Be A Guy

The Need to Putter

In Cat Skull Studio, Tool Kit on April 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

When I started this Blog I was unemployed and needed the intellectual stimulation. Now I need the physical.

There are a few things going on here:

  1. I’m close to some major changes in my life- so time to think is important.
  2. I’ve noticed over the years in this kind of situation mastering a new skill set is important.
  3. I’m returning to my hippie roots?
  4. This is a tune up for a major piece of furniture which will include wood and metal.
  5. Somehow this shape jumped into my head one day.

Don’t know what got into me, cold roll 14ga steel, 16d cut nails, Lincoln mig wire & bee’s wax– maybe the last of my bee’s wax…

Thought about templating the layout onto Mylar or flashing and then decided to one off it…

Glued paper to the sheet for layout and visibility- too much time on the computer plus age… cut it out with a saber saw

The wings are eyeballed to be ¼” (1/2 “ overall), on each top side, wider than square, to accentuate the flare….

Textured the metal on a 30# usher anvil (no such thing in the anvil forums) I pulled out of the trash (same haul that I got the machinist vise and a woodworker’s vise that needs some babbet pouring), which I’m probably going to bust if I ever mount it the proper height….

I used ball peen hammers of various sizes and some punch work using cut nails, one ground to a chisel point another with the head turned 90 degrees…

Texturing was done cold, did rosebud the whole thing a few times to red-hot to get some scale which adds some nice texture and leaves light and dark marks when hammered over.

Hot marked the bend joints with a blunted brick chisel, heated it past cherry and bent it in a brake I made up- it’s pictured….one fold did tear, break, separate whatever, but after experimenting it made the cleanest bend…

Welded it inside too much-

(I’m sort of planning a similar unit brazed with copper electric wire)

Finished it first w/ a knotted SS cup brush on a grinder, switched to a softer carbon steel cup brush (picture) at 850 RPM on the drill press, then stuck a piece of red scotch brite pad on the brush and finished on a cloth wheel on a buffer made from a washing machine motor…

Washed it in hot water and detergent..

Heated it on a clothes iron, while I cleaned up, and brushed bee’s wax over it…

Let that stand for a day, reheated it and rubbed the wax in, the metal is more porous than most think it is, smoked a cigarette and drank coffee while rubbing it out the day after.


  1. I have no idea if I’m writing this in the right spot. This metal box is beautiful! Really beautiful. And the soft chamois as contrast: nice touch. Impressive, Mr. Diaz. You shouldn’t smoke! Do what I do: eat too much. This is Lynn (Chamberlain) Adams, btw (as the youngsters say)


    • Yes well the smoking is embarassing, the chamois was a nice touch by the end user- guess she felt a need to soften my rough edges…..
      After decades I’ve seen you three times in the past 1 1/2 years & I guess you over eat some other time.


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