I did it! This morning I laid down the final slab and raised the copper frame on the steel pole, attached the body and spun it around. Yippee!
Watch “Last Slab” for the scoop:
Follow it up with “Bird Meets Frame”:
I’m excited. Now, I can see what the heck it looks like. And if I can do a bird — birds of prey — I can have a niche. Then when someone says “I need a bird for this building” someone will say “call this guy. Call Charlie Yowell.”
Spinning the frame
Now, I just need to build some giant copper wings …
Now, the granite needed to meet the rubber, the pole needed to meet the granite. How to bring these three things together?
Here’s what I did: I stood each slab up on its edge, lined up the hole, and offset the slab to make the spiral.
I put rubber between each piece of granite so the pieces wouldn’t slide. I want the base to be as stable as I can make it without drilling it and pinning it and bolting it together. I made the pieces out of cut-up old bicycle inner tubes. I put 8 pieces in between each slab.
For the steel rod, I went to Ortmeier Machinery Co., downtown, and talked to Jeff, a very knowledgeable guy, who told me I could buy annealed tool steel at The Steel Store. I went to the steel store but they said I’d have to buy about 60 feet of it. I only wanted 4 feet. They said “try Southern Tool Steel” so I called them up, and sure enough they had it, and they ordered it.