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  #1  
Old 05-24-2003, 08:14 PM
jwebb jwebb is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Astoria, Oregon
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Here's a recent piece...

This is welded steel ('70's GM Van Bumpers, cut-up in random chunks with a torch, then welded back together to make this figurative composition). A cheap source of material, and a zen-like process I like a lot. The material is 16th" steel, nickle plated; unfortunately it does not stand up outdoors without rusting at the welds. I have to work on that. Probably some rust-proof weld rod out there I don't know about. Anyway, comments welcome.
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Old 05-24-2003, 10:19 PM
twright twright is offline
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I would reccomend stainless steel welding rod. Another thing I do with my sculptures is laquer them. I realize this is not a long term solution, but it should hold up for close to 10 years (thats a guess). Neverhteless, I would imagine the rusty welds could add a nice aesthetic value to your work.

You could have it re-plated. Or another possible solution, one which I intend on employing soon, take it to an autobody shop and have them either paint it a desired color, clear coat it, or powder coat it. Of course you could do this yourself, but that is what autobody shops do best.

Last edited by twright : 05-25-2003 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 05-25-2003, 07:15 PM
jwebb jwebb is offline
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Argh! I included wrong view of the piece. Here's the one I meant to insert. Anyway, thank you for response, Tim. I'm hip to ss rod, but that's not exactly what this material is, either; it's mild steel, with nickle plate. It's hardly a new idea to weld pieces of bumper together, I'm sure others have encountered and dealt with the problem. Any other suggestions?
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Old 05-27-2003, 01:32 AM
peter bourke peter bourke is offline
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Hi
It looks fine to me just as is for some of my pieces I have mounted them on white concrete the rust streaks add another dimension other wise exterior clear polymer works well but the rusty iron keeps changing and will probably out last us all.On my site I have some pieces done with indoor polymer about 5 years ago
Cheers
Peter Bourke
http://sculpture-australia.tripod.com/
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Old 05-27-2003, 01:56 AM
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Araich Araich is offline
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That looks really interesting. How do you find the nickel? Does it mess with your welds as it vapourises, or do you grind it back a little?
Even if you use stainless, you'll have some of the steel exposed by the plating burning off.
It's a common woe of steel sculptors, that of rust. For outside, your only real hope is to re-plate, or paint. Clear coats, particularily of an acrylic, will hold back the rust for a time, but it will likely stain beneath, and then boil with rust. The time it takes is entirely dependant on the enviroment, humidity etc.
On the coast, in a temperate climate and it will melt like snow

But then again, if your not worried about it lasting forever, then enjoy the look - or keep it inside and dry In which case, if waxed or varnished, it will last for centuries.
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Old 05-27-2003, 02:49 PM
jwebb jwebb is offline
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Thank you both for comments, Robert and Peter. Is this cool or what, getting input from Australia! Robert, I like what you're doing very much, and you have a great website. Enjoy your current, well-earned solo show. And, Peter, I have never seen anything quite like your work. The hours you've put into the "portrait" are remarkable. I have been carving some Columbia River Basalt lately, (it's beautiful, free and abundant here on the Columbia River), with a somewhat similar input of time and effort. But I have never dared to try to attack what appears to be a steel ingot with a hammer and chisel. What a great "business" this is, where one party supplies the material; puts this kind of time, inspiration, sweat, life's blood, etc. into creating the product; then presents it to gallery owners and prays they'll like it and deign to take 45% of retail for providing it a place to stand and be seen! But, as you've both alluded, if we are unlucky the work may only last a couple of centuries.

Joe Webb
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