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Thread: Outdoor Smoke-Break Bench - Functional Art Sculpture?

  1. Default Outdoor Smoke-Break Bench - Functional Art Sculpture?

    Here's a little project that I just completed yesterday that my 210EXT was involved with.

    I'm calling it an Outdoor Smoke-Break Bench. I got the wood and rebar for free from a neighbor.

    So, I decided to go down the proverbial rabbit hole and make a small bench for a neighboring couple to use at my apartment complex. I've teased them once or twice that they could use something to sit on when they come out to smoke, by saying that they look like smoking fiends while they're just standing at their front porch.

    Anyway, I was able to get the limited amount of reclaimed material to get the form to follow the function pretty well, as they might even both be able to fit on the bench at times. One of them is in the process of quitting, though.

    Otherwise, the structure is very rigid, stable, level, and doesn't teeter. I did put some 1//4" rubber matting at the footers to help conform to irregular terrain.

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    Last edited by christian; 10-16-2020 at 05:36 PM.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  2. Default

    The cross-member design is an inelegant one, structurally and materially speaking. But this was more of a functional-art-sculpture type piece, I think.

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    I included a little stainless expanded metal cradle, or bin, in the void area at the center, to keep a lighter, cig packs, etc., as I had a drop piece of that lying around. After cutting and folding the expanded metal, the little nubs were virtually all that was need to join the seams with the TIG torch.

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    The 3/8” rebar was originally bent up for a concrete form, so it all got straightened first. The residual iron oxide on the rebar still made its way into the TIG welding puddle, even after a light wire wheel cleaning, but the deoxidizers in the mild steel TIG filler seemed to clean up the puddle of any inclusions or contamination fairly well.

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    Last edited by christian; 10-16-2020 at 05:38 PM.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  3. Default

    But I did then go over each joint and float some silicon-bronze (DC) TIG filler over the joints to give a more interesting look of faux brazing. And, I’ve only used silicon-bronze a couple of time now, so it’s still new to me. But, I like it. I didn’t get the gold color that I was hoping for. I got a copper color instead, which I think I like even better for this project. That residual iron oxide from the rebar may be the reason for the copper color, or maybe I was over-temping the puddle, even though it was easy to keep base metal from puddling itself with the 210EXT at around 70 amps.

    Attachment 14044

    The initial finish got some distressing of the wood and a flame treatment with a propane torch, then a light sanding, then some Thompson’s water seal. There’s a couple of little spots on the rebar where there is some bare metal showing, which I’ll hose down with water and wait for all of the rebar to get a uniform consistency of rust, then I put a clear sealer on the metal, and wood too. Maybe the bronze at the joints will even pick up some green patina before the sealer goes on, too.

    Wheeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Last edited by christian; 10-16-2020 at 05:40 PM.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  4. Default

    Here's those other pics, which don't appear for some reason in the above post:

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    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  5. Default

    Gee,

    I suppose that silicon-bronze filler did leave a seemingly appropriate "bronze" color.

    I mean, I think I expected or hoped for a more "yellow-gold" color after buffing.

    Maybe the aluminum-bronze TIG filler gives a more yellow bead.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  6. Default

    Well,

    I took the bench made with some free wood and rebar concept a little further down the proverbial rabbit hole, by actually purchasing some rebar and getting some used 2" x 12" boards, so that the form following its function would be constrained by the limited size or shape of the free materials that prompted the first smoke-break bench.

    So, I made a 6 ft Straight bench/table, then a 6 ft V-bench/table, as a 2-piece set, while staying with the original look of the 1 or 2 person smoke-break bench, but without those big block wooden footers.

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    And, I think concept does now do pretty good dual-duty as a bench and/or table.

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    I left the straight one outside for a while as a bench, but now I'm leaving them inside for more of the table aspect. The V-bench is actually doing a sort of triple-duty as an end-table, coffee-table, and a seat too, at the moment. Ha, ha, ha... And I used a Kreg joint on the "V", which was a first for me. My neighbor had the Kreg jig and all the right hardware, so it made that and easy task with no need for glue or clamps.

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    I might ultimately sell them, or keep them, I don't know. The cost of production was pretty low. I mean, about $25 in rebar, the expanded metal was a little costly (less than a sheet pieces), and the pound or so of silicon bronze filler, put the total at around $100. The used boards were free, but otherwise wouldn?t have bee too much.

    Of course, the time involved on one-offs or prototypes is alway longer than expected, but it was fun to develop these matched bench/tables with my 6 year old 210EXT.

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    Last edited by christian; 01-17-2021 at 07:19 PM.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

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