old timer

Sunday, October 25, 2015

HOW TO: Whiskey Barrel Ring Crowns

Sorry this took so long.  I've been out goofing off and trying to remember why I wanted to quit making art.  Then I remembered.  I'm tired of making the same old stuff.  SO!  Here's what I've got ... a quick tutorial on how to make a "crown" for your garden out of junk and whiskey or wine barrel rings.  Then?  We'll see where this blog goes from there.

Do you remember the fun crowns I made for Sorticulture???  Click on this line to go see 1 post of the first one I madeClick on this line for more of the toppers on the crowns.  You can also use the list of labels on the right side ... click on whiskey barrel.  That will show you every post I made with whiskey barrel parts on them.

READY???  Okay ,,, here we go!

FIRST!!!  A list of goodies you will need and what skills it will take to make this.

Whiskey barrel bands:  3
Threaded rod/screws/lamp parts:  1 or 2
Nuts/washers to match the rod/screws/lamp parts
Junk to make a finial
Vise OR
1X4 scrap wood pieces: 2
2 screws for that scrap wood
Drill press works easiest
Measuring tape - I use a cloth or very flexible tape
Felt pen - something to mark the metal with (I use a thick black felt pen)
Awl or large nail to "dent" the metal to start your drill hole

You will need to be able to drill holes in the metal rings.  To do that with a hand held drill is very tough on most rings.  These rings are usually steel and tough to drill through.  Start with a small hole, then re-drill with a larger bit.  The secret is: GO SLOW!!!  Metal gets hot as you drill through it.  I LOVE carbide drill bits when drilling metal. 

You will need a vise to bend the metal.  DON'T WORRY if you don't have one.  I will show you how to make one for this.  It isn't perfect ,,, but, neither is any of my art.  This works fine!

I will show you a lot of pictures and explain as I go.  These are not that hard.  I put TONS of pictures on to make it easier for you to see.  If you have any questions ... PLEASE ... drop me a note.  I get going and I don't always explain things as well as I should.

Let's make this!!!

You will need 3 rings.  Any type, size or color will
 work.  I think it's easiest if each is a little bit
bigger than the last.

Let's measure the outside of the ring.  Notice the
 hole already there?  That's a good place to start. 
It will save you time drilling.  Mark it with your
felt pen.  TRUST ME!  MARK IT!!!

YAY!  Another hole already there.  Close enough to
the half way around mark.  USE IT!  These
DO NOT have to be measured perfectly.

See the 2 rivets where the ends were put together? 
Try to keep them off to the side of the holes you are
 drilling.  You don't really want them on the bottom
 of your crown.  It's just too bulky ... that's all!

You will need threaded rod or screws to hold the tops
 and bottoms together.  The sizes don't matter unless
 you want to add a lamp finial to the top like I do
 here.  Just make sure they fit before you
 drill your holes.

I LOVE this tool.  I put something, like this lamp rod,
through the hole and it tells me what size it is.  BUT! 
It might be one hole smaller than you want.  Drill your
 hole,,,, then make sure your rod goes through it. 
You might need to make the hole a little bigger.

Take your awl or nail and hit it with a hammer right
where you are going to drill your hole.  This will give
your bit a place to start.  It will keep it from sliding
over your metal.  TRUST ME!!!  DO IT!!!

Drill your top holes and bottom holes.  Make sure your
 rods fit inside the holes.  Then take a larger bit and
 barely drill over those holes.  Top and bottom.  This
is called de-burring.  When you drill metal
 you usually have a little bit of metal that is around
 the top and/or bottom of your hole.  De-burring will
 take that off.

Now find some funky pieces ...

that you can "string" together

maybe I should say stack together

to make the top.

Threaded rod and pipe.  Any of these will make
great supports for your crown toppers. Most of these
came from old lamps or trophies.

I put 2 together so you can see what I mean.  These
are made from many different pieces of brass that
were added to one of those threaded pipes.


Find 2 pieces of scrap wood. 
These are ends from an old fence board.

Add 2 screws to the top board that are far enough apart
that the whiskey barrel band can fit between the screws.

This topper is almost 6 inches across.

So let's make the "dent" the topper will fit into 8"
across.  Make a mark with your felt pen 4" on each
 side of your top hole.  This is where we will bend the
metal with the 2 boards.

Okay!  Place the ring between your 2 boards and
tighten your screws.  In the picture ... the
 felt pen mark is on the other side of boards. 
SORRY!  I didn't get that in the picture.  That mark
 is where you want to bend this metal.

When you pull on that metal it comes up.  After you
do the other side this will be where your topper fits.

I set this on the corner of my table saw.  You can
use anything that has a corner on it.

I held the "vise" with my hand to keep it from moving. 
Then I used my other hand to pull up the metal.  To get
the bend in it.  After this side was done, I moved the
whole piece to my right and did the other side. By
holding it on the other corner of the table.  You will
have to move the "vise" to the other side of your
topper hole.  You want to bend the metal up on
both sides of your topper hole.

This is what your rings will look like
after they've been bent.

See the point in that bend.  Not something I wanted, but,
 I got it because the metal had already been bent.  Metal
 has a memory.  If it was bent before, it wants to bend
again.  I worked this out with LOTS of small, easy
bends through that area.  Too much force on a piece
 of rusted metal and it can break.


I put all 3 ring bottoms on a short piece of threaded rod
that was left over from another project.  I added a washer,
 split washer and nut to each side of the rings.  I
tightened them a little bit.  I want to be able to move
these around until it is completely put together.

I pushed the rod into the ground so I
 could work on the top part.

Move the rings around, then insert your
threaded rod or pipe into the holes.

My rod was too long, so I added an enameled metal 
napkin ring to the bottom.  I put a larger washer on it
to keep it in place after I tightened everything up.
  More color.

Close up.  I didn't have a piece of pipe that would fit
 perfectly.  SO!  I added something fun to cover it up.

After you put it together you have something
that looks kind of like this.  I don't like the
rings.  They need more curves.

So I grabbed each ring and pushed and pulled just a
little bit and this is more like it!!!
Now tighten up your nuts.

I set my crown on top of these plants.

Then stepped on the rod on the bottom.  It sunk into
the ground very nicely.  Sorry about the garden. 
It's the end of the year.

I pushed and pulled just a little bit more. 
I'm happy with this one.

It's crustic, rustic and old looking.  Even though ... it's
 brand new.  It will continue to age with time.

This is what it looked like before I bent the rings.
Not so nice.  Not so fun.

I sure hope this made sense.  I'm not real good at explaining things.  The whole idea is to find a place to drill 2 holes to put screws through to hold this whole thing together.  Then bend the rings into a crown shape.  It doesn't take many tools.  Although, if you have a real vise, use it!  It makes a nicer bend.  A nicer crown look.

Hope you try it!!!  I think I made 6 of these for my garden show.  All of them were sold with in a couple hours.  They would make a great gift for Christmas!!!!