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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Standing tall

After a couple tries I finally got my removable legs working on the giraffe. At first I bought all stainless steel hardware to weld to my steel legs. But in addition to a poor design on my part, welding thick stainless nuts and bolts to the steel legs just didn't work. The welds were not good and failed. It's partly due to my inexperience in welding and not having the correct gas mixture for my MIG welder. It was worth a try and a good lesson.

No worries though ... I went out and bought Galvanized hardware and made sure to grind off all the coating before welding because the fumes generated by welding galvanized metal can be very dangerous.

Our son Jeff was visiting us last week and had some good suggestions how to strengthen the bolts in the legs. The final design came out great and it's strong enough to withstand a hurricane. The steel will bend before those welds break.

Now that the leg connectors are complete I can spend some time this weekend finishing the legs and fabricating hooves for the base. Then I need to figure out a way to mount the giraffe solidly to a concrete pad or ????? so it's secure in the wind. And finally the finishing. I bought a couple cans of an automotive rust protectant from Eastwood that has a hose that I'll insert into the giraffe. The hose disperses a protectant inside the giraffe to retard the rust process. I'll probably then have it sandblasted and apply a galvanized shiny finish that will be highlighted with copper spots.

I woke up to an interesting surprise the other morning. See the video for details.

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