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The Physics Machine Shop provides instrument and equipment design and fabricating service to the faculty and graduate students in all Departments. Services include CNC Machining, CAD, general machining, silver solder, soft solder, stick welding, tig vacuum welding for vacuum systems. The machine shop maintains an inventory of materials and provides a basic short course for the student machine shop.

Instrument Maker

  • Design special equipment for use by graduate students and faculty members use in research laboratories to tolerance of .0001 inch. Instruct graduate students and faculty members in the use of shop equipment.
  • Plan, layout, set up and perform a variety of machining operations using lathe, milling machine, CNC milling machine, band saw, jig borer, shaper, and drill press on standard and experimental materials to tolerance up to .0001 inch.
  • Design, draw and interpret drawings, blueprints, sketches, diagrams, and verbal instructions in order to build, repair, and maintain instruments and machine parts for research purposes. Plan and layout proper operational work sequence.
  • Discuss, advise and work closely with scientists and engineers in developing new, unusual or untried designs.
  • Fit bearings, gears, and running parts to instrument precision up to .0001 inch.
  • Build jigs and design special tools to do unusual jobs.
  • Prepare estimates for labor and materials to construct or repair research equipment in absence of shop supervisor.
  • Perform bench work such as filing and lapping in order to obtain precision required.
  • Perform wood and sheet metal work for panel boards, instrument cabinets, adapters to special equipment, replacement parts, etc. for research and instructional purposes.
  • Direct assigned shop personnel; Dispense materials; Direct general shop operation as assigned.
  • Repair and maintain machine shop and student shop equipment as directed.
  • Instruct graduate students in a Student Machine Shop seminar stressing safety machining techniques and equipment care. Order necessary equipment and tools.
  • Detect errors or defects in drawings, operations or materials and report to scientist or engineer.
  • Work in emergency situations in Physics Department and other College of Science departments to repair equipment damaged during power failures, accidents and breakdowns.
  • Perform and execute welding using oxygen, acetylene, electric, TIG, MIG, and automatic welding machines; silver solder and soft solder instrument parts. Develop welding techniques and procedures for intricate and unusual designs.
  • Attend clinics, schools, and/or trade shows as required.
  • Sharpen and replace dulled tooling.
  • Machine and wind precision coils.

104 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802-6300, 814 865-7533
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