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  #1  
Old 06-14-2011, 08:09 AM
Mack Mack is offline
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anti-theft solutions

I've just had a request for price info for some of my bronzes (2' to 4' high range) along with the question: "can the pieces be secured to a solid surface to prevent the possibility of theft?" This inquiry is from a firm that works with hospitals: remodeling etc.. I said "yes" and left it at that, since "solid surface" is vague...They may or may not use my work but as I started thinking of ways to secure the bottom of my granite bases to surfaces other than wood; say a stone surface I wondered if anyone out there has addressed this situation and how they handled it. I've come up with some ideas and I guess the sculptures would be 'permanently' installed so there's always epoxy...?

Last edited by Mack : 06-14-2011 at 09:07 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2011, 09:38 AM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Indoors or outside Mack? Methods will vary depending upon that.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2011, 10:18 AM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Indoors, and what I'm picturing is a reception area in the hospital and the sculptures would be shown in a niche or on a countertop etc. but most likely not on a wood pedestal...wood's not a problem since you can usually come up from underneath and bolt it right to the bottom of the granite base. (I drill out a couple of 1/2" or so rough pockets on the bottom of the granite, fill it with JB Weld and tap them for a 1/4" bolt)
So they could be going on a formica or stone- like surface where you can't get at it from below. Any ideas beside a dollop of epoxy? One idea might be a couple of pins (aluminum studs?) protruding from the bottom of the granite base that would drop into a couple of drilled holes on the surface of whatever the sculpture will sit on. Some epoxy in the holes and that would secure it. And if it needed to be removed at some point for repair etc. a jewelers saw could slide under the base and cut the pins...
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:01 AM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Impossibly heavy art or impossibly heavy granite bases. Thieves are thieves because they dont like real work.

Suitably attractive (understated in line, but not necessarily understated in girth or mass) steel "tables". Fasten with custom steel "clips".

I wouldnt do any adhesive...things change eventually (moving, interior design etc)...a mess will have to be dealt with.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:37 AM
Mack Mack is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Thanks...extra weight is a good idea and would work for the 40" high piece they're looking at but not so for the ones around 2' high and I'm sure that fastening them somehow to the surface will be a requirement if only to preclude any possibility of them being knocked over. There will be kids in the area they are considering.
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2011, 11:53 AM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

I generally dont use glue much, but that may be because most of my work is metal.
I use hidden fasteners- little tiny holes with allen head socket screws in them, for example.
Or I weld the nuts on.
I can always go back and cut off a bolt with a cut disc on a grinder in about 30 seconds.
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2011, 12:01 PM
Mack Mack is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Thanks. I'll post about this when and if I know what the piece or pieces will be on and maybe get some detailed advice on how you all would go about it.
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2011, 01:52 PM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

The sculpture is the important element. What you use to secure it to a surface is just that, a device to secure the base to a surface. Carve/grind recesses into the edge of the base and then use hold down clamps to secure the base to the surface. This way, the clamps are below the top of the base and will not be visible. They will just look like devices to secure the base to the surface.
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2011, 03:11 PM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Around here it wouldn't make much difference (metro Detroit) how you would secure it. They just stole a very old heavy bronze sundial form the UofM campus this past week.

They also will back the truck up to the statue and snap it off by giving it the bumper, till it breaks. The battery sawzsalls are the tool of choice for ones with legs of smaller dia.

For aluminum bleachers and aluminum light poles, the weapon of choice is a chain saw. Not that I recommending using a chain saw to cut aluminum. But they have been using them on the sports fields and parking lots of the Detroit Public schools for years.

Was on the way to my building, a middle school in the neighborhood. As I passed the highschool on the corner parking lot and sports field. I noticed the light poles were just stumps, and all the planks(aluminum) from the bleachers were gone.

If they want it, they will take it. As all the brass/bronze statuary form a couple of cemeteries in the city found out a couple years ago.

Good luck, and please let us know what you come up with.
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  #10  
Old 06-14-2011, 07:26 PM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Sounds grim in Metro Detroit, esp. the cemetary business...Thanks PT and Forge.
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  #11  
Old 06-14-2011, 10:37 PM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

For Detroit metro installations, it sounds like embedded swiveling machine guns with infrared automatic targeting and guided heat-seating rounds would be the way to go. Depending on the piece these can be recessed in a hollow portion of the work, with either flush mounted surface or in a male figurative work part of the barrel can be...oh, never mind!
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  #12  
Old 06-15-2011, 05:24 AM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

But the sad thing is the scrap yards will buy them. If they put a couple of the scrap yard owners in jail for 5 or better years. That might slow it down some. The local metal buyer here now requires you to have a photo taken with the non ferrous scrap and sign a statement of title.
I think the deputies were getting feed up, with coming over there and going thru the stuff for stolen property.
Since it is the only yard with in walking distance, all the shopping cart and wagon scrappers take what they steal there.

