Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wire nut kitties

My daughter loves to sit in her armchair and read a book. Her cats like this program, being sister Himalayans with a penchant, indeed a genius for catnapping. So for her, the Wire Nut Kitty tableau.

The hard part of this program was making the cats. They (a) have tails (b) are small and (c) they have lots of bends. So it proved essential to anneal the wire first so I could bend it. With time and bending, copper rehardens from the annealed state, but we will only bend once, hopefully.
On the soldering brick at top, a completed cat, minus the head (which is of course a nut). The tail is made out of stranded wire. This is a bear to solder. It will come unstranded and apart -- like Garbo, it vants to be alone. It also heats up more slowly than the solid stuff. By the time I got to the second kitty, I had evolved a technique: leave the insulation partway on. Clamp that in a toolmaker's clamp. This curbs the Garbo effect, and holds the tail still while you solder it.

In comparison, the rest of this composition is a breeze.
The footstool is , of course, a 12 ga. shotgun shell base and the book is sheet copper; the base is wood. The only other hard part is drilling the little nuts (cat's heads) to take the wire. I might do a post on that sometime.

Meanwhile we have hit a cold spell. Morning tempoeratures around -33C, warming up to a balmy -28C or so. More on that later.

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