Ringo

I made a multi-gong stand from scratch.

When:
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2017
What:
MAKER (TIG WELDING, TUBE FORMING, MILLING)

Background:

As a percussionist, I’ve amassed a small collection of gongs, cymbals, and other idiophones along the way. Wanting to hold and display my instruments in a way that wedded both form and function, I created a lightweight steel stand using a combination of TIG welding, tube forming, and milling. In making a stand, I sought to elegantly display multiple gongs, cymbals, and other idiophones by accentuating and highlighting their shape without detracting from the instrument itself.

Process:

My stand, named Ringo after the Beatles drummer and the use of large steel rings, was made out of 20’ steel tubes. To make the different sized rings, I used a ring-roller to form the long tubes into five differently-sized rings, such that the three inner rings would be tangential to each other A Di-Acro Bender was used to form the smallest (7.5” diameter) ring. 
USING THE RING ROLLER TO FORM LARGE STEEL TUBES INTO RINGS
ONCE THE TUBE WAS BENT TO THE CORRECT DIAMETER, I SAWED OFF THE OVERLAPPING ENDS TO PREP THE RING FOR FUTURE WELDING.
Four of the rings were then sealed by welding the two ends together. I used TIG welding, as it was compatible with the steel used.

One challenge that occured in welding was creating solid A FIXTURE TO ENSURE THAT THE RING WOULD BE FULLY PLANAR BEFORE WELDING. Oftentimes I would have to get creative with the way I assembled and weighed down the rings.
Creating the rings was not an exact science, due to the nature of the ring roller. I went through a trial-and-error period of rings that weren’t quite tangential or rings that simply did not fit within the outer ring.
However, once I had all the rings assembled, it was now time to weld them together.
the stand sans legs
After sealing each individual ring, I then had to weld the four rings into the main formation (see left). This was achieved using a very challenging tangential weld to hold the rings in place. Once I had the main formation successfully welded together, I drilled holes within the inner rings to allow for hooks to be hung from the stand.
For the legs, I had one remaining ring, where I sawed off the circle into two 180˚ arcs. Each arc formed 2 legs of the stand, in order to complete the circular aesthetic. To ensure that the legs could support the stand, I used the mill and a hole saw with a matching 1” diameter to create a fishmouth shape for the legs, so that each leg could “hug” the main formation, allowing for easier welding.

An arc placed on the mill as the hole saw drills through it
A closeup of the holesaw
The ends of the legs that will fasten onto the stand
Once the legs were ready, I TIG welded them to the ring formation.
Welding the legs to the formation required even more creative fixtures. Here, I used a combination of metal weights and magnets to hold the leg up before I welded it onto the stand
The stand after welding two out of the four legs onto the formation
Finally! The stand after successfully welding all four legs
Functional as the stand was immediately after welding the final pieces together, I wanted to refine it further by going for a sleek look. I sent my stand to get powder-coated with a matte black finish and added feet to the legs to minimize the sound of the legs.