So the day had arrived where I was able to move into the final phase of the metal art project. All the fabricating and painting had been completed and the time had come where all that was left was the install.
When I initially took on the project I did not anticipate the amount of work that would be required to actually get the structure hung on a wall. I, like usual, always underestimate the weight of my projects. My original plan was to simply bolt it up however the project morphed into something a bit more complicated. I needed to devise a plan to be able to build the sun on the ground and then hoist it up into place.
The plan started with coming up with a way to hoist the structure 10 feet up onto the wall. Since a crane was not in the budget I needed something that was safe, simply, and cheap. I decided to use leverage to my advantage and therefore coupled a 55 gallon plastic drum and a 10 foot section of 4” C-channel together to give me a point to hoist from.
As you can see from the pictures the C-channel was carried up onto the buildings roof and then lag bolted to a 9 foot 4×4 length of lumber. You can’t see the 4×4 since it is covered by the tarp. The tarp was there as a way to keep me dry in case of rain. Anyway…with the channel bolted to the 4×4 the 55 gallon drum was strapped to the opposite end of the channel and supported with 4 wheel chocks to ensure stability. The drum was then filled with water, approximately 350 pounds worth. Performing the simple leverage math the channel would provide approximately 1400lbs of lifting capacity…should be plenty. A chain hoist was then hooked onto the end of the channel and hung over the edge of the building to allow for rigging to the sun skeleton.
Next I built an unstable platform to allow me to build the sun structure without stepping all over the courtyard bushes and plants. With the skeleton hung, the platform built, and all the rays prepped it was a simple matter of starting to bolt the complete assembly together. 1 ray at a time the project started to take form. After an hour of work the unit was complete and the hoisting into place could begin.
The chain hoist and the support C-channel had no issues accomplishing the task. The metal structure needed about 5 feet of vertical lift in order to be able to perch itself in its final resting spot. With a bit of wrestling and grunting the structure finally got hooked into its wall support brackets. The entire ordeal took about 4 hours to accomplish, not including all the prep work and planning. My home brewed engineering looks to have worked out.
So for the first time I was able to stand back and see what I had accomplished over the past few months. I hadn’t yet to seen the structure as a whole since I never performed a test assembly before the install. I think the project turned out a success. I have a very hard time seeing it in its entirety and can’t help but see all the individual components that I spent many hours staring at in the garage. The response from the lady who contracted me to perform the work was very positive. I think she liked it and was happy. The project certainly took on a different direction then what was originally discussed however this was also to be expected.
In the end I am not sure metal art is one of my strong points. I learned lots throughout the entire process however I feel as though I struggled with much of the creativity. I was happy to be able to make use of my paint booth and enjoyed building the scroll bender and putting it to use. I am pleased to see this project come to a close and I am eager to move on. Next job on the list is to finish off my outdoor fireplace that has been in the making for 3 years.