New sign from old junk

Posted: February 14, 2013 in metalwork, the shop

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We have been needing a sign for our shop for a while now, and while I have been collecting materials, it has been sort of back-burner. Finally got a chance to put something together.

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We have a lot of ‘junk’, but I am proud to have broken down and hauled a lot of things to the scrap yard in the last few months. I bought a random lot of hillbilly treasure in an auction last fall – mainly to get this saw blade and an old forge. The rest of this saw was too kludged together to really even cut much usable scrap out of, so to the crusher it went – it is probably already on its way back from China.

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The forge blower – patent 1901, Champion, USA. Next project on the list. Note authentic bullet holes in the redneck firepan.

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Some picker friends hooked us up with this massive truck wheel hub – we traded an extension cord, some industrial sewing thread, and bobbins for an antique Singer long arm machine. I took the brake drum off to use as a fire pan for the forge and was left with the hub, which I almost put into the scrap barrel. Luckily, there was no space in the barrel, so I left it on the bench to think about it.

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Decided I could use the old hub as a collar to attach a signpost to some pipes in front of the shop that act as a corral for dumpster – the landlord doesn’t want me welding on the pipes, so I needed a non-welding way to attach the pole. We don’t have a dumpster anyway – though some might say that we have a warehouse-sized oneā€¦ I had an old driveline to use as the post, and once we pressed out the U-joints, I thought that if I drilled a 1″ hole through the hub, I could use a bolt through the U-joint holes to attach the pole in such a way as to have some natural sway in the pole, so the sign could move side to side, with a counterweight balancing it below. Paul said “you have a huge bit, a huge drill, and a huge chunk of metal, why not try it? I drilled it in 5 steps, and right when the final 1” bit broke through the last hole, it caught, tore the piece (30#) out of the vice, and whanged it around, smacking the upright stand post on the drill press a few time. I whacked the off button as I leaped back. Paul ran out to see what had happened. Dang, should have left the drive belt looser so it would act as a safety clutch. 

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Here is the final product. I printed the letters out on a plotter and glued the print to the saw, used a plasma cutter that Dave Richer gave me to cut it all out.

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Junk.

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