Introduction: A Whale 🐳 of a Time

About: Crafty Artisan - upcycle ♻️ recycle ♻️ imagination is limitless
How to make a spurting whale from an old fuel tank. It was a gas! (sorry) Project took a couple off hours. All materials were broken items, off cuts, and stuff lying around. I hope. Like me. You find it beautiful, just like our amazing wildlife we share the planet with. I hope It Inspires you on how we handle waste, and look after the environment. Or at least as my friend said,

“it’s cute”

Let’s fuel!! (last one I promise) your imagination.”

Hope you enjoy


Old fuel tank ( I was going to try and turn an old lawn mover into a petrol bike/now I’m going electric)
A few screws (I used 5 all different)
A few nails (approx 8 x 2mm x 30mm /again size not important.
Hemp rope/twine (decretive edge and the water spout)
Old bbq tongs (got a bit melted)
Roof screws (these were the eyes but again anything will work)

Grinder - metal cutting disk (cut open the tank and bbq tongs
Philips head screw driver (if you use Phillips head screws)
Hammer - for the nails
Jigsaw/skill saw ( cut the base board quickly and accurately- saves time on sanding)
Power sander (40 grit paper to come flush with tank and bevel base board)
Drill (pilot holes in tank for mounting and eyes)

Step 1: Does It Look Like a Whale 🐳?

Open your mind. Have fun. Stay safe.
Googles ✅
Ear defenders ✅
Tunes on ✅
Gloves ❎ ( if I was you I would wear them. check the state of my hands)

Let’s get into it.

Step 2: Cutting the Tank

Please note.

This was a fuel tank and contained petrol/gasoline. Ensure all gases and liquids have been removed. It’s as simple as flooding the intact tank with water and letting it run out. Using a grinder can cause sparks. These can ignite. Safety first people.

With that in mind. Put your googles, & ear defenders on. Start to cut around the seam of the tank. I did hope to just split it with a hammer and chisel but to no avail. When in doubt - grab a power tool. Cutting around the seam split it almost in half. 1 piece has the flange edge (flippers) the other is just the bottom shell. Don’t throw away. I’m going to make another.

Step 3: Add the Eyes

As mentioned these can be any screws (see pic). If you have self tappers use them. If you have washers go for it. I had some roof screws with the rubber washer. These looked a little to real. So I added a washer. If you just have normal screws. 1st drill Pilot holes with small drill bit into the tank then attach screws. If you have metal or self tapping screws you don’t need to pilot drill.

Step 4: Blow Hole Spurts

Grab your hemp rope/twine. Cut a length. I used the wire to wrap around the section I did not want frayed. It stops the rope from unwinding and adds strength so it stays up right. Leave a little tail of wire at the unfrayed end. This is used to feed through the tank cap and pinched with the little key cover.

Ps - I did warn you about the hands 😂

Step 5: Paint It Water Like

This is pure personal choice. I had some blue paint. I had some white paint. Why knot?

Step 6: Give Your Whale a Base

The whale is looking all whale like. Well done. Time to give it a home. Trace around the whale/tank onto some wood. I had two bits of old fence pailings. These needed to be braced together. No point measuring (where’s the fun in that?)It does not need to look pretty. The whales body hides this. So just attach a couple of braces held down with nails or screws. You can use the pieces from the off cuts after cutting the trace line.

The cut. Using jig saw follow your trace line. Get as close as possible to save sanding time later.

In the pic you can see I had the fins intact. They broke off when attaching the whale to to the board. I’m calling it a happy mistake. Now the whale has visible fins

Step 7: Ain’t No Whale Without a Tail

Cut of the paddle bits from the old melted tongs leave a little extra for the tail body. Hold the the 2 bits flat and Screw together. The non paddle/flipper end (or tail end) fold/bend to create a L angle. This fold will sit under the whale body. The tail is then held in place with a couple of screws. Drive the screws through the flange of the fuel tank, trapping the folded L bit in between the wood board and metal tank. (Pilot holes through the metal tank makes this easier)

Step 8: Mount Your Whale.

The whale should sit pretty neatly on your base board. Now just attach with screws or nails. Again pilot holes drilled through the flange makes it easier. This will also stop the fins breaking off!! I did not do this, so now I have a happy accident. My whale has free floating fins. The nail head I left up about 1cm. This allowed more hemp rope to be woven around the base of the tank (whale) and knotted at the back to cover the tail screws. Hammer them down to pin the rope. Your whale is now mounted and held in place. If you desire sand the remaining base board around the flange and bevel of the edges.

Your whale is complete.

Step 9: Test It Swims. or at Least Floats

It does not. 😂

Any ideas on how it can???????

Thankyou for taking the time to check this out. My first ever instructables!!

Safety first. Then.....


And remember to have fun. There are no mistakes. Just opportunities to make it even more unique.

Ps. Remember the other half of the tank? Watch this space.

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