Unique Garden Sculpture

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Steel Garden Art

My latest creation is the unique Indoor/Outdoor garden steel sculpture pictured above.   It is of a natural steel colored finish in an abstract floral type shape.  I has several coats of clear coat to hold back the elements. The emerging summer season inspired me to create a sculpture that was distinctly metallic yet botanical style.  It should do well in any garden environment or even as a center piece on a dining room table.  Garden sculpture is another avenue I wish to explore in the styles of metal art I create.

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Heavy Duty Steel Base

Most of the weight of this composition is in the circular base that all the various length rods are welded to.  It might only be 5 inches in diameter but it is solid steel and up to 1 and a half inches thick at its thickest point.  No danger of this sculpture blowing away unless there is a nuclear explosion nearby!

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Unique Versatility

If you are looking for a unique kitchen organizer,  this sculpture might have something to offer you in the most unexpected way.  The rods are 3/8″ in diameter and can accommodate many kitchen utensils.  Although it is recommended you use this on an island or external counter top due to the wide span of the top of the sculpture.


This unique composition is one of a kind and available at my Etsy shop.

Jig for Straight Cuts in Metal With Jigsaw

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Jigsaws Can Cut Straight With a Guide

Talk about jigsaws  to anyone and immediately they will respond with comment on how it can cuts curves.  In general, this is pretty much true.  It is difficult to get a jigsaw to make reliable straight cuts over and over.   The exception to this rule requires a specially made jig.  Cutting metals with a jigsaw can produce some of the nicest cuts.  So I made the jig pictured above mostly from scrap wood.  You can make one from steel but it will be real heavy and a pain to drill all those holes.  Essentially I started with two 18 inch long 5 X 2 boards.  I also had some 2 X 2 so I can bond the support table with the clamping table.  There is also a 2 X 2 screwed to the bottom of the heaviest side of the fixture for securing the whole thing in a bench vise.  I cut off two ends from a 2 X 4 to make two stops.  An eighteen inch piece of 1 inch angle iron is the brace that holds down the sheet metal.  The magic is in the toggle clamps I bought from amazon mounted so they clamp down on the angle iron holding the sheet metal in place.  Once I looked it over, I realized that I mounted the clamps too close together.

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I moved one of the clamps over a few inches.  I may build a bigger jig for cutting larger sheets but I really do not like the idea of really long cuts with a jigsaw in metal because it takes too long.  So anyways, this little fix only took five minutes.  At least I can get sheets in there if one of the dimensions is 6 inches or less.

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Simply Clamp Metal and Line up Cut

The clamping table and the support table are spaced 2 inches apart.  I have a Bosch jigsaw and the distance from the blade to the edge of the shoe is one and a half inches.  The idea is you clamp sheet metal down under the angle iron when the cut you wish to make lines directly up with the blade when the shoe of the jig saw rest against the iron.  Turn on the saw anc make sure it stays against the angle iron fence.

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If the sheet is really thin material then maybe you will need to clamp it down to the support table also to keep vibration to a minimum.   Having a welding table that has an open top makes setting my saw aside convenient while I line up the other cut.

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After a long evening of cutting, I finally got the raw pieces from my first project with this jig.   These are 4 hexagon shapes I will be using to make a decorative wall clock.

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Industrial Assemblage For Your Tabletop or Bookshelf

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Metal Art With Textured Finish

I just completed this tabletop sculpture from miscellaneous scraps of steel I had lying around.  This is an industrial steampunk  sculpture made from a plate from a discarded garage door opener, a piece of square tubing,  hexagonal rod, and a remnant piece of channel from another project.  This was all arc welded together to form a handsome and bold sculpture.

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Arc Welded Industrial Assemblag

This first photo on the left is a closeup of the body of the sculpture.  The square tube is offset to the left to alloy the circular hole to be viewed unabstructed.  A hex bar scrap that was bent was added as an angular accent to bring balance to the composition.  On the right photo you can see the hex bar staff extending several inches above the plate.  This brings the total work to a height of 19 inches.  The sculpture is 6 inches wide at the widest point.  The piece of channel that is the base is approximately 3 inches by 4 inches.  For this sculpture and more, be sure to check out my Etsy shop!

