Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Chelsea crown...

As I said yesterday a few modifications are needed to make this crown work. first the three bolt heads on the curved sections need to be removed as they will be in the way when the frame is over-laminated with card. The bolts, along with their nuts, are holding a 3-hole strip across the bent strips holding everything together. my first thought was to remove the bolts and strips, and re-fit them with a liberal coating of super glue. I though I would be able to remove the bolts after a time and the glue would hold the strips in place. Well that was a disaster. Wire through the holes and twisted to hold the strips together did sort of work but was still not perfect. Sue had given me some stiff mesh material to act as a backing for repairing the spine of an old Stamp catalogue. Strips of this stuff stuck in place with a glue gun did the job.


While the super glue was drying during my first attempt at holding the bent strips together I needed to add an extension to the frame so the main structure was not sitting on the fury bit (technical term) around the bottom. When it was finished  a rummage around the potting shed turned up a saucer of the correct diameter to hold the floral foam. The funny spiky looking things are called 'Frogs' and are used to secure the afore mentioned foam.

Cutting the pipe (outside the workshop)

Between messing around with the crown, I am also building the main support for the arrangement. The area we have to fill is 6ft wide, 6ft 6in high and 4ft deep. To achieve this some sort of sturdy structure is required. This year we have opted for using plastic domestic soil stack. This is made from ABS and is available in black and light grey. The pipe will be cut into various lengths and will be set into a sub-base made from MDF, standing 4 inches high above the provided base and inset by a foot from the left, right and front. This involves cutting the 100mm diameter plastic soil stack to length. Cutting pipe nice and square can be a problem, especially the larger diameter material. The following is a method I have used successfully several times before. The first job is marking up. 
As the pipe is 10ft long and it is a nice day, it is out with the tarpaulin and onto the lawn. Marking up the pipe is best done using a wide piece of paper wrapped around the pipe as a guide. I always have a roll of lining paper 'in stock' in the workshop, it has many uses and this is one of them. Position the edge of the paper where the cut is to be made and using a permanent marker follow the edge of the paper around the pipe with the pen. don't worry about how neat the line is so long as the marker is touching the end of the paper
Slide the paper back to reveal a nice smooth line to follow and make the cut using a hard point saw. If you are not confident of cutting straight through and being able to follow the line, just work your way round the pipe cutting shallow cuts following the line. The result will be a nice square cut. The rough end can be cleaned up with abrasive paper. 

Now I have a short sample of pipe I can now set up the router to cut the holes in the MDF - Tomorrow methinks!


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