Monday, 16 January 2017

Soldering on

I don't know about you, but every new technique I try brings with it all sorts of hurdles. I mentioned in my last post that I needed to make a jig, which sounds far more technical than it actually is. Because the 'L' shaped brackets on the hairpin legs are so teeny and because I need to make each leg identical so that a table/bench is level when the legs are fixed into place, I had to find a way to hold the brackets while I soldered them. My solution is a very rudimentary clamp made of aluminium. The basic idea is a metal base, a metal backstop that doesn't move and a piece that can slide into place to clamp the 'L' bracket upright. The blade on my table saw lifts up and down so it's easy to cut two parallel slots in some aluminium sheet. (the aluminium is a finger plate off a door which cost under a pound at a DIY shop) 

The backstop, to the left in the picture above, is screwed down and doesn't move. The two slotted bolts on the right can be loosened so that the clampy bit can shimy up and down.

This is probably a better view of it. When I tighten the slotted bolts, the 'L' bracket is held fast and doesn't move when I'm soldering. Yay! It's basic but it works 😀

This is a first try leg. I think it would make sense to add some measurment lines to the table so that I can adjust the length of the brass rod without having to take it to bits to use a rule. The second part of this project, apart from spray paint on the legs is a table or bench top. I spent an age finding a reputable company that sells ethically sourced hardwood. Even if my furniture is tiny, I don't want to be responsinle for deforestation in any country. I sourced some stunningly beautiful Rosewood, Kingswood and Cocobolo razor scales. (It's probably a good tip to mention here and especially for anyone looking for exotic timber in the UK, razor scale or knife scales are small pieces of wood used to make knife/dagger handles. They come in pairs and are infinitely cheaper than buying sheet or planks. The only downside is that it tends to be rough cut and will need a lot of work with a planer/thicknesser and sandpaper.

This is my hardwood after a morning of work. The wood on the left is English Yew that I cut with some fantastic instructions from Linda Master (who is an extraordinarily talented and generous Lady)

Apart from this and during my ten day wood search I did a bit of experimenting with the laser cutter. By moving the laser lens further away from the laser bed, I found you can get a softer 'V' cut which I thought worked quite well with my mini extraction fans and fire alarm.

..and used the left over acrylic to make more electricals

I actually feel like I've achieved something 😊

Have a lovely week wherever you are


Moderated to answer Marions question
I probably didn't explain this very well but to get a consistent angle, I clamp the 'L' bracket on its point. If you look at the picture below, the first hole is 3mm from the edge. So if you put a rod (leg) in the hole and let it lay it down on the flat suface of the clamp, the rod (leg) will be angled away from the bracket by 3mm.

This picture above shows the angle better. The rod (leg) angle is defined by how far the hole which it sits in is away from the flat surface of the jig. If you wanted the legs to 'kick' out more, you could lift the 'L' bracket higher before soldering. Hope this explains better Marion x