Back in June, during our month spent in Cleveland, we picked up a new skill - metal working. We were fortunate enough to receive a free tutorial from some friends there. These women are badass, and yes folks, now so are we. Why? Because we know how to fire, bend, cut, and weld metal. Yep.
What a cool experience! Welding is a skill we've often wondered about and wanted to try our hand at. So Meagen and Uma were kind enough to take the time to show us and to give us a little project to do. Yes, we actually created something useful. We cut, shaped, and welded a metal ring onto a metal plate so that it can pivot when it is placed on top of another round tool. It is now a part of the shop. Who knew we could do that?! And who knows what we could make in the future?! Here's the step-by-step photo essay.
|First, one must fire the metal by heating it directly with the torch until it's red hot. |
This requires glasses because looking right into the flame could damage your eyes.
|Now, it is hot enough to bend. We bent it into a circle and |
pounded it with mallets to make it flat around.
This took several tries to get the perfect diameter.
|Our friend Meagen showing us how it's done! Sawing through the metal...|
|Ayana went next. It was nerve-wracking and highly invigorating at the same time!|
|Ruslan cutting through the metal bar. Those flames are real!|
|Halfway through, Ayana comes back to finish it off,|
holding the saw from the bottom instead of the top the second time
|Ok, now that we have our piece, the metal ring, |
time for some welding instruction from Uma to attach it to the plate.
That little white stick will conduct the electricity to draw the heat between
the metal pieces and weld them together
Ruslan and Ayana went at it back and forth... while Uma patiently watched and re-instructed
|Ruslan going at it...|
|We are happy with ourselves. We have a finished product. Mission accomplished!|
Thank you Meagen and Uma for being great teachers!
By the way...
Metal working is very popular in the San Francisco Bay Area (one of Burning Man's many influences on the culture there), and the work people do is mind-blowing. Here are some metal sculptures photographed in West Oakland back in April.
(Unfortunately, we don't know the artist(s) that created these, so if anyone does, please let us know so we can give credit!) Update: see comments