Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pea pod earrings

While the idea certainly isn't new, her's my take on the 3 peas in a pod earring that I made for my wife for Christmas.  Quite simple construction, I started with a piece of paperboard and some scissors and cut until I got the shape that I wanted.  I then traced them out on to a thin sheet of brass I had and with pliers folded in to a rough pod shape.  The peas are made by melting some (lead free plumbing) solder with a torch.  I soldered the ends first, then slipped the peas in and with a dull chisel bent the pod around them.  Finally I used a fine brass wire wheel on a rotary tool for polishing.

This will probably be my last earring like thing I make.  A bit too small and fiddly, a bit too much like the electronics I do for a living.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I hate the standard trellises.   I think they are ugly and cutting them to shape is a pain, usually resulting in splinters.

This one is made from spruce 1 X 4 's that I resawed in half on the bandsaw, since I didn't have a table saw at the time.  The "apex" is bolted together with threaded rod and nuts, the ends are screwed to the breezeway and then trimmed to length with a handsaw.

Unfortunately the nasturtiums that we planted at the base last year didn't climb.  This year we will try morning glories, hopefully they will do better at hiding the industrial area from the residential section of our place.

I was going to use my radial arm saw to rip the boards, but because they were 8' long I would have had to swivel the saw to get enough length before then ends hit the door.  Bad idea.  Too much wiggle.  Just because you can do it with the RAS, doesn't mean that you should.

Posted by Picasa

Robot railroad spike bird

Here's a photo of my latest project, a bird made from welded railroad spikes.

Last fall a friend and I "liberated" about 600 lbs of railroad spikes and only got them as far as the front yard before exhaustion set in.  The more I use up this way, the less I have to haul around back to the industrial zone before my wife looses patience.

The welding is fairly difficult, especially since this is my first welding in about 15 years.  The spikes are either rusty or covered in paint, so getting the arc to start is challenging.  Holding the pieces is also a bit of a juggling act as well.  He'll be great in a few years when he's uniformly rusty.

I've got 550 pounds of spikes left, so I was thinking of making a dinosaur, one with a bunch of back spikes, like a Dacentrurus.  Or a hedgehog, or a porcupine.  Suggestions welcome.

"Oscar! No running near the impaling lawn sculptures!"


Just sold it to a guy down the street.  My first outdoor sculpture sale.  I'll use the money to buy more welding rods.

Posted by Picasa