Firstly I must take off my top hat and bow to Gogglerman for his wonderful creations and inspiration. He is a true artist and this project would not have been conceived if not for him and it would not have been attempted without his inspirational work. If you enjoy this project I hardily suggest you look up Gogglerman and get ready to be wowed. Now on to the fun part. I constructed this Iris aperature out of plate and sheet brass. On this first attempt at an Iris aperature I used silver solder and a propane torch to solder the pieces together. If no one has ever tried this I would submit that it is a pain in the hind quarters. On the subsequent projects after this piece I utilized a high powered electric soldering iron which proved to be much easier. Due to a lack of planning and a mistake on my part I ended up using a five leaf mechanism instead of six leaves, this gave it a slightly less than professional finish but overall I am pleased with it. I hope you enjoy it. I will add more body to this instructable as time passes so keep an eye out for changes to it and new instructables I will be posting.
Thank you Gogglerman!
(Here is a link to Gogglerman's page)
Step 1: First thing first
Alright, the first step is to study this instructable. If you try your best to read all the directions carefully and still find yourself with questions then please feel free to contact me.
It’s a good idea to have some things down on paper before you start this project by asking yourself some questions such as “How big do I want this?” “What materials can I buy/salvage?” “What tools do I have at my disposal?” “What do I want it to look like?” Once you’ve thought through the process a little and considered your desired material and what supplies you have on hand you can adjust the directions hereafter to fit what you want. It also helps to draw out a concept of what you want the finished product to look like.
For the sake of clarity I am going to list the tools I used as well as provide some pictures of them. That list follows.
-Metal snips (The kind that cut either direction.)
-Needle nose pliers
-Small propane torch (or High power soldering iron.)
-Silver or tin solder
-Flux (Preferably non-resin.)
-Assorted small files (The more shapes the better.)
-Dremel bits (Cutting discs, small sanding drum, wire brush, sandpaper.)
-Calipers (Could also use a straight edge/square and a scribe.)
-Sharpies (Fine point and super fine. These are handy for any project or prank.)
-Ruler (It is helpful to have a stiff one and the flexible variety used for sewing.)
-Sandpaper of varying grits
-Bi-metal hole saw bits
-Refractory block (You can also use a block of wood but it doesn’t work quite as well and has a tendency to burn.)
-A couple of bowls or cups filled with water (To quench hot parts.)
-A respirator (Or dust mask.)
-Center punch (Or a nail would work)
-Brass, rawhide, or rubber hammer
-A piece of 1” diameter pipe (Or slightly larger or smaller, for bending strips into circles.)
-Scrap piece of 2X4
In addition to the tools listed you will need materials, that list follows.
-Brass or copper sheet (.032 and thinner preferably. The housing it made from a thicker brass and the leaves are from a thinner brass.)
-A ton of cheap ball point pens (The ones with the brass tips. Or you could use small brass round stock.)
-Brass plate (If you are making a solid cam plate as shown. I will also describe a cam plate made from brass sheeting and show a picture incase you can’t get any thick plate.)
-Leather (If you intend to make a leather band.)
-Graph paper (For layout of the parts)
-Unlined paper (Incase you want to do a concept drawing or write down some calculations or draw a hummingbird sipping orange soda through a crazy straw.)
-Poster board (To make a slightly more substantial pattern for parts.)
-Brass nut and bolt
PLEASE DO NOT get discouraged by these lists! These are some big lists and if you were to go out and buy all of these things for one project it would cost a ton of money. I have collected these tools over a span of some odd years but made due without them on previous projects. My point is if you don’t have all of these tools look around and ask yourself what the function of the tools are and what DO you have that would work instead? You’d be surprised at how creative you can become when you are poor or broke. I have used a file to cut thin metal before (it sucked) you could also use a jeweler’s saw, or a hacksaw with the proper care. So don’t worry. Just loosen up your creative skills and improvise.
When grinding or sanding any metals it is a good idea to have adequate ventilation and to wear a dust mask or respirator, that dust can get in your lungs. No fun. Also it is a good idea to be weary of some solders because they contain lead, so be careful and make sure to have enough ventilation to take away the fumes and be sure to wash your hands after using it.