It was a moment to freeze in time just a bit ago when the final gear got mounted.
No video, because I was working the hoist chain to lift it into place, but some great shots to give you a preview of what it will look like.
This picture with Dave standing next to it ( he is 6’1″) gives you a sense of real life scale.
The rest of today will be mounting that last piece of glass in place, and then all the final clean and polish work in prep for the move later this week. Although the statue is imposing enough at 8′ tall, and 2000 lbs, I like this angle on it as the gears, like Kokomo, reach for the sky.
We fell in love with Kokomo Opalescent Glass (KOG) quite a while ago. With our passion for Steampunk, it is a perfect match- Art glass still made the Victorian Way. Achoo, Christmas and Dinner Time all had KOG inserts in some of the gears. Nan has custom cut circles that get switched in and out of googles, and we used it as inserts for our Steampunk Christmas Ornaments. When designing this piece, there was no doubt in either of our minds that KOG glass would look just as cool in Stainless Steel gears as it did in Wooden ones. We wanted to do something a bit different than just filling the “spoke holes” with glass, so Dave designed cutouts in two of the biggest gears- at the top and the bottom. This meant custom designing the molds as well, but finally the time arrived to pour the crescents.
First they have to warm up the pouring table:
Then, the pour itself:
KOG has also done a nice write up with photos that include the crescent after it cooled, where you can see the turquoise blue color.
It is time for the project to take on parallel paths.
While Stephen’s Machine shop starts to weld the base, we get to start working with Kokomo Opalescent Glass to get the glass inserts poured. We had the molds cut in the extra space of the steel plates to save time and money, but this meant that Dave had to attach some sort of lift handle on them so that the glass folks can handle them.
For now, welding for us means a trip up to Dave’s folks’ farm and using his dad’s shop. We picked up the parts and supplies we needed to be working with Stainless Steel ( not the normal welding material on a farm),and headed north.
For Dave, working in his dad’s shop is like tapping directly back into a long family history.
This is the shop he has welded in for decades, and there are metal clamps he works with when welding here that are older than he is.
The goal for the day was to makeshift lift hooks that KOG
would be able to use to move the one inch thick stainless molds around. There are two molds- the bat for the bottom gear and the crescent moon shape that is in the top gear. Dave ended up bending some stainless screw hooks and welding them onto the tops of the molds to make a lift system that can easily have a rod inserted through.
Getting the alignment perfect so that a metal rod can be inserted means careful measurements and lots of clamps to hold things in place until they get tacked down by the first welds.
Watching him work this weekend reminded me that it is true- you really never can have too many clamps in the shop.