Introduction: Scrap Metal Rhino

The downpipes of my house had to be replaced. A shame, because they were beautiful corroded zinc ones, and now they are replaced with plastic. I managed to save a piece without holes, but with a nice corroded patina. And as so often with those things it lay as a scrap piece in the back corner of the garden. Until now!

The patina reminded me of skin, elephant, hippopotamus or rhinoceros. So I set myself the challenge to create an animal from zinc downpipe.


Old downpipe Zinc, 7 cm. diameter about

small piece of bicycle tube

metal saw

metal shears




binding screws 5 mm high; 5 mm core diameter ( to buy see link in step 2 )

drill with 5 mm bit

Step 1: Body

With a small metal saw I cut of a piece of pipe about 16 cm and cut it open lengthwise where it was once soldered. I did the same with three other pieces. One 8 cm for the shoulder part, the other two seven cm for the buttocks.

Step 2: Buttocks

There are two pieces to create the rounded backside. Cut in the shape the PDF shows. I decided to connect all parts with binding screws I had bought once but were never used. I bought mine here: To use the screws I drilled 5 mm holes. The screws are 5 mm long, which is fine to connect four layers of the zinc pipe.

Step 3: Shoulder

The shoulder part is cut at an angle. The angled side pont to the rear. Then holes are drilled and connected to the body. Note that the holes are off center to the rear. This is necessary for the head and legs connection later.

Step 4: Head

The head consists of two pieces, not counting the ears. One is 9 cm, the horn is 10 cm. Here again download the pdf to see the exact shape. The horn part is connected to the head where you would expect the eyes. To accent the eyes I cut a small circle of a scrap of bicycle tube, slightly larger than the crew. Do not make them to big ( I did at first), characteristic of rhino's are very tiny eyes.

The ears are cut from waste pieces. One end is pressed like a tube with pliers. Drill holes in the top of the head and stick the pointy side of the ears in. secure them with a small double piece of bicycle tube on the inside of the head.

Step 5: Attach Head to Body

Remove the shoulder part and drill new holes in the body 2 cm to the front of the old ones. connect the head with the body.

Step 6: Legs

The "four" legs are made out of two pieces of downpipe, each 11 cm long. Cut them open lengthwise and curl both side inward to create two joined cylinders in a "B" shape.drill hole in the sides, approx 2,5 cm from the top rim. Front and back legs are the same.

Step 7: ( De-) Construct

Place the front legs so that the holes coincide. Place one half of the binder screw inside the leg, make it protrude the body en place the shoulder piece over it. Then screw the other half of the binder screw in. This is a bit fiddly, but it is possible. You can put some filling ( a stick, a small bottle) inside the leg to hold the screw in place. Then do the same on the other side.

The back is more or less the same. Unscrew the back parts, place the legs, and then place the screw inside the leg, hold in place and reattach back parts. Do so on both sides.

Step 8: Finale

The animal can be repositioned in different postures. Place it on some pedestal ( woodblock) to give it more appeal and position it in a nice way. Note that is NOT FOR CHILDREN to play with because of sharp edges, and especially the danger of the ears coming loose.

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