Introduction: Spark Plug Fighter Plane

Well this is my first entry, so please grab your popcorn, get your cat and a drink we'll get this circus rolling!

Im building this for my cousin whom is a soon to be officer in the Royal air force, so its a parting gift for him. If you have a welder, metal and a spark plug under your bed you could recreate this! Well.... maybe aim for a better outcome! (add a cheeky winky face there)

So before we close the doors and get the A team music in full swing make sure that you have the correct safety equipment;

PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

Im setting a bad example with my workstation, but keep your area clean, its a must, busy floors are tripping, fire and if its sharp cutting hazards. With that in mind lets start on your P.P.E.

Eye protection - I personally prefer full face than glasses, personal experience with shards of metal going balistic into your face isn't fun so if youre a wild card glasses maybe your thing.

Fingers & Thumbs - If you lose one, 9 is the highest number you can count to so bare that in mind! A good pair of gloves is mandatory with metal, pretty much every edge's destiny is to hurt you so lets get some thick material between you and the sharp bits.

Welding

Skin and clothes - This practice could also be achieved with glue so don't let my bad welding turn you away. But if you do have a metal melter make sure your hands dont become part of your plane, heavy duty welding gloves are needed, an apron too if you want to keep your favourite knitted jumper.

Face & eyes - Arc eye is what you get from staring into any form of weld, it's like sand in your eyes so don't weld without a welding mask.

Step 1: Equipment + Resources

This really isn't very consuming, a welder is the only thing that isn't readily available, but glue is also a valid way to stick things together!

Here I have a sharpie for marking my design, tin snips or a hack-saw for cutting the metal, file for smoothing and shaping, steel ruler and last of all a spark plug. Any sheet metal is fine for your wings and tail, i'm using a steel ruler because I had one on hand. If you arent sure of a material to weld check if its magnetic, rule of thumb that is usually weldable! DO NOT weld metal with a coating, it can give off gas, and im not talking about the farts.

Okay, everyone still awake? Ill continue!

Step 2: Cutting and Shaping

There are many better qualified metal fabricators on here, but every one of them will tell you the same, a man with files .. is a man with files, but can also achieve great things! I cut my wings and tail out of a ruler and my propellor out of a bit of sheet metal, I can't justify the variation there but this is a reuse project so it doesnt matter what metal you use. I would say measure twice and cut once but as you can see in the pictures, I was measuring while I was cutting.. Awesome! Then clamp your work in a vice or just grip it like you life depends on it and file the edges smooth, depending on the plane youre going for wings can look different.

When you're done cutting and filing, be sure you clean the workspace, I've added a picture of metal shavings, these are what you want to avoid losing, they hurt when stepping on them, more than a lego brick in fact so be sure to bin them.

Step 3: Tail Nut Tabs

You may not believe me but its hard to find the edges on a circle. To get the tail squared I welded it to a nut and then slipped it over the HT end of my spark plug, I aligned it with the wings ive balanced on here so in the end it isnt crooked.

You'd be right when saying that weld looks like sick, but lets bypass the thoughts here ladies and gentlemen!!

Step 4: Wings

I learnt my lesson on the tail end that less is more, so when it came to welding the wings on I only used two blobs of the finest weld money can buy! I wasn't 100% sure on if the spark plug had a coating on so i took a file to two of the edges removing it if it was ever there, we'll have to call it a phantom coating!

Step 5: Vertical Stabilizer

Okay okay, I lied when I said I learnt my lesson because instead of making a nice neat small weld line to attach the top tail thingy I did some hideous welding to attach it (me, bad welding.. whaaaaaa?) so forgive me internet, but we can use the excuse it was rushed! shhh between us.

This was pretty self explanatory, just weld a mini wing in some metal, although I did something pretty neat! I filed a small indent in the rudder so I didnt have to weld to blobs either side, just one central! It would be good for you to try, I missed it with my MIG wire and made it look ugly but hopefully your skill isnt of a caveman like me.

