I work as a welder fabricator at a local firm in Boston England. Every day I make the same things day in day out. I get a folder and a trolley and I set to work piecing it together if it be tea trollies or cages or a big fabrication job which is ok but it gets repetitive and tiresome.
I seem to have a love for hoarding pieces of metal and every day I would see the company I work for throwing endless short pieces of metal away so with permission I started rummaging through the scrap bins taking solid bars, Box section and whatever I felt deserved to be saved (like a magpies nest at the end of it)
After that I was donated a couple of old suspension springs and whola I had an idea.
I set to work choosing my design of my springer spaniel (I apologise for the name ha ha).
I worked hard and now I had a release on my breaks, some creativity of my own and from that gave birth to.the first of a growing collection of scrap figure's consisting of 2 large dogs,1 miniature dog, 4 small human figures and a scrap metal crab and the collection is growing all the time.
So I would like to share my methods with you maybe you will find some release In making them yourself.
Step 1: Putting the Best Paw Forward
The hardest part of the Dog was figuring out how I was to make the paws. Every thing I had collected was rectangular, square or tubular meaning a lot of grinding to create the main shape of the paw but lucky enough I found some plasma cut outs from 70 x 70 x 4 box section which just needed fettling up.
If you haven't got access to a "pot of gold" I would use 40 x 5 flat and create a radius on each corner and it will give you pretty much the same outcome.
The toes of the paw where also a lucky find as I spotted them in a small bin near the time card machine on my way out of work. They are 27 mm punched holes which could also be small 10 mm cut offs of 25mm round bar
I arranged them and tacked them in place and cleaned the sharp edges of them with a sanding disc.on a grinder (40 grit).
Step 2: Give Us a Leg Up (and the Other Down).
I now had to take my spring and paws and imagion what I wanted the dog to look like and the pose I wanted to be in
I considered having it in a stretching position but In the air sort of thing but it came to me that it would be more useful if it was sat upright (more space saved) so it could be used as a door prop.
I placed the two rear paws under the spring and rested it against a set of steps to determine the angle of the spring and then measure the leg resting on the floor.
I then cut the 20mm round bar at the right length times 2 and tacked the first leg to the spring and first paw.
I liked the idea of an obedient looking dog with its paw out so I bent the other leg with a fly press (manual folder or heating it up and manually bending can be used instead).
##### If heating up wear proper gauntlets and eye protection and use a tube over the top of the bar so you don't burn yourself ####.
I then tacked the leg to the spring repositioned it correctly and then added the last paw and continued to tack the rear paws in position.
Remember that all paint needs removing from areas to be welded for proper fusion.
This can be done with sanding tools, files, grinding tools etc. Just make sure you wear PE.
Step 3: Heads Up
Let's give the dog a head.
I wanted something that was simple but represented the structure of a dogs head without too much detail so I went for hollow box section.
I started with the nose and had to find 2 eyes that was equal and fit well on the nose.
I chose 50 x 50 box for the nose and.1" box for.the eyes. These was tacked together.
I then went rummaging for a jaw and settled for 40 x 40 x 3 (or 5) angle iron. Now I was happy with the progress on the head I decided to mount the head to the body i used a piece of 3/4" tube bent at 90 degrees which was a test bend discarded in the bin. I tacked the neck to the spring and then tacked the head to the neck at the back of the jaw and repositioned until I was happy
Next the ears - I chose to use 2mm sheet metal and cut 2 triangular pieces clean them, fold them in the centre, fold one edge over on one ear and tack them in place.
I stood back and looked at the almost finished product and there was just something not right and I couldn't tell what it was and then it hit me it was.because I could see straight through the dogs head so.i used a piece of 50 x 5 flat to.cap the nose box section off and I took one more look and I was happy.
I welded it up ( mainly legs to spring and paws to legs).
Step 4: Rex Is Born
He is finished and although he will sit in my kitchen stopping the wind from slamming the door shut every time I will see him he will be mentally thanked for giving a man an outlet for his creativity and a break from a dead end job.
If by any chance some way some how I win the competition I will use the prize to.start up my own small business making scrap metal figures like Rex and his friends (above) so I can finally do what I love.
Thank you ever so much and good luck.