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Machine Shop

WeldingThe W.S.P.L. machine & instrument shop has provided machining and design services to the scientific community for 35 years. The majority of our work has been associated with physics research at William and Mary, but we have designed and built equipment for groups in many fields of scientific research. Past customers include the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the departments of Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Geology at W&M, Thomas Jefferson Lab and its predecessor, SREL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Universities of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia; Temple, SUNY at Stonybrook, and many others.

Special Services Available
  • Engineering and Computer-aided Design (CAD)
    We can provide a set of computer-generated shop drawings for your design. Whether a design we have created for you that you need to get on paper, or even a part you need reverse engineered, we have the tools and programs to do it for you.
  • Vacuum Systems
    We have had extensive experience in the design, fabrication and testing of complex vacuum systems for use in high and ultra-high vacuum work.
  • Light Guides
    We have done a great deal of work in the fabrication of scintillator light guides. This includes solid acrylic, bent acrylic and fiber optic light guides. We have experience in machining, polishing and gluing a variety of plastic scintillators.
  • End mill and Drill sharpening.
    High speed steel and carbide end mills, ball end mills, drills, center drills, countersinks and more can be brought back to life with a new tool and cutter grinder.
  • Special Materials
    Many special materials can be fabricated, ranging from machinable ceramics (such as MACOR) to single crystals which can be cut without damage with the EDM.
MelMachines Available
  • Turning
    Six lathes ranging from a high precision Hardinge to a Lodge & Shipley with a 24" chuck.
  • Milling
    Five vertical and horizontal manual mills. One three dimensional, CNC milling machine.
  • Sawing
    DoAll contour saw with 25 inch throat; Marvel universal saw with 17" thick x 18" deep cutting capability.
  • EDM
    20 ampere Hansvedt ram-type electric discharge machine, often called a "spark erosion" machine.
  • Grinding
    Brown & Sharp Surface grinder; MG tool & cutter grinder.
  • Welding
    Miller syncro-wave 375 ampere tungsten inert gas welder; spot welding, silver soldering.
  • Leak detection
    Veeco Ms-17 He mass spectrometer leak detector.
  • Sand Blasting
Kirk JacobsStaff

Will Henninger: Shop Director

John Bensel: Research Engineer; PhD. in experimental physics from Univ. of PA. Specialties include conceptual and computer aided design (CAD), vacuum design, fabrication and testing; mechanical system design and fabrication; and high precision machining.

Vacant: Lab Instrument Maker


For more information, contact:

Will J. Henninger
College of William & Mary
Department of Physics
Williamsburg, Va. 23187-8795
Phone: (757) 221-3504
Fax: (757) 221-3540
Email: wjhenninger@wm.edu