Friday, December 20, 2013

A Monogram Boot Scraper

I have made and used a number of different types of book scrapers and have developed some opinions about their design features.  But, in a commission project it is the client who gets the final say.

Recently, I was contacted about making a monogram boot scraper which was to be mounted on a large stone from the client’s property and presented as a gift to a friend.  The client had already worked out a design he liked.  I liked it too and it incorporated most of the features I favor.  Probably most people would take such a pattern to a fabrication facility and have it cut out with a a plasma cutter or water jet.  That would, of course, work just fine, but it would be “hand crafted work.”

I took the Client’s drawing and converted it to a SketchUp file where I could work with all the individual pieces.  I selected 1/4” x 1.5” flat bar as the parent stock.  I built the book scraped in the SketchUp file and mounted it on an imaginary rock, did an image capture in jpeg and emailed it to the client for his inspection and got the “go-ahead.”

I made a cutting list with measurements taken from the graphics file.  With coal fire heat I textured the surface of all the flat bar, working with pieces about three feet in length.  The pieces were tumbled then each individual element was cut to size and fire scaled again and tumbled again.

The pieces were fitted on a layout table and MIG tacked in places where the weld wasn’t easily seen.  Rivet holes were drilled.  The rivets were placed and peened.  I wrote about how that was done a short while back.

The lettering assembly was welded to the base through two rectangular cutouts, working from the bottom side of the plate.  Finally, the rust patina was developed with hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide, washed, dried and the satin polyurethane and sealer coats were applied.  For outdoor ironwork I prefer this rust patina finish because it is essentially maintenance free and I think the color looks nice with our native limestone.

The end result is a custom item with a rustic, aged look.  The design, in my mind, is clever.  It has individuality and it will have a back story and it should be highly functional.  The edges and open spaces are ideal for scraping every part of the boot, sole, toe, instep, sides, and heel.  If I’m lucky, maybe they will send me a photo of it in it’s new home.
The client's drawing.

The SketchUp version.

The finished monogram boot scraper.

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