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Shop Services

This module provides design advice, fabrication and repair of mechanical laboratory equipment.

Personnel

Bruce Williams, the shop manager and instrument maker in the Kennedy Center, has many years experience in the field and will work effectively with investigators to produce the desired instrument. Roger Williams also is an instrument maker and works to develop projects for the investigators.

Facilities

The machine shop in the Hobbs Building is well-equipped with state-of-the- art machine tools. Do not expect to use the machine shops yourself; this is an insurance restriction. Also, do not expect to borrow tools. For individual use there is a small auxiliary machine shop in Wilson Hall that is equipped with a drill press, a band saw, a table saw and various tools and .

Procedure

The costs for materials are paid by the investigator and the shop will help with determining what and where to buy.

The machinists have a great deal of experience. At the beginning of a job schedule, the machinist will give a consultation to clarify the conception and design. The shops module staff often can suggest cost savings by using commercially available components or by using machining approaches that are more economical. If no strategy is clear, they contact the shop module director who can generally suggest a realistic solution.

Special Note

Because the Core shares the Kennedy Center, CICN, VVRC, care must be taken to insure equitable access. Small jobs such as emergency repairs, light fabrication, or diagnosis can be scheduled for Fridays only. There is a regular job queue list that will determine the order of every job. This list is updated regularly and posted on the web (Shop Job Schedule to the left), to let all investigators see what their job status is.

Additional Information on using the service of the Machine Shop

Design: You should prepare detailed drawings, carefully including all relevant measurements. The importance of this step cannot be overstated. Many jobs have had to be redone as a result of measurement errors. If possible, if a device is to be attached to some other fixture, bring that fixture to the machine shop so there is no confusion over measurements or unanticipated spatial conflicts. While proper machine drawings are ideal, the machinists have experience working with sketches, provided all the details are clear.

Job specification: Once the design details have been clarified, the machinists can estimate the labor and material costs. A date of completion can be estimated but cannot be guaranteed due to unanticipated jobs of higher priority. Therefore, allow plenty of time for your project. Insure that you understand your needs completely before designing your devise or buying anything to be used in its production. Projects can be unsuccessful because of bad concepts and inappropriate material purchased, combined with the urge to try to make it work anyway.

Materials: The machine shop generally fabricates in aluminum, steel or plastics. Special alloys such as stainless steel are available if necessary for the application. The cost of a project is based on three factors: labor, materials, and tooling (machine wear). The machinists can provide guidance about the correct material based on your projects needs and optimizing for cost. Note that it is usually more economical to use prefabricated commercial units (e.g., aluminum boxes for circuits) than to have such items made in the shop due to the expense of labor and tooling. Material costs are charged to individual investigators.

Neuroscience Shop Job List – Neuroscience Shop Job List (2)

Module Director: Jon Kaas
Office: 061 Wilson Hall
Phone: (615) 322-6029
E-mail: jon.h.kaas@Vanderbilt.Edu

Instrument Maker: Bruce Williams
Office: B27 Hobbs Building
Phone: (615) 322-0074
E-mail: bruce.williams@vanderbilt.edu