I was commissioned to build a front porch light fixture. Actually, the fixture was to be art foremost, then functional. The street address needed to be included somewhere in the finished product, and the overall vibe was to be subtle yet playful.
I had been asked to do this project many months earlier but didn’t feel like I knew how to achieve what the client was wanting. In particular, she wanted the address numbers to be ‘dancing,’ not static.
Fortunately, the client was patient and, finally, after much cogitating, I struck upon a solution: I would need a plasma cutter to bring the fixture to fruition. Now I had an honest to goodness reason to get one. Off to Alamo Welding Supply I went...
To make those house numbers sing -- er, dance -- I used the plasma cutter to cut out a custom grill. The grill could then be affixed to the front of the fixture.
I hammered the grill to round out the metal and give it some depth and texture. To attach the grill to the fixture, I ‘tapped’ the metal cage. The process of cutting screw threads is called tapping. I bought screws and tapped the appropriate size screw threads. For some (as yet unknown) reason, I find great joy and satisfaction in tapping.
If I were to make the screws myself, that would be called threading, and I would use a die to do it. I have never threaded but hope to include this on my metalsmithing resume some day. And thank you, Wikipedia, for clarifying tapping and threading, and for helping me use my words.
But I digress, so back to the front porch light... The final result was stained glass nesting securely in a slender metal cage. The grill with the street address -- 806 -- screws into to the front panel of the cage. The client and I picked out the glass she wanted at the stained glass store.
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