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Heavy Metal – the Guitar

The finished product
Set the outline and starting to fill it in
All filled in

Welded metal art – 2019-11 Project #28. Whew! Something other than a flower. Rip off your sleeves, throw on a bandana, and rock that mullet – virtual chest bump (of course! no high fives right now – and wash your hands). More online searching for metal art projects provided the inspiration for my version of a scrap metal guitar. I will say that I took my time picking out this project because of the recent washer rodeo associated with making the roses. I really wanted to make something without using washers. While pondering, I also spent time out in the shop cleaning, digging through metal, sorting out tools, and listening to music. The process of keeping to shop in order can be as therapeutic as the actual welding part … ok, that sounded a little neat-freakish. In any case, I was hoping to find a project that I could incorporate some other metals from the bin. If you look at the guitar pictures, you can tell I started out strong using old fashion nails as filler (I had an entire bag of them). However, that plan was necessarily adjusted mid-way through. Yes, the plot thickens … I will explain.

The guitar project started out by forming the body of the guitar with used 219 kart chain. Once the shape was formed, I pulled out a piece of U-channel structural scrap metal to serve as the neck. I cut away part of the U-channel along the neck and left some part of the channel at the head of the guitar to allow for adding tuning knobs (I’m not a real guitar builder, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express – hey, this is not only fun, it’s educational!). Once the chain was TIG welded into the desired form and the structural steel welded in place for the neck, it was time to fill in the body. As I said, I used a collection of old style, wedge-shaped nails (of various lengths/sizes) to start to fill the body. They were TIG together and while it was tedious, all was going swimmingly … until I hit the first sharp curve in the shape of the guitar. I took a moment to reassess and decided the visual was too busy with the nails, and filling the curves was going to be quite the challenge. I ground down the surface of the nails to kill off some of the busy-ness and then I punted. I looked all around the shop for any other filler materials (as the washer bin had it’s hand frantically waving – OH-OH, pick me!). Yes, back to using washers – not my plan, but they do work quite nicely as filler material. I added two carburetor covers (vintage-style) as the volume and tone knobs. I finished it off by adding six cap screws to serve as the tuning knobs on the head of the guitar. I was a little worried after changing plans mid-stream but was very pleased with the appearance of the end product, which turned out with a bit of an eclectic look.

In life the best laid plans can go awry. This is real life and not a drawing board. Real life is filled with so many variables, just ask a statistician (if you do, I suggest nodding a lot – I don’t get it either). Embrace the moment and the infinite world of possibilities, and learn to punt and regroup. Then be ready to take action when the ball is back in your hands. Challenges are a chance to grow and learn – heck, stay at a Holiday Inn Express if you need to. For this project, I did all that stuff and felt really good about the end product (except the mullet – I really hope that never comes back). Jusqu’a notre prochaine recontre, and of course – Weld On!