whiskey barrel orb - the tutorial

blogger templates

To start, you'll need three discarded whiskey barrel rings!  As you can see, the top ring is in pretty rough shape, but that will work just fine for the finished orb.
For this project you will need: a drill, several drill bits, a clamp, nuts, washers and screws.

If your rings have nails poking out of them, simply reverse-pound them out using a hammer.

Often the bands will have some dents or damage like this...

you can pound the dents out with a hammer too. 

Sometimes the rings will be "out of round" and you will want to re-shape them back to round.

I love the rusty patina and the rivets.  (For the record, Dan does not wear nail polish- that's my thumb! ;) 

You'll need some nuts, washers and screws.

You'll need two sets of the following (one set for the top and one for the bottom)  from left to right: 
a nut, a lock- washer, a washer, and a screw.
We like to use pieces that aren't galvanized so that they will patinate/rust and blend in with the orb.  (Or you can always dab a bit of burnt umber paint on new screws to make them blend.)  Old is great if you have them.
You'll  also need a drill bit that is slightly larger than the diameter of your screw.

Play with the rings to find just the right "sweet spot" where they go together and form the best shape.

Clamp the placement of your final choice. 
(Dan loves old tools and finds wonderful pieces at garage/estate/barn sales.)

A pilot hole is your friend!  Start by drilling a hole using a smaller drill bit than your larger bit.  Drill through all three rings.

Now, using your larger bit drill through the pilot hole to make the hole the  right size for the attachment screw. This can be a very slow process, so take your time.  You have to apply a bit of pressure on the drill to get it to go through the iron.

Insert one screw in the newly drilled hole, then add a washer, then a lock-washer and finish with the nut.  Tighten, but leave loose enough to be able to adjust the rings.  Turn the orb over, adjust the rings for final alignment,  clamp your placement and drill using the same process as above. 
Insert second set of screw, washer, lock-washer and nut and tighten both ends.

Hey wait... how did that get in here?! 
Gooooo Longhorns!! :)

That's it!  See how easy that was!! (says the helper-girl holding the camera ;)

If you own a drill press you can also use it to make three holes at once!  Just use a little 3-in-1 oil/cutting lubricant and press slowly to drill the holes.

 An orb in the garden.
I know some of you "eagle eyes" noticed that this orb has four rings instead of three.  This orb was a graduate level project!   The fourth ring was smaller than the three that form the main orb, so Dan cut iron "spacers"  from a small pipe and added them to each side of the gap on the fourth ring- it almost floats inside the main orb- tres cool!

If you make an orb be sure to send us a picture of your orb and how you used it-
they also look great indoors!
  I'll add your photos to this post.