Introduction: Metal Rubber Duck

Metal Duck is a metal sculpture I made back in 2013. During my first semester I experimented with metal works. My intention is to build a sculpture with simple materials used for construction purposes. The Metal duck is a funny tribute to giant Rubber Duck floating sculptures designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

The Duck is build with roofing metal roll. I bought a roll of 24" x 20 ft for around $30 in Lowes. the metal is Galvanized so the duck will not rust over time. There is a industrial sheen on the galvanized metal which I find it attractive but not too kitschy.

P.S. Before chose roofing metal roll. I purchased Large sheet of Aluminum 16 Gauge sheet. My Original vision is to achieve high polished finish on the outside with aluminum polish. However, the Aluminum was way too thick to be wrapped and bended at tight corners. If You want to experiment with other type of sheet metal make sure the Gauge is between 18~22. the thinner the better. The screw on the back of the stud only have few millimeter thread. Make sure when two piece of metal overlap the screw can still be tightened.

The Gold stud I found on eBay. there are generally for leather goods. I bought the ones with phillips screw head. it is easier to access from inside once the duck shape is formed. I used around 200 Studs for the whole duck.

You will need vise grip to snap on metals. and tin snip to cut . C-clamp to hold on shape temporarily .

Step 2: Patterns & Build

The Patterns I roughly made on Illustrator. Though it is not CAD precise. parts will fit perfectly well. I recommend Print the Patterns on a sheet of roll paper then Spray mount on the sheet metal. Then cut it with Tin Snip. Cut around the Red outline.

The blue Dotted line is folding line.

the Duck is symmetric on left right. e.g. Part "HL" meaning H left panel. it should connect with "HR" to form a ring.

Part A being the top of the head .

Part H being the bottom of the duck.

flaps should be all hidden after is built. Flap on part HL HR do not connect to any parts they are used as probes stand to balance the duck.

Step 3:


I Built it from A to H and The beak is glued on at the end with instant epoxy. Once all parts are cut and trimmed. roughly bend the flaps and parts to a curved shape. e.g. Bend Part A , Once the flap is all covered the end meet with the folding line. and Part A became a very flat cone shape. use C-clamp and Vise grip to hold the shape.Mark and Drill small holes on the area where flap is being overlapped. I drilled 3 holes and screw the studs to secure the shape.

The rest of the process is pretty similar. I did not have much metal work experience back then so I did not take pictures of the process. but I treated the sheet metal as they are very hard cardboard. Therefore, the thinner the metal the easier the forming process. I did drill many holes where parts dont overlap, I will just add more studs because the looked cool anyways. the bottom is open So i could reach from the inside.

Step 4: Lighting

I added a magnetic LED work lamp inside once is finished. the Light will escape from parts dont overlap. it makes a cool night light. and the Duck is very solid to be left outside. the studs are playful but not too sharp to hurt your hands.

For more of my work check out my website

Practice and Enjoy!

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