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Monday, January 06, 2014

Who needs buff when your man brings you stuff?

I hate roses.  I think they are a huge waste of money.  Whiny, wilty, overpriced attention grabbers.  I hate them.  Oh I know there are ladies out there that love the chocolate and roses bit.  I take them too with a smile when I get them, but ultimately, after 20 years, my husband "gets me."
Today he surprised me with a clean workbench, new Dremel bits, and EZLock cutting kit, and a can of spray shellac.   Sexiest man alive right now.

A clean workbench means I have room to weld and my day was AWESOME!!  I thought I would take your through the process of a simple wine rack.  First, the wire.  I like electric fence wire, but barbed wire works well too.  Whatever you can get your mitts on that isn't too rusty or thin.  I like electric fence wire because its usually galvanized and resistant to weather.  Just make sure you have a well ventilated area.  Galvanized tends to be a little toxic when you weld it.  Okay--a lot toxic.  Use common sense here.  If your getting a headache, you need air.  Artist does not equal stupid.  I have faith in you.

OKay, so the first thing I do is take a long piece of wire and fold it in half equally.  Clamp the folded end in a vice and chuck the 2 fee ends in the drill.  Then twist.
I twist the wire for a couple of reasons.  1 you get a stiffer and more sturdy piece, but mostly because you need a pretty light hand when welding this thin of wire.  Basically, you will be making a series of tacks here and the thinner the wire, the more difficult the tack.  You will either not penetrate the metal at all, or you will blow right through.  Of course, it can be done with practice, but I'm admittedly the first to say less is more, but more is better.  Twist the damn wire. 
Then, brainstorm.  This is the part that you decide what your gonna make and then lay it out the way you want it.  You can fly by the seat of your pants like me (way cooler), or you can draw it, map it, and calculate.  (Zzzzzzzz...) 
I like to make a bunch of swirls and then move them around until I get what I want.  Ish...
It all works out.  Don't be scared. 

Okay, so this is kind of cool.  Remember, we are making a wine rack, so eventually we will need it to function as such.  So, you get it all laid out like you want, donn the sexy SpeedGlass and start lighting stuff up.  This is the cool part.  ACTION SHOT!

Yeah.  That whole sexy dancer by night welder by day thing?  Total bullcrap.  Sexy welder.  Period. 
Don't have a welder?  Get one.  The most fun you'll have and still be conscious.  Not even lying right now.  
So anyway, tack away until its all together....

And it should be welded if you did it right.  My husband says I have a heavy hand and weld a bit more than I should.  About 2 paragraphs ago I said more is better?  Yeah.  I have slag boogers.  Deal.  

Then you take a wire brush or whatever and clean up your tacks.

I like to use a beefy brush backed by some kind of mechanical insanity.  1.  I love tools.  2.  More is better.  If your welds stand up to being raped by overkill, they will hold up to a bottle of wine. Just sayin'.

After you get it all cleaned up, try to brush off any wire bits left, slag, whatever sand down any overzealous blobs and make your piece look nice.  Flip it over to the front side and clean it again.  For the sake of simplicity, I mounted 2 rings on the front to hold the bottle of wine.   ANNNND not done yet.  But close! 

after you get to this point, you want to take it and wash it really good with dish soap and a scrub brush.  not really sure what the deal is, but there is some kind of oily something that shows up when you weld.  Wash it.  you will thank me later.  
After washing and drying, prime it with spray primer.  I use Rustolium.  Good stuff.  That's where I'm at right now.  My rack is primed and drying.  Tomorrow will be 2 coats of black gloss Rustolium and when it's dry, it will be ready to go.  I will post the rest of this post tomorrow with the finished product.  

I also made a fairly simple votive candle wall sconce.  Creepyyyyy.

It's supposed to be a spider, but after looking at it a while...I see woodtick...Hm.  

The finished pieces.

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