So with the main frame of the gate fabricated I was able to coerce the wife into the garage to discuss some design options for the remaining sections. My original plan was to fill the upper section with the same style balusters as the gazebo railing however I was open to changes and ideas. Between the two of us we decided to incorporate a welcoming symbol into the gate which would hopefully set the theme for the back yard. Since the wife is an active yogi she thought it would be fitting to fabricate an Om sign for the gate. If an Om is what she wants then an Om is what she gets.
If you had tuned into an earlier posting titled Slicing Up Some Pi you would have witnessed the building of a plasma circle cutter used to trim out a 12” diameter circle out of 1/8” steel. The circle was specifically cut for the Om symbol project. So with the base circle constructed an Om symbol template was scaled to size and printed off from the PC. The symbol was then traced onto the steel to act as a guide. The cutting of the symbol was all done freehand except for the inner circumference which was accomplished using the circle cutter. With the rough cuts done the detail was cleaned up with a carbide bit and die grinder.
I wanted to try and build as many visual dimensions into the gate as possible. As with any project I think it creates visually pleasing lines if multiple dimensions and materials are made to work in unison. In the case of the gate the main frame is built from 1.5” square tubing. The upper balusters are getting stepped up from the ½” used on the gazebo to ¾”. I figured framing the Om symbol with some 1” flat bar would add another dimension. So out came the ring roller and a 38” circle was squeezed out. I love that ring roller; although its capacity is limited the thing works fantastic. The circle was welded shut and the symbol was TIG’d into its frame.
Next up was mounting the framed Om into the upper gate section. As mentioned earlier the balusters were beefed up to ¾” square steel. The symbol got suspended into the center of the opening. The build was straight forward however a bit time consuming. I have performed similar operations in the past when it came to creating a visually straight line through an object. I have learnt in the past that the flow through lines of the balusters through the symbol needs to be precise. If the balusters do not visually look in line with one another it throws the visuals way off and things look terrible. I spent the time it took to make sure everything was lined up so that the symbol was mounted centered and the balusters had an unbroken appearance.
In the end I think the plan all came together. The dimensions that where decided upon all work well with one another and the lines look good. Next task will be the hinges and latch. The hinges are going to get machined, I’ve got some bearings that I will incorporate into the gate to help get things swinging. I’ve also got some funky ideas swimming throughout my grey matter in regards to the latch. I’ll yet decide if I will do something unique or if I will crumble and fall into line with the general latch population.