Bill Roberts, Ornamental MetalsmithCustom Design Metal Arts by BILL ROBERTS, Ornamental Metalsmith

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From design inspiration...

to finished product. In this section I hope to show you how I approach a project from the design phase to the installation. I'll touch on each phase and attempt to go into detail concerning the process used to accomplish the task at hand. Let me start by saying that there are many ways to achieve the end results. This just happens to be how I achieve them on this particular first we have to take the design submitted for these elevator doors and decide how strictly we want to follow the design and where we can take artistic license and make changes. Many times budget helps to determine the particulars... So the first step would be a scaled working drawing. I use different CAD software to do this. And I draw it the way I would build it. Starting from the outside and working my way in. The outside in this case would be the field measurements of the opening that the door will be made for.  This gives me the measurements for the framework that the door will hinge to. Next would be the door frame itself, then the vertical pickets.  Followed by the decorative elements top and bottom. Along the way you have the opportunity to engineer the piece so you don't have any unexpected "challenges" later in the fabrication process.  CAD drawings enable you to draw it once and plot out whatever section your working on. You can have an enormous amount of detail and information in a CAD drawing.

So...once I have a good working drawing I can begin to start the wax part of the process. It has been decided that the decorative fill for this set of doors will be cast using the "Lost Wax" method.

This method of casting enables you to get incredible detail and undercuts that you couldn't get using the sand casting approach. To give you an overview of the "lost wax" process, check out this site  On to the making of the wax masters...

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