How to Cut, Bend, Grind and Weld an Art-car Sign

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Introduction: How to Cut, Bend, Grind and Weld an Art-car Sign

I did this at TechShop Menlo Park http://www.techshop.com and Burning Man 2012.

As a contribution to my Burning Man camp (Bojon) and our beautiful art car Sil-vi, I created a big sign. This is how I went about it:

Step 1: Vector Creation

I took our logo, and converted it to a vector in CorelDraw, exported it as a a DXF file and imported it into Torchmate generating a G code to cut with our CNC Plasma cutter at Techshop.

Step 2: Set Up

I used 80 amp consumables to cut 1/4 inch steal plate and powered up all the elements of the plasma cutter shown in pictures.

Step 3: Cutting

The plasma cutter did the job for me smoothly and easily.

Step 4: Bending

Bending the sign with a step brake worked well but created lines across the metal which needed to be removed.

Step 5: Grinding

Using an angle grinder for many hours.

Step 6: Attachment

At this point I am at Burning man, working on the back of the sign to be welded onto the front of our art car.

Step 7: Welding

Final installment is a bit unusual. I would instruct you to wear a welding jacket. Do as I say not as you see me do. He, he, he..

Step 8: FUN!!!!

After hard work it's time to play. Long live Sil-Vi. We will continue to love her, make her better and enjoy her.

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    18 Comments

    WOW! Your photos are beautiful!

    You are far better welder than me.

    That is one tough women! I worked at a muffler shop for a bit, and I had to put on leather vests and sleeves to stop the sparks from burning the hell outta me!

    She either posed wearing the little skirt (an absolutely brilliant idea) or she is the toughest women i have ever seen!
    Either way, Great instructable and great pics...

    Gotta look sexy at Burning Man! Jeesh guys:-) LOL

    I actually did it, not a poser. I'm not tough, just wreckless! :)

    Ah, so it wasn't "come for the legs, stay for the Instructable" then? "Do as I say not as you see me do." - I think many would rather see you do it... : ]
    As SlickSqueegie says: "Either way, Great instructable and great pics". I envy you your plasma cutter!

    This was great! It would be nice if you have time and interest to post some videos doing this stuff. Pictures are good, but watching it all come together in real time is a great learning tool. Especially on the casting projects you are doing. I'm interested in getting into casting, but it can be a bit intimidating. Watching it happen gives me a little more confidence that I can do it :)

    same thing here only it was hot chips flying off the metal lathe. My feet and legs looked like I had been hit with bird shot.

    I want a plasma cutter! I am using a De Walt 4" angle grinder to cut out my stuff! Very laborious. A plasma cutter would be sweet! Nice job! I envy your kilt man!

    Nice tool set up! Do you do this for a living? I love metal art! I don't know if I would weld without protection. It isn't fun getting hot weld splatter down your shirt. :D Great pictures! =)

    He did it at Techshop, a public workshop, looks like a great idea. Wish they had them in NZ.

    If you hate splatter down your shirt, try gas welding in sandals and getting molten steel on your foot! That one hurts.