That’s a GATE!

This afternoon Jack and Peter finished welding and grinding the major pieces of the gate. With the help of the whole crew in the shop we tipped them up vertically for the first time and took a look. They looked pretty cool!

The boys still have to do a little tweaking and also install the latching mechanism and then next week we can install them. They will be allowed to acquire some surface rust and then we’ll apply various coloured patinas to allow the five layers to really stand out.

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Rolling start

I’ve loved working with metal since I learned to weld more than two decades ago. Almost anything we can imagine can be fashioned with welded steel, or at least the structural framework to go inside. Using EnRoute to design files and the new MultiCam plasma cutter to cut the pieces has raised the art to a whole new level. It takes minutes to design the cutting files and only minutes more to cut the pieces. Best of all they only need a touch with a sanding disk to make them ready for production.

The jet pack studio chair is now in progress. I popped a sheet of 1/8″ steel on the plasma this morning and set the machine in motion. I waited for the first to cut and then started work at the welding table.

The edge pieces for the curvy web legs were hand formed from 1.5″ x  0.125″ mild steel. These pieces were cut a few inches long, formed and then tacked into place. I then used the MIG to throw a quick bead on each side. Once they had cooled I trimmed off the excess.

Once I had all five sub structures done I welded them to the centre pipe.

I the cut a couple of large pieces with right sized holes to slide in the chair cylinder. As quick as that the rolling chassis for the chair was complete. Next up is the back frame assembly for the twin fuel tanks and the jet motor mounts. Once they are complete the hand sculpting will commence which will give the chair a whole lot more character. Stay tuned…

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Magic chairs – just for fun

Many people who know me well claim I do things far too fast. It’s sims not true. The truth is I have so many ideas and projects I simply need to hurry to get them all done. 🙂

In my studio I have two office chairs which are well worn and somewhat broken. Rather than toss them I figured I would rebuild them in such a fashion that they serve me better. I decided to combine them with two things I love – steampunk and rocket engines. I bought new castors today and began designing the needed files using EnRoute software for the MultiCam plasma cutter. The chairs will get totally new undercarriages complete with some funky new hardware and two jet engines. Once complete I should be able to complete my work in record time and do it with a great deal of style!

Here’s the quick concept rendering for the magic chairs. Stay tuned for progress…

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More plasma cutter eye candy

 Peter’s Sign Challenge piece would have been almost impossible to accomplish without the new MultiCam plasma cutter. At the very east it made things ten times faster. The speed of the design in EnRoute and the precision of the cutting made fitting the pieces dead easy.

The plasma cutter also allowed a complexity which wouldn’t have been possible any other way.
The top section of the box is removable and slides up into the box from the bottom. The coin operating mechanism was built in sections to facilitate this.

Other bits done using the plasma cutter include the gauge on the side which was cut from three pieces of steel and then welded into a section of pipe.

Peter’s piece is now finished. He used it as a project to learn EnRoute and the operation of the MultiCam plasma cutter and router. I’d say he’s a quick learner without a doubt. I look forward to many more projects from his creative hand and mind in the future!

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Plasma cutter ease

When we took delivery of our MultiCam plasma cutter we weren’t sure how much we would use it. Prior to that acquisition we had many base plates cut and the occasional shaped piece but it wasn’t too often. Having the plasma cutter handy close at hand changed the way we do many things in the same manner that the CNC router did ten years ago. Few projects are done with the plasma cutter alone but rather the many cut metal pieces are integrated into larger projects which also use other tools along with our hand methods.

A current project is a great example. We are building a foot cart shaped like a large rowboat. We used the plasma cutter to shape the steel we needed for various parts of the primary structure. As we built the heavy frame it was an easy matter to have the machine cut the end covers for the forklift pockets to ensure the operator doesn’t poke the forks through our decorative concrete in the front. The bottom plates for the fridge and the freezer were quickly cut from 3/8″ thick plate. There is no worry they will ever rust out.

Once the welding was finished on the main frame we built a subframe of pencil rod. This was wired and then coated with the fibreglass-reinforced-concrete and carved as we often do. That workwas done in stages, tipping the boat on it’s side to do the under parts. It just made things easier and quicker.

The plasma cutter again came in handy as we built the mast and upper rigging. It was so fast to measure the required pieces up and then let the machine cut them in seconds. Best of all they required little more than a touch of the grinder to make them ready.

Published with permission from Source.