I’ve been known to build other things besides guitars:

Here is a movie clip of my Tower Clock, which actually uses a modified Grasshopper escapement of my own design. It only has an hour hand, and makes a clanking noise when it runs. I find that an hour hand is actually all you really need.


I also came up with what I called an “Iris Valve” to use to stop the flow of crude oil from BP’s ruptured Deepwater Horizon pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico, when it was flowing unchecked and nobody seemed to know what to do.

The device would be slid into the end of the ruptured pipe, with the ‘petals’ of the Iris held open by a ram within; once inserted, the ram would be withdrawn and the iris forced closed by the flow of oil. There would be teeth on the downstream edge of the petals which would move outward and dig into the walls of the pipe, securing it from being pushed out. The stronger the force of the flowing oil, the more tightly closed theIris mechanism would be, and the more firmly the teeth would grip the walls of the pipe.Removal could be effected by reinserting the ram and re-opening the ‘petals’.

I submitted the idea to BP, but they didn’t use it. Oh well. They stopped the leak at last (or so we are told), and that’s the important thing.