Failed Tool Turned Exploded Wall Art

Few things hit a hacker or maker harder than when a beloved tool goes to that Big Toolbox In The Sky. It can be hard to trash something that’s been with you through countless repairs and teardowns, made all the worse by the fact most employers don’t recognize “Tool Bereavement” as a valid reason to request time off. Maybe next time one of your trusty pieces of gear gives up the ghost, you can follow the example set by [usuallyplesent] and turn it into a piece of art to hang up on the shop wall.

The shop had gotten years of daily service out of this air powered angle die grinder (not bad for a $14 Harbor Freight tool), and he thought they should immortalize it in their waiting room by turning it into an interesting piece of art. After all, it’s not everyday that some folks see the insides of the sort of tools the more mechanically inclined of us may take for granted.

After taking the grinder apart and cleaning everything up, [usuallyplesent] decided to simplify things a bit by tossing out the assorted tiny components like seals and washers. By just focusing on the larger core components, the exploded view is cleaner and reminds us of a light saber cutaway.

Using a piece of scrap cardboard, [usuallyplesent] made templates for all of the major pieces of the grinder and used that to sketch out the placement and spacing on the white background. He then cut out each shape so the parts would be partially recessed into the board. This gives the effect that each piece was cut down the middle lengthwise but without all the hassle of actually cutting everything down the middle lengthwise.

We’ve previously seen similar displays made out of dissected consumer electronics, but there’s something rather personal about doing the same thing for a well-used tool. If any of our beloved readers feel inspired to enshrine a dead multimeter into a shadow box over the bench, be sure to let us know.

[via /r/justrolledintotheshop]

16 thoughts on “Failed Tool Turned Exploded Wall Art

  1. Long ago when I was a TV repairman, we made “blown component” art in the shop where I worked. We started with a wire hung from the ceiling. When a tech found a bad part, he soldered it onto the wire. Over time, they grew into strange junk-art sculptures. Some were just blobs, some were mobiles, and some morphed into arecognizable shapes like a robot head or mad science contraption. Great fun! I wish I had kept some of the better ones, or at least taken pictures.

    1. During tech school, I started saving blown fuses (mostly the glass cartridge type) to someday use in an artistic way.
      But now they are rare, and I have a small bag of blown fuses. I guess I can get started with “the project”, it is not like there will be many more coming my way.

    1. Hey I know the French guy who did that, travels around mostly ASEAN region and had done occasional artworks usa, UK etc last met him about 2 yrs ago around gooseberry hill Lesmurdie in Western Australia. Very focused young man lots of other cool ideas, speaks English very well.

  2. I do that sometimes with broken pocket watches that l get at the market; I use relatively stiff wire to attach all the fears and springs to the body. Makes a pretty cool looking mobile!

  3. Where I work we get the cheapest die grinders and run them hard until they fail. We don’t have to worry about drying the air or running them within their pressure rating, so we get more work done for the same cost. Marginally more metal in the scrap bin.

  4. Back in the early days of ethernet cards had both the AUI connector and the 10 base 2 coax connector and generally came with a Tee connector and a terminator. We used the vampire taps and the AUI drops and not the 10 base 2 interface so I had hundreds of tees and terminators, and I had quite the sculpture in my office made out of them.

  5. Friend of mine did the first oil change on a new Caterpillar scraper, and when he pulled the plug on one of the differentials, the oil looked like it had glitter in it. The Cat rep came, and they opened up the axle. Sorting through the oil for broken parts, they kept finding aluminum bits, and the rep kept saying that there weren’t any aluminum parts in that axle. My friend finally got enough pieces to start building the puzzle, and it took shape as a die grinder. Cat installed a new axle under warranty. I wonder if anyone kept the pieces.

  6. Wall art to your room can truly create a big impact especially if you really put your own personal touch on it. Sometimes, the best decorating ideas are the unexpected ones. You have thought of other out-of-the-ordinary ways to embellish your walls.

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