Wire Skeleton Wings

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Intro: Wire Skeleton Wings

I made these wire skeleton wings for a friend's birthday a few years ago. You'll have to forgive me if the steps are a bit hazy.

Materials needed:
  • 1 spool of 9 gauge wire (maybe 20 feet)
(Check the chain link fence dept. of home depot)
  • 1 spool of 12 gauge wire (maybe 10 feet)
(I believe I got it in the department mounting things to the ceiling.)
  • 1 3' 1/8" metal rod
  • JB Weld (maybe 3 tubes)
  • Lots of silver ribbon]
  • 1" black webbing (maybe 5')
  • Buckles

Tools needed:
  • Wire / bolt cutters

Note on wire: In gauges, the smaller the number the thicker the wire. So a 9 gauge wire the thicker, sturdier wire, and the 12 gauge is the thinner stuff.

Step 1: Prep

You'll want to cover the surface area with something. I used a piece of fabric, which both kept junk off the carpet, and provided contrast so that pins and other small pieces didn't get lost.

Step 2: Frame

Since this was going to be a pretty heavy frame, I needed something that would be strong enough to hold it up. Wire doesn't come much thicker than 9 gauge (or at least I wasn't able to find any) so I opted for a 3' metal rod.

After bending it into shape, I cut lengths out of the 9 gauge wire, bending them and laying them out into the shape I wanted for the frame.

Step 3: Spines

Next I laid out the vertical spines on both sides, using 9 gauge wire. Once I was happy that they were mirrored on both sides in terms of length, curve, and spacing, I added the "ribs" also using 9 gauge wire.

The right side of this picture shows how your wings should look at this point, except nothing should be connected yet.

Step 4: Fake Welding

To attach the pieces of wire together:

1. Get two (or more) pieces of wire lined up
2. Prepare some JB Weld
3. When it is somewhat hardened, coat the joint in the mixture
4. Wrap the joint in the silver ribbon as smoothly as possible, and tie off the end.

The tips (not pictured here) are the hardest, since you have to get several points together at once. I believe I did one connection at a time. Wrap two wires together, then the two with the next one, and so on Bulkier connection, but less likely to fall apart.

This picture shows a close up of a several connections from later in the project.

Step 5: Small Arcs

After connecting the spines, cut out the small for each ridge. Bend them into shape and lay them out for the entire wing before attaching any of the wire.

Once you are happy, start connecting all the pieces. This part takes forever.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Next I snipped off loose ends of ribbon and trimmed the spines to even them out a bit.

I gently bent the entire structure, to give it a slightly convex shape.

Finally, the webbing was attached to the base.

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10 Discussions

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Phsycoduckie

8 years ago on Introduction

One last question. How would you go about putting it on and wearing it. That seems to be the only thing I missed out of the instructables. Im guessing it has something to do with the buckles.

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ethernightPhsycoduckie

Reply 8 years ago on Step 4

I assume! I didn't know how to weld at the time, and I've still never worked with such thin materials. But I'm sure someone who is skilled at it could easily make it work!

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downgrade

9 years ago on Introduction

That's pretty cool, too bad I already got mine tattooed on.

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ethernightmg0930mg

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

It was awhile ago, so I'm not sure. I would guess I spent several hours per night on it for a week, possibly two.

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pirateykris

10 years ago on Introduction

Very cool! I likes it. Now, just need an occasion/excuse to work up a pair... :)