Earthquake Damage Prevention Method Pic 1

By Dwayne Anthony; posted January 2, 2004

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The question is often asked: "What's the best way to display insulators in earthquake country?" I designed and built this system about 12 years ago using 7/8" clear acrylic doweling (purchased from a local plastics store). The dowels can be easily cut on a table saw at various lengths to accommodate the varying depths of pinholes, but 2" seems to be a good standard length. Smaller holes are drilled into one end of each cut dowel to accept a "holding pin". I chose 1/8" clear acrylic doweling for this purpose. The 1/8" pins are glued into the predrilled holes in the 7/8" dowels and left to protrude about 1/2" (see next pic [id=77676345]). A series of 3/16" receiver holes are drilled inline across the top center of each wood (or acrylic) shelf to receive the dowel-pin assemblies (you don't need to drill the holes all the way through). Drilling these holes every 1" or so will allow easy adjustments for correct placement of the dowels verses insulator size. I also used this same system on my base lit cases, except the shelving material is 3/8" acrylic. When used in this manner, the 7/8" dowel pins act with fiber optic qualities, carrying the light to the top of the dowel. This works great for illuminating the domes of darker colored glass. A portion of my office showcase is pictured above with some of the insulators removed so you can see some of the dowel pins in place. As you can see, light still passes very well through the insulators, with the dowels being hardly noticeable.