I built up a Schwinn a week or so ago and I just simply need something to carry my groceries on the back of it. There are lots of racks out there but… well I can’t leave well enough alone. So I had some extra steel at the shop and I also found a 1950’s High explosives box that John Grimberg gave me for this project as well.
Today I headed down to the shop to get started on this one. I don’t have all the parts that I need just yet but it is a great start. I started off with some 3 inch rings that I bought for this project. I could have bent the material, but it was definitely cheaper to buy rings and make corners out of those than it was to buy an Oxy-Ace torch!
With the rings I just cut down some material and sanded it down to get a proper fit to my dimensions.
In an effort to make this thing as square as possible I took my time and welded up each side using a template that I made in order to make sure they all end up at the same dimension. There is nothing quite as frustrating as getting some arbitrary pieces that aren’t square or matched in size. So these are all matched up and ready to go.
With that done I measured out the dimensions on our welding table and tacked some ends down in order to make sure the dimensions stayed accurate then I cut the ends and tacked those in. I had the bike down there to keep an eye on things as well.
Once the first ring was finished I clamped the sides of the second ring directly onto the finished first ring then tacked up the ends on that as well, it left me with two matched rings that will form the bottom and top of the rack.
I called it a day after that. I need to get a 3 inch diameter tube soon in order to finish this project or I need to roll some sheet metal to a 3 inch diameter. Then I just need to weld up the top and bottom of the rack, set it up on the bike and fabricate the connections to the bike. I have some ideas for how that is going to work but I think I will cut a cardboard template in order to get it right the first time. Once all of that is done and welded I will then finish the steel and inset some wood on the sides. Hopefully it will finish up nicely and give some good character to the bike!
Back at Metro I made some friendships with some good folks. Each has gone their separate way to figure out their career and I got a call from one of them just the other day. Jed has been doing a lot of projects out of his garage in order to get started. Furniture, custom work, bar’s and more. “And more” is something you may want to explore on his site… some of it is pretty funny.
Esinem sounds like S and M… so when you see “Paddles” on his site you may get an idea what I’m talking about. The cool thing about Jed is that he is open to anything. When he was looking for costume stuff with his wife for a 1920’s Gangster party they were having he found his way into a vintage shop. He found some wooden… toys. and was surprised at the quality of craftsmanship and when approached by the shop owner he found himself in a new line of work. Two weeks later he was producing paddles for the shop and to this day they have been a success! It is a fun story that you would expect from him even if you could have never guessed it.
Recently Jed has been making some custom pieces and was commissioned for a Magicians table. Something portable, something antique, something cool… When I got a call from him he asked if I would come take a few photos of it. It is a very cool piece and the Magician was very impressed as well. I’ve been horribly busy, so I unfortunately didn’t have enough battery power to keep shooting all the details, but you’ll get the idea.
Check out some photos and check out his site when you have a chance. http://esinemdesigns.com/
I don’t know how I find my way into these projects, but I manage too. This one started with a coworker. He knew that I have made molds for fiberglass before so naturally I am the best choice for helping to make a counter for his kitchen! Of course I started coming up with grandiose ideas and designs but they all simplified into a relatively simple form. I can’t take credit for the majority of the labor, but I helped with the forms. I helped with the finish and most importantly, I helped with the installation… WOW!
These counters came out great and now make me think that I need some for my own place… maybe that is crazy, but wow they are really nice, very unique and definitely set the tone for the house. Here are a couple more photos. I will be taking more when the wax sealer is put on later this week.
I have been doing some tinkering in the shop! Last year I had the opportunity to help with the design of Anthems new space. Jeremiah and I had the chance to measure, analyze and design a new space. We got to be creative and we got to make some cool stuff. In the end I had the chance to put a lot of input into the front receptionist desk and some other elements of the space. It was a great opportunity and I really enjoyed working with him on the project.
This year however Anthem Branding has expanded, their space has stayed the same and they are trying to figure out how to get more people into their space! Jeremiah has been working in New York so I stepped up to help out. We talked about a lot of options and we ended up with the simplest options. Two very large library tables. With two tables each with three 40 inch sections we could house 12 people in the same space that seven people were occupying now.
