Usually when using brazing to join steel and other metals together, I am working with rods,nails, or other small hardware. The main theme on most of these has been mid century decor with emphasis on square cut nails. It is only through handling of the brazing process that I am familiar with the smoothness of the weld beads. Not have a TIG welding rig, I find brazing especially attractive as a method in construction of more conceptual metal art pieces. Take my latest work in progress for example, I wanted to join thin 16 gauge steel squares and rectangles in a 3D space without having huge welds protruding with obnoxious weld spatter everywhere.
The metal looks dirty and rather unattractive at this stage primarily because of the smoke, heat discoloration, and burnt flux. Once clean, the brass brazing joints will glow gold against the shiny grey steel. This alone will be an attractive finish with a rust preventing lacquer. But there are many other finishing possibilities either covering or leaving the brass weld beads exposed.
Here are a few more views to appreciate the volume of the composition.
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.