Instructables
Picture of Junkyard Fish-bone Sculpture
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Create a cool fish sculpture out of some rusty metal bits and pieces you can find on any junk pile.

The body of the fish is made out of an old rusty 20 litre paint tin (I think!) and is mounted on some thick, rusty wire. I can't remember where I found the material (probably at some tip or at the side of the road) I do remember my wife asking me what in god’s name was I doing collecting rusted junk from the side of the road!
 
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Step 1: Step 1 - Materials and Tools

Picture of Step 1 - Materials and Tools
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So the first thing you need to source is some rusty, old prices of metal. The best places to find this stuff is at tips, old or abandoned houses, the sides of the road, actually anywhere!
If your married like I am then you might have to work on a reason why you need to stop the car every time you see an old piece of thrown away, rusted and useless (not for much longer though) junk.

Materials:
1. Rusted sheet metal - I used a 20 lt can I found.

2. Rusted wire. This is attached to the fish and used to display it.

3. Thin rusted wire. This is used to attach the fish to the display wire.

Tools:
1.  Tin snips.

2.  Sharp, pointy things (used to scratch your design into the sheet metal.

3.  Various pliers

Step 2: Step - 2 Design and Cutting

Now you have everything your ready to scratch in your design.

Steps.
1. Cut-out a nice square piece of metal from whatever you have managed to find.

2. Use something sharp to scratch in the areas you will need to cut. When you come to the head, it's not too important to have everything symmetrical. You can fix this up once the general design has been cut-out.

3. The sketch below is what I worked from.

2. Use a ruler to make sure your ribs are nice and straight.

3. Start cutting.

Step 3: Step - 3 Finessing

Picture of Step - 3 Finessing
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Once you have the general design cut out you need to trim all of the excess bits and make the head piece symmetrical.

1. Use a pair of pliers to remove all of the excess rib cut-outs that you don't need. I found that If I grabbed the piece of metal that I   wanted to remove and bent it back and forth it would remove it cleanly and evenly.

2. Push the 2 parts of the head together and cut them so they are the same. Also cut a couple of tiny triangles for the mouth on both parts of the head.

3. Drill a couple of holes for the eyes.

Step 4: Step 4 - Bending Into Shape and Attaching

Picture of Step 4 - Bending Into Shape and Attaching
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Next you need to get everything bent into shape.

1. This part is up to you on how you want your sculpture to look. Make the ribs longer or shorter depending on how fat you want your fish to look.

2. Slightly make each part of the head curved and bring the front parts together.

3. Curve the spine to give the fish an arched back.

4. Twist the tail so it is vertical.


Next is to add the thick wire which the fish will sit on.

1. Drill 2 holes along the middle of the spine.

2. Bend the metal wire into a "U" shape and thread through the 2 holes.

3. Once through, bend the wire so it won't come out.

Your done! Go and stick him in the garden somewhere where everyone can see him.

Step 5: Step 4 - Make More!

So now you have done your first, experiment and try some different styles and sizes. Below are a couple of others that I made the same day.

One was slightly smaller than the first one and is mounted on a rusted, round wheel from a pulley. I welded the wire to the wheel and wired the fish onto the thick display wire.

The other was a tiny one, no bigger than a 50 cent coin. It was quite fiddly but looks really cool. I glued the fish to the wire stand and mounted it into a piece of wood.
Lisa Ludlow7 months ago

I really like this piece. My friend and I have many times driven backwards to take another look see at the side of the road...:)

lonesoulsurfer (author) 2 years ago
Cheers
ChrysN2 years ago
Nicely done!
lonesoulsurfer (author)  ChrysN2 years ago
Thanks.
M3G2 years ago
Very nice, I love the design.