Sunday, December 24, 2006

It's a very sheet metal Christmas Charlie Brown!

When I was a wee lad my Dad made a kid-sized box for me to put his tools in and lose all over the yard so he could hit them with the lawn mower. This worked like a charm. My Father, among other things, is a weldor so he made mine from steel and welded it together. I still have and use it. I figured my boy needed a similar vessel so I constructed one from aluminum. The ends were hammered using standard stretching techniques on the top radius and the angled radii were just hammered over a hammer-form. The rest was bent using a brake. The ends of the box were riveted in place using regular hammered rivet construction. Old timey aircraft (or hot rod, if you prefer) construction. You may notice a weld or two, The Old Man welded a couple spots for me due to the nature of my design- first attempt, you see. The picture below shows the pieces before riveting and polishing. I did only minimal polishing as the boy is not yet two and I'm sure he'll be hard on it. The black marks are soot from annealing, hammering on metal causes the material to work harden. After hammering for awhile you need to anneal the metal to soften it up so it does not fatigue and crack. This is especially important with aluminum. The handle was covered with cloth handlebar tape. There it is, the boy's new box. Cool huh?
I hope you all have a real nice Christmas and I'm sure Santa will be super generous! I'm hoping for a new V-Strom under the tree, I won't hold my breath. Rock on.


Blatz said...

Very nice background color on the photo.

Markus said...

Very nice.
So, how can I get one??? ;)