A few years ago I thought of about making a little crab to hold my charging cords. It's been a little sketch in my notebook until today. For safety's sake I made a magnetic base. If something (or someone) falls on it, the crab falls right over.
The crab is made from 22 gage steel, 16 gage steel wire, and silver solder. The base is made from neodymium magnets and red oak.
Step 1: Cut Out the Body.
No measurements here! I just cut the steel until I thought it looked good. After I cut a rectangle, I traced an arc with the help of a paint can. From there I used metal shears to trim the crab's body to shape.
Step 2: Emboss the Coy Smile.
Take a paper clip and cut it into two small arcs. Position them onto clear packing tape so they look like a smile. Tape the smile onto the crab body and tape the whole assembly to a hard surface.
I like to lay one hammer on the paperclip and then use a second hammer to strike the back of the other. I'm using 2 ball peen hammers. Wear safety glasses. When you remove the tape the smile will be embossed.
Step 3: Form the Body.
To form the body I laid it on a piece of wood. I then took the head of a carriage bolt and used it as a die against the steel. Every time I hit the shaft of the bolt with a hammer, it would bring the steel closer to a concave shape. After I beat in the shape I polished it on with a buffing wheel.
Step 4: Make the Body Parts.
To make the eyes it really helps to have cone nose pliers. Take a section of wire and form a loop on each end. After that, bend the eyes into a loop.
The legs are made from concentric loops of wire as you can seen in the 3rd picture. I used different sized sockets to do this. I lined them up and soldered them together.
Step 5: Make the Claws.
I made the claws by forming a section of wire around a large socket. Then I took a smaller socket and made a smaller loop in the same section of wire. I used cone nose pliers to bend the wire back around, tracing what was already formed.
Step 6: Solder It Up.
To help with assembly I pre-soldered the legs together. I also pre-soldered the claws by filling them in and joining them. The whole crab was layered together. First I joined the legs to the body. Then I laid the eyes on and soldered that. Finally I laid the claws down. Every time a new piece is soldered, the solder below it liquefies. The secret is to use gravity to your advantage. Otherwise, the pieces can topple free.
A final buffing on a cloth wheel makes it shiny.
Step 7: The Magnetic Base.
I milled a slot into a piece of oak and pressed 3 neodymium magnets into it. I sanded all the edges and left it bare wood, no finish.
Step 8: Final Touches.
I placed non-slip adhesive vinyl on the bottom of the wood. This helps it from sliding around. Last, I stationed my little crab on my night stand.
Much better then a notebook sketch. Thanks for reading.
Runner Up in the
Epilog Contest VII