Its that time of the year again. Valentines day. Many men dread this day, as it reminds us of our constant lack of creativity when it comes to thinking of a gift for our significant others. But why give into the temptations of taking the easy way out by buying the usual roses and chocolates, when you can make an awesome hand built gift? This beautiful yet cheap picture frame lasts for years, and definitely warrants some extra brownie points!
First off, we need a list of tools and supplies.
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
For this project, we'll be using a 5"x7" picture frame. The one I picked up had a 6-3/4"x8-5/8" border, which was a nice size for the rebar I had on hand. Below is a list of everything we need. This project can be very cheap if you have most of the supplies on hand. The only thing I had to buy was the picture frame.
First off, SAFETY!!!
- Safety Glasses
- Welding Gloves
- Grinding Face Shield
- Welding Helmet
- Ear Plugs
Next is our list of supplies.
- Two, 3/8"x24" pieces of rebar
- 5x7 steel picture frame
- A couple feet of barbwire
- Two steel roses (This part is optional. There are plenty of great rose instructables, but I thought vbow's is the easiest to make! Here is the link.) Vbow's Rose Instructable
And lastly is our tools.
- Permanent Marker
- MIG or TIG welder. I use a Longevity Migweld-140, as it is reliable, and reasonably cheap.
- MAPP gas with a torch tip
- Rebar Bender (You don't actually need a specific bending tool or jig. I used two 4' steel pipes, as I had them on hand from previous projects)
- Various handtools
Step 2: Planning
We'll need a template if we want to go anywhere with this project. I traced the edges of the picture frame on a piece of cardboard, and then drew out the shape I wanted for the outside frame.
Step 3: Bending the Rebar
This is the hardest and most time consuming step, aside from gathering the supplies and planning.
I used two 4' pipes for this process. First, we need to measure up the rebar to the template, and mark off where we need to start bending with a Sharpie. Then, we'll place one of the pipes on the ground, and insert the rebar into the pipe, up until the sharpie mark. Then place the other pipe over the other end of the rebar, about six inches away from the sharpie mark. Pull up on the pipe to make the bend. Rebar is pretty darn dense metal, and is very hard to bend. Using the two pipes gives you the leverage to make those tough bends with more ease.
After bending the rebar, line it up with the template and see how close you are. If you're not quite there yet, place the rebar in the same position, and get back to bending.
Using MAPP gas can make this process much easier. Heat up the bending point for a few minutes, then bend exactly the same way you would without MAPP gas.
Step 4: Line Up the Frame With the Rebar
We need to make sure everything will line up correctly. Take apart the picture frame, and line up the two sides together. The top of the heart will no doubt be too long on both sides. Mark off where the two sides will meet, and grind of the ends with a cut-off wheel.
Step 5: Welding the Frames
After you are sure that everything is lined up the way you want it, you can start welding away! First, you'll want to tack the rebar joints together. Insert the picture frame, then tack the frame to the rebar. Complete the welds on the rebar. The tacks on the picture frame will be strong enough, as they won't be holding much weight anyway.
Step 6: Adding Flowers
If you've made the flowers, this part will be very easy. If you haven't made them yet, here is a link to an awesome instructable showing you how to make these beautiful things. You need to decide where you want the rose to be on the frame. Hold it in place, and bend the rod around the rebar. Hold the rod close to the rebar, then tack it into place. After attaching the first rose, repeat the same process on the other side.
Step 7: Thorns
This is the final step. Take the barbwire, and cut off the barbs, leaving a 1" stem on each one. You can attach as many barbs as you want to the rose stems, but I decided to attach three on each rose stem. Tack each barb and tack on the ends to the stems.
Step 8: You're Done!
You might want to grind down some sharp edges. Other than that, you are done! You can now present your gift. There's no doubt she will be surprised with your metal working skills.