Monday, 17 September 2012

Cranes

024When my brother was out from Alberta we finished up on a project that we had started last summer when he and my sister-in-law were out. We have so many of the same tastes and interests – upcycling, repurposing, artwork and many more. I’m laughing to myself right now thinking about how both my brother and sister-in law have been cursing me since introducing them to Pinterest! It certainly can be addicting and I know that I have a whole myriad of future projects waiting for me!

My brother, LS, is a welder by trade and is also extremely artistic. He had told me about these geese that could be made using stones, rebar and some scrap metal. We collected a dozen or so stones from our stone pile (most farmers likely have a stone pile somewhere on their property!) that we thought would make perfect bodies for our birds. We then took them to my parents’ where all of LS’ tools were stored.

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We ended up renting a hammer drill (similar to the one below) and bit from a local rental store and drilled holes in each of the stones. LS had originally purchased a drill bit that we thought would work on stone, but barely made a mark. The hammer drill on the other hand worked extremely well and the holes were done in no time.

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Another thing with living on a farm is that there is usually a lot of scrap lying around whether it’s wood or metal. You can usually find something that will work for a project. LS found rebar at my grandma’s and we cut it to lengths that would work for as the neck, legs and toes.

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We clamped the rebar into the vice and used a grinder to cut the required pieces. We are both very safety conscience and wore long pants, shirts (or overalls), gloves and a face shield.

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After the cutting was complete, we took the neck pieces and placed the rebar into a hole on the bucket of my grandma’s backhoe. LS bent the rebar against the bucket and used a small sledgehammer where needed to get the neck looking right. I tried to bend a piece and it didn’t budge. Apparently my little arms just didn’t have the power behind them!

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We placed the neck in the hole on the bottom of the stone to make sure we were satisfied with the bend.

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LS & SS were getting ready to transport his toolbox and MIG welder back home so we just used the welder out of the back of his truck.

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LS is an extremely good teacher and explained not only how to do the weld, but also how a MIG welder works. I really wish we lived closer so we could do many more projects together and he could teach me so much more! This is a picture of me while LS was giving me instruction and showing me proper placement of the wire. This photo was obviously not while we were doing the actual welds as I didn’t have my gloves on. We did a few practice welds which gave me a good idea of how fast to go and what angle to hold the wire. I had so much fun doing the welding and would love to take a course to learn more about MIG welding. I keep joking with DP that we’re going to have to purchase a MIG welder now (we only have a stick welder).

 

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These are some photos of LS welding. We were so involved in his instructing me that when it was my turn to weld we forgot to take pictures!

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We welded the leg to the longest middle toe first and then added each of the other toes. After the legs and toes were welded together it was time to add the neck. I held one leg in place against the neck/base piece while LS put a contact weld on. We continued with the other leg and then set the stone in place. When we were certain that the legs were attached in the right area (no tipping over) we completed a final weld.

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It was then time to add the heads. You can use bent flat metal or anything that resembles a head. We then welded the head in place.

The final step was to use caulking in the hole to adhere it to the base.

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I love the way these turned out and have orders from family members to make some for them. I would also love to have more for ourselves! Now, all we have to get is that MIG welder! Do you think Santa’s elves might make them?!

 

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1 comment:

  1. Your trio of cranes look amazing, Wendy! This is totally the kind of thing that Matt would enjoy doing if he all those tools at his disposal. He was actually eyeing a clearance welder at Canadian Tire the other day! One of his Uncles makes a lot of custom garden art like this and it's always a hit. His go-to is a snail make with a metal body and rock for a shell.

    It looks like LS and Matt have similar taste. I think they have the same toolbox! How nice for you that he wanted to take the time to teach you how to do everything as his partner instead of just stepping in and doing it all.

    So nice to see you back! Have a great week :)

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