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How to Add Texture to a Metal Sculpture With a Welder

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you doing and what are you doing it to?

Kevin Caron: Im wiping my spider's butt. This piece of garden art is a metal spider that I'm working on here in the studio. Aargh!

When they manufacture these spun metal balls that I use in my sculptures, they add a coating of oil on them. It's for the manufacturing process, but it also helps keep them from rusting in shipping.

Before I can weld them, I've got to clean off all that oil; otherwise the weld turns out poorly. With just a little bit of carburetor spray, Ill clean off all the oil.

Now we're going to do something different with the Miller MIG welder over here. Instead of just making a weld to put two things together, we're going to use it like a texture gun and give that hard, smooth metal surface a texture. Watch this.

As you can see, I set my Miller up, turned the voltage way down and turned the wire feed way up. Then I'll simply come back over here to my spider sculpture and just go at it. I'll just move that torch around, let it hop and skip and pop. I'd better put my leathers on, because this stuff just goes everywhere when I do this.

Look down here; watch this. (welding for texture)

Notice how it makes it look like hair. If you do it enough, build it up a little bit, you can make patterns in it. You can make high spots and low spots out of it. I'm going to go all over the top of this metal spider and cover it with that texture to make it look like it's hairy. I might even run up the legs a little bit and do it there as well. I'll show you a picture when it's all done.

Watch your eyes. (welding for texture)

The Voice: What are you adjusting on the welder?

Kevin Caron: I turned the wire feed down just a bit to vary the pattern, just to see how it works out. Remember, I'm self-taught in all this, so I learn every time I turn the machine on. I sit there and play with it, try this setting and that setting. That's what it's all about.

Watch your eyes. (welding for texture)

Kevin Caron: Oh, Jeez! Moley Coaly arachnid guy. So, that's what it looks like -a rough texture that hides the original smooth surface, giving my spider art a little bit of character; all by just hitting it with your gun and spraying it on.

Well, he's about ready (she; I'm sorry); shes about ready to go out to get a little brushed patina put on her.

It's getting hot here. I'm going to get out of these leathers.

We'll see you next time.

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