Design by Desperation-When Everything Fails, Invent a Solution

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Frustrating Development

I have been working on a large mid century nail sculpture since early April.  I finally completed the work to customers satisfaction.  This week was the time to build a shipping crate.  I had everything measured and cut and it all looked well.  I had 6 mounting blocks to secure the art in the crate. one for each mounting hook.  It was when I was trying to screw the art into blocks I hit a snag.  Apparently, I was not going to get a washer to hold down the hook.  What was I to do?  I surely was not inclined to open my wallet and buy a solution to my problem.  I needed to use what I had on hand.

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Big Ah Ha! Moment

Once the thought of using some kind of wire to secure it, I knew I was not far from a solution to ,my dilemma.  That is precisely the moment I opened one of my storage bin drawers containing a couple hundred paper clips.  I said YES!  Already, I realized I can use TWO screws and TWO washers instead of one to secure each hook.  Also, since they are steel wire they can bend to the contours of the surface for added support.  Just to be safe I used two paper clips, one on top the other to distribute the load and keep the tension.


This is a demonstration of the problem solving skills developed in creative endeavors such as making sculpture.  It is my belief we were all born to create and we can all grow from exercising this ability.

Removing Latex Paint Stains From Concrete

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A Painting Project That Went A Little Awry

Last Saturday the weather was much like today only a few degrees warmer.  The real enticing part was that the night was forecast to be rain free and above 50 degrees.  I have been chomping at the bit to get primer and paint on my new bare wood shed doors since January.   The winter and early spring were prohibitively cold and damp.  I remembered that I had nearly a full gallon of Kilz 2 primer I bought in 2009.  I was shocked to realize it was still a usable product after thorough stirring.  I wonder how long these paints and primers stay on store shelves.  Anyways, I progressed to priming  painting the shed doors not giving much thought to covering my concrete patio.  It is old anyways and I just figured I could wash the  paint away with my garden hose and detergent.   Boy, did I ever learn.  After applying a scrub brush and  and soap, I removed only superficial amounts of paints.  You can see in the photo above where a residue had soaked into the concrete.  What was I to do, get on my hands and knees and apply noxious paint removal and scrape for hours on end?  No, not hardly.  I was looking into my cleaning bucket/tool caddy and noticed I have 3 old wire brushes that wont remove welding fluxes anymore.  They will remove paint and rust from hard surfaces though.  I was suddenly struck by an idea and dashed indoors to fetch my trusty angle grinder.  I exictingly attached one of my defunct wheels and plugged that mug in!  I got a container of some xylene, a paint scraper, and a face shield.




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Use Proper Safety Gear

The xylene is available at most home improvement stores unless the state or country you reside in is excessively liberal.  In that case it should be found online.  It is moderately flammable and fairly toxic by inhalation or skin contact.   It is applied to the paint stains to assist the wire brush in removal.  Only use small amounts at a time and keep the can away from work area.  The wire wheel will generate sparks.  It likely will not ignite the solvent but take care with the liquid around the electric motor.  If  you get light headed or dazed by the vapors it is best to leave the area and resume work after vapors dissipate a little.   Also, don’t use the solvent in an enclosed area without ventilation.

You will be operating a high speed power tool with a wire brush on concrete.  Little bits of dirt, wire from brush, and gravel will be flying everywhere.  Wearing a face sheild is an ABSOLUTE MUST to prevent eye injury.

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OK Now That You Have Your Face Shield You Are Ready

I was quite amazed what this old brush did to remove the paint stains.  It did leave somewhat of a gray residue which is likely caused by the metal in the wire wheel.  Nothing a concrete etching wont take care of.   In the second photo, you can see what A difference the grinder has made.  It is astonishing the many uses I have found and continue to find for this most versatile tool.