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Ben Allen

Welding an Obelisk

The obelisk serves three functions in the garden. The first is to give visual interest. The second is to provide a trellis for climbing plants. I've yet to decide if I'll plant pole beans, flowering plants to attract humming birds, or perhaps both. (Scarlet runner beans fit the bill.) The third is to hide a stout pole that is meant to support one side of a hammock.

I considered a short course at the local community college to learn welding but the course had a fairly high price tag and I'd be out of town and miss one class. So plan B was hours of six to ten minute instructional videos on welding found on You Tube. After watching a bunch of videos on stick welding, I bought materials and headed down to my parents place. They have a rarely used welder in the barn.

I purchased quarter inch angle iron and cut it to size using a metal blade on a circular saw.


Ben the welder guy.


I laid out and welded two sides and then clamped them together to weld the four sided structure.


The structure is done. I then bent quarter inch metal rods into curling organic shapes and welded them to each side to soften the look of it and provide more spots for climbing plants to cling to. Before placing the obelisk I used varying sprays of water, salt, and bleach to get it to rust with interesting colors and patterns. Thanks to Gary Armstrong, of Camp One Studio, for advice on how to oxidize metal with an artistic flair.


The hammock support pole is in place and its concrete footing is curing. I then lifted the obelisk over the pole and buried each leg down about a foot. In the process I strained my back and was in agony for the next three to four days and couldn't really lift heavy objects for two weeks. A conspicuously typical injury for a middle aged guy.


The finished item and later when it got coated with snow.