Intro: Metal Ivy Leaves for a Chiminea Stand
A few years ago a friend bought a Chiminea, but she did not have a stand for it. Although they have a flat bottom, Chimineas look much better on a stand. The photo above is the completed. I thought it would be interesting to write an Instructable showing how to make the ivy leaves used to decorate the stand.
The leaves were made from 20 gauge mild steel.
Step 1: Trace a Real Leaf
Find a nice size natural leaf and trace its outline on posterboard. Cut out the pattern with scissors. This will be the master pattern for several leaves, the posterboard should stand up for many uses. If you are many a lot of leaves, it would be a good idea to make several patterns of various size leaves.
Step 2: Trace the Pattern on the Steel
Lay the pattern on the steel and trace out as many leaves as you need.
Step 3: Cut Out the Steel Leaf
Cutout the leaf with shears. I removed the bulk with a corner notcher and brought it to finial shape with hand shears.
Step 4: Clean Up the Cuts and Remove Burrs
Using a small belt sander and a wire wheel I made sure the sharp edges were removed. The wire wheel can add texture to the surface of the leaf making it look more natural.
Step 5: Mark Out the Major Veins
Use a large chisel to mark out the major veins and a small chisel to do the finer veins. Use a resilient backing like posterboard to form creases rather than cuts.
Step 6: Give the Leaf Some Shape
Put some rather hard folds in the leaf to give it a rough shape.
Step 7: Relieve the Folds and Give the Leaf a Natural Curve
First flatten out the bends a bit. Notice how the bends turn into little channels that look like the natural veins in a leaf. Then, using a piece of bar stock as an anvil, give the leaf some natural looking curves. The piece of bar stock was ground with a slightly convex shape to help make the curves smooth.
Step 8: Attach a Stem to the Leaf
The stems are made front 3/32" TIG rod with the copper sanded off. Coat hanger wire would work well, but first remove any coating. First "ball" the end of the stem using the TIG torch, then flow the ball onto the backside of the leaf. This should produce a natural looking attachment.
Step 9: Attach the Stem to the Frame and Wrap the Stem
Weld the end of the stem to the frame. Use an Oxy-Acetylene torch to heat the stem and wrap it around the frame.
Step 10: Finished Results
Here's a closeup of the finished leaf. These have been painted black with a small amount of green Rub-and-Buff in the veins of the leaves. These would be a great decoration for a wrought-iron gate.