Lincoln Residence

3" x 3" x 1/4" angle frame. 1/2" x 2" cross-members. Drain grate inside dimensions are approximately 23 1/2" x 25". All welds Code-Arc 7018 H4R rod. Heavy duty (over)-construction as the wife will be driving over the grate everyday. The drain was formerly covered by wood 2x's.

Thanks, Peta and Suzi...


This is some mad talent

Here's a link a friend of mine passed on featuring the metal skills of a gal by the name of Cal Lane. This blows my mind with how intricate she is with a torch. I don't envy her monthly oxy-acetylene bill...


I need some room...

...so I'm offering these Adirondack chairs at $325/pr. Only one pair for sale, the ones taking up room in the shop right now.

heartwelds@gmail.com if you have questions...


Jordan Creek trash receptacles

Brother Ryan O'Rourke came down the other day on his way back home to Christmas. He wanted to do some work in the shop and luckily, this dirty job was just getting underway. These receptacles measure 21 1/2" x 21 1/2" comprised of 1 1/2" tube square. The bottom 8" is being cut off and replaced with all new 14 ga. Ryan was the cut man yesterday, as I served as the welder.

Caption from the second picture could read as this: "What do you want?!? I'm trying to work here!!"

I wish I had half a dozen employees like Ryan...


Ferjak Residence - gate

Here's a drawing I did last night before leaving the shop. It's a drawing of a residential gate for the Ferjak residence. Arched-top with vineyard bar and forged leaves on top. In lieu of steel pickets, Western red cedar will be used with negative cut-outs of a 2 1/2" square turned 45 deg. in between the cedar boards. Finish is oil-rubbed bronze.

Wagaman Residence - stair stringer

Here's the fabrication process, thus far, for the Wagaman residence. The 3/8" steel treads will be covered with two 2 1/2" old-growth walnut slabs that have been hanging around Mr. Wagaman's shop for years. Finish on the stringer will be satin black. The walnut treads are approximately 11 1/4" x 36".

Jagerson Residence

Just installed these yesterday after a quick fabrication last week. Thanks to Miller's Custom Powder Coat for a speedy turnaround. 1 1/2" posts and railing with 1/2" sq. pickets. (No, I did not carve the squirrel)...


Join me on Facebook....

Hey, if you're on Facebook and want a chance at a free Cochon cutting board, add Factor II Fabrication. That is all.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving,



You'd be pretty hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't like the ease and carefree lounging of an Adirondack chair. This is one piece of Americana that is all ours. These chairs have been interpreted many, many different ways over the years, but there's nothing wrong with a straight-up original. I put together this, and one more this week; both fashioned out of western red cedar.

Interested? Shoot me an email - heartwelds@gmail.com

Update- These are unfinished right now. I'd planned on just applying a coat of Thompson's Water Sealer to preserve the natural cedar look. When I ask if anyone is interested, I'm saying they're "for sale." $450 for the pair with local delivery only. Sorry, no shipping.


Cupola - "fixed"...

Some light massaging was done to the cupola today. The top ring was taken of and straightened. All of the gussets attaching the top cone to the larger conical structure were cleaned of the J.B. Weld somebody had used to try and affix them prior. Those were then tack-welded back in place, albeit one less. So, instead of the four-winds-of-heaven, there's now only three. At the request of the owner, none of the bullet holes were repaired. Dents to the top cone in addition to a large dent in the bottom portion, were pounded out.

View the before pics a few posts below.


Lil' Hutch's sporty

Well, I tried to talk him out of it (three times!), but he didn't listen. After riding a rigid frame for a few years myself, I don't know why anybody would willingly want to trade down from a swingarm, to...well...nothing. It makes my spine and kidneys hurt thinking about it. But, to each his own...

The frame is a stock '81 Sportster. The rigid section is from Led Sled Customs in Dayton, Ohio. The fabrication of their products is stout; looks like 11 ga. tube and nice tig-welded joints. After taking some time to measure, re-measure and eye down both pieces, it was time to take the cut-off wheel to the frame. I'll be damned if everything came pretty damn close right off the bat. So good, that I should have ground the bevels on the frame cuts and drilled the holes for the plug-welds before fitting the thing.

Tig torch comes out next. Zap....Zap...Zap...

Plant aperture

Small afternoon project. A client wanted this cast piece to stand on its own and suspend a small plant. I had some leftover castings from some old ornaments that lent themselves as supports. A little measuring, some cutting, welding and...done.


Kooker Residence - cutting board

Custom made 21 1/2" x 21 1/2" maple cutting board with walnut accented "racing stripes*." This board is non-reversible, meaning only one side is designed for cutting. The bottom includes leveling feet per Mrs. Kooker's request. This was made so she could level the board, as her counter and stove-top are different heights. The board is designed to straddle her counter and stove. Each end has a set of feet so the board can be used on a full counter if desired.

Thanks Vicki!

*Racing stripes have yet to confirm whether or not chopping is any faster. Individual results will vary.


Captain Cupola...

...to the rescue!

Well, I doubt she'll be a full-functioning apparatus again, but I'm gonna do a little massaging to it in the next week. A little hammer and dolly to the tin will do her well...not to mention getting rid of the J.B. Weld that was supporting the tin cap on top. The base for this cupola didn't make the cut - just a little too far gone with rusted-out tin to be salvaged.

Thanks, Laura!


