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Monthly Archives: July 2010

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A quick trip to the foundry on Friday morning brought home 3 bronze quail, all in parts for me to weld together and chase out. The big Buck mold/frame also came home- the frame lashed to the rack atop the shell, and everything else in the bed of the truck. They will remain as you see them for quite awhile, as I have yet to finish up the chicks, mold them, and get them down to the foundry for wax & bronze pour. While they are out being cast, I will weld the adults up.
Of course, the mobile and wall pieces are still taking priority right now. Fitting the capstones has taken a bit, but in the cool of the am tomorrow I think I can get it all banged out- my guestimation is 3 hours of successful work time to have it completed. Completed, minus the lighting- which should be arriving soon.

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Five-Minute two-part epoxy thickened with milled glass for a grout is a wee bit more labor intensive than you might think. And the re-taping of all the seam lines, and re-grouting, and other little projects within the project- all part of the fun. Today stayed in the 80’s, and then the power went out for the whole neighborhood for an hour or more in the mid afternoon- things got pretty quiet.
Next I grout out the capstones (removable for changing lights, flying into position, etc.) and drill/pin them in place.
Fidgeting around with some details will then give way to the wax & buff of all the stones.

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Shawn and I used some Mesopotamian tech. We used a dolly for leverage to lift one end off the ground, then slid a steel bar under the new legs (seen in the pict above going front to back along the floor)- then a few more bars and it rolls along easily. We rolled each one under the hoist and picked them from the easel, spun it around, and laid it back down, then rolled it back and went to the next one. Everything worked as planned, and both of us managed not to get fingers crushed or backs tweaked.
Tomorrow I’ll refine the tape job a bit further, then mix cabosil (milled glass) with five minute epoxy to grout the gaps between the tiles. This may take more than a day as it will be gooey and fussy business. Glue sniffing alert!

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7am rain showers kept the day cool till the afternoon. The cool morning was quiet and calm, perfect for laying up the fiberglass. NPR cycled through their Sunday morning show twice. I broke off for lunch to let it cure, took a shower, lazed about, then put work clothes back on and headed back out. I ground down all the areas where fiberglass overlapped the back of the steel frames, and zipped off loose fibers, and smoothed out pokey bits. Next came vacuuming the fiberglass strands out of the studio, then out to the shop to sand down the work table, vacuum up all the metal grit, resin dust, and fiberglass. With a little bit of reorganizing I folded up the wall table and made some extra room. Shawn dropped by with his wife Holly, as I thought we could flip them- but the day’s cooler temps slowed the resin cure and we decided to wait til tomorrow. Just as well, as we figured I need to add more 2×4 bracing to the stands so we can roll them around to flip them with the hoist. Once face up, I’ll remove all the protective coverings, epoxy some areas a bit, polish things here and there, and seal them with bowling alley wax.

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The cool of the day was given over to laying down the wax-paper, then laying in the stones. I’m glad Shawn suggested doing the layup on easels, as gravity helped to pull everything together- not to mention the back pain avoided. I spent awhile sanding out a few edges for a tighter fit, and had to stop fitting some pieces as a flush edge here makes for an off bit there.
I clamped runs of wood along the outside edge to ensure the border bricks stayed put.
The steel frame fits within the frame, but drops into it just a hair too deep- so I will have to pick up some thin strap metal and weld it to the face of the frame to ensure that the metal frame sits on the French Cleats correctly. A minor complication that may have a good result of having more angles for the fiberglass to lock to the steel.
I cut the fiberglass to 4″x 60″ strips, then down to 4x 10 & 4 x 20 strips. This took up nearly all of my 9oz fiberglass cloth. I’m planning to seat the frames with looser mesh weave, and hope I have enough around.
If not, I’ll go on to creating the light-proof tops for the mobile’s Salt Boxes on Sunday.
That, or begin forming the protective boxes that will fit to the inside of the metal frames, and around the salt bricks- so I can transport the heavy beasts without crushing the delicate salt.

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The gas tank for the welder is down to 700psi from starting at 2000psi. I think we can call the welder “broken in” now. It is entirely possible that today was it for welding. The aluminum angle bars slide down over 3/4″ angle iron, with a footing at the bottom. They came together clean and should work nicely- the aluminum angle will be the backing for the LCD light strips. They are removable for changing out the lights, and AL keeps the lights cool/ dissipates heat.

I made a point of not looking at the clock and went on with the hanging weights. Each eyehook has a bolt welded to it, and the weights all have bolts welded to an end. This makes them interchangeable- I have more weights than hooks, so hopefully I don’t need too many weights. If it turns out more are needed, they are easy to make and pretty cheap too.
For the trans-bar weight I added a nut to the far end, in case I need to add yet more weight. I’m guessing that attaching this at the high Salt Box end may balance out the sides and keep pressure off the D-Ring Brake.
A nice thunderstorm blew through just as I was cleaning out the shop. The wind gusted so hard I had to close all the doors as lawn furniture blew around the yard and garbage cans went rolling down the street. Between the storm and the compressed air and the vacuum and the broom, the metal grit is all cleaned away.
The stink-paint is now curing on the weights.

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