Monthly Archives: October 2013

Gate Project Design 2

There were a couple of details that were bugging me about the design for the gate.  The lower hinge looked a little “off”, and the top latch bar was too long, and wouldn’t actually pivot up the way it was designed.  I corrected those points, although I think I’ll still make some more changes to the latch bar.  I also added a vertical element to tie the upper and lower hinges together.  I think that will  substantially increase the strength and eliminate any chance of the gate racking.

There are a couple of additional elements I want for this project.  One is a lighted street number, I have that designed and it looks OK to my eye.  I may tweak it or try a different design, but this is pretty close to OK.  It’s not the font I wanted for the number, so that might change.

Design for lighted street number

Design for lighted street number

The other detail is a pair of Greene & Greene style metal lanterns.  I did a quick rough mockup of those, but they aren’t “right” yet.  That’s generally how this process works for me.  I do a first design that is just about getting the shape and proportions for the piece I want to make.  Sometimes I’m pretty close, other times it takes two or three iterations to figure out what I don’t like.  Then I add in a few details to make sure it’s going to have the right effect.

Then I usually re-model the part so it has all of the detail I’ll need to make it.  In the case of the gate, for example, that step would be to model each board, mortise and tenon and then assemble it.  That way I’m sure of the layout when I get to the shop.  I’m not sure I need to do that in practice for the gate as I can pick up all of the critical dimensions I need from the model I have.  But for the lanterns and even the light box I need to have a little more information about the fabrication as I’m thinking about having some of the parts laser cut.  On the street number piece above I could have just the front panel laser cut and weld on sides, or I could model it with the sides attached and bend it on a brake – which would be a lot nicer.

Updated Gate Design -- The lanterns suck and need more work

Updated Gate Design — The lanterns suck and need more work

The lanterns are not at all right, I’ll have to look at some more pictures.  The base is too big, the body too small and the roof too  steep.  I can fix that now that I see what’s wrong with it.  Having an initial, albeit wrong design helps me find the right one.  This one, which is a commercial unit inspired by the Blacker House lanterns is pretty close to what I want.

Commercial Light by Wentworth Avenuw

Commercial Light by Wentworth Avenuw

 

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Last Panel for Inglenook Sconce

I’ve been pretty distracted the past few weeks with re-orbs, crisis and emergencies at work, and it’s really eaten into my productivity in the shop.  I don’t like it, and I’m trying to maximize my shop time this weekend.  I have to go do some family errands now, but I’ve finished the last stained glass panel for the Gamble House Inglenook Sconce I’m making.  I will be installing the panels and doing the final assembly later this afternoon.  I still have to make a pair of hanger brackets for the leather straps, but that should be a quick job.

I’m really looking forward to finishing this project — both to see it done and also to be able to start something new.  Maybe a Greene & Green “Dutch” tool chest?

Starting to cut out the iridized glass

Starting to cut out the iridized glass

All glass parts cut and fit together

All glass parts cut and fit together

Pieces wrapped with copper foil

Pieces wrapped with copper foil

Soldered, just smooth beads ready to texture

Soldered, just smooth beads ready to texture

Textured solder joints, they will get a black patina next

Textured solder joints, they will get a black patina next

 

 

 

 

 

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The Gate Project

I’ve been toying with the idea of replacing the driveway gate at my house for a while.  A lot over the past year, but it’s been on my mind – on and off – for the past 15 years.  Ever since I put in the original gate when we moved in here.  It was supposed to be a quickie job, just a quick fence to keep the dogs from wandering off.  It became more serious when a deer got trapped in the yard and smashed through the gate running at probably 40 MPH.  And then it happened again.  Later a delivery truck backed into it and bent one of the uprights.  Then my wife brought home a small dog (we have always had Greyhounds).  The problem with the small dog is she can go under the gate.  So my son tied the remains of a baby gate to the driveway gate.  It’s gone on and one like this, adding adjunct gate pieces and bunji cords.

It happened over such a long period of time that I’ve sort of gotten accustomed to it.  It’s a total white trash look, but it wasn’t until I took a picture of it to use as a guide to start sketching a new gate that I really noticed it.  It’s pretty embarrassing.  It’s just a cheap home center chain link gate.  I welded up some support extensions and bolted it to the existing block wall.  It looks worse from the inside than it does from the street, and we live in the woods so not a lot of people see it – but still…

Gate Closed, From Inside

Gate Closed, From Inside

Gate Open, From The Outside

Gate Open, From The Outside

So my plan is to build a wooden gate from Vertical Grain Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Redwood, make some giant steel strap hinges, some steel lanterns in the Greene & Greene style and do a little landscaping to clean this area up.  The hinges and drop-lock bar at the top will be steel weldments, powdercoated with a “oil rubbed bronze” color.  I need to design the wood stanchions and hinge parts that will go on the block walls, and the lanterns still, but this is a good step forward.  It’s probably enough to order the lumber.  As soon as I finish the hinge design I’ll have the parts laser cut and weld them.

Design For New Gate

Design For New Gate

 

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Front Glass for the Inglenook Sconce Done

I just  soldered the front glass for the Inglenook sconce, I think it’s OK.  I was concerned about whether the glass itself was OK, and I was worried about how the overall effect would be.  I think it works.  There are a few mistakes, but nothing horrible.

I put wider foil along the edges where the “vine” was, so that I could have a wider solder bead there.  I also trimmed the foil to have a wavy edge, to try to give it more of an organic feel.  Like, well, a vine.  There are a couple of areas where the line of the vine isn’t smooth enough as it winds around the vertical “hourglass” bars.  I’ll have to watch for that in the future.

Foil applied

Foil applied

Here is the finished piece, soldered, cleaned, with a patina applied.  I also textured the solder seams that represent the vines to help them stand out from the rest of the design.

Soldered

Soldered

And here it is mocked up in the sconce.  I need to go make the two side panels now…

Mock Up

 

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Sconce Glass 1

I cut up the pieces for the sconce glass today.  I’m unsure about my glass selection, and how this is going to come out.  The original has what appears to be all the same kind of glass in the design, so the design is really governed by the solder lines and not the different colors of glass.

I’ve deviated slightly and substituted some green transparent textured glass for the “berries” in the design, and I’m using what is claimed to be amber iridized glass for the rest.  It’s definitely iridized (which is the mataliz coating that fives the surface a rainbow effect) but it’s nearly opaque and very white.

I’ll foil the glass and solder up the front panel tomorrow and see how it looks.  If it’s not right I’ll have to order some different glass.  You can’t really see the effect since the glass is mostly the same color.

Mere is my design for the front glass, and the glass cut

Mere is my design for the front glass, and the glass cut

Here is an original sconce for comparison.  The glass if pretty opaque on the original too.  Maybe it will work out OK, I’m eager to get it soldered and see the finished effect.

The Original Gamble House Inglenook Sconce

The Original Gamble House Inglenook Sconce

One more view of my front glass.  You can see the individual pieces if you look closely.  I noticed a couple of spots in the lower part where the “vines” don’t smoothly transition across the vertical motif, I’ll have to tune that up tomorrow.

Front Glass, REady for Foiling and Soldering

Front Glass, REady for Foiling and Soldering

 

 

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