Step 6: Propellor

Now this was a bit tricky (for me)

So let's cut the bit out, and shape. I won't bore you with that but what I did was put it half in a vice and twisted very slightly, then again on the other blade, this makes it look more realistic as a propellor cuts through the air but also makes drag like a boat propellor, so it maybe a nice little addition to yours if you want to make an airplane! Pretty neat right? Anyway, I put it on the other end of my sparkplug, I can guarantee you'll get a nice weld here because this part is designed to have a current going through it as this is the spark part of the plug.

Step 7: Cheeky Clean and Stand

This isn't mandatory, theres many types of stands;

String, fishing line, copper line, landing gear, the world is your oyster but my stand is an old 32mm spanner that was in a garage fire so it was useless to me and an old circlip, welded together and I have a fancy looking stand, I put my spark plug spitfire on an angle to make it look like it was flying through the air, or something along those lines!

I hope you enjoyed and made it this far before falling asleep! This is my first entry so feedback would be fantastic! Have a good evening!

Comments

author
PardoByNight (author)2017-04-16

that is adorable and a great re-purpose of materials :)

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Budgiecake (author)PardoByNight2017-05-08

Thank you, I always find that it gives it more character

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andrewwilson (author)2017-01-29

Finally the cheap steel rules came from China. Cut the parts ready, went to weld. Ran out of welding wire. :(
Will be doing the plane in about a week now, when I can get some more wire.
Meantime, here is a pic of the parts I cut and ground to shape.

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Budgiecake (author)andrewwilson2017-02-19

Im running out of wire, thanks for reminding me ;) Im liking the blown up parts of a project, nothing like laying everything out

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andrewwilson made it! (author)2017-02-15

Finally got around to making it. Did it today, 16th Feb. Between being sick and the heat wave, I was not going to do much.
As I was welding up another project, seemed natural to complete this one.

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Budgiecake (author)andrewwilson2017-02-19

Hey buddy sorry I was busy last few days, Im really excited that you and Aaron made the planes, they both look wicked!! I love the shape of the wings, they look evil and mean business, you even got a steel ruler for it and that gives you Budgie points! Top job mate :)

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AaronT14 made it! (author)2016-12-15

they are fun to make tried making some different types of planes

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Budgiecake (author)AaronT142016-12-17

Aw yes dude, this is wicked! I love that, they look so tidy too! My squadron is lacking air power currently, must.. build... another ;)

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pawtanwar (author)2016-12-14

It looks awesome!!!

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Budgiecake (author)pawtanwar2016-12-17

Thanks! nothing better than rusty bits of metal melted together!!

author
Shahid Khattak (author)2016-12-05

Good homemade decoration item.

author

Despite its rough look it doesnt look too bad on a shelf, ill have to make myself one soon, maybe another column? Lancaster? ;)

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dawikeho (author)Budgiecake2016-12-13

nice one! get cracking with that Lanc! ;)

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Mihsin (author)2016-12-09

Since this instructable nobody will throw away spark plugs. Soon, all of us will have squadrans of ww1 & 2 fighter planes. Good job.

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Budgiecake (author)Mihsin2016-12-10

I tell you what, you could make some gnarly chess bits with them!! Id love to see that, people painting and making their own, message me if you ever do

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bobneumann (author)2016-12-08

great and creative idea!

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Budgiecake (author)bobneumann2016-12-09

Thank you kind sir :)

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zposner (author)2016-12-08

What do you use to weld, TIG?

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Budgiecake (author)zposner2016-12-09

I dont know if I said, I use Mig, I rarely use TIG, project like this aren't really for TIG if its the first time with dirty metal, don't want to contaminate the tip, MIG and ARC are for dirty humans with dirty skill for dirty projects, diiiirrrttttyyy ;)

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ThirdEarthDesign (author)2016-12-08

Excellent project and a great Instructable, it's well documented and I like your writing style. Keep up the good work and congratulations on your first I'ble :-)

author

Thank you! I love the community, really diggin the vibes round here!

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dohebert (author)2016-12-06

Clever project!

