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One thing leads to another

Our retail shop remains closed and will probably remain close for awhile longer, until covid is more under control.  We talk about opening to a limited number of people at a time then hear about other small businesses having to close due to a positive test result from a patron or coworkers/employee.  We would just hate to have that happen.  Therefore, we are closed.

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, and as I am still working from home. I have been feeling unmotivated to make things yet still wanting to make something so that I feel productive in my personal life.  My head is full of ideas, items I want to make, classes I want to share… but as I look at the outbuilding we use as our brick and mortar shop, I feel a bit overwhelmed.

As a visual person I know that photos inspire me, almost as much as objects themselves.  One of the benefits of photos is that we can see the progress of objects, tasks, or whatever it is we are working on, evolve.

For example.  The first bench I had ever made.  It was a broken piece of fence.

I believe the metal portion of the gate was perhaps attached to wood? See how there is an odd number of sections and that the bottom curl is smaller than the top curl. This later become a hiccup for me but turns out to be a happy accident.

I saw how it could become a bench with the upper section longer and the bottom section shorter.  It seemed logical that I could cut it into two pieces and attach those pieces to a metal box frame.

It was about at this point that I realized I needed another curl for the other side of my armrest decoration. Also not that there is no longer an odd number of sections.

However, during the process, I thought I’d use one of the decorative curls at the end, almost as a armrest but decorative because it would be too small to be used as an armrest. ..if ONLY I knew how to make such a curl.  Well, that “curl” is known as a scroll and there is a simple gig type machine that allows for people to make scrolls.  Very easily.

All finished. The armrest curl on the far end is the “new” one. I had to weld what I could from the curl that was too small, cut off the metal and attach the new curl. Also note that dirty black table to the right, in front of the fire extinguisher? That’s the plasma cutter. Doesn’t look like much but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

One scroll lead to a series of hearts out of the practice welding material bin. A bin no one really thought much of but became my personal stockpile for making hearts.

First generation hearts. The joints look a bit messy but they got better!

Soon I was spelling with the scroll bender, using larger pieces of flat steel.  I would cut off what I didn’t need for my word(s) and use the smaller scraps as vines for metal wreaths. Note: The flowers are cut out using a plasma cutter.  Another fun tool that boys don’t typically let girls play with.  It’s feels like writing on a white board with a fresh juicy marker; only it’s cutting metal with fire!

As I began spelling words and nailing them up in the shop we had at the Black Diamond Bakery, people would request words for me to spell for them. I also did last names too. I would have Dawn write what they wanted spelled and I would try to mimic their handwriting. Where they looped an H or dipped a letter f.

I also made a tiara out of scrap scrolls.

I wasn’t the ONLY GIRL in welding class. Cynthia was there when I started welding. Here she is wearing a very heavy tiara on top of a hard hat, and having to use both hands to keep them both from falling off.

And welding flower petals cut from the plasma cutter onto junk automotive parts, also found in the junk pile.

How did it all start?  I found some motorcycle clutch parts, a brake drum, and welded them onto a oil pump (used as a flower stem and to connect the flower petals to). The oil pump, although I thought I had cleaned it out fairly well, kept catching on fire as I welded parts onto it.  But that’s why we wear gloves, to put out the flames.

My first project after not welding since High School.

I still have my first welding project, the flower, and tiara above. Along with the white bench. I couldn’t bring myself to sell them, the are priceless to me.

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