The Spider


I was doodling with my compass when I came up with this design. My wife saw it and said it reminded her of a spider. So, I went with that for a title. I like the design so far. I decided to build it.


My work table already had another design on it. I did not want to erase it. I might want to use it again.


I bought me a new board to plan the design full scale. I need to know how long each piece of steel needs to be. Although the design is based on a circle I need to draw a square, then find the center of the square.


X marks the spot. Now I can make a circle. I don’t have a compass that can make a circle with a 36 inch diameter.


I am going to make a circle the old fashion way, as old as the first man ever who thought about circles. I am tapping a nail in the center of the square.


I tied a slip knot around the nail.


I have a pencil tied to the other end.


I pull tightly on the thong and start drawing the circle.


I am going to fit my design into this circle. I still don’t know if the final outcome will resemble the drawing. It usually doesn’t happen that way.


I am drawing it in by hand.


From one end to the other measures 40 inches. The “rose” part will be 4 inches on both ends. That’s an extra 4 inches on each end for a total of 48 inches. I won’t know if that is the right length until I make it and bend it into the shape I want.

it is time to hammer each piece in the shape. I do not have an anvil. Instead I use a piece of real his heavy service most of my hammering needs.

It looks like the 48 inches length is going to work.


I am not sure of the length for the second piece. It looks good so far.

I am roughing out the third piece. Then the 4th.



As I’m adding more pieces I am comparing them with my drawing.


Now I have all the pieces together. It’s a little different than my original drawing.


You can see in the center I have used a piece of soapstone to keep them all centered.


it is time to complete each iron rose before final assembly.


I precut all the pieces that I’m going to need.

This is a rivet. These have been used for many centuries to bind pieces of steel together.


the center punch makes it dent in the steel. When I drill a hole the dent keeps the Drill bit from sliding around.


The rivet expands when it is hammered on, and holds the pieces tightly together.


No two pieces will ever be the same. There are too many variables. That is why trying to make a duplicate of one side is very difficult.




It took me about 12 weeks to get to the final project. The final project turned out a little different. Highlight the changes that I made. They seem more graceful to me.


The spider is currently on display at the Red Berry Coffee Bar on Main Street in Los Altos, California through February 2018.











About jedwardnajera

I am an artist and a Poet. I live the life of a poet. I published several novels. Nena the Fairy and the Iron Rose, Dust of the Moon are among them, available through Amazon Books. I have spent over thirty five years in a classroom. I am now retired from that profession. My father kept a living record of his lifetime as he lived through the Twentieth Century. He was born in 1908 and almost lived long enough to see us enter the new millennium. He entrusted to me nearly 400 pages that he wrote through the years. Now I am continuing the tradition by posting my own stories and misadventures. I am trying to post a new entry or chapter each Friday. Check in on us at least once a week for the latest post.
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