Don’t throw out old tools or scrap metal lying around your place – turn them into works of art, just like retired teacher Kel Murphy. He now teaches people in Werribee, Victoria, how to weld and create zany birds like these! Read on to learn how you can give it a red-hot go – all you need is an arc or MIG welder (hired or bought), scrap metal and a little bit of flair.
Gather your supplies
• Arc or MIG welder (see Note, below)
• 12mm reo bar
• Shovel, handle removed (1)
• Bike crank or similar
• Nuts (2)
Ensure you familiarise yourself with operating and safety instructions before attempting to weld.
You’ll also need
Angle grinder; welding mask; thick leather gloves; earmuffs; safety glasses; apron (optional); pliers; vice or clamp
Step 1 Secure reo bar in vice and cut into lengths suitable for legs and feet of shovel bird. On a flat bench, arrange feet at base of leg. Wearing welding mask and thick leather gloves, weld joints together
Step 2 Secure shovel in vice. Using angle grinder, measure roughly 8cm down from top of shovel shank and cut at a 30° to 45° angle (this offcut will form the head). Set aside. Position 1 leg on shovel and weld at all contact points. Repeat for remaining leg.
Step 3 Angle offcut so it sits roughly perpendicular to shank. Spot-weld to hold in place, then weld completely.
Step 4 Using pliers, position a nut on head and spot-weld at contact point. Cut a bike crank or similar to size and use as crest. Hold in place with pliers and spot-weld at contact points. Position remaining nut on other side of crank and spot-weld.
Step 5 Use bike crank or similar to form tail. Cut to size, position on back of shovel and spot-weld.