Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wire nut ATV, part II

Last post we had made the chassis of the RV. Time for bodywork. The body is sheet copper bent to shape. If it were more complex it would have to be hammered out (after annealing the copper) over a wooden form. A lot of work, that. So now you know why I made a bending brake back in December. I seem to have gotten a lot of mileage out of old glasses cases.
The repoussé hammer also was made at that time; it is invaluable for flattening the copper before you bend it. The rest is soldering bodywork. The headlights are, of course, .44 mag shell bases. The wheels, 12 gauge shotgun shells on copper-wire axles. Next I made the stick figure and a seat for same.
Slopped solder a lot. Had to clean it up! The stick figure has the obligatory nut for a head. Onwards to the steering wheel, which was a bit of a job. You must anneal (soften) the wire before you can really bend it well. For this you heat the wire red-hot in a propane torch and cool it. You can actually run cold water on it because copper (unlike steel) will not quench-harden. When you have it annealed it bends beautifully.

Then you bend it around a suitable former. Then you solder on the shaft.
In all this soldering the hard part is holding the stuff still while you do the deed. Hence my post back in December on Hold It!

So the ATV is more or less complete. We need to build a mountain for it to climb, of course.
Then I added a stray moose (suggested, of course). But I can't find the picture. When it turns up, if indeed I took it, I'll post again. I am always uploading my pictures to the wrong place. I am tying the wheels down to the ramp in the picture above, because it will not do for our vehicle to slip. I used, of course, lettuce wire. It is indeed well for my art that I love lettuce; it keeps me in craft material.

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