This project was a little different than anything I've done before. It was a very satisfying end result though. The lettering was made from 3/8" rebar and the border and stand was made from 1/2" rebar. Complete cost was around 12 dollars. Check out the video above for a more in-depth tutorial.
Tools I used were:
- Oxy / Acetylene
Materials I used were:
- 1/2" Rebar
- 3/8" Rebar
- Black Spray Paint
- Cut-off Wheels
- Grinding Discs
- MIG Wire
- Chunk of 3" Pipe
- Chunk of 1x2 Tubing
Step 1: Step 1: Sketch Out the Lettering
Believe it or not, this was actually the most difficult part of this project in my opinion. I had a hard time deciding on how big the lettering should be so I took a 3 inch schedule 80 piece of pipe and made the lettering according to that size.
I made sort of a grid and I was able to keep my lettering pretty consistent with each other by following what I had drawn out on the table. The video shows this a little bit better.
Step 2: Step 2: Start With the "O"
So the first thing I did was tack that chunk of 3" pipe to the table. Then I cut a piece of 3/8" rebar a little longer than the circumference of the pipe. Then I tacked the very end of the rebar to the pipe and heated up the rebar until it was glowing yellow. I applied slight pressure to the rebar and slowly formed it to the pipe. Try to keep the heat right next to the bend otherwise the rebar will not fit tightly to the pipe. If this happens you should be able to heat the gap slightly and tap it in with a hammer.
I did this all the way around, giving the rebar a tack every so often to assure that the rebar would keep it's shape. When I got all the way around to the start of the rebar I cut the remaining length off with a cutoff wheel. Then heated up the last little bit with the torch and tapped it in with a hammer. Then I tacked the start and end together. I ground off the tacks on the pipe and knocked the "O" off with a hammer. It turned out nice and round.
Step 3: Step 3: Make the "W" & "M"
After the "O" was finished I moved on to the "W" and "M". These two would be made identical. So I cut off another few pieces of rebar and set them on top of the sketch-up I drew in the beginning. I would eye-ball the miters and mark them with a soap stone. After all the pieces were cut I did a dry fit and when I liked the result I tacked the letter together and also tacked them to the table in a couple of spots just to make sure that it wouldn't move. This also helped for welding later as they would not move or twist when they were welded together.
Step 4: Step 4: the Rest of the Letters
The nice thing about the way that I did this sketch was that most of the letters were made almost identical to each other as far as the width and height and shape.
I set up a forming jig in accordance to my sketch. Then I cut a few longer pieces of rebar, lined the one end of the rebar to the edge of the jig, tacked it once and then heated up the rebar where it would be bent. After each bend I would tack the rebar in place until I reached the end. I used a piece of square stock as a marker so I could knick the end of the letter. After the letter had cooled down, I cut the tacks off and cut off the remaining length of the letter.
Using the same jig, I flipped the letter around and had the ends sticking out 3/4" or so. Tacked it and bent the ends of the "E" but I used a hammer and the torch to bend these.
All of the remaining letters were made using this same method on the same jig just with fewer steps. All letters had that 3/4" curl at the end.
Step 5: Step 5: Make the Border
After all the letters were made up I put an angle on each side of the lettering to ensure a straight formation. Then I arranged the letters in an alternating patter going from left to right. When I was satisfied with how it looked I welded up the letters.
Next it was time for the border and for this I used 1/2" rebar. I measured the height and width of the letters first then made a mark on the rebar with soapstone in the places it would be bent. I lined up the mark with the end of the jig that we used on the letters and tacked one side. Then with the torch I proceeded to make the first bend. After the piece cooled I cut the tack and made the next bend the same way. When I got to the end the remaining length was cut off with a cutoff wheel. Then I welded the two ends together.
When the border was made I placed the letters inside and welded the lettering to the border. I wanted a slight lean to the sign so it would have better balance so I tacked the sign to the table making sure that it had a slight lean to it. Then I made a 3 sided stand the same width as the border and this was also made the same exact way the border was. I then tacked and welded the stand to the sign.
Step 6: Step 6: Paint
Once everything was welded, tacks sanded off and certain welds buffed, it was time for paint. All I used here was some Rust-o-leum brand flat black spray paint. I gave the sign two cotes and let dry for a couple hours. Now the sign is ready.
Hopefully everyone finds this instructable interesting and useful. I had a lot of fun making this sign and I'm sure you will too. Thanks for looking!