Building tools to build Art

IMG_3441One of the common problems when you are building uncommon art is that the tools you need do not come off the shelf. We end up building or modifying tools to make them fit our needs as often as we buy them from the store.

In this picture you see the special gear stands David built over the weekend to hold the gears as we work on them. Once you start polishing, the last thing you want is for the materials to get scratched again… but we do not have enough flat surface that we could dedicate and cushion to prevent scratches if they were laying around.

You can also start to see the progress of all the sanding on the medium gear shown here. One of our favorites, but also painful to finish- the surfaces are nearly complete but there is still some filing and sanding to finish on those gorgeous spokes.

IMG_3443 You can more clearly see the difference of hours of sanding by comparing this surface of the same sanded gear on the right withIMG_3444 the surface of the large base gear on the left, which has been partially descaled, but not filed or sanded.

You can see the difference not only in reflectivity, but in overall surface texture.

The large pinwheel gear, which will get the blue KOG glass in the crescents is currently on the table being sanded. You can look carefully and see different swatches of sanded or not. There are still several rounds of increasing grit fineness to go to get this gear polished and ready for acid treatment.


Sometimes you have to go “old school”…

IMG_3360Some people think clutter is just a mess, but I love creative clutter. Right now, our driveway and garage are the epitome of creative clutter. When you are building an 8ft tall, 2000 lb statue, you need a little elbow room. Since a large pole building is not yet a reality for us, the drive substitutes as a creative studio.

David Filing

Although a lot of the descaling and polishing can be done with Die Grinders and DA Power Sanders (that’s Dual Action – also known as “Orbital”), some of the gear sections are too small and require the old school approach.  It is back breaking, arm tiring, hot and sweaty work.

The video shows both filing and emory paper action, as well as Dave in action 😉  The big gear he is is working on in the photos and the video was inspired by this wooden gear we designed about 18 months ago: