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Thread: Project 4 from KSmith. Category: Decorative Metal Art – Wall Sculpture

  1. #1

    Default Project 4 from KSmith. Category: Decorative Metal Art – Wall Sculpture

    I live in Washington apple orchard country. In the winter, I sometimes see apples still hanging on the trees, bare of leaves. I’ve even seen golden delicious apples, still yellow on the tree in winter. When I came across a couple out of round brass bushings, I snatched them up to use as winter apples in a wall sculpture.

    I cut the brass bushings into 3/16” thick rings on my 4x6 bandsaw. I built a frame of 1” x 1/8” angle, 28x28” square. The frame would support a sheet metal background.

    The tree was made from various thicknesses of steel rod, tig rod end leftovers, some 1/8” and 3/32” tig rod. I Mig welded everything together. I soldered the brass rings to steel wire stems which I Mig’d to the branches. I made a single copper leaf. The tree branches and trunk were drilled and tapped to be held into the frame by machine screws.

    I tacked the sheet metal background piece into the frame from behind. After cleaning the tacks on the front, I began making the abstract landscape, using patinating chemicals.

    The photos show where I am at so far. I patinated today, and so far am happy. The sky portion will be patinated futher with white, a winter sky, and other details will be added in the terra portion.

    After the background is done, I will begin finish work on the tree, and the patination of it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The last photo's color balance is a bit off, not quite so yellow overall. Stay tuned….I will be adding photos as the work goes forward.

    ken
    UNT 520D plasma/stick/tig; Hobart Handler 140 Mig; HF 80amp stick welder; Victor O/A; 4x6 Horizontal bandsaw; Planishing hammer; & Stuff

  2. #2

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    That's cool! How do you get that textured look?
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanMurphy265 View Post
    That's cool! How do you get that textured look?
    I'm using the Scuplt Nouveau patinas http://www.sculptnouveau.com/
    Have used it on steel and copper. The rust was Japanese Brown, which also can be used on copper. Then some green stain sponged in. The sky is first the Tan, and I am adding white now. Finally you seal it with a clear finish, lacquer or acrylic. Who knows what it will finally end up as. I will post photos.

    ken
    UNT 520D plasma/stick/tig; Hobart Handler 140 Mig; HF 80amp stick welder; Victor O/A; 4x6 Horizontal bandsaw; Planishing hammer; & Stuff

  4. #4

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    Definitely cool. How do you make the copper leaves?
    "Engineering is the art of modelling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyze so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance."

    - Dr. AR Dykes

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by hokiefd View Post
    Definitely cool. How do you make the copper leaves?
    I saved some apple tree branches I cut this last winter, so I had a model for the leaves, and the branches for the project. I started with a flat piece of copper, I forget the ounce weight. But about .030 in thickness. I cut the leaf to an approximate shape, since there is quite a variety of shapes, which surprised me. Using some short pieces of different thicknesses of copper wire placed beneath in the branching pattern, I hammered the top of the copper piece to bend around the wires. I used a planishing hammer to distort the leaf in some double curvatures, but one could use a sandbag and a ballpein hammer too. The leaf edges were saw toothed shaped, so I used some pinking shears, alternating the pattern over the edges.

    The leaf is not done, and will get some mottled brown patina. When I soldered the copper to the steel wire stem, the copper changed color in waves depending on the amount of heat it got.

    Something that surprised me...I was mig'ing the branch together. I had some short pieces of copper wire laying there, while making small twig details, so I thought what the heck. The mig attached the copper wire to the branches. I guess that makes sense, melting the copper with the arc, while adding in the mig wire, melting it to the other steel part. I had just never thought of using mig to weld copper. I'll have to experiment with that some more.

    I will make some details photos of the leaf and share them in a bit.

    ken
    UNT 520D plasma/stick/tig; Hobart Handler 140 Mig; HF 80amp stick welder; Victor O/A; 4x6 Horizontal bandsaw; Planishing hammer; & Stuff

  6. #6

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    Detail shot of copper leaf

    ken

    Click image for larger version. 

