close up waterjet cut feature holes in corten steel fountain base

Corten steel fountain base water feature

corten steel fountain base with water fountain running
corten steel fountain base

Waterjet cut Corten Steel Fountain Base

Safire were commissioned to manufacture the steel work for some garden water features designed by Chris Prior garden design including this fountain base. In the picture above you can see the finished project which had been precisely installed into the ground by greener lanscapes,  set under the main grating is a hidden steel framework which houses the pump, reservoir and pipework.

Safire manufactured all elements to this in our workshop in Southampton. The main frame was fabricated from 50mm x 50mm steel box section and the top grill feature was waterjet cut from 6mm thick corten steel plate. There are over 4000 feature holes waterjet cut into the design. It takes a long time to waterjet cut this many detailed holes but the outcome is worth it, not only is the waterjet cutting clean and virtually burr free, there is also no heat involved during the cutting process which can distort metals like this especially with the amount and size of holes in this design and how close they are together. A slate vase sculpture sat on top of the center disc and the 4 quadrant plates were removable to gain access to the workings below.

close up waterjet cut feature holes in corten steel fountain base
the main top grill was made in 5 sections, the centre disc and 4 quadrant sections
waterjet cuts in close up detail
you can see in this close up the quality of the waterjet cut feature holes in the 6mm thick corten steel plate, the top face has been sanded ready to start the rusting process.
Large rolled ring
ring rolling of the main frame ring
fountain base frame being fabricated
positioning of the middle stand section
fabricated base frame on our jig table
taking shape on the jig table
finished fabrication on the work bench
the finished fabrication on the bench
with the supporting frame underneath painted we placed it on a pallet ready to ship.

Rusting Corten Steel looks great for Garden sculpture and artwork but what is Corten steel?

Corten steel is a high strength, low alloy, weldable structural steel possessing excellent weathering resistance.
Weathering steel is often referred to by the name COR-TEN steel and sometimes written without the hyphen as corten steel.
corten weathering steel is popularly used in outdoor sculptures, design work and furniture for its rustic antique appearance.

Corten does need special / extra processing to ensure it weathers well and more evenly.  When the steel plate arrives at our workshop it has a mill scale on the steel and this needs removing either before, during or after the fabrication work and depending on the work we are doing as to ho and when we remove it. We also use special grade welding wire for the welding process.
Unless the rust is accelerated the work will be generally finished to a linished / sanded appearance and will look like nice clean prepared metal. Although it will start rusting fairly quickly if the weathers right.

The rust layer will build up over a year or two.
Even though it is rust and rusting metal is normally a bad thing, with corten steel it actually creates a sealing layer that protects the steel underneath so with corten Rust is good and it looks great!

Please contact us if you would like a Corten steel sculpture or design for your Garden or space

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2 Responses

  1. Hello,
    Can you give me an approximate cost for design and supply of a corten steel water trough – at 1.2m long, 450mm wide and 250mm height? i am assuming the corten would be ok on its own for having permanent water within it – is that correct?
    many thanks

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