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  • cliffrod
    replied
    Thanks, guys.

    I do need a milling machine. First I need the space to put it... Before that, I need to get my big jiggly machine moved off the lawn & inside the shop. By the time I got my cart done for the machine, it had started raining. Then my friend's boom truck blew the engine and was in the shop for nearly a month. Now they're buried & way behind. The latest tornado blew over several stones on display in front of their office last month. They haven't had time to reset them, much less come here for me. If they don't come soon, I'll have to buy a new tent. This one is falling apart. Not cool.

    I didn't sign this one, Neil. Still not "my" work because I was trying to duplicate someone else's work. So it wasn't about artistic expression. It was just work, like a body panel. Not a big fan of bronze in general. Bronze means giving the foundry lots of $$$ or going to great expense to set up a small foundry here. Bronze is also usually cut up for casting and then reassembled & welds camouflaged to pretend it was achieved as monolithic. The big perk of this bronze was that it is a monolotihic casting, not welded up.

    In general, I would rather do stone and keep more of the money. You can't weld stone.

    Leave a comment:


  • neilb
    replied
    thank you for posting your work cliff, it's been great to watch it develop through the stages.

    i have to ask, did you get to engrave your name in it anywhere it wouldn't be seen? i know i would have lol

    Leave a comment:


  • Chazza
    replied
    Wonderful work!

    Time to buy a milling machine now,

    Cheers Charlie

    Leave a comment:


  • cliffrod
    replied
    Final installation of the thread, figuratively and literally...

    After months of rain and cold weather, we finally got enough of a break to install the leaf. So we put it up and are now waiting for the epoxy to dry before making the final adjustments to the mounting fixture. The original leaf had only a small pin through the stem connecting it to the branch and another equally small pin inserted diagonally into the edge/corner of the primary white marble element. The new fixture is 3/8" stainless steel plate with two threaded pins inserted into the marble and two 1/2" diameter stainless steel threaded jackshafts that affix into receivers cast into the leaf. These jackshafts will be adjusted to carry the actual vertical load of the leaf to hopefully remove strain from the cast bronze stem. When installed, they are not easily seen from most vantage points.

    One small detail that may be a help to others. This is a simple and effective way to align and properly drill a hole without complicated tooling. No pics of the process, but the explanation is fairly simple-

    Before installation, I had to drill a hole through the new stem that matched the existing hole in the bronze branch mounted to the peach. I inserted the new leaf stem into the existing hole. I scribed the stem one each side through this existing hole. Of course & as expected, it was not perfectly centered.

    Back at the shop, I used a center punch to mark very well the center of each scribed mark. A small drill bit in a hand drill was used to better define each center punch mark. Then I took a short piece of scrap lumber (2x4) and drove a screw through it so the tip was protruding from the other side. I placed this 2x4, screw tip up, on the table of my drill press and aligned the point of this screw to the exact point of the appropriate installed drill bit. Once aligned, the 2x4 was clamped into position so it would not move.

    Then it was simply a matter of placing the underside mark on stem on this screw point, aligning the top mark on stem with the drill bit, holding all well in place and drilling the hole. Perfectly aligned hole! All fit as planned on site. Very cool.



    The light was wrong (strong sun behind subject) for these new installation pics, but not sure when I'll get back into town to take proper ones. Figured no one here would complain

    The new installation-

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    The original installation, circa 1972

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    Detail of newly-installed bronze peach leaf-

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    Just to recap- this project employed my fabulous Peter Tommasini HandBuilt English Wheel for producing the aluminum armature for the leaf model. The proceeds from the job paid for the wheel. plus a little extra. Very cool...

    Next project is under way. I'm doing clay & plaster model for a 0-4" bas relief of a resting Lamb with cross and Lily of the Valley in the background for a granite memorial. Time to sell some more work.

    Thanks for watching, guys.

    Leave a comment:


  • cliffrod
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks, Barry. We need to get together and do something, even if it's just getting together. Maybe after the holidays settle down?

