Elegant Geometric Design With Square Steel Rods

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Dimensional Abstract Steel Art

A recent addition to my etsy shop is this simple beauty I constructed from 1/4″ square steel bar and sections of steel pipe.  The rods are all arc welded for maximum strength and color matching characteristics.  There are three distinct layers of rod intersecting at various points for added depth and multiple points of focus.  il_570xn-1493214640_meld

Artwork For Any Wall

Because of the natural brushed steel finish and pleasing lines, this wall decor looks good on any wall from a plain white painted wall to a textured stone or wood paneling decorated wall.  It is also coated with a durable rust preventative clear coat finish.  To get a chance of obtaining this one of a kind Dimensional Abstract Steel Wall Art, click on the link for more information or to browse my other items in my Etsy shop.

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Creating Geometric Sculpture

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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.

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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.

 

Mid Century Starburst Key Holder

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Mid Century Retro-style

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.

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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.

Industrial Chic Steampunk Key Holder

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Steampunk Key Holder From Reclaimed Machine Gears

After the recent sale of the key holder me and my family have used for the last few years, I felt the pressure to replace it.  I immediately thought of a steampunk theme.  It is the driving force force for me to acquire steel gears from surplus sources.

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This industrial chic steampunk key holder pretty much came together as I imagined it.   I first arc welded the gears in what I thought was an interesting pattern.  Then cut a square steel bar I had handy then I hand formed my hooks.  I maintained an imperfect natural steel finish to add to the industrial chic charm.  This key holder could work in a number of decor settings.  It could perfectly fit in with a vintage country cottage or an ultramodern contemporary work space.  The possibilities are endless.

 

 

Threading Metal Part 1

Years ago, I worked for a conveyor company and I learned a few metal working skills.  One of the more useful skills was threading pre-drilled holes.  Threading blind or through holes is called tapping.  With this technique,  you can have a threaded hole where ever it may be needed.  You can use bolts, screws, and threaded rods to fasten metal, wood or plastic to the object with the threaded hole.

The way it works, is you drill a hole with recommended size of drill bit and then you usually tap by hand.  Typically, you turn the tap in the hole about a half turn clockwise then backing off a quarter turn to clear chips generated.  It can be a slow process but it is worth the effort and patience.

Usually when I finish the initial tapping,  I completely remove tap from threaded hole and reinsert it to clean up the shavings and chips.  Then I test with a bolt of the same diameter and thread count.

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The photo above shows me testing my angle iron bracket with a 2 1/2″ long 3/8-16 thread hex bolt.  I have completed four of these now an am ready to assemble my table.  That is the reason I enjoy tapping despite its labor intensive qualities.  Not only are you able to create strong cold connections in metal, but you can make your own personalized hardware for your next project.

Public Metal Art in Unexpected Places

I was driving one of my Uber riders to work this morning in a rather rundown part of town.  This is something I do between other jobs as a gap filler for extra income.  The area was an industrial/warehousing area that left much to be desired.  It was a cloudy and rainy Monday’s so I definately was in blah land.  Then suddenly when I was turning a corner into the lot for this particular warehouse my rider works at, I see two very imaginative rusty metal compositions standing there.

imageIt was a definate boost to get my creative juices going.  It was at this moment that it dawned on me one purpose of public art.  To create something aesthetically pleasing in an otherwise drab and uninspiring area.

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Product Review: Kleanstrip Phosphoric Prep and Etch

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Phosphoric Acid Metal Cleaner

There is a plethora of metal cleaning products available in industry as well as to the average consumer.  Many metal projects involving welding,brazing, and painting demand a metal surface free of oxidation and general contamination.  Degreasers remove lubricating oils and grease but not rust and tarnish.  Most rust removers are acid based cleaners or chelating agents.  Acid solutions are corrosive and toxic but they act rapidly on rust and tarnish.    Muriatic acid, available at many home improvement centers, is the most active but leaves metals in an activated state that makes them rust even faster and more extensively.  The acid in the featured product is a 25 to 40% phosphoric acid solution. Phosphoric dissolves rust a little slower but leaves the metal with a rust resistant finish with iron phosphate that is ideal for priming and painting. image

Steel Soaking in Phosphoric Acid

In the photo above, is 18 gauge cold rolled with surface rust soaking in the prep and etch.  Aside from the phosphoric acid, this cleaner has a surfactant to aid in wetting.

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The Next Morning

After leaving the steel in the phosphoric acid overnight, this is what I found.  The metal had a more consistent finish and was overall grey.  This is iron phosphate.  This would be ideal for priming and painting.  For welding, I would wire brush this to make sure no phosphorus vapors or formed.  Also, phosphorus in element form, may make steel excessively brittle.