|Project by Odiferous||posted 05-19-2013 07:10 PM||3186 views||9 times favorited||26 comments|
This is strung across my living room wall—it’s a constant reminder that we don’t own this house, the bank does. But for every thousand dollars less we owe them, we get to smash a link in the chain. It’s an attempt to motivate ourselves through step 6 by getting to smash things with a hammer. Everyone likes smashing things with a hammer.
The wood portion of the project is terribly simple, just scraps from my can crusher thrown together to hold the anvil and anchor link. I did play around with it a bit—I chamfered the edges, and learned how easy it is to screw up your chamfers during sanding. The shelf actually sits in what is probably the first dado I’ve cut.
The chain is a manifestation of one of the wife’s latest craft obsessions, polymer clay. I considered one of the various methods of making wooden chain, but that would have been more work than I’d be willing to destroy.
Edit: A comment asked for details on the chain construction, so I’m adding it here rather than hiding it down in the comments.
The chain links were pretty simple. We got the single link of actual chain from a hardware store and set it on the table while working for a visual reference to try to keep the links uniform. They’re made from Original Sculpey, which you can find sold as polymer clay in a 1lb brick in the craft section at Walmart—which works out, because it’s both cheaper and a bit more brittle than the other varieties you’ll see at the craft stores.The links are just rolled out straight, sliced to length, and the ends are pressed together. It seemed easiest to assemble in waves:
- Make half your total number of links in single, closed links, and bake them
- Add a link to make sets of 3
- Add a link to make sets of 7, etc
The sections where we didn’t follow this, and ended up with several soft links in one section being baked at once, were much harder to keep lined up, and we ended up with some misshapen links. We baked the majority of the chain in a toaster oven, on a ceramic tile; joining the big pieces together into the full length required the main oven. Rebaking the clay doesn’t seem to have any ill effects, but it will discolor if you get it too hot.
Make sure you get the joints pressed together well; we had a few break in the first few weeks it was hung, and it was always at a joint where only a small amount of clay was bearing the load. The wife says we could bake a new link in with a heat gun, but we’ve just been using white school glue and some tape for clamping pressure, and that’s been holding up fine.