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Public Art

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Floodgate Closed.

Ready for New Years’ Eve now that the Ibis is complete. Patina went well and he is a nicely layered French Brown toning from reds to golds to chocolate. He wandered around the yard and I took pictures as he explored.

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Floodgate Open.

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“Back” side.

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Twinkle in his eye.

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Skinny front view.

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Waterfall Floodgate; would be a perfect addition to the yard.

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A heart of falling water.

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Wings folded along his back.

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Strolling about.

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Nesting area?

Ibis Floodgate

Ibis Floodgate!

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Head sprouts overnight.

Last night’s snow squall convinced me to wait ’til things warmed up in the afternoon before rolling the shop door open for welding. 34 degrees and breezy was warm enough for the Ibis.

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Blending in the weld from bird to square tubing.

I laid it all flat on the table, and aligned the head/neck and tacked the neck in place then stood it up to double check. Then it was on to welding with the Argon tank showing empty, but hissing along for all the day’s welds. With the weld line finished, it was on to metal chase. Still some finessing left on that front, but well enough for today.

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This view offers the trademark curve of the Ibis bill.

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Chasing the sun.

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Skinny bird.

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Nora frisks about to ask if it can finally be walkie time, then waits impatiently as I snap off a few pictures after shutting things down.

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Gate skinned with bronze tubing.

Monday and Tuesday were spent welding the stainless watergate together, then adding the outside border of 1″ bronze tubing. Cutting the tubing from an 8′ length down to all the paired sets was a bit woozy for how close the math was vs. how expensive a mistake would be. Then I welded the pairs together, then welded them to the gate. Today I stood the legs up after welding on their anchor pins for installation, went back into the watergate to capture a slew of tweaks, then brought the gate together with the legs.

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1″ square tubing, doubled. The open ends will be resolved tomorrow.

 

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Before welding the legs to the gate, I weld in the anchor pins for basing and tack-weld the pins to a platform of stainless and wood.

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I used all the leftover parts from the watergate!

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From this side it levitates.

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Spent awhile putting a bevel on the top L edge (allows the backward bend of the neck) and welding the ends closed, then fixing pinch-points for little fingers, plus a few last structural overkills.

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The headless birdman.

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Narrow front view.

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Walking out the studio would be foolish funny bird; snowstorm out there.

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The “back” profile. Tomorrow is chasing the connective weld, and seeing if I run out of Argon gas while trying to fit the head.

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Stainless Steel Waterman Floodgate.

The floodgate for the Ibis is a Waterman C10 in Stainless Steel and cast iron. Tweak #1 was cutting it shorter. Tweak #2 (after complete disassembly) was repainting the 5 cast iron parts. Tweak #3 was grinding all the Stainless to a clean surface, then cutting the threaded SS lift rod and cleaning it’s nose and end. Then reassemble. I ordered bronze square tubing from Denver that is waiting out in the studio for the next step: cutting it to fit and welding it to the stainless (also welding all the stainless parts together and tack-welding all the bolts). Eventually the bronze Ibis head and legs will weld on as well.

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Gate sized down and refitted.
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Nora stands in for scale.

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SS ground clean and cast iron parts repainted.

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Lift rod cut to size too.

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A chilly day in the shop with Orange Air Quality (pm2 @ 141, nearly Red).

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Weld and Chase complete.

The Ibis is now ready for the watergate. I thought I had a solution in the works with a professional watergate manufacturer wanting to make the gate aspect, but it looks like it will be up to me. That idea cost me a month waiting for a bid, but luckily this project isn’t due ’til April.

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Thinking about how nice it will be to have a watergate body one day.

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Legs can’t really think for themselves, or contemplate the future.

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Broze Ibis & Proto-Ibis

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The Watergate Scandal: A local manufacturer specializing in water gates said they loved the idea and would be able to create the watergate cheaply out of spare bits since it won’t have to hold water. They were surprised when I asked for a bid, as they just wanted to get started.  A month later their bid: $3,400 and asking for a go-ahead to get started on their 2.5 month process. Nutz. Next week begins a return to plan “A” of buying a brand name gate for $860 and adding some DangerHart mods. 

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Ibis migrated to the yard for some “me time” to get himself together.

The Ibis cast clean and Nora drove down to Alpine with me to fetch all the bits from the foundry. I welded the windows in place ’til parts needed chasing prior to more welding; then I went and worked on the Mustang for the rest of the afternoon, because chasing is for the birds. The ‘ol ponycar has been getting a spa-treatment radiator flush for the past 3 days, and today was the last day of the process.  I took her to a classic car show in Liberty Park last weekend, and being around car-guys got me past my procrastination.

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Windows are back in place.

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Trying a new method of keeping my Tungsten clean and sharp for a tidier weld, after youtubing a few welding tips vids; always room to improve on the technical.

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The weld is clean, but maybe a bit too much amperage.

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Lantana at full power.

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Lantana anchors the porch and brings in Hummingbirds.

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Can almost see these in Hummingbird ultraviolet sight.

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Fall Asters holding on to purple, as the huge hummingbird bush flares out.

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Deep field Hubble view.

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30 quail in the yard; 2 of ’em on the roof with some of the zillions of LBJ’s below.

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Nora’s safe space from the cats. They are everywhere and nowhere, ready to pounce!

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Garage Sale Kennedy Rocker; 6 hours of refinishing later.

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Her cane backing and seat had rotted away, so “before” was $10 at a yard sale.

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Oak comes back to life with persistence.

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Next I order in 3 hanks of Binder Cane and a how-to manual for Porch Weave.

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$5, same yard sale. This one lived inside so just needed gorilla glue and light refinishing.

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Perfect Elizabeth-sized chair. And with a steam-bent back!

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$7, same yard sale. She was so loosey goosey that she nearly didn’t make it out of their yard intact, as a large old fella tried her out and she nearly folded.

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Three warped little boards running parallel tried to capture all the seat runners, failing at that while providing no structural support. They came off and it got the Danger treatment.Multiple old fellers could rest easy. Walt, your long rail clamps helped pull her in tight for her triage.

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I shifted her from ruddy black to Mountain Blue, for porch-sittin’ in Montana on Bluebird patrol.

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Also, I created silicon mother molds with plaster backing molds of the Ibis. Tomorrow I take them to the foundry for wax pour, then I’ll bring them back to chase out the wax.

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Wax gets slurried in down the hole, rolled around and poured back out. This is done layer on layer until at a uniform thickness of about 1/8 inch. It takes about 2 hours, as there is a lot of waiting for the wax to cool.