T-rex Trophy Heat Lamp




About: Constantly improving the craftsmanship

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.

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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

Plasma Cutter

Avnil and Forge hammer

Power Drill

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

CNC Challenge

First Prize in the
CNC Challenge

Guerilla Design Contest

Participated in the
Guerilla Design Contest

1 Person Made This Project!


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29 Discussions


1 year ago

Share my T-Rax card board, Thank you for pattern.


4 years ago

Hello really like the look of the lamp! Any chance I can have more information on the folding and joining process, I notice extra fold lines around the jaw but nothing on the actual drawing.

2 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Hi, so I updated the PDF pattern, there is a valley fold that i didnt draw before. sorry that I dont have a process photos . but all the flaps should be hidden after fold. I would recommend print it on a piece of paper and try to glue it together first. It took me sometime especially when drill holes to tighten them together.

I don't have access to sheet metal and that kind of stuff, but can you substitute metal for wood? And maybe A regular light too? I'm curious because I really want to make this awesome instructible!

2 replies

Reply 4 years ago

You could try pepakura first. It is very possible to make them light up with Led and they're paper. There are lots of projects here on the subject.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

wood panel might be too thick for the drawing. there isnt enough tolerance to fit all together, you have to modify the draw a little bit. I would try with poster board and maybe spray paint with metallic paint.

yueshiDalen Brewer

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Just for aesthetic purposes, like mythical creature kinda thing, plus one eye just looks too small on the head. :)


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

just wanted to add some features to make it look mythical. and one eye looked abit small on the head


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

It's a cool TRex from an alternate reality... with faster moving prey and more predators so dual eye sets needed to process surroundings and motion :-)


4 years ago on Introduction

Absolutely awesome!!! Love it!

How did you design the template? Trial-and-error with paper? CAD? Something else?

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

yeh just start with paper, the flaps can be trimmed as you build just take some time.