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How to Create a Sculpture, Part 5

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you doing?

Kevin Caron: Playing with my pencil. I need to draw out an eight-foot circle so I can roll out some stock on my slip roll. My purpose is to fabricate a large metal ring for a public art sculpture that I'm working on here in the studio.
It's kind of complicated, but stay with me. You'll see it.

The Voice: Are you using some kind of special tool?

Kevin Caron: Not really. I'm using a center punch that I can hold onto the ground. This is just a center punch out of my toolbox. This is sidewalk chalk from the good folks at Crayola.

And this is something I discovered while in the military. It's called waxed thread; itís used for tying up the wiring looms, like the airplanes and the power units - things like that. It's virtually unbreakable. I mean, it doesn't matter how hard you try to snap it, pull it, whatever.

Normally you cut it, or take a soldering iron and melt it, then that melts the end together so it won't fray. Really cool stuff. You find it online all the time. Just look for "waxed thread."

Now that I've got my circle and my pattern, I can get that half-inch steel rod and start running it through the slip roll and then lay it down until I get the bend just right; get the curve just right. Then I'll do the rest of my pieces.

Of course, there's math involved in all of this. I've got an eight-foot diameter circle. How much rod do I need to go all the way around? You know how to figure it out?

The Voice: I think there's pi involved.

Kevin Caron: Yes, there's pi involved. An eight-foot diameter circle, converted to inches. That's times 12, or 96 inches. Ninety-six inches times pi, which is 3.14; that gives you 301.4 inches. So, 301 inches all the way around.

I've got three 10-foot-long pieces of this half-inch rod that I'm going to bend. So, 10 feet, that's 120 inches. Iíve got a total of 360 inches worth of stock and I only need 301, so I can just go cut it to the right length, and then I know I just need to bend these three pieces. It should come out pretty darn close. Want to watch?

This is my Dayton slip roll. What I'm doing here is the adjustment for the curve: how much of a radius it makes. And this is the roller that controls that, so I need to back this way down because I'm going to run this half-inch rod through there. This metal bending device is an old mechanical one. There's no motor, except for me, so the easier I can make it, the better.

This is the radius roller, up or down makes it tighter or less; you can also go side-to-side, so when you're doing a sheet through here, you can tip it one way, and as you run your sheet through, it'll start to put a curve in it. That will come in real handy later when I'm putting the skin on this sculpture.

I've got to have a little twist to it as I make the skin for each section, so I'll use that a lot. You'll see it twisted way over one side.

This is what we're going to be using right here. These are the ring rollers that you can put any kind of a round stock through. I can put little quarter-inch square stock through them also. But we'll be using this big roller right here.

Here's a small piece of what I need. I have to also adjust the tension on the feed roller. That's the other roller on the front here; on the bottom. We need to back that off a little bit. You can also adjust some of the radius by how much tension you have, more or less. And you can push it harder or you can turn; make it curl more, make it curl less. It's very adjustable; a great little machine.

So, let's give it a shot and see what weíve got...not enough. I've got a lot more to go. I'm going to go ahead and get started on the other big ones. And then we'll check it again. Stick around for the next how-to video in this series and see how we're doing.

Let me get back to work. I'll see you next time.

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