  • Rex_A_Lott
    replied
    Nice work, thanks for the mini-documentary. Wish I had had known you needed a bead roller, I have a Horrible Freight one you could borrow, ( hey I didnt know any better at the time ).
    Looks like you made out fine without it. Now when I go to the Library, I can say, " Hey, I know the guy that made that leaf".

    Leave a comment:


  • cliffrod
    commented on 's reply
    Thank you very much, sirs. Much appreciated.

  • Peter Tommasini
    replied
    Very Well done Cliff , looks really good
    Peter T.

    Leave a comment:


  • neilb
    replied
    great work cliffy

    i'm glad this general chit chat section is here, it may not be all about metal shaping but it shows other skills which can be just as interesting if not more so. great work!

    Leave a comment:


  • cliffrod
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks, Robert.

  • MP&C
    replied
    Well done Clint!

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  • cliffrod
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks, Charlie. I'm increasingly happy with how the bronze looks alone in the pics. Gauging how things will look when color, shading/value and sheen vary so much throughout the process is a challenge.

    Stone is always the same. Until it gets dirty, only surface, light & shadow need to be understood. Bronze allows cheating, because the specific patina products used (in this case, liver of sulfur) create a specific determinant color and varying amounts of permanent darkness depending upon how they are applied. Shadows may be light dependent or permanent dark areas, no matter what the shape or surface is. That a major reason why I'm not a big fan of bronze.

    At least this casting is monolithic, which is the only type of bronze casting that I respect as having legitimate artistic integrity. Most wax models are cut into many pieces before casting, then welded back together with lots of metal finishing to camouflage the joints & present the completed job as monolithic. The excuse offered for this approach is how difficult and expensive it is to produce a large, complicated work in one piece. But I guess that's why those artists and sculptors don't carve granite....

    Monolithic work is the great artistic achievement.

  • Chazza
    replied
    Fantastic work Cliffy!

    Your talents know no bounds,

    Cheers Charlie

    Leave a comment:


  • cliffrod
    replied
    Once the metal work that we like was done, I skinned the armature with a uniform layer of sulfur-free plastilina to finalize the detail. The foundry I use prefers sulfur-free product be used, as the sulfur can interfere with curing of some silicone molding products and cause failures. I keep special clay/plastilina on hand for such work. Normally, I use old Roma Plastilina for my models for all stone & plaster projects. Using the proper products, I don't experience such failures but that's why I use them.

    Plastilina was only applied to the front, with minor application on the back around the mounting receivers to smooth their appearance-

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    I did check fit and get approval once again before taking this to the foundry in Sept(?). Fast forward to December. They called yesterday and said it was ready to pick up. Right now I'm doing clay while waiting for the next stone to arrive in a few days. So I hit the road & picked it up.

    Please don't misunderstand my above statements. They are relevant to the variety of molding products & methods- as are often discussed in this work- and not meant as criticism. The foundry does excellent mold work. Above is the model before foundry work. Below are two pics from today, after the mold was pulled from the model and job was cast. They're good, but such a mold costs $400.00/sf for them to produce. For this 3 square foot leaf, the molding charge was $1,200.00.

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    And now, the 30" long finished bronze leaf. It came out well imho because it looks like a plain little leaf & does not look to be 30" long.


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    And the back, with mounting receivers visible

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    Now it needs final fitment. With the holidays and sketchy weather at hand, it will probably be a few weeks before all is done. I'll post a few more pics when I have them. I can say that producing this model & doing the job would have been far more difficult without equipment like Peter's English Wheel and what I've learned from my friends and mentors in the metal shaping community. I owe a lot of people a lot of thanks for taking me to new levels of capacity and productivity. It's one thing to say "I can do that". It's another to have the right gear and knowledge to make it happen when it counts. This project used only an English wheel and hand tools to do the basic leaf. In return, this project basically paid for my HandBuilt English wheel. Very cool

    Thanks for what y'all have done for me, especially men like RockHillWill, Jim Hery, Peter Tommasini, Robert McCartney & Bill Tromblay. You've all had a part in this project.
    Attached Files

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  • Steve Murphy
    replied
    Nice work Cliff, keep those posts coming 👍

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