And the saga continues with the metal art project. The deadline is approaching and therefore the end is near. It has come to a point where I have to address the issue of mounting the structure to the side of the building. This project, along with just about everything else I build, always comes in over weight. Apparently I am not alone when it comes to bigger is better. I few months ago I was taking a machining course at a local technical institute and the instructor had made a comment how machinists always seem to build things overkill and heavier then what they need to be. I guess we all over compensate to avoid failure.
In my particular case my “avoidance of failure” has resulted in a significant amount of weight that will need to be secured vertically. Earlier I had headed down to the church to scope out the situation. With my stud finder in one hand and a tape measure in the other I was able to map out the skeleton of the wall I was dealing with. The original plan was to angle the structure away from the wall at the top right corner for aesthetic purposes. However now that I have a better idea of the weight involved I feel as though I have no choice but to capitalize on mechanical advantage and suck the art work as close to the wall as possible.
This was going to create another issue in that I needed to come up with a way to secure it to the wall. In the original plan I was going to secure the artwork metal skeleton support first then attach all the rays to the base while it hung on the wall. Now the plan is to assemble the entire unit on the ground and then hoist it up onto the wall. I want to ensure that none of the wall brackets are visible therefore I need to come up with an attachment method the will fit the criteria.
Well I decided to build a giant “picture hook” type system. The plan now was to attach a wall bracket that will allow me to just hook the entire structure onto it. So after some time sitting on the shop stool and staring at the base skeleton I decided that some 1 inch pipe, 4 x .250” flat bar, and some gusseting will do the trick. Three sections of 1” OD pipe were positioned into the base skeleton to create a horizontal bar that would eventually sit into a series of hooks. To ensure the bar would handle the entire weight of the structure I built gussets out of .250” plate for each joint. The Silver Beauty then went to town on each seam and the molten metal was laid down. The Silver Beauty has really started to pull her weight in the shop over the last little while. Having a 220 MIG has lightened the work load of the TIG not to mention it is also a huge time saver on projects like this one.
The wall hook was built from 4” x .250” flat bar and consisted of 4 plasma cut hooks welded to a 72” section. The hooks are required to take on the full load and therefore the welds were crucial. To give some added support I created upper gussets on each hook to help prevent them from peeling off of the flat bar. A lower support plate was built in order to aid in load distribution of the upper plate. The 2 were then connected together via 1 ½” angle iron.
So with the support all fabricated it received a couple coats of flat black Tremclad. Then with the supports loaded up along with the base skeleton it was off to the church for the bracket install and a test fitting.
The wall bracket was secured to the wall using 28 lag bolts 3/8” by 5 inches long. 18 of the bolts went through the top support and were secured into a wooden header that split the upper and lower floors of the building. The remaining ten secured the lower bracket to wall studs. Although the load support was not engineered I am feeling quite confident that it’s going to stay vertical.
A test fitting of the skeleton shows I made one minor mistake. I had drilled a couple holes wrong on the vertical supports and there was interference. No big deal, it’s and easy and minor fix. 2 new holes get drilled and all is well.
I can now stand back and get my first glimpse as to the size of the finished project. It does look to be dwarfed by the size of the wall however the skeleton is significantly smaller then the rays that attach to it. So with the “behind the scenes” portion of the job done it’ll be soon time to set up the paint booth and start the finishing process.