Author Topic: A short tribute to my dad  (Read 882 times)

Offline bonneyman

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A short tribute to my dad
« on: December 31, 2019, 05:44:45 PM »
My dad was a metal worker. He did A/C contracting and installs, but I didn't learn until after his death that he really enjoying copperwork. As he said in a local newspaper article, "Metal pays the bills but copper thrills!". He could work in most any metal - stainless, copper, brass, aluminum. But apparently he really preferred copper.
He died in 2002. Family dynamics at the time prevented me from obtaining any of his artwork. But just recently the opportunity arose for me to acquire a few pieces. I thought I'd post pics of those pieces with whatever stories I can recall about them as sort of a tribute to him.
I got my mechanical ability and appreciation from him. It's probably fair to say I wouldn't be the mechanic I am today if it wasn't for him. I don't know if he knew that when he was alive, but I hope so.
I would say that I'm comparable - ability wise - to his general repair skills. Around the house, on the job, thinking on the fly. He was more of a hot-rodder than me - having been a teenager in the 1950's - so his auto repair skills are superior to mine. But his metal working skill and technique is way beyond anything I can conjure up. I hope you all enjoy this thread, hopefully the family will come here and look, maybe something you see here will inspire you to try something similar.

here is a tripod table he made out of copper tube and sheet. I'm told he had it next to his chair to hold his beer and TV remote. These photos are after I cleaned and polished it - hopefully to what he had it looking originally. P.A. I made one small alteration to the feet. As the raw tubing edges were cutting my carpet, I fabbed some ABS foot pads and held them in with foam inserts. I'm going to use it as a stand for my blood pressure monitor. Works perfectly!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 09:12:46 PM by bonneyman »

Offline bonneyman

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2019, 05:45:35 PM »
Here's a bowl and plate.
The bowl is about the size one would use for panning gold, and has no machine marks on it. (Maybe it was turned or pressed)? The plate bears the hundreds of little hammer marks from slowly beating it into shape.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 05:56:31 PM by bonneyman »

Offline bonneyman

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2019, 05:46:22 PM »
Night light covers. Apparently the punched holes would project an outline of the imprinted image on the opposite wall.
As I recall he made these for an antiques dealer in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe is the real touristy, snobby locale, and lots of hand-crafted items are sold there. I don't know what prices were involved, but I remember my dad telling me he was making quite a few of these things for the dealer, and then the guy asked (well, demanded) my dad lower his price so he could sell more of them (and the dealer could make the $$$). My dad told him sorry - no deal. And the guy wouldn't buy anymore. I don't know if these are the overrun of that production, prototypes dad made, or ones he specifically made for my mom. Anyway, I gotta repair the one and I'll be proud to put them in my house.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 06:01:05 PM by bonneyman »

Offline bonneyman

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2019, 05:46:49 PM »
A copper water pitcher.

The wife grabbed this, and will probably start using it around the house water her plants.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 06:02:59 PM by bonneyman »

Offline bonneyman

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2019, 05:47:24 PM »
A rose flower. Notice the intricate nature and fragile lines on the leaves.

This struck me as totally bizarre. I know my dad could make anything, but, I never imagined he'd be struck to make a flower. I guess it shows his creative soft side. The family consensus is my mom saw something like it and said she liked it, so dad went out and made one. I have no idea how he did it and made it look so real.
I'd like to clean it and make it look nice but have no idea how to go about that without damaging it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 06:06:23 PM by bonneyman »

Offline bonneyman

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2019, 05:47:57 PM »
A 45 RPM record holder he made for me back when I was in high school. That'll date me! :-\

The heagon shape makes it stable - the carrying handle and stone blue paint are my additions. If I folded over the paper sleeves that 45's came with, and cut off the top corners, I could slide about a dozen on them into the box and take them to a party. Later on I put CD's in there. Was kinda cool showing up at a friends house and plopping this on the table, and - after all the confused looks - opening it up and pulling out a record. ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 06:09:45 PM by bonneyman »

Offline bonneyman

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2019, 05:49:00 PM »
He also authored a book. Again, I didn't learn this until after he died.

Being a shop man - a "cutter" - made him a more valuable employee. Anybody could put the ductwork in - few could fabricate the stuff in a shop. And very few were good and fast at it. Since he had worked in the field for 45+ years (he went to a technical high school and thus studied sheet metal for 4 years), he had seen the abysmal lack of enough talent out there and so put together this book to show the overall principle of taking flat sheet metal and making it into 3 dimensional fittings according to exacting field requirements. I worked with him during some summers during my high school years, and I banged together my share of duct. but don't ask me to translate these pages for you. The trig and geometry he had to know - plus the ability to do this on the fly by picturing it in his mind - is way beyond me. Obviously one has to have a fairly advanced knowledge of tin knocking to be able to understand and utilize this book - it is not for beginners!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 06:18:36 PM by bonneyman »

Offline bonneyman

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2019, 05:50:08 PM »
He also made a steel tool box (I believe he made it in high school). Here are some shots of it and my newer box.

I found one some years ago that is virtually the same. Apparently, there was some pattern used in schools to train sheet metal workers in using cutting, bending, and welding equipment. Plus - when they were finished - they had a tool box they could have. My box must have been made from that same pattern. My dads and mine are the only two examples I've seen of this box in my life, but I'm sure there's more out there. If anyone knows the manufacturer of the pattern, or the name of the company that printed it, please let me know.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 02:29:27 PM by bonneyman »

Online goodfellow

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2019, 05:57:46 PM »
Pretty impressive George! -- your dad had many talents.

Happy New Year!

Offline DeadNutz

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2019, 06:23:19 PM »
Very nice George. Your Father had some outstanding skills and it is great you can utilize and show off his craftsmanship.

Offline slip knot

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2019, 07:31:56 PM »
Very cool. Your dad had some skills. Did he take a class? flowers are often done in a metals art class.

Offline skfarmer

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2020, 11:43:06 PM »
beyond cool. waiting to see more.
from the ashes shall rise a phoenix

i was here when the hangout turned into mexican food site!

Offline Lookin4_67GalaxieConv

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2020, 08:21:14 AM »
Wow, what a craftsman! 

Offline bonneyman

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Re: A short tribute to my dad
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2020, 11:45:43 AM »
I'm not expecting to get any more pieces, but there is always hope.

My dad once made a medieval mask for my uncle, something old knight-ish. My uncle wanted it for a costume party he was going to. He had the rest of the outfit but was hoping my dad could make him a realistic looking mask as he couldn't find anything off the shelf. The mask my dad made was so good it helped win a costume contest my uncle entered!  :)

He also made hanging art, faces and plates, outside light covers, you name it.
 
He once bought a Kawasaki Mach 3 motorcycle, one of the triple cylinder 2-stroke models. It was missing the magneto cover as it had fallen over in a crash, so dad fabbed a replacement out of sheet metal. Then he decided to really make something different. He cut the rear triangle off of the bike, and mounted a rear differential out of an old Peugeot from a neighbor down the street onto it. Adding a rear sprocket to the rear drive gear, he was able to (with a longer chain) drive the two rear wheels thus creating a kind of trike.
Of course dad didn't want all that rear end work showing, so he made some sort of sheet metal cover that mounted over the entire rear third of the bike. Quite unusual looking to say the least. I'm trying to find out if any family member has any pictures of it.

All I can remember is the dang thing was so powerful it would burn out with BOTH rear wheels! The Kawasaki triples were real screamers! As I recall when they were intro'd in 1969 they outran everything else on the street. 498cc, 60 HP, 9000 RPM deadline.  8)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 11:49:03 AM by bonneyman »