Project 5: Metal

Becoming an Iron Man

(Galvanized Steel Man)

For this project, we are tasked with liking an item out of the type of metal. For my project, I chose a funny sounding metal sheet when you shake it, also known as galvanized steel. I was originally thinking about making a cube.

“Squaring up with the project. “

To make a cube, I thought I should start with cutting a square from my steel sheet. I attempted to use used the metal shears to cut the sheet into a square but quickly found that it was difficult to cut in a straight line using these tools. I then tried using the jigsaw to cut the square and had more success. However, I quickly realized that to make a cube I would have needed to cut a net rather than a 2D square. I decided I would start over.

Egging the project

I started with a fresh sheet of galvanized steel unsure of what I should make. I started with cutting a circle using the shears expecting to have an idea strike me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make a perfect circle instead I was left with a 2D egg shape. That’s when I was struck with “a bolt of brilliance”. I was gonna make a Yoshi egg ornament.

Finishing up

Yoshi eggs have spots on them so I took the metal dremel and drew large circles on both sides of the egg. The first side, I made the circles by drawing lots of little circles to fill in the spots due to me having little control over the precision of my movements. The next side was better looking as I took an approach where I drew only a few circles on the outside while holding the dremel like a pen which gave it a cleaner look. Finally, I used the drill press to create a hole in the tip of the egg to allow the egg to be hung from a tree.


Project 4: Concrete Vessel

A solid project

For this project, we were tasked with creating a cement structure that can hold water.

Finding a “concrete” idea

I struggled to find a good idea for my project. At first I thought it would be cool if I could create a water fountain of some sort that would utilize a pump to cycle the water. Unfortunately, making such a device would require a mold, piping, and other steps that would significantly complicate the project. I also considered making a cement shoe copy of one of my old New Balance 880 shoes. Because I had regionals for cross country in Texas during our work time I decided I would make a simple bowl instead due to time constraints. This would allow me to complete the project quickly and without making a mold.

Getting the materials.

To make the cement bowl, I took two plastic bowls from the CU Athletic Department. The first bowl was a white plastic bowl commonly used for cereal or yogurt while the black bowl is usually used for pasta or salad.

Mixing the concrete

I decided to use quick set concrete to make my bowl. Retroactively, I might have wanted to use the other type of concrete that has a smoother finish. I added water to the concrete mix and mixed it until it was a sort of cookie dough like texture and filled a small layer in the bottom of the black bowl so it would be able to hold water.

After making a small layer to act as a base, I placed the white bowl in the center of the black bowl and began to fill around the white bowl with concrete.

Next I let it sit for a few days while I left to compete in Texas.

I arrived at the BTU lab to find that my concrete abomination was solid and ready to be separated from the plastic bowls. I was able to pull out the white bowl by squeezing it. For the black bowl, I had to use scissors to cut the bowl apart and off of the cement base.

The final product had a very rough texture on the top of the bowl. If I had more time to periodically smooth it during the curing process I might have been able to get the top to be more smooth. The product also left lots of cement crumbs.