Welding a Scrap Metal Pterodactyl

One of my favorite parts about being back on the family farm is having the space and tools to create something. A family friend of ours has become a resident metal sculptor on the farm, and uses scrap metal leftover from various farm projects and equipment repairs. Whenever Wilfredo and I are both on the farm, I always try to get some time in the shop with him to co-create something fun.

We scavenged the homestead until we each had an armful of scrap metal, and then returned to the shop to dream up a sculpture. This time around, we ended up welding together a small pterodactyl. We used a big drum brake as the base, a bent barbecue grill as ribs, an old hay fork as spines, and welded half of a chain together to create a rigid tongue that extended out of the mouth.

Wilfredo and I are both self-taught welders. There's plenty of best practices that we tend to ignore, such as cleaning the rust away before attempting to weld. If you can hit the weld with a sledge hammer without it breaking, it's a fine enough weld.

Pterodactyl 1

We started by welding the head to the body and the body to the base.

Pterodactyl 4

Once used to transport bales of hay through a barn, this fork provided a set of spines that would run down the head and neck.

Pterodactyl 3

We outlined and cut a set of wings out of a piece of sheet metal.

Pterodactyl 2

Next, we tacked the wings onto the base.

Pterodactyl 5

I think it looks like a pterodactyl.

Pterodactyl 6

If you give it a little shove, the body has enough bend for the whole sculpture to rock back and forth.

Wilfredo

Special thanks to Wilfredo for always making our studio time entertaining!

Team