Introduction: Allergen-Free Metal Flower
Do you love spring flowers but hate the sneezing and itchy eyes that come with them? Don't have much of a green thumb? Thankfully these metal flowers won't make your allergies act up and they'll last all year round.
Step 1: Select Your Metal and Gather Materials
Purchase and select your metal by type and thickness. You'll need a glue stick, some scissors and your paper template.
For this flower, 18ga Stainless Steel was used.
Step 2: Trace Your Pattern Onto Metal
Print out the template above on paper, or make your own!
You can also use the template provided by NextFab staff. If using a paper template, roughly cut out your shape. Leave the lines on to follow later. Use a glue stick to glue the back side of the paper to your metal. If using an acrylic template, use an extra-fine permanent marker or metal scribe to follow the contours and trace the design onto your metal.
Step 3: Cut Out Your Shape
Now that you have transferred your design to the metal, you need to cut out the overall shape.
You can use one or a combination of tools:
Sheet Metal Sheer
Jig Saw with a Coarse tooth
Abrasive Metal Rotary Cutting Tool (such as a Dremel or Die Grinder)
If you are using a Band Saw, be sure to select the proper speed setting based on your metal's thickness and type.
Step 4: Removing the Material in Between the Leaf and Petals
Using your preferred cutting method, you now need to remove the excess material in between the leaf and the petals of your flower
This process takes some time and patience. If using a band saw, try cutting all the way down to the inside corner first, and cut on either side to allow some room for more access for the band saw blade. A series of notches up to the stem can help with removing difficult to reach material, it will look like a series of small triangles or trapezoids. Then just cut along the lines, removing the small notches of metal.
Step 5: Finishing the Rough Cut
Once you have removed as much excess material as you can from the flower, you are almost finished!
Step 6: Clean Up the Lines, De-Burr and Apply a Finish
Use a series of files and sanders to clean up the edges of the metal.
A combination of a half-round file and a flat bastard file work well. Use these to remove the rough finish left from the cutting steps, and to clean up any extra material left behind. After you have cleaned up the contours and lines, you will need to remove any sharp edges and burrs. For removing the sharp corners, you can use a file, but a belt sander or a small 3" pneumatic sander work best.
Step 7: Enjoy Your Metal Garden
You can make these in all shapes, sizes and materials. Let your imagination run wild! We punched a hole in one of our flowers using the Iron Worker.