I watched a guy hook a chain around the wires in a light pole base in a parking lot. From the time I dialed 911, he drove across the lot pulling the wires out of the conduit and stuffed it into the trunk and was up the street before I finished giving the info to the police. By the time the police got there. He was already smoking the crack he bought with the money from the copper.
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  #13  
Old 06-15-2011, 06:14 AM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTsideshow View Post
For aluminum bleachers and aluminum light poles, the weapon of choice is a chain saw. Not that I recommending using a chain saw to cut aluminum. But they have been using them on the sports fields and parking lots of the Detroit Public schools for years.
That's some display of desperation to go after aluminum like that, wow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTsideshow View Post
I watched a guy hook a chain around the wires in a light pole base in a parking lot. From the time I dialed 911....
Time to for you to go vigilante!
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  #14  
Old 06-15-2011, 06:36 AM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Thats it...ALL public art in Detroit MUST be cast iron...SOLID, not sissy hollow. Its only up to about 6 cents a pound still. Those cordless fathers day birdhouse-builder tools wont stand a chance.

Last edited by evaldart : 06-15-2011 at 08:01 AM.
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2011, 07:26 AM
JennieNayton JennieNayton is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

another possibility - if it is indoor display and they just want to stop somebody casually swiping it then maybe some of the 3M VHB tapes would be the way to go. Amazing stuff! They use it to secure aluminuim panels onto stiffeners on the top of skyscrapers etc so it is really strong. Just a thought!
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  #16  
Old 06-15-2011, 09:21 AM
Mack Mack is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Thanks Jennie, new to me... impressive stuff. Looks very permanent once you lay it down.
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  #17  
Old 06-15-2011, 08:33 PM
JennieNayton JennieNayton is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

it can be removed, by sliding a very thin wire between the object and what it is attached to and sawing slowly across the bond, but I believe it is quite a slow process and a thief would have to know what it was stuck down with to know how to do that.

I have some samples I am playing with for my latest project, I am sticking circles of perplex to varnished plywood paneling in a school music auditorium foyer so has to cope with school kids trying to pry it off.
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  #18  
Old 06-15-2011, 09:02 PM
Mack Mack is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Thanks again, I think it's a great idea. I'll get some and see how it works.
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  #19  
Old 06-16-2011, 02:07 PM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

A thief stole the statue of Saint Ambrose from in front of the church that I attend. They must have used a crane because the bolts were broken off and there were only a few drag marks on the pedestal. A few days later, the police were given a tip that it had been seen in some guys garage.
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  #20  
Old 06-16-2011, 07:04 PM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by evaldart View Post
Impossibly heavy art or impossibly heavy granite bases.

Mack,

I don't know if you have this sort of access, but a solid cast-iron base would do the trick in line with evaldart's "impossibly heavy" theme.
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  #21  
Old 06-16-2011, 07:28 PM
Mack Mack is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Thanks Obseq,
Because the pieces in question are so small, I'm leaning toward Jennies 'super tape' solution. A thief won't know what's holding it down...of course my pieces are so skinny that someone could saw right through the ankle and take it but who's going to do that in a hospital pediatric clinic...? (don't answer that.)
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  #22  
Old 06-16-2011, 07:44 PM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
Thanks Obseq,
Because the pieces in question are so small, I'm leaning toward Jennies 'super tape' solution. A thief won't know what's holding it down...of course my pieces are so skinny that someone could saw right through the ankle and take it but who's going to do that in a hospital pediatric clinic...? (don't answer that.)
Good point. I wont answer that.

I just hope you're able to resolve this economically.
You mentioned anchoring your base into their surface? (formica, etc)
Would they allow you to have a tap-and-die set-up with your base and their surface?

You might have to really sell them on the super-tape idea.
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  #23  
Old 06-16-2011, 08:26 PM
JennieNayton JennieNayton is offline
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Re: anti-theft solutions

if you google - then phone the 3m rep for your area they will give you an information booklet with wind shear rating tests as well as a whole other load of strength tests. (and I got free samples from my rep!)

I have had to 'sell' the tape to the architects I am working with and I ended up sticking down a sample and giving it to them to try and remove. No more doubts! But it is hard to believe a little bit of double sided tape can be so strong so you likely will need some info/examples to back you up.

I was just flicking through my booklet from the rep - they are been using it for 20 years on high rise buildings but an awesone example of its use is to stick stainless steel scuff strips on airplane wing flaps. Sorry to sound so keen - but it is a new discovery for me and I find it a quite exciting product. I made a work last year which was made ugly by rivits, now I am wishing I had just taped it together.
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  #24  
Old 06-16-2011, 08:45 PM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

I definitely believe you regarding the efficacy of the tape....I only meant that a layperson will be prone to hearing, "we want to SECURE the sculpture with TAPE"

As you suggested, inviting them to remove a bit of a sample is a good idea.


(And welcome to the forum, Jennie!)
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  #25  
Old 06-16-2011, 09:13 PM
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Re: anti-theft solutions

Yes, I can imagine uses for such a super-tape. Where can you get some.....I wanna play with it.
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