Wanna Build a Metal Snowman?

Introduction: Wanna Build a Metal Snowman?

About: Collaborative workspace with digital and traditional fabrication tools, 3D printers, CNC machines, classes, events, and professional consulting services.

Tired of your Snowmen melting come spring? Why not make one that only the hot blazes of a furnace could destroy?

Step 1: Select Your Material.

Choose and purchase your material by type and thickness. For this snowman, 1/8" Aluminum was used.

Step 2: Transfer the Design

Now you need to transfer the design onto your metal.

You can print out the paper template, or make one yourself.

If you are using a paper template, cut along the lines and use a glue stick to adhere the paper shape to the metal.

You can also use the acrylic template provided at NextFab to trace out the shape.

Use an extra-fine tip sharpie or a metal scribe to follow the contours.

You can copy the buttons over now, or later.

Be sure to outline the arms!

Step 3: Cutting Out Your Snowman

Now you can cut out your shape!

Using a band saw, select the proper speed based on your material type and thickness.

Cut out as much of the arms and hands as you can now, before you separate them from the rest of the body.

Step 4: Clean Up the Contours and De-burr

Now that everything is cut out, you will need to shape up the contours of your Snowman.

A pneumatic 3" sander, or a belt sander works very well for cleaning up the lines.

After you have sanded everything you can with the sander, metal files can be used to get into the tight areas and clean up the corners.

After you are satisfied with your Snowman's appearance, use a de-burr tool or a file to remove any sharp edges or burrs.

Step 5: Mark Where to Attach the Arms and Layout the Buttons

Locate and mark where you would like to attach his arms to the body, marking both arms and the body.

Use a center punch to provide an area for the drill bit to center on.

Do the same process for preparing to drill out his buttons.

Step 6: Drill the Holes

Drill a .128" diameter hole in the body and arms on your center punched marks.

If you want to make the holes for his buttons, use a 3/8" drill bit.

Step 7: Apply a Finish to Your Snowman

Now is a great time to go ahead and add a finish to your snowman.

There are many options for finishes:

Painting, 3" Pneumatic Grinder with Scotch-Brite or a sanding disc, Palm Sander, Wire Brush or hand sanding, to name a few.

This Snowman was given a finish with a Palm/Jitterbug Sander.

Step 8: Attach the Arms

You will need a (2) 1/8" Aluminum rivets and a Rivet Gun

Insert one rivet through the hole in the arm and insert the remaining length of the rivet into the hole on the body.

Press the pieces together firmly, ensuring there is no gap between the material.

Squeeze the handle to lock the rivet.

The arm should now be attached to the body. Repeat the same process for the other side.

Step 9: Enjoy Your Everlasting Snowman!

Happy Holidays from NextFab!

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