I sent over some final drawings of the space and they were sold. so construction began!
This is the largest project that has come out of the “creation station” so far, at least in physical size! 4ftx10ft tables! With minimal flat surfaces to work with around the shop it was an interesting experience getting everything squared up.
The design is intended to be raw, very simple materials, exposing the materials for what they are. Exposed welds and nice wood grain. I spent a bit of time getting things straight, square and sturdy. I choose 16g 2 inch square tubing. It came out nicely with some nice heat coloration from the MiG welds.
Once the two bases were built I cut down the wood to six 40inch sections and put a coat of finish on the bottom of each board. Everything mounted up square and nice so I routed a nice 1/8inch round over on the edges that met between each board and bolted them all in place on the tables. Once they were all attached I did a 3/8 roundover around the entire outside edge of the tables. This provides a friendly feel for the end users when they are at the table, rather than just a sharp machined edge. After a bunch of sanding and a bit of masking they all got 4 coats of finish. They all came out nice and smooth. Perfect finish and I think that they will hold up for quite a while.
You can see my nice cardboard cot under the one table, at one point it was easier to just stay at the shop…
I was able to borrow a friends Sprinter Van to deliver the tables, the delivery went smoothly, everyone involved realized how much steel and baltic birch weighs very quickly. Now that it is installed it looks perfect in the space. Anthem is still working out a few finishing touches for their new space, but overall I am very satisfied with their new tables and they seemed to be enjoying them as well.
Another fun project in the works. I do enjoy designing and building these spaces! It is really fun to see it all come to life.
I was fortunate enough to be selected to be part of the AXYS vehicle concept design and build team. This is a hand selected program at Metro State College of Denver. The premise of this project is to build an entire composite vehicle, design all the elements of the vehicle (except the body shape) and present the vehicle to the public by the spring of 2010.
The presentation portion of this will be a soft presentation, the vehicle will not be fully functional at that time and the interior will not be completed, but most of the design should be finished and the vehicle should be presentable enough to show off what it is going to be in the end.
Overall this is quite the process there is an incredible amount of work to do including sanding, finishing and forming this whole thing by hand. The vehicle is going to be a two seat vehicle that leans in corners. Here is a quick rendering of the vehicle from its initial design.
We are working on a website for the project right now as well. The URL is www.carbonarts.com and I invite you to check it out. Once the site is up and running we should have updates regularly to keep you informed!
In the mean time, we will be laying up fiberglass and sanding down bondo more frequently than you can imagine!
About a month ago I received a call about a chair I made a year ago. The call was asking whether or not I would be interested in putting my chair in a furniture show. OF COURSE! I would love to was my response! So lets talk about the chair.
I started this project for an “Intro to Woodworking” class at Metro. Chase Deforest was the professor for the class and she was encouraging people to make small tables for a final project. I was set on a chair. Not only that, but I like mixing media so I wanted to incorporate some aluminum with the project. So I started working on some sketches. The chair developed quickly with a large heavy footprint and a light open seating area. I choose Hard Maple, Aluminum and 1/2 inch clear acrylic for my materials list.
The construction went fairly smooth. Large exposed joints came together to form the legs and the arm rails. Hours in the machine shop passed by as I machined the standoffs and the acrylic…well, I ordered that.
When I designed the standoffs I did so with the intention of learning how to make them. Every part I design at this point I do in order to learn how to make it. When I approached John, a good friend of mine, about the project he said “no problem!” So he showed me the Radius tool that he has and how to use it. I machined all the pieces pretty quickly.
Construction went smoothly and the chair came together quickly. The standoffs turned out perfect!
After assembling the chair the next challenge was to actually sit on it. What happens if it breaks! It is a bit disconcerting to sit on a clear acrylic seat for the first time, but I sat down and was pleasently surprised. It worked! In fact it worked very well.
The chair is currently in the Lakewood Cultural center. A reception was held earlier this month to allow artists to talk to visitors about the pieces.
Now I am working on a few new projects, hopefully I will be able to make time to get them done too!