Friday, October 24, 2014

Steel and Padauk in an Umbrella Stand

My most recent combined metal and wood project has been the creation of an umbrella stand with a welded steel frame, an aluminum drip cup, and Padauk "handle," finials and feet.  Here's are photos of the finished project - naked and in use!

The metal parts were formed out of ¼" and 3/16" round steel rod, cut, shaped, and welded together.  The long pieces, the legs, are bent out near the bottom and welded to a ½" x 1/16" flat steel piece which has been formed into a circle and welded.  Sequentially, I formed the top section first, as shown in the next photo.  The six radial pieces are welded to a ¼" center rod; the rod below the join is then cut off before the final assembly (as shown in the finished photos).

I then formed the six bent "leg" pieces, and welded them to the circular piece near the base.  The tops of the the legs were then welded to the radial parts shown above, about an inch down from the ends.  Finally, I cut and shaped the outside "scallop" pieces and welded them in place where the other pieces had been joined.

The aluminum drip cup was formed by beating it into shape (with plastic mallets), using a section of pipe the same diameter as the ring near the base as the form.  The top rim was then flattened and trimmed to fit.

Finally, the wooden parts:  


As shown in the first photo, I turned a piece of Padauk to a 1" diameter, and drilled holes in one end to fit over the "spike" and the wider section shown in the preceding photo.  Then, on the chop saw, I cut the piece into 9 one-inch segments (starting above the straight section of the handle), with the saw set at a 10º angle (reversing for each cut), so that each segment had a 10º bevel on each end (180º/9 = 20º; 20º/2 = 10º).  The cut pieces were then glued together with the short sides matched and the long sides matched, to create the semicircular ring shape shown in the finished handle.

The feet and finials were then turned from smaller pieces of Padauk and drilled to fit on the ends of the ¼" legs.

The metal parts are all finished with flat black spray lacquer.  The wooden parts are finished with clear gloss spray lacquer.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Glass Top Table

Another "no wood" project.  I formed up and welded together a table frame from ⅜" square steel stock, spray painted it with flat black lacquer, and topped it with a 16" x ½" glass top.

It sits next to the Hackberry Slab Bench in our front hall, where it usually holds a dish for keys, etc.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Hackberry Slab Bench

I found a lovely hackberry trunk slab at Owl Hardwoods a while back, and decided to make a bench for our front hall.  I fabricated the frame out of square steel tube at my metal sculpture class - all welded joints.  The slab top is very much as I bought it, although I radiused the ends (which had been square cut) and softened the front and back edges, which would have been fragile (and sharp!).   I couldn't find any more hackberry for the bottom shelf, so I used hickory, ripped into four strips and mounted it on steel rods with spacers to keep everything in line; I fabricated Z shaped tabs to suspend the shelf in the bottom of the frame.