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Amanda Stowers


MIG Welding

Steel Masina Bookends

My first complete welding project, these bookends were cut from scrap steel, texturized and welded together using MIG welding techniques. The design features Masina, or the Moon, inspired by my Nana of the same name. In Samoan culture, Masina means both moon and month, as my ancestors used the moon to determine their monthly calendar. Masina rules both the time and the tides, and is an important symbol both in Samoan culture and for me personally. I look to Masina for guidance and direction, as she watches over us all each night. 

First the shapes were laid out using steel blue layout fluid, then they were cut using a vertical band saw. All pieces were cut by hand, and the moons were further shaped on the grinder to obtain the smooth crescent shape. 

After a quick pass through the sand blast cabinet to clean the steel, I texturized the crescent shapes using a hammer to give the illusion of the surface of the moon. 

Then it was time to weld the pieces together! I used a MIG welder to attach all the pieces together. Being a lefty, I prefer to work from left to right when running a bead across a t-joint. 

After welding all of the pieces together, the bookends took another turn through the sand blast cabinet to clean up. Now completed, they're ready for some books! This was my first MIG welding project completed from start to finish, made entirely by hand. While I'm still new to the welding and metalworking world, I am keen to continue my education and practice more, including learning TIG and stick welding!