Instructables

Christian 'Ichthus' (Fish) Auto Bumper Emblem

Picture of Christian 'Ichthus' (Fish) Auto Bumper Emblem
Even my local auto parts store has a Christian fish emblem made of chromed plastic. Why would anyone make his own rather than simply buy one for a few dollars and stick it onto his bumper?

I want one that includes the Greek letters spelling the word 'ichthus' (Greek for 'fish')* inside the body of the fish outline. I had one of these on my car, but I sold that car and now drive a different car. Once these emblems were very easy to find in stores, but they have disappeared. They are not to be found on the Internet, nor in catalogs. I will make my own. What I present here could serve for someone who needs this emblem or another of his own choosing. Some Instructables members who regularly make jewelry may have better tools and processes than those I am using.

*In a later step I will explain the meaning, history, and use of the 'ichthus' (fish) symbol in earlier centuries.
 
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Step 1: Tools and materials

Picture of Tools and materials
Materials
  • Sheet aluminum about 14 gauge
  • Double stick foam Scotch Mounting Squares
  • White paper (one sheet)
  • Aerosol clear coat in a can
Tools
  • Coping saw
  • Draftsman's compass with inking pen and fountain pen ink (or India ink)
  • Marker pen
  • Drill and bit
  • Exacto knife
  • Pocket knife
  • Various files
  • Sandpaper
  • Vise with soft jaws

I chose to make my fish emblem from sheet aluminum because its color will not change much with age and weathering. The other significant material is some Scotch Mounting Squares or Tape. It will be used to attach the emblem to the car.

The tools are a drill to make openings for cutting internal parts with a coping saw and a file. A draftsman's compass will be used in the pattern layout. An Exacto knife will be used to trim away non-essentials from the pattern so it can be transferred to the aluminum. A pocket knife is useful for trimming away excess material on the aluminum. Some sandpaper or emery cloth is good for smoothing edges in tight places.

The aluminum measures 0.062 inch thick, or about 14 gauge. It is from the front shroud on a household furnace. I found it at a local scrapyard. Another option would have been to make the emblem from steel rod bent and welded together. Then I could have applied braze material to provide finish like brass. But, an emblem made of steel would also be heavier and more difficult to keep on the car without falling off.

The blade on the coping saw is a very ordinary blade. A quick test showed it will cut my aluminum very well. I will hold the aluminum in a vise while working.
Agkelos1 year ago
Hi. Being Greek myself, I can give you the exact Greek words for the acronym "Ichthus", if you're interested. Well, here goes: "ΙΧΘΥΣ" stands for "ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΘΕΟΥ ΥΙΟΣ ΣΩΤΗΡ" (I used all capital letters here). I'm not sure, though, if you can see the Greek letters on your computers, so I have added an image of it. The first line in the image shows how each of these words appear in the original New Testament texts (note that the first letter of each word is capital, the rest are lowercase). The second line is the same, but in capital letters.
ICHTHYS.jpg
Phil B (author)  Agkelos1 year ago
Thank you for looking and for your contribution. There may be someone who would want to put the actual Greek words on something like a needlepoint embroidery wall hanging. What you have given will be helpful in that case.
Phil B (author) 2 years ago
If any of those who have commented are interested, I made a PDF of my pattern and uploaded it to step 4. You can print it on your computer from there.
Robot Lover2 years ago
Has this gotten featured? It looks like it hasn't. This instructable is just as good of quality as the rest of yours, but hasn't gotten featured. Although, it's kind of obvious why. Anyway, good work!
Phil B (author)  Robot Lover2 years ago
Thanks. It was posted mid-day on Saturday, but has not been featured as of early evening Monday. It is always a mystery to me why some Instructables are featured and others are not. I do need to say I have posted a number of Instructables dealing with Christian themes, several of which were featured. I admit there are some Instructables I thought would be featured, but were not. All I can do is hope and pray that those who can use them will find them. I was recently surprised when an Instructable I posted over three years ago was suddenly discovered and featured after it had gathered 39,000+ views. Thank you again.
rimar20002 years ago
Good work, Phil!

What is it and what means it?
Phil B (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Thank you, Osvaldo. I gave a little explanation in the Instructable. The Greek word means "fish." And, the emblem looks like a fish. The letters in the Greek word make an acrostic that means "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior." Early Christians would make an arc in the dust while talking with another person. This was in times of persecution. If the other person was a Christian, he would make another arc to complete the fish outline. Then they knew they could talk safely without fear of being arrested by the authorities.
Very interesting, I didn't know that.
Stevec682 years ago
Cool. I'mgoing to make on of these with "Darwin" in it.
Phil B (author)  Stevec682 years ago
You can do that. They are available commercially and you can easily just buy one, whereas the 'ichthus' emblem I made appears no longer to be available. As a Christian I always cringe when I see those Darwin symbols because they go so totally against what I am convinced is true. But, this is not the place to debate all of that.
pfred2 Phil B2 years ago
Phil, are you suggesting that there is someplace where faith can be debated?

Don't take the Bible so literally, it is the message, not the words that have true meaning. You of all people should know that!
Phil B (author)  pfred22 years ago
I am not seeking a debate or discussion. In a couple of past Instructables dealing with Christian things I suggested anyone who wanted to have a give-and-take should send me a private message. I do take the Bible literally unless there is a reason implied in the text, itself, that suggests it should not be taken literally. An example would be when Jesus talked about gouging out an eye or cutting off a hand that enticed someone into sin. We recognize those were statements of hyperbole (a literary device) typical of the time.
pfred2 Phil B2 years ago
What is typical of these times is spoiled kids who aren't too worried about their eternal souls. Oh, did I just say that? Duck and cover! One thing is for sure, there ain't any atheists in foxholes.
I've got a Flying Spaghetti Monster on my car--touched by his noodly appendage!
Phil B (author)  CaseyCase2 years ago
Did you make it yourself, or did you purchase it?
Sorry Phil--I took the easy way out, but I applaud the fact that you hand crafted your version.
Phil B (author)  CaseyCase2 years ago
Not a problem. I would have done what you did if I could have found what I wanted from any source.
Kiteman2 years ago
Well-explained project (I haven't seen proper draughting tools being used in years), and the techniques could be used to create many other symbols for cars.
Phil B (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
Yes. I am almost apologetic about using drafting instruments because a person is expected to use some type of CAD program and do it all on a computer. Thank you. It proved to be more work than I anticipated.
pfred2 Phil B2 years ago
You don't have to apologize to me.

http://i.imgur.com/1RVke.jpg

If I laid out my complete instrument set and took a picture of it most people wouldn't even know what half of it was! Like my electric erasers, or flexible curve. I have a thing for templates too, never enough of those.

I can't even think when I run a CAD program the interfaces of those things are so clumsy they can't touch pencil and paper. I'm pretty sure even today a lot of initial design is done the old fashioned way, then transferred to digital format.
Phil B (author)  pfred22 years ago
I love the drafting machine. There was a time I would have LOVED to have had one of those. Not too long ago I saw one for sale at a Habitat-for-Humanity Restore. The price was not bad. But, I had to admit I would probably hardly use it, if ever, and I passed. Thanks for the affirmation of "old school" methods.
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