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    UNT 520D plasma/stick/tig; Hobart Handler 140 Mig; HF 80amp stick welder; Victor O/A; 4x6 Horizontal bandsaw; Planishing hammer; & Stuff

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KSmith View Post
    Detail shot of copper leaf

    ken

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quite realistic. I thought you had a real branch in the first set of photos when I saw the thumbnail pictures. The close-up of the leaf is impressive. Wish I was that creative. Great work and nice to see you are finding surprising ways of MIG'ing!
    Is it OK to want to break something just so that you can weld it back together?

    Everlast PowerTIG 185 Micro IGBT AC/DC Welder

  8. #8

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    Yeah, the veins on the copper leaf look great.
    "Engineering is the art of modelling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyze so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance."

    - Dr. AR Dykes

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by hokiefd View Post
    Yeah, the veins on the copper leaf look great.
    Undercut and Hokiefd....thanks for the positive response. I saw that vein making technique somewhere else, and it does look great. Just place various sizes of copper or steel wire beneath the copper, and pound lightly along the edges, making a raised relief. Course then I usually work it some more, which causes the relief to flatten some, but it then looks more natural I think.

    ken
    UNT 520D plasma/stick/tig; Hobart Handler 140 Mig; HF 80amp stick welder; Victor O/A; 4x6 Horizontal bandsaw; Planishing hammer; & Stuff

  10. #10

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    This leaf was about 18" tall, deeper reliefs, and I used the planishing hammer (background) to make some double curvatures. It's a bit more abstract than the other leaf.

    ken

    Click image for larger version. 

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    UNT 520D plasma/stick/tig; Hobart Handler 140 Mig; HF 80amp stick welder; Victor O/A; 4x6 Horizontal bandsaw; Planishing hammer; & Stuff

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KSmith View Post
    This leaf was about 18" tall, deeper reliefs, and I used the planishing hammer (background) to make some double curvatures. It's a bit more abstract than the other leaf.

    ken

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I like that one too. Hope you don't mind me asking but are these projects for pleasure or profit? If I were to guess, I would say you are doing this for the pleasure of it.
    Is it OK to want to break something just so that you can weld it back together?

    Everlast PowerTIG 185 Micro IGBT AC/DC Welder

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by undercut View Post
    I like that one too. Hope you don't mind me asking but are these projects for pleasure or profit? If I were to guess, I would say you are doing this for the pleasure of it.
    I make photographs for a profession (www.kensmithart.com), and got into metalwork, having seen some cool stuff at the galleries where I show. Attempting to make some 3D expressions of my 2D work. So, I would like to sell some of my metal art, but still feeling that out. I've exhibited a couple sculptures at shows, but no bites. Maybe I'm not there yet, but it is fun, and a kind of therapy from the clean delicate work of my photographic prints. Thanks for asking.

    ken
    UNT 520D plasma/stick/tig; Hobart Handler 140 Mig; HF 80amp stick welder; Victor O/A; 4x6 Horizontal bandsaw; Planishing hammer; & Stuff

  13. #13

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    I had the chance to work some on my wall art today. I have been having some trouble being happy with the sky portion of the background, so letting it sit for awhile. I am starting the finish work on the welded branch portion. I intentionally welded it up with some sloppy roughness, using Mig, to simulate the knobbiness and irregularities of an apple tree branch. I had one in my hand to look at, to see the bumps and globs that are in the bark and twigs. At the end, the branch will be patinated, tinted where it needs to be. The brass 'apples' will stay brass as they are.

    Today I began putting some texture in places on the branches. Instead of plasma cutting you could call it plasma scratching. I set the machine to 5amps, and proceeded to draw on the metal. I wanted to make scores, like worm tracks or bark texture. The technique worked well. A little 220grit sandpaper over the scratches knocked off the bit of dross. After the patina coat the marking will look even more realistic.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In this next shot, I did not yet sand the dross on the bottom left branch, so you can see what it is like.

