irising

Brass and wood “pressure door” with iris, handwheel

Brass and wood “pressure door” with iris, handwheel

Chris Schaie just e-mailed me this picture of a recent commission. It’s a custom Nautilus-style submarine door that incorporates Chris’s familiar irising peephole as well as a new multiple bolt mechanism that locks and unlocks by turning the handwheel. Beautiful work, Chris!

Continue Reading
Chris Schaie’s mechanical irises for sale

Chris Schaie’s mechanical irises for sale

When I first saw Chris’s gorgeous brass-and-wood irising door peephole mechanism in the ShopBot booth at Maker Faire, I knew it was something special: A beautiful piece of machinery, designed and built solely for the pleasure of operating and observing its operation. When Chris contacted us wanting to sell them in the Makers Market, naturally I was excited, but I was also a bit skeptical. I couldn’t imagine that such a large, relatively complex machine of solid brass and wood could be manufactured and sold at anything like a reasonable price point. But the $285 Chris is now asking, while certainly not cheap, is about 40% of what I was expecting to see when I clicked on his listing. I will be surprised if he can afford to continue selling them at that price. Which is why I already bought mine.

Continue Reading
An iris by any other name?

An iris by any other name?

Right, so, here’s a question for the nomenclaturally aware mechanical engineers in the audience. Last weekend, I was exposed to two equally awesome objects that include radially-opening apertures that I call “irises.” The first, to left, is Alan Rorie’s Aperture Lamp, which includes an adjustable opening to control the amount of light it emits. The […]

Continue Reading