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Joel OF

Wish me luck...

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I just got the go ahead for my 2nd gate commission! It's going to be incredible fun and a good challenge!

The client wanted a wildflower themed gate to open into their garden which is next to their wildflower meadow so I came up with the concept of having a simple traditional gate which the flowers have overgrown. The top is purposefully left undecorated to leave a clear view through to the meadow.

This is a life size drawing which I took to the client, 920mm x 1830mm. Although it's a very rough drawing it works well because it's lifesize, and I made the client sample pieces for each section so they'd understand what each section would look like in the flesh. I find I can only get so far when desiging scaled down on a sketch pad and then I hit a point when I can't get a true sense of what the item is going to feel like in the flesh so I buy sheets of MDF and paint them with blackboard paint then I can draw-scrub out-redraw-scrub out-redraw till my heart's content...then I can then take the life size chalkboard drawing to the client.

It's going to be blasted and zinc sprayed then left like that without a top coat.

20150327_130030.jpg

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Greetings Joel,

Sweet design .. You can do it.. A word of caution .. Make the outer frame extra heavy duty to avoid sag.  The internal elements do not have many contact points for structural strength. Just an ok boys 2c

Forge on and make beautiful things,

Jim

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Cheers guys. All the stuff at the bottom is going to be made from very lightweight steels so it probably looks heavier than it is.

I tried to work in some diagonal bracing via the trailing leaves but have agreed with the client there's going to be a bit of artistic license along the way as it takes shape.

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I like it Joel, I think you're on your way to fame and fortune! Jim and Thomas beat me to suggesting a "hip" element to stiffen the structure. All the 90's will flex and sag. A diagonal tension element from the bottom away from the hinges to the top hinge or near will do the trick structurally.

Artistically I was think it needed a few dangly elements from the horizontal structural elements A Honey Suckle vine could serve both purposes nicely. Then again flowering peas, wild grapes, etc. etc. would all fit the theme.

Excellent project Joel congrats on the commission.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I think you're on your way to fame and fortune!

Are we talking about blacksmithing?

Cheers for the structural tips guys.

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I WAS but if you do something else publicly notable . . . Oh say maybe the Nude bank robber? It'd be a uniquely interesting distraction. If it worked a body would be famous and have loot to spend. Fame and fortune, hmmmmm?

Oh was there a pun in there? My oh my.

Frosty The Lucky.

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You joke but I was 99% of the way to stripping naked and walking up my city's highstreet with "I am a blacksmith, I take commissions" written in permanent marker across my chest not so long ago.

I'd happily settle for putting some food on the table and making gates that don't buckle under their own weight.

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Add the weight of a kid or two swinging on the gate to the design and strength of the gate and the hinges. Overbuilt and stronger than needed will add to the life of the product. You may want to put a clear coat paint over the zinc for protection against the elements.

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Chalkboard paint on MDF..... brilliant!  I've been struggling with how to do larger designs because I don't have anywhere decent to draw them out to full size.

I'll look forward to seeing how you do the various elements of the gate.

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A chalk board is a great addition to a shop and painting one yourself is a lot more likely than finding a big one for reasonable. A trick I like and use frequently are graph lines. A sheet rock square and paint pen is the perfect way to turn a chalk board into a graph board.

That way you can sit at a coffee shop with a potential customer and make scalable sketches which are easy to transfer to full scale on the chalk board with the old school coordinate method. If you need to go to the floor then it's snap line and rag tape time but graphing makes scaling so much easier.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Secret stuff, we have SECRETS!? Ooooohhhh! (my best Les Nessman WKRP voice.)

Frosty The Lucky.

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Another 2 tricks for drawing projects out, both I use

first buy a white 4x8 board / sheet that you can use DRY MARKERS on its reusable easy to erase & redraw 

other trick is use 3' W red paper rolls that cover floor when painting & other stuff @ home depot there like $12.00

for more paper then you will use also very good to cover & protect stuff if you in the house installing the RED works best !

you now can draw up a full size project & if you need the work bench for something else then just roll the drawing up  :)

you can also keep notes wright on the drawing

PS I have 1 white board attached to the shop wall with notes & jobs I need to do even keep job time on it sometimes

Edited by IronWolf

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I've seen the paper roll used in a welding shop way back when, the owner lady didn't like the idea of us drawing on the floor. <BOYS gasp>

Something I've been keeping my eyes open for is old computer driven wall projector, I can't think of the name right now. It'd be sweet (well I think it would) to be able to project CADD right on the wall, bench or floor in the shop.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for all your pointers with this folks, I took your advice on board and included more bracing - all with the client's prior approval of course. I'm self taught and only been smithing for a little over 2 years so this was a fantastic learning curve. There's parts I'm happy with and parts I slightly wince at. If I had to do it again I'd definitely redesign the subframe so I didn't have to create so much bracing from the climbing shoots.

I'm happy to say the clients are delighted with the finished result though the clients wanted me to make the gate first then install posts to suit so I haven't got any pics of the gate in situ. These pics are of it in the workshop when I got it back from the zinc spraying firm. I took these pics before treating the gate in any way but after taking them I sprayed some clear laquer on some areas and lightly burnished some other areas in an effort to make the colour change at different rates, to increase the "organic" look.

I'm a stick welder and I don't have a MIG welder or a gas torch...now I desperately want both.
(If the pics come out on the wrong orientation can a moderator spin them around so they're right? No matter what I try some pics always upload wonky).

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DSC_0669.JPGDSC_0674.thumb.JPG.225f56fe058a621d775b8

 

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I missed this the 1st time it came around because I was out of town. Finished product looks great. I wish I could design stuff that looked that good.

 

 

I love the idea of the MDF with the blackboard paint. I've been wanting a big steel table I can do full size layout on, but haven't been able to afford one yet. The blackboard painted MDF sounds like a reasonable temporary solution. I also don't know why I hadn't thought of the white board and dry erase markers. I'd done several for clients with kids for their basements. Frosty's idea of a big graph paper also makes a lot of sense. I've got the drywall square and paint markers, so that parts already taken care of.

 

I've used opaque projectors in the past to blow up images for tracing, as well as using the transparent overhead projectors on occasion after photocopying the image onto transparency sheets. You can probably locate the older opaque and overhead projectors used fairly cheap as most places are all going to digital projectors today for use with power point and laptops. I hadn't thought about using one of the newer digital projectors with CAD, but they have become so cheap today it would make a lot of sense.

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Awesome job on the gate. I'm planning to try my hand at making one this Summer, thanks for the great pics of yours.

I've got access to pallets of opaque projectors that I could sell cheaply, and also the newer projectors that can be hooked to a computer. If anyone needs one just let me know.

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Did you mark it clearly with your stamp?  Gates are advertisements and folks going gaga over it should be able to see the "Made By Joel..."

Perhaps on the latch bar?

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Did you mark it clearly with your stamp?

Haven't gotten round to a stamp yet. If I did stamp my work I'd probably just stamp my initials. I should get my act together with that sort of thing but this gate is tucked away up a private road etc so if anyone sees it the owners will be there anyway.

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And the next owners and the next ones after them?  Why they suggest a text stamp as a logo looks neat but is hard to search the net on.

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I've got access to pallets of opaque projectors that I could sell cheaply, and also the newer projectors that can be hooked to a computer. If anyone needs one just let me know.

​​

​PM sent.

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