I had a feeling that this one was going to be a challenge. I am overbuilding the box to make sure the whole piece can support the weight of the swans. It’s really solid, so structurally I am confident of its integrity.
The next task is to make sure that the swans, made of a metal called “white metal” or “pot metal”, are mounted in a way to hold their weight. I have drilled into the back of each swan so a bolt can go through to the pegboard (see below). So far, so good.
Then I drilled through the top of each swan so I can bolt the swans together. That’s where the problem became clear. The metal is so thin, on the top part of the swan, that the areas are starting to tear (also see below).
I decided to use a heavy duty, contractor’s adhesive on the inside top of the swans to reinforce them. This will need some practice runs with the new adhesive to make sure I have enough time to get it all together before the putty sets. I will use some of the adhesive on the tops of the pegs to help keep the swans from twisting as well. The thinking is that the more glue I can use to keep this piece together, in addition to the mechanical fasteners, the better.
I have even decided to cut down the pegs behind the swans so they seat lower within the field of pegs. This should also help support the weight. We shall see...
The process is difficult but in the end, the piece is worth it.