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Small amounts of steel

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Small amounts of steel Empty Small amounts of steel

Post by Pogo Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:54 pm

I am getting into welded art and sculpture. I am looking for a place to get small amounts of angle iron, channel iron, strap steel, pipe, tube, plate, wire, etc. I am only looking for mild steel in thicknesses up to a 1/4".

Also looking for suggestions on where to get welding supplies around Lakeside. I have a small, 140amp, flux-core wire welder. It works very well and will probably be all I will ever need . . . but . . . .

Any suggestions and directions greatly appreciated.

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Post by CanuckBob Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:17 pm

Go to any of the various metal work shops and ask. They are all over the place. There are two on the mountainside of the caraterra just beyond Ajijic centro heading west. Sounds like a cool hobby.

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Post by CHILLIN Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:06 pm

I would suggest that you get some 3/8 weldable rebar delivered. You willalso need chop saw with a metal cutting, usually abrasive, blade. You can then make armatures for sculpture or leave them plain for topiary frames. I know this an intended hobby, but I believe there is a good market for these frames. The amount of people who can carve elaborate horses, or u.f.o. spaceships out of greens is now very small. People purchase the forms and grow the greenery inside. They decide if the want slow growing, or fast growing greenery which will need more trimming. Everyday gardeners can easily do the trimming because they just have to follow the frames. Little chance of error.
I just remembered there is such a thing as a rebar cutter, and you may find large enough bolt cutter, but most people use the noisy cut off saw.You also need a table that can put in pegs, or nails, to bend as a jig to bend the bar pieces to your design.The only other tip is that this type of steel rusts easily, so you can use a rust proofing paint, with zinc in it, or epoxy. But then I come from a much wetter place, and try to upgrade people to stainless "pencil" steel, but then you cant weld this with a stick welder. Whatever you do, be careful with fumes and bright spark. Otherwise you will find yourself both blind and dead! There are fire proof coveralls too and of course you will need gloves. Email if you need any other advice, but my experience is mostly oxyacetylene and MIG.
Another way of working, viable here in Mexico, is to produce to scale paper templates, not as difficult as it sounds, and then get a metal fabricator to make to your designs, then you sell the finisher products to hotels, resorts, business, and proud property
owners who want something a little different in their yards.
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Post by Pogo Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:16 pm

Thanks for all your thoughtful information, but not quite what I have in mind. I have several pieces of sculpture / art in mind that I want to see if I can create in the real world. I have been welding for a while now, so I have all the tools and clothing I need. Just looking for materials. However, your ideas and suggestions are fascinating. I did not know that topiary was created on armature but, duh, it makes sense. :)

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Post by Pogo Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:18 pm

CanuckBob wrote:Go to any of the various metal work shops and ask. They are all over the place. There are two on the mountainside of the caraterra just beyond Ajijic centro heading west. Sounds like a cool hobby.

Many thanks, Bob. Now I have some idea of where to look and what to look for. :)

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Post by CHILLIN Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:36 pm

The frames are for more complicated designs. Cutting greenery makes everybody think they can do it. We had a 30 foot ficus hedge and wanted a simple box cut. We had never seen this gardener doing shaping, but heck, what could go wrong? Well he didn't use a string as a guideline, and it was not straight, by the time he got to the end, he was about 12" too short. Worse problem, at the end was a tough to cut section of ficus, so he sort of rounded it off. When I saw it, I broke out laughing - it looked like a 30 foot long green penis!
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Post by Pogo Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:30 pm

CHILLIN wrote:The frames are for more complicated designs. Cutting greenery makes everybody think they can  do it. We had a 30 foot ficus hedge and wanted a simple box cut. We had never seen this gardener doing shaping, but heck, what could go wrong? Well he didn't use a string as a guideline, and it was not straight, by the time he got to the end, he was about 12" too short. Worse problem, at the end was a tough to cut section of ficus, so he sort of rounded it off. When I saw it, I broke out laughing - it looked like a 30 foot long green penis!

Ha! Ha! Ha! Did you leave it as is or change it? Very Happy

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