The T-rex Trophy Heat lamp was a project I did back in 2013. The concept is to make a hunters trophy without killing any animals. I have thought about rhinoceros or water buffalo because of the horn features on these animals. Eventually, I decided to do a T-rex head, It was one of the most bad ass creature every lived on Earth! To give it a playfulness I added a infrared Heat lamp in the mouth, to make it not-cold-blood. the orange red glow has added some steampunk element to it as well. Once the pattern is cut it is entirely cold formed, no welding needed, Gave its unique sculptural quality.
Step 1: Tools and Procedures
The materials for this metal sculpture is fairly simple,
4ft x 4 ft 16 gauge sheet steel. (this plasma cutter is set to cut steel at 16 gauge thickness)
# 10 Machine screws & nuts ( approx. 100 pairs)
Tools I had access to
Avnil and Forge hammer
Heavy duty Tin Snip
Once I design the patterns I converted to CAD drawing that is readable on Rhino .fold lines are marked with dashed lines but should be removed when import to Rhino. the path for plasma cutter should be a continuous line. after the pattern is cut mark the fold line with marker, I made sure that when fold there is tolerance for the thickness. 16 gauge is considered thick but can still be bent with force. I had to clamp it onto vice to bend straight lines . I did not use hammer or tin snip at this stage. the pattern is cleaned and sanded to remove residues. because the steel is not stainless, I formed everything in a weekend. Otherwise spray lubricant to prevent from rust. holes are drilled with larger drill bit for easier assembly.
Step 2: Cold Form the Eye
I especially want to share this technique with the community. I am not a master of metalwork but with brutal force it is not hard to practice.
first cut a sheet of rectangular shape scrap metal the measure roughly 3-4in X 6-8 in width. the sheet should be able to fold to a square with force.
then clamp it to a heavy duty vice leave more than half of it visible. strike with a hammer and try to flatten it from the center. slowly work it until the metal is flat to the vice, do not over work it
release it from the vice. open two flaps and flatten it on a anvil with a hammer. at this point there should be a gap about 1/8in in the middle. that is the gap of two eye lids. Get it? Though, it's closed at this moment.
place it on an anvil with holes, then use the round head hammer strike the back of the plate to make a dent. slowly work it the eye lid with slowly open up. it takes time, back and forth, and some brutal force. be careful and aim right at the center.
Step 3: Polish and Add Heat Lamp
use a wire brush to clean up the surface. it is not stainless steel so it wont achieve the mirror like finish. after its all prepped and cleaned .spray a clear protective sealer. I just used a generic home depot spray can but it does the job perfect. attach a piece of scrap metal inside the mouth and mount infrared heat lamp. then mount the head on a wood board. I forgot to stain the wood. I should have made it fancier.
Step 4: Mount on a Wall or on Your Head
the total weight is around 12-15 lbs. it is not as light as galvanized Duck sculpture that I made. but it sure is much tougher. after 2 years the metal has a different look. there are visible finger print rust underneath the sealer. my guess is that when I was applying the sealer my hands were touching it at the same time. and the sweat trapped inside rust at a very slow rate. but it does not affect the aesthetics.
For more of my artwork please visit. www.yuesart.com
Practice and enjoy