before starting):

This week I plan to test fit everything together and get the probes started.  The probes are the only outstanding part to finish and I have an idea of how I can construct them, although I have yet to solve where to source the dielectric.

I spent today at the university working on the vacuum chamber:

End cap

Side portal with an acrylic window and o-ring:

Top portal (need more bolts):

The seals all look solid because I can see the o-rings pressed against the acrylic, but I won’t know until the first pump down.

Underside strut:

I still have one portal to bolt on and the front door, and then everything is ready for the first test.  Finding leaks is going to be tricky though – soap? Sound?