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I Forge Iron

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I put together this sculpture of two long-beaked waterbirds just to show that a sculpture can be as simple or as complex as you like.

The recipe:

One pair of rubbish slip joint pliers ... separated.

Two telstra galvanised line hooks ... acid dipped.

Four short lengths recycled 6mm rod.

One old bike sprocket.

P.S. They do stand straight - a bit distorted by camera angle.


simple birds.jpg

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Yes, the acid dip was to remove the galvanising. Zinc + weld = bad headache. Used straight HCl.

You have to be quick with the sealant though - after acid treatment the steel rusts before your eyes.

Tim, the height is about 400mm. Those hooks are about 100mm - used by Ergon energy to hang glass insulators.

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Ausfire, straight HCl is pretty strong.  Try plain vinegar, it'll remove the zinc just as well, but not as aggressively.  Quickly rinse well with water, then a solution of baking soda in water to neutralize the acid, rinse again with water, dry quickly.  Use whatever finish you like.  The vinegar approach doesn't seem to attack the base metal as badly after the zinc coating is gone, and the rust doesn't seem to form as aggressively either.  I used to use a lot of HCl, but now I just use vinegar.  May take a little longer, but is easier and safer to use.  "Patience, grasshopper...."

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Yes, patience is a virtue! I usually find myself half way through a sculpture and the piece I want to use next is galvanised and I want it now! maybe I should plan ahead and have some likely pieces soaking in the vinegar. The fumes off the bubbling HCl are a bit hard on the sinuses.

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