Decorative Metal Star

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In 2010 I moved from the Netherlands to the USA. It was a new world for me but because of movies, documentaries and the news, a lot was not so new to me. So I noticed that some houses and barns had a form of decoration at the front. One of those forms was a star, some with 5 points and some with 6 points. To me those stars were very typical of American folklore and I wanted to make a star to attach it to our house.

Step 1: First Attempts

After I made a drawing, I started to construct a star from 1/2" multiply. I made some templates to saw the bevels of the sides but it was not accurate enough. The points did not fit seamless against each other. Then I started with solid wood. After some exhausting planing, I had the form correct and screwed the 5 points to a base. Next day, the wood had worked and the seams between the layers of wood opened. Back to the drawing board. The next version would be of sheet metal. As a retired mechanical engineer, it was a very familiar material to me.

Step 2: The Metal Version

I started with the original drawing. All elements of the star are triangles. So it was quite easy to make a template for the individual points. I added strips for connecting the points and also to attach the completed star to a base. At Home Depot I bought galvanized sheet metal.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/M-D-Building-Products-...

I outlined the template to the sheets and also marked where the folds had to be made. With a metal shear I cut out the points. This type of shear is of a special construction. You can cut with the handles above the sheet. I drilled all the holes for the rivets and mounting before I folded the pieces.

Clamped between two metal bars, I folded each point over the spine. With an adjustable square I checked the angle. Then the two strips at the side were folded. The strip at the center, where the points are connected, was an inward fold. I made a jig so I could fold it in a vise.

The last step was connecting the points. I used blind rivets. Only in the center it was impossible to get the rivet gun in place so I used M3 screws and nuts. To have an idea of the size: the length of the spine of one point is about 380 mm or about 15".

Step 3: Finishing

I bought a spraycan with blue paint and put a few layers on the star. I made a round wooden base and attached it to the wall at our front porch. So it was protected from the weather. The last step was screwing the star to the base. As soon as I use white paint, I will cover the little strips at the side of the points. And maybe I will put some form of light behind the star. In the end I was glad that attempt #3 came out fine.

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