I love to build theme projects. Halloween, Christmas and now the Valentine´s day. You say that you have noone to give it to? Well, there is love all around us, for example, love for making things, so lets get to it!
Materials: 10mm(3/8") rebar, welding stick, toluene and paper towels, clear lacquer.
Tools: vice, anglegrinder w/ cut off and wire brush disc, welding machine, shop torch, files.
Step 1: Preparation
I used rather old rebar so it was quite dirty and rusty (actually it was under water for several days, when my shop was under water during floods in 2013). I just used my angle grinder with whire brush wheel to clean it down. I really like to use the wire brush, because you can get in quite tight spots and it leaves nothing but metal and interesting finnish.
Step 2: Bending
First bend was done in the very middle of the rebar. I fixed it in my vice nice and secure and used my shop torch to heat it to red hot in a specific spot. Then I just bend it almost 180° and cooled it down in snow (one of few upsides of working in winter).
The second bend was a bit trickier than the first. I needed to make a curve on cca 15cm(6") and my torch isn´t enough to heat the whole part sufficiently so I had to cold work it. I fixed it in my vice again and used square tube as a prybar. This way it went relatively easily.
The third bend was even harder to pull off. Because I have already made bend #2 I couldn´t fit the piece in my vice, it just wasn´t big enough. I decided to screw the rebar down to my workbench instead. As you can see in the video I used several 6mm(1/4") wood screws. Then I used my square tube prybar once again. Because my workbench isn´t very heavy and it´s not mounted to the ground I had to push the prybar and simultaneously pull the bench and let me tell you, It was quite the workout!
Step 3: Welding
After all the work with bending I cut the ends so they would face each other. I used anglegrinder again, this time with cut off wheel. Then I bend the heart a bit again, because it wasn´t flat, it was rather crooked (looking from the side it wasn´t flat).
After this was done, I mounted it in my welding vice and started to weld. I had to hold it in place by hand before the first tack weld, but after that it was a piece of cake :-)
Finally I removed the flux with my welding hammer and used a round and a flat files to shape the weld to fit the rest of the surface, so typical to rebars.
Step 4: Finnish
In Slovakia we have a saying that the old love never rusts, so to make sure that this would be true I first cleaned the heart with toulene and paper towel, then I sprayed it with glossy clear lacquer for nice finnish and nice protection.
It took me no time at all to make this heart, so I think it´s nice last minute gift idea from a maker. You know, what´s a better gift that one you made yourself..?
Let me know what you think about this heart, or if you have any other last minute Valentines project ideas, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, I make new project video every week and don´t forget: get inspired, use what you have and make the best out of it!