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heart-shaped trellis/topiary-type-of-thing


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This was a recent project that took all of last week. My family runs a garden center and they wanted some heart shaped trellises to put into herb planters. So I made eight of these hearts, 3/8" sq and bent them around a jig. It took me all week to make eight, it seemed to go pretty slowly, but that is probably due to me not having a lot of experience; I'm only 17. I'm charging US $50 apiece, not sure if that is too high, but the business will pay me that much, so I'll take it! What do you all think? Some people I asked did not like the copper wire, others did.... Oh and I made a new touch mark but I made it backwards. It was supposed to be a music note... And dimensions, not sure, I can't remember, I think about 3 feet tall, 6 feet of stock in each heart, they will go in the middle of an 8 or 10 inch wide pot.








Edited by tonyw
extra pics jumped in
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Thank you for your critique. There will eventually be plants growing all over the shape, so I am not sure how much metal will be visible in the end. I could have wrapped wire all the way along the weld, but then I thought that there would be a disproportionate amount of copper vs. the size of the metal. Or probably the better thing would be to make smaller welds. At any rate, this project was a good learning experience, which I am glad for.

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To add to the collar idea:. Instead of the copper you could use a collar and weld a small steel placard to the collar (maybe a 2x6" rectangle).  People like having a place to write the names of the plants with grease pens or markers.  You could add an appropriate pen to the kit and it might increase the value.  Nice work though.

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Not bad at all a tall. $50 for a 3' tall specialty trellis is pretty low. Just a little dressing up and I'd think wholesale would run closer to $100 from my shop.

The copper wire doesn't go as nicely as a collar and copper can cause issues with some plants. Larger dia. wire at least, you want the join to stand out. this is hand made you know make that a feature, not something to try hiding. I really like the idea for a little note pad and pen, classy idea. You could make a collar or wire wrap with a space behind it so the tag can clip on. Clip on tags can be had in the stationary sections of big box stores and office supplies. You know the ones for clipping a name tag on your shirt pocket?

This is a seriously marketable product and you'll get faster with practice. Stop working on them start to finish one at a time and start making them in sets of 5 at a time. This will let you consolidate procedures. Cut all the blanks at the same time, you can bundle square stock in a cut off saw and cut several at a time. Heat one end of all the blanks at the same time, forge the taper and scroll it, turn it around and put the cold end in the forge. Taper and scroll the next, repeat till you've tapered and scrolled them all.

Now start the twisting, reverse and return them to the forge for the next step and so on. Faster than you'll believe you'll have 5 hearts laid out on the table to weld up. Heck, you're working with jigs already you'll run out of blanks too soon and need to start working more at a time.

I'd change the feet too, a simple heart would look nice, especially if they didn't want to put it in a flower pot. Rather than the H you have laid out it'd be a piece of quick cake to "C" scroll the ends of short sections like an angle brace and weld them to the bottom of the heart facing away from each other. Do this small enough to fit a pot large enough to be stable with a trellis full of plant. OR make the C scroll feet large enough to make a nice holder for 4 smaller flower pots.

There's another benefit to your production time changing to this or similar foot, you're only making 2 cuts the same length and 2 welds, right next to each other. Heck, if you went with a heart shaped foot there wouldn't be any more cutting or welding just add enough to the length of your heart halves to shape and you're golden. Oh heck I'd do it that way for any of my previous ideas, you'd only have 2 C scrolls for feet but they'd be just as stable and nice looking and save you cutting and welding at all.

Honest, production techniques aren't an evil or nasty thing, they're the meat and drink of the successful blacksmith. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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