Though metal sculpting and welding utilize similar tools and techniques, the applications and final product are much different. Metal sculpting is the process of forming metal into décor or art pieces, while welding is an industrial process used to connect and strengthen metal construction.
There are a number of welding forms and applications. All kinds of welding involve using heat to bond or strengthen the connection between pieces of metal. Welding is used in nearly every industrial construction which incorporates metal. High temperatures are used to melt and bond two or more pieces of metal together. Traditionally, open flame torches were the primary tools for welding. Other techniques, such as laser and ultrasonic, have been developed more recently.
Due to the open flame or high energy output of the welding torch, dependent on the kind being used and possibility for harmful debris to be cast off from the metal being worked on, welders need to wear protective masks, gloves and aprons. When metals that produce toxic byproducts are being welded, gas masks also need to be worn. It is important to learn, understand, and practice the safety procedures associated with welding before taking on a metal working project.
Metal Sculpting Applications
Metal sculpting repurposes the industrial techniques of welding for use in creating more decorative or artistic pieces. Lower temperatures are used to bend and form pieces of metal into the desired shape, and then the higher temperatures are employed to join the pieces of metal together. In order to become proficient in metal sculpting, you must first learn how to weld safely and skillfully.
Stamps and laser cutters are also used to fabricate the pieces which are used in metal sculpting. These more advanced tools use information programmed into a computer to trace and cut intricate shapes from sheets of metal. Metal sculpting allows artists to take advantage of technology and materials previously only used by traditional construction professionals.
Combining Sculpting & Welding
Metal sculpting is combined in many residential welding projects, such as fencing and staircase embellishment. The decorative beauty of metal sculpting can help bridge the gap between necessary structural elements and the desired design aesthetic of a space.
Welding and metal sculpting are connected by the techniques used and the skills required, though they serve different construction needs. Metal sculpting is a modern art form which developed out of the need to beautify metal structures and support pieces in residential and outdoor construction projects.
Jim enjoys making metal sculptures in his free time. If you are looking for information on designing a steel building, visit his website today at http://www.whirlwindsteel.com/.