Introduction: Make Yourself an Aluminum Rose!
Hello instructables! I'm very happy to post the instructable herein, because I had a lot of work to do it the right way and learn everything that I needed to do in order to get a good result.
Well, I'm not an artisan, neither I do it for my profession, but my grandmother was going to celebrate her eightieth birthday and I wanted to make an unforgettable gift! So I searched here in Instructables and found this piece of gold at this link - https://www.instructables.com/id/Copper-Rose-Perfect-for-Valentines-Day/ - I reccomend for you to read Sanjay's instructable too, because it is very good!
I followed his steps but copper is pretty expensive here in Brazil and I wanted to learn more about aluminum. So, let's start!
Step 1: Get the Sheet and Cut It!
Here I used a brand-new sheet from an aluminum supplier, but you can use a scrap sheet from anywhere (people who work with aluminum - tinkers - have a lot of scrap). Unfortunately I had to buy one square meter because it was the minimum they sold, but since I was going to do some other things that would need the same sheet, I bought it. It's a one-milimeter-thick aluminum sheet. You can try this with thinner sheet metal of course, but I think that if you go less than 0,5mm its edges will become very sharp and its finish won't be very good. Don't try thicker aluminum! You won't be able to bend it!
You'll need a scissor to cut the sheet metal. For each rose you will need 3 square pieces measuring 75 x 75mm and one rectangular piece of 37 x 75mm (just the half of a square piece).
You need to drill a 4.5mm hole in the center of the sheet. I didn't trace the center, because it is artistic and you don't need so much precision. Moreover, if you make the pieces slightly different from each other, your rose will have a "more natural" aspect.
Step 2: Cut the Petals!
Still using your scissors, cut the petals. Each square piece will have four petals. The rectangular piece will have only two. Total per flower: 14 petals. It's not even near what a real flower has, but the effect is still good.
For the four-petal squares:
-> Cut the four middle divisions
-> Chamfer the four external corners
-> Chamfer the eight internal corners.
For the two-petal rectangles:
-> Cut the two middle notches to allow bending
-> Chamfer the four external corners.
Step 3: Annealing the Petals
You have to anneal the sheet metal you have cut. Otherwise you won't be able to bend it with little effort, because most aluminum sheet are made by cold rolling and the excessive strain that it causes hardens the material. Even if you think you're strong and can handle it, annealing is a good idea to make the material softer. This way it will stretch a lot before it breaks. If there is one thing that you don't want your petals to do while forming them is breaking!
Annealing consists basically on heating the metal up to (literature says) 300-400ºC and letting it cool down to the air.
This step was hard for me, because I don't have a torch and I didn't want to have one, because I don't know very well how to operate it... So I figured out that the best heat source that we all have in our home is the stove!
Caution! I advise you (even though I didn't use) to wear leather gloves while handling hot parts and fire! Do as I say, not as I do!
To start, you will need nearby:
-> A stove (obviously!!)
-> Our base material
-> A place to leave the material cool down after heating
-> A pair of pliers
-> A can of water (to refrigerate the pliers)
-> A piece of cloth to dry the pliers
Take a piece of aluminum with your pliers and put it over the fire, slowly moving around to keep the heating homogeneous. Flip it once or twice for a good heat distribution. It takes one minute (or less, depending on your stove) to reach the temperature needed. If you make it too long, your sheet will become blurry and rough. The next step is dripping! So be careful, because you don't want it to drip on a gas exit hole of your stove...
Leave your part over a wood (or even better - stone) stand to cool down. In less than 15 minutes it will be very cool and you can go on! Put your pliers into the water can for a while to cool them, so you can restart the process for the other petals.
Step 4: Cutting the Stem
For this part I also had to use a little bit of creativity, because it was pretty hard to find metric rods on hardware stores. So I used a construction iron rod of 3/16". Yes, these used to make concrete structures...
It doesn't matter what you use. You need a rod of 4mm diameter, because we are going to cut an M4 thread in the next step. The lenght you need to cut is something like 35cm.
I filed the tip to make an invitation for the die. Also, I had to file the perimeter to reduce from 4,75mm (original diameter) to 4mm.
Step 5: Cutting the Stem's Thread
For this step you will need:
-> a vise
-> an M4 die
-> Cutting oil
-> Two M4 nuts
-> Patience (hehe!)
We need something like 20mm of threaded rod. I think the pictures are pretty explanatory.
Step 6: Putting It All Together
To assembly the petals is pretty simple: Put the first nut untill it reaches the bottom of the thread, insert three squares and one rectangle, put the second nut, tighten it.
Now comes the interesting part. The first petals to be bent are the rectangle ones. Be careful here! You have to bend them in order to occupy the least space in the base (after bent). This way, you will allow space for the next petals to be bent. Otherwise, your rose will look too much opened, because the last petals will form an angle greater than 180 degrees.
While bending the petals, do not forget to do the effect that creates the "artistic finishing" to the product: With a fine pair of pliers, take the edge and bend it outwards (to the opposite side that you bent the petal). This way, you will create a little "dent" on the edge. Repeat this procedure all over the entire edge of all the petals. Each time you bend a petal, do it. Takes time and work, but is pretty worth it!!
Step 7: Painting
For this step I used spray paint, red and green colored. I used two layers of paint. I had to protect the green side when painting with red paint and vice-versa. The photos show the paper protection used.
Step 8: Enjoy!
Wait the paint dry and... There you are! Finished product. It's a great gift to give to your girlfriend or mother! Women simply love it, and when they know that YOU made it, that you spent your time thinking about them to create your art... Well, nothing pays for it!
I hope you liked it! If something is unclear please feel free to ask questions, I will try my best to help! Thank you very much!