The centerpiece railing

Almost done. I have been finishing the main centerpiece panel of the deck railing project. This piece is tricky. Not only is it the largest section, it also sits at a quirky angle. So, after a couple fit checks at the site, the section is ready to be put together. The photo below shows my mess of an assembly table. I made a simple jig frame to hold the rails square while I weld the pickets into place.

This railing will have a two large hand-cut steel images. Generally, I draw out the finished concept in Adobe Illustrator on the Mac. Here, I can work out proportion and design. Then, using the computer drawing as reference, I sketch out the image on poster board. This helps to tweak the design and to make sure it fits properly. This photo shows the early drawing and the cutout poster board template of the final design.

Finally, I use the poster board template to trace the design onto a large sheet of steel. I use a Sharpie, because it is easy to see while cutting with the plasma torch. This photo shows the finished cutout designs. I still have to grind and weld things into place. So more to come, but almost finished.