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He Turns Shovels And Saws Into Works Of Art
Norb Weber has an artistic way to turn Grandpa's old shovel into a keepsake. He cuts scenes into it with a plasma cutter and attaches a rain gauge to the handle to make it functional garden art.
  He also cuts designs in handsaws, circular saw blades, cast iron skillets and he makes fire rings.
  "Everything is recycled," says the St. Cloud, Minn., barber.
  He started in 2002 by making fire rings from old air compressors and garden art for his lake home. To sell them, he realized he needed to come up with an original idea - something that hadn't been seen anywhere. He first tried cutting on a handsaw, and learned that he needed to adjust the temperature and cutting speed for different thicknesses.
  "You have to get what you are going to do, in your mind," Weber says. "You've got to keep it moving along or you'll burn a hole."
  Cast iron skillets are particularly challenging.
  He draws his designs on paper, then transfers them to the piece he's cutting. The more intricate the design, the trickier it is to make sure it remains intact.
  "Most people can't believe it's all freehand," Weber notes.
  Many of his scenes are "up North" designs with birds, wolves, deer, trees, etc. But he makes a variety of items to please people's tastes, including pets - even dolphins. He made a custom fire ring with silhouettes of the Simpsons cartoon family. The buyer planned to sandblast and powder coat it before giving it as a gift.
  Weber leaves his art natural or paints it according to customers' wishes. He sells at craft shows and events, but smaller items can be shipped. Prices vary from $25 for shovels and saws, to $250 for custom fire rings.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Norb Weber, 6312 230th St., St. Cloud, Minn. 56301 (ph 320 252-8392; hairweber@aol.com; www.wildironimages.com).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1