This is the latest addition to my tool collection. Best part is I made it. Most if not all the steel was scrap and drop cuts. This contribution significantly reduced cost. It’s not pretty but has significantly more bending leverage than many of the imported brakes I could have purchased.
Bends made in Different Thicknesses of Steel
From left to right, bends made in 14 gauge, 16 gauge, and 18 gauge steel. Most smaller hobbyists brakes can only handle 18 gauge maximum. If I carved a groove with a grinder at bend, I have no doubt I could bend 12 gauge or even 1/8″ plate if need be. But I feel those thicknesses will be better handled with a home made rig driven by a 20 hydraulic press.
Brake Easily Stores
Although I originally intended to permanently fasten to a benchtop. I decided that I like storing it by leaning out of the way.
If your decor needs a retro 1970’s style addition, then look no further than this mid century starburst key holder. It was hand braze welded with an oxygen acetylene torch and is largely made up of masonry square cut nails. The filler metal used was bare bronze brazing alloy. A paste flux was used to prevent oxidation during heating.
Brazed Masonry Nail Starburst
The second image captures a more closeup perspective of the functional art. You will notice how the shiny bronze joints set themselves as quite a contrast to the gray steel near them. Although this key holder may be considerably larger than my other key holders, I am quite pleased with this creation and I feel it is still quite comfortable to fit in any home or office.
While going through some left over plasma cutter steel plate, I also grabbed a handful of miscellaneous lengths of round bars and went to work with my oxygen acetylene torch. What I came up with is an artwork that is capable of resting and standing in any position that is imagined.
Torch Perforations For Affect
I also used the torch to intentionally melt holes through some of the steel. It makes it look more interesting and raw. This sculpture could be placed on a lighted pedestal in such a fashion to allow the light to permeate the perforations to cast beautiful shadows.
Over the weekend,I was celebrating the arrival of spring weather by creating a new brazed nail wall panel. It consist of seven stars handmade along with for hemispherical steel caps to add interest to the piece. No electric welding was used everything was done with her Oxygen acetylene torch.
Dimensional Metal Wall Art With Natural Brushed Steel Finish
This composition is of moderate size at about 17 inches in height and 14 inches wide and is about 2 inches deep when mounted on the wall. I called it star-spangled nail wall panel and it could be found on my Etsy shop.
When doing random abstract industrial steel sculptures, there is nothing I like more than a glossy, hard, durable paint finish. It seems to add to the aesthetic of the steel composition. So with the solid lines and the presence of great strength comes a clear, bold and definitive finish in a eye catching color.
Industrial Sculpture Welded from Scrap
I like how the random pieces came together in this orange industrial welded steel sculpture to make the perfect centerpiece. This is not only an interesting way of incorporating mechanical hardware into art, this be a way to clear up metal odds and ends I have accumilated.
Years ago I had found a seatless metal chair curbside on trash day. This past winter, I finally got around to utilizing it in sculpture. The circular foot rung caught my eye first and I proceeded to free the ring from its bondage. It became the frame work of the piece pictured above, the Upcycled Arc Welded Steel Circle now listed in my Etsy shop.
Angular View Showing Reflective Surface
Another view showing the reflection from the surface of the brushed steel accents. These capture the attention and draw focus to the duality of the glossy red ring and flat black mesh background.
With the VOC concerns around solvents in general, oil based paint is getting harder to find. In fact most locations only have oil base paint for rust preventative finishes. Because of the EPA regulations they name these products rust preventative and don’t even use the name paint in the product name. Also, the number of colors available for these pants is rather limited now as the waterborne paints are taking over the market. I like to use these on my metal sculptures and I preferred to spray them on to get a smooth finish. When I use the sprayer I can mix colors to any shade or finish I want. I deliberately mix up too much paint because I have found a way to recycle the alkyd resin that makes up the adhesive of oil based paints. With this, I can add the oil to a dry pigment of my choosing and reuse it to paint other sculptures.
Let Sit So Pigment Will Settle
The process to do this is extremely simple and straightforward. After you have spray applied or brush applied your alkyd paint, The remaining paint simply gets thinned more so with a volatile solvent such as VM&P Naptha or Acetone. Then you allow the mixture to set a week or two and the pigment will sink to the bottom. You can pour off liquid portion and filter with cheese cloth if necessary. Or, you also can leave everything together while the more volatile components evaporate. If need be, you can speed up evaporation with a shop crock pot no longer used for cooking to drive off solvent.
Separated And Concentrated Alkyd Medium
The photo above with the dark reddish brown liquid demonstrates what a clean alkyd medium will look like after pigment separation and solvent evaporation. The manufacturers somewhat pre-send the pains so this alkyd medium undoubtedly has less volatile solvents and it already such as heavy mineral spirits etc. even with additives is still comes out as a fairly viscous liquid.
Testing As A Simple Varnish
I found a piece of pine scrap wood and just simply get up some paint thinner in a brush to apply the Alkyd oil as a varnish. It really does not need to be thinned as this mixture has some thinner already on it. I purposely overthinned first coat so wood would absorb it. Then I brushed on straight Alkyd on top. Interesting that when applied, it seems nearly colorless. Next, I will attempt to disperse a pigment into the Alkyd oil.