Picture of Brandon Welds a Napkin Holder
I have been teaching Brandon [my grandson] to weld and he loves working in the shop and making special projects. Brandon is 15 and has Autism.  He has been using my hood, gloves and apron and I thought it was time he had his own gear, so here he is working on a napkin holder with his new gear on. We'll go through the steps of making the napkin holder...
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Step 1: Final Product - Welded Napkin Holder

Picture of Final Product - Welded Napkin Holder
Here is what the finished product looks like after being welded and painted....Now let's go through the various steps of how to get to this point...

Step 2: Raw Materials Needed

Picture of Raw Materials Needed
To start with, 5 pieces of 1/4" diameter steel rod are required for the project.

1 piece that is 24 inches long for the base, and 4 pieces that are 17 inches long for the sides.

Step 3: Creating the Base Pt. 1

Picture of Creating the Base Pt. 1
Creating the Base with a Temporary Spacer Rod: To bend the spiral shape of the base, a 1/4 inch temperary spacer rod is used between the coils when bending. This picture and the following ones show how to make the temporary spacer from a piece of scrap rod using a rod bender with a 3/4 inch post.

Our rod bender is a simple home made plate with a 3/4 inch post and a 1/2 inch post.

Step 4: Creating the Base Pt. 2

Picture of Creating the Base Pt. 2
Here is a shot that shows using the home-made bender and the 3/4" post to create a loop in the temporary spacer rod.  This spacer rod will be used to create the actual base later.

Step 5: Creating the Base Pt. 3

Picture of Creating the Base Pt. 3
Continuing with the creation of the temporary spacing rod.  The actual base rod will be constructed by using cut pieces from this  temporary spacer and bending around them...

Step 6: Creating the Base Pt. 4

Picture of Creating the Base Pt. 4
After about two complete bends, the temporary spacer rod will look like the photo. We have shaded the area of the rod that will be used for the spacer. Remove the coiled rod from the bender and cut out [using a hack saw] and save the white shaded piece.

Step 7: Creating the Base Pt. 5

Picture of Creating the Base Pt. 5
Making the Spiral Base:

Using the 24 inch rod, bend a tang approx. 1/2 inch long on each end of the rod.
HammE1 year ago

Nice!!! I didn't see what welding process was used, I'm assuming it is a SMAW process because of the hood he was wearing. Was it wire feed welding by chance?

woodsmart (author)  HammE1 year ago

Hi HammeE,

Brandon used a meg wire feed welder for his napkin holder. Brandon also works on wood projects in the shop, Wood or metal he just likes working in the shop.

OK, thank you for replying! That is nice though, your son did an awesome job!
cammers3 years ago
Well done. Beaut Instructable.
And a nice example of the tremendous value of grandparents in our lives.
Robot Lover3 years ago
This is really cool! Although, I am 15 and I weld but I don't use all of the leather protection. Brandon should take it off (if that is okay with you and him). It's kinda cool because when his friends ask him how he got only sunburns on his arms and those weird burn spots, he can say that got them from welding.
woodsmart (author)  Robot Lover3 years ago
Safety is the number one product in grandpa’s shop. Brandon got introduced to eye and ear protection when he was about ten years old and helping build birdhouses and plant holders. Wearing the safety gear is just a normal thing for him now while he’s in the shop. Its always good practice to wear all the protection you can while welding to protect from sparks or hot metal. Its amazing how one of those little hot sparks can find its way inside your shoe or down the back of your neck.
I respect that. The first thing you will notice when a spark gets in your shoe is how good you can dance!
Ive welded shirtless once, bad idea.
Oh, no.

I've had welding sunburn before - it is really not fun.
Jayefuu Kiteman3 years ago
It was fun. For us :p

But +1. While the right pro might not be "cool", it's definitely necessary.
Kiteman Jayefuu3 years ago
Huh, my arms lost so much skin, I practically snowed when I removed a shirt!

Jayefuu Kiteman3 years ago
Brittliv wasn't told either :p
kcli3 years ago
Brandon looks like one happy guy with a very special grandad. Beautiful work!
ChrysN3 years ago
Nice work!
Kiteman3 years ago
Excellent job!

(At 15, Brandon can have his own account as well, you know. It's a safe site to practise independence and interacting with others.)