Building a better dog barricade

Building a better dog barricade

One of the major sources of stress in our house is the fact that we have so many animals, and more specifically, that some of those animals don’t play nice together. Even more specifically, the big bulldog and the cats. Right now, a baby gate in the kitchen portal keeps the dogs in the back of the house so they have access to a door leading to the back yard, and the cats in the front part of the house and the bedrooms. This baby gate was originally a temporary solution, but it’s turned into a long-term solution and has been in place for far too long. It’s begun to show its age: the cheap plastic pieces have begin to break, the handle requires more effort than it should to lock and unlock. I actually bolted the spacer bars that keep it in place right into the wall, just to make sure it can withstand the impact of a running bulldog who doesn’t seem to care that he’s running into a fence. My wife and I decided a nice full-size metal gate would be the way to go…not only would it look nice, but it would be strong enough to withstand the dogs and be tall enough to keep the cats from going over it. After doing some research online, we discovered that the types of gates that we would even consider installing into our kitchen started about $1,200, and that was way outside of what we could spend. That’s why, when the opportunity to take a welding class came along, we thought it would be a good way...
Going Steampunk…kind of

Going Steampunk…kind of

The whole Steampunk movement that’s going on right now isn’t really my thing, other than having an appreciation for how creative some people are when designing their devices or costumes. Personally, I like my technology streamlined and clean, but whatever floats your boat, I suppose. That said, I wandered through a salvage yard today, looking for gears, sprockets, chains, etc, anything that could convey the idea of Steampunk. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them yet, but after soaking the pieces in Simple Green, then giving them a good scrubbing to get the rest of the grease off, I think I have a few workable pieces that I can begin to tinker around with. Also on Relatively Average: Building a better dog barricade Brought to you by the letters L, j, e, b, and d Disc golf practice...
State of Arizona Wall Art

State of Arizona Wall Art

Outside of the normal project list from my welding class, I decided that I wanted to try doing an electrical piece. Having previously come up with an illustration that I thought would look great on a coffee shop wall, I wanted to incorporate it into a welding project somehow. After creating a box by folding the edges of a rectangle in and welding the corners, I cut the Arizona state outline out with a plasma cutter, then finished by removing the star over Phoenix. Distressing the sheet metal with multiple applications of a mixture of Hydrogen Peroxide and vinegar seemed like the best way to achieve the deep rust I was looking for without needing to purchase any kind of acid or harsh chemicals. After getting the surface as textured as I wanted it, I epoxied a Dioder LED light set onto the back of the steel so it would reflect off the polished copper sheet that was bolted on last. In low light, the LEDs shine brightly, highlighting the copper.   The piece is currently hanging in my office. If I had gotten my ducks in a row before the Practical Art Summer Group Show deadline, I would have submitted it to the competition…I think it could have been pretty well received. I guess there’s always next year. Also on Relatively Average: Brought to you by the letters L, j, e, b, and d Disc golf practice basket Learning to love creating IRL –...
Learning to love creating IRL – again

Learning to love creating IRL – again

At the end of January, after a particular trying run at work when files and work weren’t being backed up before being accidentally deleted, I decided that I needed to create something that couldn’t be erased with the click of a button. Unless clicking that button resulted in an explosion or fire storm. At the very least, how about an alarm or a chime? I used to, and still do, love to draw, but being accustomed to the speed at which digital images can be created I found drawing to be tedious. Even though I enjoy it, unless you’re one of those bimanual folks who can control both hands independently at the same time, at any one point most people can only create in the finite breadth and depth of their chosen medium; that is to say if you’re using a pencil to create a picture, the area you’re working with at any one time is the width of the pencil lead. A graffiti artist painting a mural usually uses spray paint because it affords larger coverage (and usually the speed required by the illicit nature of the medium), as opposed to a paint brush even though it would give them more control over the application. I guess that’s the long way of saying that I wanted to see faster results. Anyway, a few years ago my neighbor took a sculptural welding class and loved it. Knowing I was artistically inclined, she had been trying to convince me to take the class ever since. Always having the excuse of not enough time, I never took her up on it. Fast...