About a week ago one of the crew started a thread about making a saddle from aluminum. I tried it a bit and basically failed. I lost control of the piece of metal for a variety of reasons and ended up tossing it. I had tried to do a "freehand" piece using just the dollys and hammers. Anyway, upward on onward.
Yesterday I figured I would try it again with copper. I knew it would be useless but I was trying to have fun. I decided to make a new thread since it's really not a saddle (useless) and it's not aluminum.
I drew a saddle shape on a piece of plywood. I have a lot of it around from a local cabinet shop. This wasn't a good place to start as plywood is layers of different types of wood with different properties. My type of fun rarely includes planning or correcting mistakes. I just go.
By the time I had the camera out, I had the basic shape. I have a bandsaw and a variety of belt sanders. None are ideal for wood working. I shaped the contours with the belt pulleys while sitting on the floor. I ended up covered with dust!
29 141 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
This is about when I figured this too was a waste of time because the layers of wood were full of holes and super soft in places. I am thinking about epoxy coating and other things that take time and just went on with the wood.
29 142 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
I tried to use the bandsaw on the copper (25# roofing copper) and it almost got sucked down the hole by the blade. This stuff is like a slice of rubber. I ended up with aviation snips.
29 144 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
Because the saddle is round all over with reversing elements, I glued the copper to the piece of wood in a curved fashion to get one bend out of the way.
29 148 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
I found a piece of perforated stainless sheet while I was digging!
29 147 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
I beat on it with a hammer for a while and when I pushed one place, it would come up elsewhere. I used a mechanical "shrinker" to ravel it up in places. This is when I finally felt like I was making some progress.
29 149 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
I bent a piece of 1/4" rod to a visually familiar but useless shape and set the "thing" on it. Hey, it looks like a saddle!
29 150 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
I tried to make a device once that cooked a potato from the inside using metal rods inserted in a potato. This reminded me of that just a bit!
I thought it might be a bit better if it were "butchered" so I went to the belt sander (wheel again) and the belt was clogged with wood and almost smooth. When the copper got hot the wood oil in the belt got hot and "gassed" I guess and made a brilliant color on the copper.
A friend and local artist Jean Claude recently taught me a technique to color copper so I figured I would give this a shot. This may some secret recipe or standard art school stuff but I am not going to share this part. It was nice enough with the small dents from all the work so I just colored it, clear coated and went back to work on other projects.
Here are some of my results:
29 159 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
29 160 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
29 161 by frankthewelder, on Flickr