Ever notice how most letterboxes look the same? They can be rather dull and, well, a little boring. If you’re ready for a change and want to up your street cred, try making this quirky mailbox. Inspired by the cheeky and lovable character Shaun the Sheep, this unique talking point is made by welding recycled scrap yard bits together. A MIG welder and basic welding skills are required, but if you have never welded before and would like to learn, contact your local community college to see if they have any workshops available.
Gather your supplies
• Steel cylinders of different sizes for head and body (see Notes, below)
• Steel pipes for arms and legs (see Notes, below)
• Random pieces for hands, feet, eyes, ears, neck and nostrils
• Weighted or heavy outdoor umbrella stand
• 60-70cm steel pole
• 60-70cm steel pole of larger diameter (see Notes, below)
You’ll also need
Safety glasses, earmuffs and dust mask; angle grinder with cutting blade, abrasive flap disc and cutting disc; welder’s mask and gloves; MIG welder; metal file; metal primer spray paint; enamel spray paint in white, black and silver; house numbers; construction adhesive
1. If choosing cylinders that may contain compressed air, make sure the valve has been removed before leaving the scrap yard. These vessels are under pressure and can explode if not handled correctly.
2. Try to find items that will not require additional work; for instance, a bent pipe for arms and legs.
3. The steel pole with the larger diameter needs to fit over other pole.
Step 1 Lay out your supplies in a rough formation to make sure you have everything you need to complete project.
Step 2 Wearing safety equipment, use angle grinder with cutting blade attached to remove any unwanted handles, axles and brackets from cylinders. Keep any removed items as they may come in handy later.
Step 3 Remove cutting blade and attach flap disc to angle grinder. Use to remove any surface rust, lumps and bumps from cylinders. You do not need to remove all old paint, only problem areas.
Step 4 Wearing welder’s mask and gloves, use MIG welder to weld steel pole with smaller diameter to umbrella stand base.
Step 5 On base of body cylinder, position other pole on slight angle and weld together. This will allow the sheep to stand on an angle.
Step 6 Trace a circle on front of body, ensuring it is large enough to fit letters and newspapers. Wearing safety equipment, attach cutting disc to angle grinder and cut out marked hole. De-burr and smooth edges with metal file.
Step 7 Fit body assembly over umbrella stand assembly. Place neck part on body and weld together. Position head on neck and weld together, then weld eyes, ears and nostrils to head.
Step 8 Weld arms and legs to body, angling them to give your sheep character. Once finished, weld shovel to upright arm.
Step 9 Following product instructions, give entire sculpture a coat of primer and let dry. This base coat will help seal steel and weld joints.
Step 10 Spray body, eyes and top of head with white spray paint, and legs, head, arms and ears in black. Avoid over-spraying by covering white areas with newspaper and masking tape. Let dry.
Step 11 Spray shovel in silver paint and let dry. Attach house numbers to shovel head and secure with construction adhesive. Let dry. The umbrella stand can be pegged, bolted or concreted into position for additional security.