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    ken
    UNT 520D plasma/stick/tig; Hobart Handler 140 Mig; HF 80amp stick welder; Victor O/A; 4x6 Horizontal bandsaw; Planishing hammer; & Stuff

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KSmith View Post
    Today I began putting some texture in places on the branches. Instead of plasma cutting you could call it plasma scratching. I set the machine to 5amps, and proceeded to draw on the metal. I wanted to make scores, like worm tracks or bark texture. The technique worked well. A little 220grit sandpaper over the scratches knocked off the bit of dross. After the patina coat the marking will look even more realistic.
    Really good and imaginative use of your tools. Great, another reason for me to salivate over getting a plasma cutter!
    Is plasma scratching something you came up with or is this a common technique?
    Is it OK to want to break something just so that you can weld it back together?

    Everlast PowerTIG 185 Micro IGBT AC/DC Welder

  15. #15

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    Very nice!!!
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by undercut View Post
    Really good and imaginative use of your tools. Great, another reason for me to salivate over getting a plasma cutter!
    Is plasma scratching something you came up with or is this a common technique?
    I never saw it mentioned before, but tried it awhile back for fun. I had seen scoring on metal sculptures, but not sure if they used a plasma cutter or not. I suspect alot of scoring is with hand tools, dremel tools, etc. I thought, why not, and just went ahead. Kinda cool results, and I have some other ideas that will use the technique.

    ken
    UNT 520D plasma/stick/tig; Hobart Handler 140 Mig; HF 80amp stick welder; Victor O/A; 4x6 Horizontal bandsaw; Planishing hammer; & Stuff

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KSmith View Post
    I never saw it mentioned before, but tried it awhile back for fun. I had seen scoring on metal sculptures, but not sure if they used a plasma cutter or not. I suspect alot of scoring is with hand tools, dremel tools, etc. I thought, why not, and just went ahead. Kinda cool results, and I have some other ideas that will use the technique.
    You have the artist mindset - scratching with an arc.

    This forum is truly fantastic. So many people with such diverse specializations. I learn something new every single day! And it's not just in one discipline. On any given day I can ignore a bunch of threads and still find useful information.

    Thanks for making my wishlist a little bit longer. Just when I convinced myself that did not need a plasma cutter .... Gotta win a lottery.
    Is it OK to want to break something just so that you can weld it back together?

    Everlast PowerTIG 185 Micro IGBT AC/DC Welder

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by undercut View Post
    You have the artist mindset - scratching with an arc.

    This forum is truly fantastic. So many people with such diverse specializations. I learn something new every single day! And it's not just in one discipline. On any given day I can ignore a bunch of threads and still find useful information.

    Thanks for making my wishlist a little bit longer. Just when I convinced myself that did not need a plasma cutter .... Gotta win a lottery.
    Thank you also. Trust me, you will never be sorry you bought a plasma cutter. Suddenly, you can do alot of things you could not do before. (And dream up a few more.) Just one example, I was cutting sheet metal with an air nibbler prior to getting a plasma cutter. Half-moon ninja weapons all over the floor, embedded in the soles of my shoes, wanting to scratch the wood floors in my house when I tracked in. Also the nibbler was only good up to 18 gauge. Done with that! A plasma cutter is great for so many things.

    ken
    UNT 520D plasma/stick/tig; Hobart Handler 140 Mig; HF 80amp stick welder; Victor O/A; 4x6 Horizontal bandsaw; Planishing hammer; & Stuff

  19. Default

    Nice!

    I, too, am now wanting a plasma cutter. So many toyssss
    New to welding!
    Lots of Snap-On tools
    In need of more toys

  20. #20
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    Is that what they mean by gouging with a plasma cutter? I often see that mentioned in the spec sheets. I think there is even a special torch for doing that.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

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