My April started out with a bit of confusion as to what exactly I would turn to making next. I have many drawings going, none particularly finished, and I had originally planned to parlay my previous experiment with T slot compositions into a larger more intricate piece. However, my plans for that were quashed when all of my designs failed to come together in a manner I was fully comfortable with.
But when complexity fails me and I start to feel a little stuck, I often return to "simple but elegant". It usually wins the day for me and was certainly the case this month when these three little sketches came tumbling out of my grey matter.
Although comprised of just a few elements, the way these works are machined and assembled felt rather accomplished, and planning the fabrication of these parts proved plenty challenging to hold my interest.
Following with the functionality of T slot designs and assembled using just one set screw, the three elements that make up the ball shape press against one another to keep the whole assembly in tension.
One stand out element this time around would be the color of this work. following on my anodizing experiments from last month, where I was doing very quick dip times in the black die tank to achieve a grey color on some of my parts, I decided to try the same with my red die tank.
I knew a pinkish color was certainly in the cards, but exactly what color I would get was something I wanted to see.
It is hard to tell what color you will end up with during the dying process. Until the part is sealed and then dry, things can look different from step to step. When initially removed from the die tank and rinsed, these parts at first appeared to be an interesting pale burgundy.
This would have been a very acceptable color to me for this piece. However once the sealer was applied, the color shifted dramatically to this admittedly deep pink, which I think is also equally nice.
One interesting note on anodizing is that the blue colored works, and the greenish blue colored works of mine, all come out of the same "Teal color" die tank. The temperature of the anodizing bath seems to play an important part in how much blue or green die the parts take on. I suspect this is because the pore size in the formation of aluminum oxide during anodizing, is largely determined by temperature.
Also, the particles in various colored dies, are slightly different sizes as well. So the pore size in the anodized aluminum and color particle size have a relationship in how well the die will take. This seems to effect the Teal color the most, offering a noticeable shift in color depending on how hot the acid bath becomes during the process.
Its a tough one to pin down for consistency, but fascinating to think about.
These are each just a few inches across, a bit over two and a half inches for the round ones, the pinkish one is four inches on its long side.
These work build on a number of the process elements I developed on last months project. the order of operations were crucial to ensuring that I could hold the work securely to complete all of the necessary machining, but special arbors to hold the work were the primary concern this time around.
for obvious reasons, turning the spherical shape of the center was the most difficult part. So this is the special T slot shaped arbor I developed to accomplish this task.
The center part after final operation. The finished part is probably only 10% of its starting weight as so much material was removed.
Test fitting some of the parts before anodizing, I considered leaving one of these bare silver as they looked so nice, but decided to save that thought for a future work instead.
As always, comments welcome