Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Introduction to the Wire Nuts

A long time ago in Juneau, I picked up a wonderful sculpture -- if that is the right word -- by Unknown. It was a representation of a paddler in a kayak, beautifully done; the head was a hardware store nut and the rest was plain old electrical wire, except for the paddle blades and a stand; probably brass (it is blackened, can't tell for sure). The thing cost me fifty cents. I call it my Kayak Nut. It is the inspiration for a whole series of posts.

It ocurred to me that most of family and close friends (you know who you are by now) are nuts on one thing or another, so for Christmas I made them appropriate presents.
In this post, I'll do the overview. Left to right, the Keyboard Nut, the Chef Nut, and the Snow Machine Nut. Not in this picture is Horse Nut. An unfortunate omission on my part; maybe I can remedy it at some later date. I do have pictures of the construction stage.

All the figures have nuts for heads, a common theme. There is another common theme: there are expended shells in every figure, this being Alaska. For instance, the keyboard is made out of .22 shells; Chef Nut's hat is a .38 special, the snow machine's track runs on shell rollers (also .38 special). The wire came from a meter of wire that came with the house; too short for me to wire anything with it. I also used some sheet copper I picked up at an antique store for under two bucks; for instance the skis on snow machine are made from it (in the lower 48 states, they call them "snowmobiles." But not in Alaska). The bases are copper, cemented to wood, except for the snow machine. The wood was painted white (I, er, inherited it) and it seemed appropriate to leave it that way for the Satan Sled -- er, I mean, the snow machine. Personally I hate those things; they are always wiping out my ski tracks. Except for one or two joints, it's all silver-soldered. When I started these projects, I wasn't very good at silver-soldering; I am now much better! Practice is the key.

I am very proud of these figures. I don't know whether they are a good joke or a work of art. Perhaps a little of both! Subsequent posts will go into construction of these figures.

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