Sunday, January 9, 2022

"Hands II" - 2020 - A Commission Based on my 2019 Piece, "Hands"

Yes, this was a commission from a man who saw my piece "Hands". Actually my brother bought the original "Hands" and displays it at his custom framing shop in Cincinnati, Ohio. The man is a customer of my brother's, and when he saw it at my brother's shop, he wanted to but it. My brother didn't want to sell it and told him to contact me about making a version for him. I'm glad he did - Thanks John!

With this new version I wanted to add something special - I always do - to make it even better than what my client was expecting. I added the ball ramp at the end. I loved making this piece, and love how it ultimately came out. 

Here are the final images...

A ball lift on the left raises the ball bearings to the top, and drops them into the top hand. From there, the hands pass each ball down the line, to the ramp at the bottom, and the whole thing keeps recycling.  

The piece measures 22" x 13.5" x 42.5".

I love how the bottom part came out. And I love that color - it's one of my most favorites. You can see that I also aged the shiny ball bearing down to a shiny dark brown/black. 

A closer shot of the last hand, and the track at the end.

The counterweight for one of the "arms" - it's adjustable.

Another shot of one of the arms. The pivot is a rotary damper, which slows the movement of the arm - both up and down.

In-progress images.....

The first thing I did was to carve the 5 hands out of basswood. 

Here I'm in the middle of carving - 2 down, 3 to go. 

Five finished hands - one of them has been coated with thin CA glue, that adds a bit of strength to the basswood. All of them will get this treatment. 

The 5 finished "arms", before painting the hands, and aging the rods and counterweights. 

Five hands.

Building the frame out of pine and plywood. 

Carving the upper ramp.

The chain lift is attached to the back of the left upright. And I've determined where the pivots need to be. 

Now on to the ramp at the end. I made this out of 1/4" flexible copper water line. It bends and solders so easily. 

The second part of the ramp is added and I'm halfway done soldering it together.

Here I'm soldering the rest of the ramp together. I use small pieces of the same 1/4" tube for the connectors/cross pieces. 

Here I'm figuring out the height of the ramp - where it has to start, how it has to drop, and where it ends. I drilled holes in the cross pieces to accept the 1/8" support rods. Once I had the final height, and soldered the support rods in, I cut off the length with a rotary grinder. 

The finished ramp - a single complete piece that can be put in and removed pretty easily. 
I was lucky that the balls fit just under where it crosses. 

After the ramp was aged with an antiquing solution. It looks black here, but it's not. 

The base, right before the ramp was attached. 

The color and finish of the top ramp. I love it. 

My signature.

The movie.... (watch full screen).

Thanks for looking!


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