Skull cutting board - Mr. Bourdain

Yesterday, I had the honor of meeting a culinary figure I have a lot of respect and admiration for...Anthony Bourdain. After a pleasant and entertaining evening of oratory onstage, we were able to meet Mr. Bourdain for a brief period to have him sign some books and one of my Cochon cutting boards; personalized "For Boonie and Bethany." He was very humble and accepted the above gift I fashioned for him this week. It's a butcher block construction of his chef's skull/"Cook Free Or Die" logo. The darkened areas were wood-burned and a magnet was inlaid under the mouth to hold a knife. I told him he was welcome to it if he'd use it and that I wouldn't be offended if he didn't accept it. He dug it, and said it was "small enough that it would fit in his luggage." Cool.

Thanks go to D. Boone and Patti for the sweet b-day present. Thanks also go out to Dr. Bill McCallum and Kevin Dennis with Ames Lab at I.S.U. for the uber strong magnet.



Here's my new logo. A million thanks go out to Susanne Duffner at Pica Press.

11.2.09- Vinyl stickers have been ordered...should have them in a couple of weeks. Hit me up here if you'd like some.


In the paper

This full-page ad was in the Des Moines Register last week. "The largest campus public art collection in America." Proud to have graduated from Iowa State University and contributed to the Sticks installation in the Maple-Willow-Larch dining hall.


Rosenberg Residence - installation

Here's the installed planter box for the Rosenberg family in Des Moines. Thanks go out to Thomas Wright and Tracy Rosenberg for their vision, patience and trust. It's much appreciated.

Thanks for the installation help go out to D. Boone, and Jon and Gene of Des Moines' "Corn Creepers." This thing had to go in vertically...yeah, no easy task.


Cool cabinet

I've admired this cabinet at my dentist's office for a couple of years now. Awesome deco styling; clean, sleek lines. I dig.

Eubank Residence

House numbers for the Eubank's south of Grand Tudor home in Des Moines. 4" TS, black powder coat, stainless steel digits. Congrats on the arrival of your lovely new daughter!


Rosenberg - Oxidation or "Rust Never Sleeps..."

Fabrication is complete on the Rosenberg's "modern" planter box. Today's task was to instigate oxidation on the exposed faces of the structure. I had a little guidance from Rick Lopez (and Paul!) at Iowa State University's IPRT Company Assistance – Materials Group. I did a little investigation on my own on the internet with little satisfaction prior to speaking with them. At a past employer, I had seen this process done in a day with consistent results, but didn't know the chemicals used. Muriatic acid was suggested by Rick to remove the mill scale on the hot rolled steel...and it worked beautifully.
I didn't have the time to apply numerous applications of a highly diluted acid over a week's time. Thus, the sculpture was taken outside and given a splash in the water before having some acid poured upon it into the areas where water had pooled while it was lying horizontally. The acid reacted instantly with the mill scale dissolving quite quickly. I used a disposable, bristled paintbrush to spread the diluted acid to the areas that had yet to react chemically. Places where the scale didn't immediately dissolve were given 5-10 minutes to soak. When the scale became difficult to remove with dirtied acid/water mixture, the entire surface was rinsed with fresh water. The smaller of the two areas (third and fifth photos above) required two applications. The larger area (first and fourth photos above) was unable to lay flat and had to be leaned at an angle, thus requiring four to five rounds of etching. After the mill scale was removed and the surface was a white/silvery sheen, it was rinsed with water one more time. A final misting of the acid/water mixture was applied and then allowed to dry. The mixture ratio of the mist was approximately 5:1 - 5 parts water to 1 part muriatic acid. Always add acid to water, never water to acid.
Before performing this, I took every precaution to protect myself and my surroundings. Safety glasses, chemical-resistant rubber gloves, leather boots and a respirator were all used during this process. Additionally, I did this outside in an spacious, open area, free of any obstructions. I personally would NOT recommend performing this inside unless you have the proper ventilation...i.e., a box-fan is NOT proper ventilation.
Hopefully this helps others looking for a quick rust "patina" when dealing with mild steel. All the supplies and safety equipment were purchased at Lowe's.


Rosenberg Residence

This one is hard to explain...but here's the progress on the Rosenberg's mid-century modern rusty wall/planter box. This is being fabricated to first, cover the unsightly, peeling paint on the concrete facade and secondly, serve as a planter box with a 12" deep false bottom near the top. Steel is hot-rolled, 11 gage that will receive an accelerated "rust-treatment" in a few days. It's gonna rule once it's installed. Stay tuned...


In the IKONIX Studio with the Swanson/Real tables

Today took me to IKONIX Studio in Des Moines for a quick session shooting the Swanson/Real tables. It was so quick in fact, that I had to assemble two of the tables in the studio as owner Tom Woolery shot a few pics of me with tools in hand...and eventually a very expensive digital SLR camera. This is just a taste of the shots Tom grabbed. I'll post more when he is done editing them. I had a lot of fun today and can't recommend IKONIX Studio enough. It's available for photographers and models alike. VERY pro. Dig it.


Swanson/Real tables...mock-up

Today, I had to put a lot of focus on getting these tables completely fabricated and mocked-up. They will be going to powder tomorrow in order to get them done this week while I'm in St. Louis. I like the way these go together because the steel framework isn't all one piece. The bottom shelf and tabletop is attached to each piece of wood, respectively, and thus secures the entire structure. It makes shipping and moving a lot easier. I'll have some more pics next week after the wood is stained and the steel has been shot.

I'm really thinking of making this a production piece...you choose wood, stain and powder color.