Introduction: Welded Wheatley From Portal Game

Wheatley (from Valve's Portal game) figurine with movable parts, welded from various scrap metal.

Tools used

  • angle grinder
  • MIG welder (I've used MIG, but it would probably be easier with TIG)
  • bench grinder
  • dremel
  • drill
  • metal files

Core parts

  • steel sphere (100mm outside diameter, ~1,5mm wall thickness)
  • couple of hemispheres (100mm outside diameter, ~1mm wall thickness)
  • two 6815 bearings (75mm x 95mm x 10mm)
  • two other various scrap bearings (from car gearbox)
  • sheet metal ~1mm thick
  • nails
  • spring

Videos I've used as a basic guideline

The design evolved as I've made progress...

Step 1: Skeleton, Inner and Outer Shell

Two outer races of 6815 bearings are used as the skeleton.

The steel sphere after some cutting makes two-part inner shell.

Two hemispheres make outer shell.

Rings for outer shells are made from two bent nails welded together.

The leftover inner races and steel balls will be used later, as the scrap from spheres.

Step 2: The Base for the Eye

The outer race of one bearing is welded inside other, bigger, outer race and piece of sheet metal is used to cover one side.

The spring will sit inside the inner race, also covered on one side with piece of sheet metal.

The backside is decorated with two belt driven pulleys.

It will be modified in later steps.

Step 3: Skeleton and Core Hinges

Skeleton's races are welded together.

Two pieces of inner races with welded balls are used as the hinges for eye's base.

Step 4: The Eye

The eye is made from couple of layers.

The backside is covered with section of sphere to hide all the weld spots.

I've made two hooks to stop the eye from popping out, but it didn't work out.

I've cut off the hooks and welded four small pieces of sheet metal instead.

Step 5: Connecting the Eye With the Base

To make an actuator I've welded together two nails of different diameters.

I've made five of them, but the middle one fell off.

You can also see the ring welded to strengthen the skeleton's opening.

I've also added

  • spring from broken flexible screwdriver as a decoration
  • convex ring to hide bearing rollers

Step 6: Welding Up the Shell

Two pieces of inner shell are welded to the skeleton.

The weld seals the the eye opening and skeleton's strengthening ring.

I've also added small patches to hide joins on the vertical ring.

Step 7: Slides for Outer Shells

On each of the inner shell halves I've cut two slots for outer shell slides.

The slides are made from couple of tack welds.

After a bit of trimming with dremel, outer shells "click" in and lock in slots.

Step 8: Front Handles

I've cheated a bit, because the outer shell is joined at the back with pieces of bent nails.

Each handle consists of 5 parts. The main part is made from bent nail with grinded ends.

The handles join the outer shell at front and can be rotated.

I've trimmed the hinges and welded washers at the ends, so the handles don't fell off.

Step 9: Final Assembly and Finishing Touches

Finally, all the parts could be fitted together :)

To get it, someone will have to open the puzzle box first...

I might add some small details later - ideas are welcome!