Wedding present bottle/torch.
Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:50 PM
My apologies for the crappy cell phone pic.
This is a wine bottle (and later wine bottle tiki torch) holder that I am making as a wedding present for my friends Hector and Melanie (hence the H & M).
Obviously it still needs a base, some cleanup work with a grinder and file, and a coat of paint but I'm stuck on what kind of base to make for it. I want it to sit flat on a table to either a flat or legged base is what I want as opposed to a wall mount. I am really very happy with how it looks so far and I'm afraid I'll ruin it if the base I make doesn't 'flow' with the rest of the design.
I think this would look awesome as a wall mount because the bottle is held in place by a sort of "belt" around the middle and a J shaped hook that comes down the back and hooks up into the dimple in the bottom of the wine bottle. Since the idea is that it becomes a torch, simply making it a wall mount is a terrible idea as it would put the flame right next to the wall and they live in an apartment and I don't know if they are allowed to put a bunch of holes in the walls. I am stuck on the torch thing because (A) I'm not sure Hector drinks and ( I plan to write a letter to go with the gift explaining that it is an allegory for a successful relationship because it starts out with the intoxication of infatuation when you first fall in love but after that wears off you are left with a light to guide you through your lives together ...or something like that.
Because I like the wall mount look, it just isn't practical or safe, I'm thinking about cantilevering the part shown in the picture off a less-visible rear support that goes down to connect to a flat base. I'd bend a circle that is wide enough to act as a stable base (≈6") and add a vertical piece coming up from the back of it and bending it forward after it rises behind the bottle in kind of an upside down J shape an welding it onto the back of the hook that supports the bottle. This would allow the bottle/letters part to look like it was floating above the base.
I'm not sure how clear my explanation was but I'm open to any advice, opinions, comments, or criticisms.
After this is complete, I'd like to make a couple more of these wine bottle torch holders [without the letters] for my own back yard. I think these would make really classy tiki torches and I have a few other ideas beyond just table mounts and traditional tiki torch lawn spikes to really make them look nice.
Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:14 AM
"He who works with his hands - is a laborer,
He who works with his hands and his head - is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands, his head and his heart - is an artist."
St. Francis of Assisi
Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:26 AM
Posted 02 August 2012 - 12:00 PM
Assuming she is taking his last name, you could use their last name initial; if it's a letter conducive to this. Hopefully it's not "O"...that would just look like a circle! ha-ha
Or, make an interlocking "H" and "M" to signify what once was two is now one.
Check out my hop markers
Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value. -Louis L'Amour
Posted 02 August 2012 - 09:55 PM
The letters on each side weigh about the same. I'd guess the M is slightly heavier as it has more material thn the H but not different enough to worry me about the balance of the completed piece.
If I get more steel and get the thing finished I'll update this page with better pictures of the thing with and without the bottle so you can see the completed design.
Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:55 PM
Posted 03 August 2012 - 07:05 AM
Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:20 PM
Completed and ready to be delivered.
I left some of the imperfections in it on purpose and tied them in using the letter I wrote to accompany the gift. Unless someone really wants to read it in its entirety I probably won't post the whole letter but to paraphrase why I think this piece is symbolic of marriage...
The [empty] wine bottle is a symbol of the inebriation that all people feel when they first fall in love. It is a cruel trick of nature that these rose colored glasses do not last forever much like we sober up after an evening of drinking wine. While the unnaturally positive feelings can't last forever, they do serve as an important foundation upon which a lasting relationship is built.
The initials are welded together. This method of joinery actually fuses the steel in a way that doesn't simply cover the seams between the pieces, it removes them entirely to form one solid piece from what was two. The bond of marriage is like a welded joint in the way that two individuals become one. This does not mean losing individuality. The letters being inseparably joined does not remove the individual meaning of each, rather it ties them together into something more meaningful than any single letter would ever be on its own.
The imperfections represent that no relationship is flawless. Much like there are welds and grinding marks visible on the finished piece, so too will a relationship have its own bumps and scuffs. As a whole there is so much beauty and function that the little imperfections are trivial. If you are looking at the piece close enough that the blemishes become bothersome, you are looking too close. Step back and appreciate the good in what is and not the bad in what isn't.
I know at least one other member here is already making some wine bottle torch stuff but if anyone else is thinking about trying it here are a few tips I've come across. For the wicks in the bottles I use 1/2" fiberglass tiki torch wicks. I've found them locally at Wal-Mart and ACE hardware (probably a seasonal item at both) or of course you can buy them online. A 1/2" to 3/8" copper pipe fitting is used to make the collar that holds the wick and keeps the flame up and away from the glass bottle edge. In most of the online tutorials I found on making these, the people just wrapped a bit of teflon thread tape around the bottom of the copper fitting until it was a snug fit in the bottle neck. I didn't like that method for several reasons so I drilled holes near the shoulder of the copper pipe fitting using my drill press and ran a piece of 14ga. solid copper wire through the center (spearing the wick also helps hold it in place) and simply bent the protruding ends of the wire around the outside of the fitting. This works well and there is no chance of the fitting slipping all the way down into the bottle.
Because the wick does not extend all the way to the bottom of the bottle, you'll end up needing a lot of lamp oil to fill the thing completely. You can reduce the amount of oil required by filling the bottom of the bottle with some water. The lamp oil will float above the water so it gets wicked up and you can save 300ml+ of lamp oil per bottle this way. My last tip is that you be very careful if you leave a wine bottle sitting around your workshop for test fitting purposes. I smashed one bottle and almost broke bottle #2 on several occasions because I kept laying it places to keep it close for test fitting but then it was getting knocked over by the other stuff I was working on. Stopping mid-project to clean up broken glass all over the workshop is a real buzz kill.
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