Obligatory finished piece first
She said she wanted something to help display her growing crystal collection for her birthday. I sent a bunch of images from google after typing in "crystal holder" and this was the one she liked the most. So, off to building!
These are construction marker flags that you can get at any hardware store that I decided to use for the frame. They were cheap and the perfect diameter.
Cut and bent these pieces to be the 4 sides.
I used standard speaker(?) wire to get some thin copper strands that I used later to tie and solder all of the metal rods together for the main frame.
Wrapped some of the copper strand around each piece. This allows solder to stick to it and then solder all of the frame pieces together.
(burnt my hand and inhaled more fumes that I'd care to admit)
DO ALL OF THEM
Now to start the base where the side pieces can be mounted. I just bent some more flag wire and measured it to be a few inches by a few inches
Did the copper strand/solder technique to tack the base together.
After tacking on one of the side pieces by simply melting the solder with my iron and holding it onto the rectangular base, I then used another copper strand to tie the corner together–and then added more solder for an incredibly strong joint.
DO ALL FOUR CORNERS
I tied the tips together to make the pyramid shape using a bit more copper wire.
…and soldered the heck out of it (I know, it looks awful right now)
To clean up the ugly solder joints, I used my dremel to grind down all the rough bits for a nice, smooth, and even finish.
Definitely maybe a little better. (DO ALL OF THEM)
I then started making the shelves. I opted for 2 rather than 3 like the reference piece.
Same process using copper wire and solder to make the rectangular frame.
I used some tape to hold it in place at two corners and wrapped/soldered the other two corners.
Repeat for all the corners and make a second shelf while you're at it.
Grind off all the ugly bits.
Pose for a glamour shot.
Nothing fancy for paint. Just a flat-ish black.
I did 3-4 light coats, making sure to get all of the inside/outside of the frame.
I used this acrylic sheeting stuff for the actual shelves. Super cheap and super strong for this application.
To cut it, just score the piece you need with an exacto knife a few times and then bend it over a table to break it at the score.
Best part of the entire build honestly.
I took my handheld belt-sander and clamped it in my vice to keep it stationary (don't try at home, kids). I then used that to clean up the edges a bit and to round over the corners.
Some loctite superglue around the frame was more than enough to tack the acrylic shelf in place.
Bottom shelf done. You can see why I had to round over the corners with the belt-sander here–the corners with all the solder got in the way a bit.
DO IT ALL AGAIN TWICE EXCEPT SMALLER EACH TIME.
Middle crystal is something else I'm gifting her. I think it's called cactus quarts(?)
On the left is a box I picked up at the craft store and stained/finished to hold a big piece of amethyst I also got her. On the right is a notebook that I bound myself for her as well. You can see that process here: imgur.com/gallery/OrAuC