I found a “new, unused” Dust Deputy (cyclonic dust separator) on craigslist, but closer inspection later on showed opaque stress marks in the plastic where the bottom of the cone meets the flange (maybe it was a little more used than claimed). I had also seen references to problems with Dust Deputies being weak in this area so I wanted to provide some additional support when I mounted this one to the plastic lid of the 5 gallon pail. My solution augments the standard flange mount with a pair of plywood rings joined by 4 rods which then strengthens and stiffens the Dust Deputy.
The support was constructed was from scrap 5/8″ plywood, 1/4″ rod, gasket material, nylon-insert locknuts and 1″ fender washers. I started layout on the plywood using the manufacturer’s template for the holes in the plastic lid and then added the 8″ outer circle and 4 holes for the support rods. Both plywood rings were cut and drilled together, though the 6 flange holes were only drilled in the bottom ring. I’d originally intended to put gaskets on both sides of the lid, but that was overkill so I only put gaskets on the top of the lid. The bottom set of nuts on the rods were tightened to securely clamp the lid and bottom ring, but the top nuts were only gently snugged to avoid putting too much compressive force on the Dust Deputy.
Last summer I acquired a bunch of cast off gas pipe & I have been thinking about ways to use it. One idea that has appeal is to experiment with forging to achieve an organic form. Ideas lead to tools, and in this case making a hardy pipe tool for the anvil so that I could test the forging idea. With the initial results quite promising, I started thinking about creating some frog legs. As ideas are apt to do, this one morphed into something quite different.
After making and working with various parts for a while, I recognized that it was really Kokopelli offering me the inspiration; a frog will be left for another time. The iconic image of Kokopelli is commonly found in the Southwest and is one that has often amused me. The name Mr K came from my wife and I liked it immediately, particularly because that was also the nickname of my high school metal shop teacher, Jim Koutsoures. Borrowing Jim’s nickname for this piece seems appropriate because I really appreciate the experiences I had in his shop classes.
In the process of creating metal sculpture I am attracted to the juxtaposition of organic line and form with the rigid geometric nature of machine parts. My intent here is to create something that suggests an organic form but made from entirely inorganic components. In this case, the legs made from forged pipe form the basis to support a gear scrounged from an old snowblower, the head piece is from an industrial stamping, various bits of rod were then bent to form the neck and arms. While the sculpture is static, I am also seeking to convey a sense of motion; fitting as the Grateful Dead often keep me company while I’m working.
The photos give a sense of the journey and process of creating this metal sculpture.
I have a project in mind that will involve forging pipe and in particular tapering the pipe. I’ve seen this done using a heavy V mounted in the anvil’s hardy, so time to make such a tool for this project. I had some scrap 1″ and 1/2″ steel plate that would be about right, so cut to size, bevel the joints for welding, and then weld it up. Cleanup on the grinder and shaper. The resulting V is 3″ long with 1″ sides. Photos show the stages.