Upcycle Progress: Brutalist Pencil Holder

Pencil holder by Иван Прищепа – https://www.pinterest.com/016bkwm1r24nzs3/


Hey all, as a quick reminder I am making a desk piece out of square metal tubing in a brutalist aesthetic. Since my last post I have done a little more brainstorming and incorporated some ideas from previous comments. I have now ordered 2 feet of 5/8″ x 5/8″ hot rolled steel tubing with a wall thickness of 0.065″ and it it set to deliver by some time next week. One of the new design choices is to go for a full fillet weld along all seams in place ion tack welds. This will increase the strength of the piece and I think will add to the brutalist aesthetic.

As for the manufacturing process I met with a member of the IDEA Forge staff about the welding and cutting facilities and confirmed there were no issues with my plan. I also got a spare piece of tubing to get a feel of the size and general dimensions I will be working with. The plan is still to clean up the tubes once they arrive and polish/grind any blemishes. I also bought quite a bit more steel than I think I will need for some welding practice as I have not welded for a year.

The design is still going to mimic the engineering center but with a few extra areas to hold desk items. I am thinking of a spot for my calculator and calipers at the moment. I will start with some sketches in my design notebook and then later translate them into models in SOLIDWORKS. I like the idea of using SOLIDWORKS because I can find the exact dimensions and spacial positioning of the piece. Another benefit of using a CAD software is the creation of engineering drawings which will be very helpful in the machine shop.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Fin, sounds like an awesome project! Brutalism is definitely one of those “love it or hate it” aesthetics, but you’re totally doing it justice with your materials. It reminds me of the bike we made in Component Design. I’m also wondering about the finish—do you think you’ll sandblast the parts to help with the welding or would that mess up the aesthetic? The design you’re taking inspiration looks super cool with the raw finish. Happy welding!

    • Hi Josh, yes I just sandblasted the pieces today. Part of the reason I chose this project was because of the skills we learned in component design, especially the welding.

  • Hey Fin, I really like the progress that you made with this project. I think that you really captured the brutalist aesthetic with this design. One question I had was are you going to be painting this? I do think that the brutalist look would look best with just the raw material however it may rust. Keep up the good work!

    • Right now im thinking go sticking to the raw sandblasted finish. I feel it would better suit the aesthetic, however, a grey paint might look good.


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