Welcome, all! Here are links to everything in the "Will It Lens?" series.
- Part 1: introduction, melting pennies, dimes, toothpaste, Tylenol, milk, chalk, gourd, can.
- Part 2: equipment upgrades, CDs, disposable silverware, brass penny, burned pennies.
- Part 3 (Food Edition): popcorn, grape, kumquat, Frosted Mini Wheat, jelly beans, Reese's Pieces.
- Part 4: wood, quarter, soap, dishwasher detergent, bacon, egg, honey, seashell, almonds, gummy bears, M&Ms.
- Part 5 (Temperature Breakthrough): marshmallow, peeps, copper, iron, sand, glass
- More to come
- Gallery of all pictures: This contains every picture we took. There's a lot of junk in here; the good pictures are in the blog posts above.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS (updated)
- Can you melt glass?
This surprised us, but yes! Normal glass is more properly called "sodalime glass," which has a much lower melting point than pure silicon dioxide (which we originally thought glass was made of, and which we haven't been able to melt yet). However, we have trouble melting clear things because they don't absorb the sunlight. Nonetheless, we melted a dark brown glass in part 5.
- Can you melt sand?
Kinda. The sand we tried is a mixture of quartz, feldspar, and iron. We can melt the last two, but we haven't melted quartz yet. Look at part 5 for more details.
- Can you lens electronics?
We probably could, but we don't want to because the fumes are really noxious. There's lead and other stuff that's terrible for your lungs in there.
- Can you use a second lens to focus the light even more?
- Where did you get the lens? How much did it cost?
I think we got it from here. When we ordered it, I think it was about $120, plus shipping. If you include the wood for the frame and stand, the welding goggles, and the skillet, we've probably spent over $200 on lens-related stuff so far.
- You should lens something that will burst and explode all over the place!
That would be very entertaining, but we need to clean everything up before lunch is over, so we're not doing anything too messy in the foreseeable future (no unopened pop cans, no aerosols, etc.). If we ever take the lens out to the middle of the desert, we will consider lensing messy things.
- You should lens an iPhone, iPod, or other hip status symbol.
First, see question 3 about electronics. Then, remember that we're paying for all of this with our own money. We'd prefer not to lens anything that costs more than a couple dollars. Everything we've tried so far has cost under $1 each (almost everything is under $0.25 each).
- Isn't it illegal to destroy money?
Not unless you do it with the intent to defraud someone. Remember the last time you went to the zoo? You probably saw one of those machines that will take your penny, flatten it out, and stamp an image of a penguin or something on it as a souvenir. Melting a penny is no more illegal than one of those machines.
Other articles that link to this series: