Stainless Steel Armillary Sphere
This armillary sphere is made from stainless steel and is 60cm in diameter and is based on the demonstrational armillary spheres made during the 17th and 18th century. The highly polished finish sparkles in the sunlight making it an impressive addition to a garden landscape. The armillary was mounted on a garden armillary rock feature.
Stainless steel was chosen for the construction because of its corrosion resistance and chrome-like finish when polished. Being exposed to the elements sees many garden armillaries corroding away after several years, particularly in coastal areas. This stainless steel armillary guarantees to keep its integrity for a very, very long time.
A description of what the rings of the armillary sphere represent gives you an idea of how the earth and the universe was viewed. Usually the meridian ring is marked out in degrees above and below the equator and the ecliptic ring is divided into the twelve signs of the zodiac. These details were not necessary in the design as it is intended as more of a decorative sculptural object rather than a scientific instrument.
Stainless steel armillary construction
The pictures below illustrate some of the steps in assembling the stainless steel armillary sphere. By far the most difficult stage of construction was polishing the stainless steel itself. All the stainless steel flat bar lengths had to be filed smooth by hand and then polished to a mirror finish. Once all the raw material was polished it was rolled into the various rings needed to make the sphere.
Rolling steel rings
All the polished stainless steel parts ready for assembly after being rolled into rings.
TIG welding jig
The parts are held securely in position in a jig so they can be TIG welded together.
With the welding completed the sphere is ready to be removed from the assembly jig.