As I talked about in one of my other Instructables, Metalworking is a fun way to relieve stress and make inexpensive items that you can sell or give as gifts.
My previous instructable on Metalworking:
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- 22 Gauge sheet steel
- Two bolts
- Two steel rods with threaded holes in the ends
- Our printed design
- Spray can of clear coat for metal
- Ear protection
- Ball-pein Hammer
- Tin snips
- Hacksaw or dremel
- Curved metal file
- Needle Nose pliers (preferably toothless)
- A scriber or other sharp metal point
If you have a tool that you think can do the same or better job than one above, by all means use it. This is just what I used.
Step 2: The Design
The design of the petals was done by David W. Wilson in his project, which can be found below:
This design lets us bolt together the pieces, letting us modify and repair the flower easily, and is a godsend for people who don't have access to welding equipment.
I used his petal design but did not make a very tulip-like flower by the time I was done. The leaf pattern I drew freehand. You could use the below image as a pattern that I think would work quite well.
Step 3: Applying Our Design
Make little loops out of the tape and attach the tape to the backs of the cutouts. Stick them down onto the steel. Now we will trace around them with our scriber or other sharp object. A thumb tack with a handle will do, or you could use a marker if you're alright with sanding it off later.
After we've marked the outline of each shape, we can peel off and discard the cutouts. Don't forget to mark the drill holes at the end of each leaf and petal, and in the center of the 3-petal piece.
Step 4: Cut Out the Design
Take the hammer and lightly hit the piece to flatten it out, since it will definitely have become bent during the cutting. The edges are extremely sharp so we need to file them down smoother. File around the edges, looking for metal burrs that are like tiny metal slivers that stick up or out from the edges. File them off or pluck them off with needle nose pliers.
Now that the edges are smooth, we can move on to the fun part!
Step 5: Hammering Our Petals
This step requires some experience with metal shaping, because we need to "feel" the hammer and metal, and how and where to hit it to shape it. Resting it on the horn and flat portion of the anvil and striking it with a hammer, squeezing it in a vice and bending it with the toothless pliers is labour intensive, and not really something that can be described. Basically, just keep working on it until you have shapes that you like. If you don't like how it looks, just keep trying. The metal is forgiving and you can do a lot of hammering before the metal becomes unusable. Feel free to practice a bit on some scrap before you start with the petal.
When you're happy, Flatten out the back end of the piece where our drill mark was, so that we can drill it. We're drilling it now because during all that hammering the hole would have become deformed. Drill a hole slightly bigger than the diameter of your bolt so that the bolt passes through with little clearance.
Put the bolt in the 3-petal piece and hold it in place with a screwdriver while sliding the outer petals onto the bolt. If everything is satisfactory, thread the rod onto the bolt. to get it tight, put the rod in your vice and then while holding the flower petals in one hand, turn the screwdriver and tighten it up.
Step 6: Flame-Coloring the Petals
Heat it carefully until its the colour you want. You can heat different parts of it to different colours, but be very careful to not overheat unintended parts of the flower.
Make sure you have good lighting while you do this, to make sure you can see the colors well.
I colored mine so that the tips of the inner petals turned purple, and the rest of it was golden/straw colored.
Take a look at the color chart below, shamelessly stolen from member jtobako who stole them from http://www.tpub.com/content/aviation/14018/css/14018_664.htm and http://www.giantimpex.com/colorchart.htm
Step 7: Hammering the Leaves
Now, we are going to hammer a curve into the tip of the leaf. Hammer the tip flat, and then hammer it against the curve of the anvil horn until it is curved the way you want it.
We need to flatten out the base of the leaf so that we can drill a hole in it. If it is still folded, place it on a 90 degree corner of the anvil and hit lightly from behind until it opens up, then rest it on the flat of the anvil so it makes an upside-down V shape and hit from behind until its flat.
Drill our hole in the marked spot.
We need to saw the head off our second bolt with a hacksaw. Grip it in your vice so it sticks out horizontally, and saw the head off. Be careful and try to keep the blade in one place so it doesn't damage the threads, and cut as straight as possible.
When that's complete, screw one end into the upper portion of the stem, put the leaves on the protruding bolt, and screw the lower portion of the stem on. If it doesn't stay, try some lock-washers or using a thread locking compound like Lock-Tite.
Step 8: Flame Coloring the Leaves
Run the torch over the leaves and stem, moving up and down to heat it evenly until the colors begin to show.
After it has cooled and we're happy with everything, we can move on to clear-coating the flower.
Step 9: Finished!
I'll be giving mine to my girlfriend tomorrow, hopefully she has a positive reaction. Some ideas of what you could do with these are:
- A bouquet would make a good centerpiece for your dinner table
- Add a longer stem and stick in your garden
- A much smaller version could be made into a broach or large hair pin
Another thing you could do with it is stick a candle down the center of the flower and make a dining table centerpiece out of it.
Thanks for reading, and good luck with your own projects. Your imagination is your limit, so get to work!