I have posted the stages of making a rusty fish on my facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/Metal-Sculpture-111845592231776/

 

On Saturday I added some curved strips to his body to give his body a bit of volume.

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Finally, this morning, I welded on a piece of galvanized scafold tube which runs up inside his leg – we don’t want him falling over because he is quite heavy.  I have inserted him into a hole in our garden just for the picture but in his proper home he will be set into concrete.  At last he can stand on his own two feet.

Since the weather has been dry, I have been spraying him with water so that his shiny parts (not the spade or his eyes, because they are stainless) will start rusting.  I will drill a few small drain holes so that water doesnt get trapped in his hollow sections.

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Phew, this was a hard session.

First I cut out some hands – his right hand doesn’t need fingers as they are covered by his left hand.

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Then I slightly flattened some tube on the end to make his forearms and welded the hands into the forearms.

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Then followed endless pothering, trimming, offering up, more trimming, tacking in place, breaking off, trimming again……. hopefully you get the picture.

Finally, I think I have got the shoulders, elbows and hands in a reasonable shape to reach the top of the spade. I kept going back to hold a real spade myself to see how it should work.

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I had planned to fill out the shape of his body with some strips of flat steel but this is looking more tricky now that the arms are in place.  I think I will sleep on it before going further.

For the moment, I think I need to go and have a lie down!!

A longish session on Jack today. First I gave his shoulders a bit of shape by sloping them at the top.

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Then I made some upper arms for him, together with a couple of balls for elbows.  I searched everywhere in my workshop for some suitable material for his forearms and couldn’t find any (now being collected on Friday) so I shelved the arms for the time being.  The upper arms are left long at the moment so that I can cut them at the right angle to fit to his shoulders.

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Then I tackled his spade – steel handle and stainless blade. I have left the blade of the spade long so it can be set in the concrete which Jack will be mounted in.

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Finally, I connected his hips to his shoulders with the spine I made the other day.  I have some strips I can weld across between his hips and his shoulders to give his body a bit of shape.

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I have done a bit more work at Jack’s head end. I have given him some stainless steel eyes, a neck with adam’s apple and have welded everything together and mounted the completed head on the piece of box section which will form his shoulders.

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I think I might need to give those shoulders a bit of shape – e.g. slope them down either side at the top.

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Finally for today, I have knocked up a spine for him.

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I decided it was time to give Jack some legs. First I welded some thighs to the lower legs and feet I made the other day, using steel balls as knees. The one leg is bent so that his right foot will rest on the top of a spade (I had previously thought he would have a fork but now a friend has kindly donated a sheet of stainless steel which will be perfect for the blade of a spade).

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Finally for today, I have welded both legs to the piece of box section which will form his hips.  (The axle stand under his right foot is just there to stop him falling over).

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I have knocked up some feet and lower legs for Jack. The feet (UK size 9.5) are cut from some large box section and the legs are thick walled box. I will make the upper part of the leg from the same material. The steel balls which are currently resting on the tops of the legs will form his knees.  Jack will stand on his left leg and the right leg will be bent with the foot resting on a fork.

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I thought Jack should have some ears so I cut a couple (very roughly based on my own) out of a bit more 2mm sheet and welded them on.

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I knocked up a hat based on my own Tilly hat (more 2mm sheet).  I did wonder if it would fit me but it is a bit rigid and doesnt fit the shape of my head!

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Here he is resplendant with hat and ears.  I must nip to the fastener shop and get some stainless steel nuts for his eyes – the idea being that the steel parts of him will rust nicely but the eyes will remain shiny.

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You have to make a start somewhere so I chose the head.  Jack will have a hat so I’m not overly worried about the shape of the top of the head.

First I marked out the shape I wanted on a piece of newspaper.

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Then I marked the shape onto a piece of 2mm sheet steel, cut the shape with the plasma machine, tidied it up and bent it into a cylinder, finally welding up the back.

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I cut a couple of triangles of steel and welded them together to form a nose.

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Finally I welded the nose onto the face.  I will give him eyes, which will be m12 stainless steel nuts attached behind (I still have to buy a couple of nuts).  I’m unsure whether to give him teeth or not – I might knock some up and see what they look like.

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I think I will have a go at the hat next.

 

A local school has asked me to knock up a metal scarecrow for the school gardening club. Apparently, the previous incumbent was made of wood and was, sadly, burned by vandals.  My metal version will be fairly sturdy so, unless they turn up with a JCB or suchlike, I think the vandals will have a fairly hard time doing too much damage to him.

One of the parents at the school works for a local boat builder and kindly arranged for me to visit the factory for a rummage through the scrap bin. With the metal I picked up there and metal of my own I have left over from other jobs I hope to have enough material for the job. The budget is quite small for the size of the job – I took it on because it seemed like a worthwhile cause but also because it sounded like a fun project and I haven’t been particularly active on the metal sculpture front recently.

The scarecrow will be more or less life-size so I am basing him on my own proportions.

Let’s call him Jack.

The example the school gave me was made from scrap and not particularly lifelike so I’m not going to worry too much about making Jack a literal interpretation of a person.