Between dreams and reality exist whole dimensions.

Archive for October, 2011

Teaser

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Here’s a quick look at my next project. I’m not gonna say what it is yet, but in a day or two it should be pretty obvious.

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Steel Rose

I finished my assigned project: the Steel Rose. This is the entire process I went through to make it. Took me about 1 week of class (5 hours or so). Because this is long with a lot of pictures I am going to us a little different format, with less writing.  Without further ado here you are:

First it's back to the trusty plasma-cutter to cut the petals.


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And now we have 4 pieces to be bent into petals, and 1 for that little green bit roses have on the bottom.

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As you can see the cutting process leaves a big bur on the steel, and doesn't eliminate the rust, so we grind them down nicely.

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An Overheard Ghost Story

In the spirit of the season I have decided to post a ghost story. I overheard this story a year or two ago while eating by myself in a diner. Two older women were sitting behind me, and as I had nothing else to do I could not help but listen in on one relating this story to the other.I did not have my notebook with me at the time, but I did my best to remember every detail and immediately wrote it down as soon as I got home. I’m sure there are some things I missed and some things that I changed; but by and large I believe this to be accurate and wholly true, at least to the woman who told it.

An image of a cartoonish ghost.

Image via Wikipedia

“This was back at my mom’s place, the one over by the trailer park. I was just old enough
to stay home alone, maybe 13. Mom was out somewhere, I don’t remember.

Anyway, I was making myself I guess you’d call it dinner, it was kinda late, slicing
cheese and tomatoes for a sandwich. You remember my mom’s old house? How the kitchen’s
over here, and down the hall is the living room? Well I’m in the kitchen, home alone, when all of
a sudden the stereo in the living room comes on, loud.

Now I don’t think too much of it, I just go down the hall and turn it off and come back.
Well after just a little bit, probably not a minute, it comes on again. So I call out, “Justin? You
Home?”

No answer.

So I’m still holding the knife as I creep back to the living room. The stereo’s in the big
black entertainment center, you know, the old one, behind one of the glass doors. So the stereo’s
on, and the door’s open, even though I remember shutting it. So I go turn it off, shut the door and
call again, “Justin? Is that you?”

No answer.

So I go back to the kitchen, and just as I get there the stereo does it again. Well I figure
Justin is messing with me, so I run back this time, to try and catch him. So I get back there, and
the room’s empty, and the glass is open again. Now I’m a little worried, so I hurry over, turn it
off, and close the glass. And this time, as I’m leaving the room, I hear a click as the glass opens.

So I turn around and see the glass swinging open nice and smooth. Now this scares
me, ‘cause you gotta understand these doors are heavy, and the magnets are strong. It takes a lot
of effort to open those doors. So yeah, that scares the crap outa me and I go running out the door
to the neighbor’s house, to get my friend Sandy.

So I tell Sandy what happened, and of course she doesn’t believe me. But after a minute I
get her to come back with me. We get back to the house, and you can hear the stereo from
outside, some country station, which isn’t what it was before, and no one in my family listens to
country. Well before we go in I go around back and grab Justin’s baseball bat, just in case.

Now this was early fall, and like I said, sometime in the evening; so it’s really noticeable
when we step inside: it’s hot. Like really hot. I look over at Sandy, and I can see she’s starting to
believe me. Well we go back to the living room and turn off the stereo gain, and it suddenly get’s
cold. Cold enough to see your breath. Now we’re really spooked, and we go to leave.

Well while we’re walking up the hallway Sandy all of a sudden yells and points. You
remember how my mom’s room was at the other end of the hall? And the big mirror she had
hanging on the door? Well Sandy’s pointing right at the mirror, and at first I can’t tell what she’s
so scared about. But after a second I see it too: this gray shape in the mirror, like a person, but
vague and smudged. I couldn’t really say why, but I was sure it was a woman, and that she was
mad, like she hated me almost.

So we stare at it for a minute, afraid to do anything I guess. And then it moves, like it’s
reaching out or something. Well that gets us going, I dropped the bat, and we both ran from the
house, screaming.

Well my mom got home later, to the stereo on, playing country loud, and me not home.
So when I see that she’s there and come back over from Sandy’s she gives me an earful. I tried
to explain what happened, but of course she doesn’t believe me. Anyway, after that I never
stayed home alone at that house again, and I definitely believe in ghosts.”


Steel Sunflower – Finished

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Ok, so I have been gone a while. Never fear, I have not perished. Really, I swear I’m not currently writing you as an undead. The sunflower is finished. Has actually been finished a while, and is now happily residing in my mother’s front yard. But more on that in a moment.

In my last post I promised to show a picture of the back of the sunflower so you can see how it’s all welded on. Basically I cut a circle with the plasma cutter, and then used the oxy-acetylene torch to punch a hole in the center. I then welded one layer of  petals around the outer edge. Next I took the domed circle for the center of the flower and welded the front layer of petals to the edge, being sure that all the welds were on the inside. Then I positioned the two pieces together as evenly as possible and tacked the front layer to the back between the petals of the back layer. It’s not a solid enough weld to really support a lot of weight, but unless my family has to fend off looters using it as a weapon it should hold together pretty well. Lastly I put the round bar through the hole and welded it on. That weld is pretty solid and should withstand plenty of looter beating.

Below I have two pictures of the finished flower. I was originally planning on just putting up the one of it in its new home, but it was morning and the lighting isn’t too great so I have also included the one from my back yard with better lighting. The petals aren’t as shiny as I had hoped, they are already starting to rust a little, but that shouldn’t be a problem unless it gets seriously soaked long-term. So there you have it. I’m working on my steel rose now (which is an assigned project, though a pretty one) I’m mostly done with that already and I’ll post some stuff about it either tonight or tomorrow. After that it’s back to my own projects.

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Almost Done – Steel Sunflower update

3 Leaves to go.

So I’m almost done with the sunflower. I thought I’d finish today, but the leaves didn’t feel like cooperating and were very hard to get welded on. The flower itself wasn’t too hard to get put together, and was in fact super easy to attach to the stem.  I didn’t get the petals lined up as neatly as I’d hoped, due the way I decided to weld in order to keep the front of the flower free of welds. But I actually kinda like it, it looks more real and less fabricated. I’ll get a picture from the back on Monday so you can see how it’s held together BTW. Also, the petals are a lot shinier than they look in this pic, the lighting in the storage room just sucks. It should be positively blinding when the sun hits it right. I bent the round bar  for the stem using this crazy lever/pivot contraption that I don’t know the name of, and it was surprisingly easy considering I was doing it essentially by hand. Did all the welding on this piece with the MIG Welder (also known as a wire-feed welder), rather than oxy-acetylene. It was way easier because MIG can weld at angles and in tighter spaces a lot more efficiently, and you don’t have to worry about filler rod, the wire feed handles that for you. Anyway, that’s all for this update; I’m swamped this weekend with reviewing submissions for SLCC’s Lit Mag: Folio (I’m on the staff). I should have more updates on the flower next week as well as the next Company of the Damned post.