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Budgiecake (author)dohebert2016-12-06

Thank you, really breaks up the workload of a job :)

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dohebert (author)Budgiecake2016-12-07

I was thinking about this yesterday and I had the idea that if you used the threaded end (not the spark end) as the nose of the plane, you could make a little propeller that would still over the threads, then screw the cap on loosely, and the prop could spin.

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Budgiecake (author)dohebert2016-12-09

I like the idea, Ill have to try this, if you're really jammy you could drill a hole down the threaded end and glue a nail in, then you'd have the thread as a cool engine thang, I tried to drill through to add stainless exhausts but my jammy skills werent good enough

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agis68 (author)2016-12-07

I made many plane from simple electronic parts. Its Awsome

Voted

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Budgiecake (author)agis682016-12-09

Thank you! Im not really a aviation kind of guy but planes and helicopters are wicked cool

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tzny (author)2016-12-06

Instant modern retro classic. Just finished reading Den Leighton's "Goodbye, Mickey Mouse", and this sculpture screams "WWII" and makes me want to watch "Battle of Britain" again.

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Budgiecake (author)tzny2016-12-06

It is a spitfire after all, got another project in the pipeline that you'd enjoy, be sure to keep updated, maybe ill get round to it sooner than I thought

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andrewwilson (author)2016-12-06

Just changed my spark plugs a few weeks ago and kept them for some reason. It appears this was the reason!

I am going to make these later this week. Will post photo when I have done so. A very much like your idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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Budgiecake (author)andrewwilson2016-12-06

Always nice for a good service, a well maintained engine will run for longer than you'd think, I look forward to it!!

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SouthPaw Sculptures (author)2016-12-05

awesome! what kind of welder are you using?

author

Im using a Clark 135 Mig welder, Its a cheapy one from Machine Mart but I only bought it to weld some panels onto my mini, Im surprised how good it is welding thicker material! Although looking back on it, Instead of buying and brand new chinese nock off I would spend my money on a high quality second hand welder

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wobbler (author)2016-12-04

Very clever reuse of a spark plug!

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Budgiecake (author)wobbler2016-12-04

Thank you! Other people have made some Im sure but this is just my back garden moonshine attemt!

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wobbler (author)Budgiecake2016-12-04

I look forward to seeing what you do with the rest of the engine.

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Budgiecake (author)wobbler2016-12-05

Hopefully it ends up in my car, but who knows when you need a paper weight, right?

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Modern Rustic Workshop (author)2016-12-04

I really do like the "Mad Max" theme of this as you were calling it! Great project!

author

Mad max is a film, set in the post apocalyptic world of the future! Thank you! It saves me filling the bin up with good metal :)

author
Hammerguy84 (author)2016-12-04

Love it! I've always been a huge fan of the WW2 fighter planes, and this is great! I'm definitely going to try this out! Here's a small list of my favorite planes frome that era: P-41 Warhawk, P-52 Mustang, and of course the Spitfire! Thanks for sharing this 'ible!

author

Sorry, I meant p-40 and p-51?

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Budgiecake (author)Hammerguy84 2016-12-04

Gotta love the old war birds, being English I am required to follow the spitfire as a type of religion! I also love the Lancasters and the valcan

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DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-12-03

This is really cool. I love mixed media art like this.

author

Thank you! It was unintentional, in my mind I had something shiny and chrome forged in valhalla but this is just as good, gives the shelf some depth, madmax anyone? :D

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deluges (author)Budgiecake2016-12-04

hahaha you made me laugh

Witness me !

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Budgiecake (author)deluges2016-12-04

SHINY AND CHROME!!!! v8 Cult ;)

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3366carlos (author)2016-12-04

Nice holiday gift.

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Budgiecake (author)3366carlos2016-12-04

Thanks mate, nothing like home grown

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RSA101 (author)2016-12-03

I'm loving the mini in the background.

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Budgiecake (author)RSA1012016-12-04

Thanks buddy, thats Imogen. She was a track day car but im slowly converting for road use again

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