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How to make a scrap metal butterfly

Updated on April 13, 2013
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Get a picture of a butterfly that you want to make off the internet. Make sure is not copyrighted. Get it to the size you want and then print it out. Photo 1 shows the parts needed. A piece of sheet metal big enough for the wings, a bolt for the body, a lug nut for the head, some small rods for the legs and some wire for the antenna. You can use anything you want for all of the parts. This is scrap metal stuff. I use what I can find laying around the shop.

To make the wings I get a piece of carbon paper and trace the wings on a piece of sheet metal. Once the wings are traced onto the sheet metal, I cut the wings out with tin snips, you can use whatever works. The wings have some sharp edges, so I take a file and smooth the wings so all of the edges are smooth. I can run my finger around the edges of the wings and not get cut.

Photo 2 shows the cut out wings with the sharp edges.

Photo 3 shows the cut out wings with the edges filed down.

Next I remove all the paint from the wings. I use a grinder with a sanding disk on it. If there is no paint on the wings just clean them so the paint will stick. See photo 4.

Next cut the bolt to the length you want if necessary. Prepare the bolt and lug nut for welding by cleaning with a wire brush or other means. I have a wire wheel on a bench grinder. See photo 5

Photo 6 shows the bolt welded to the lug nut.

Next I drill the holes for the legs into the butterfly body. See photo 7

Next I drill the holes for the antenna in the head of the butterfly. See photo 8

The holes for the legs and especially for the antenna are very small. You may not have a small drill bit. You can weld the legs and antenna directly to the body. I am not skilled enough to do this.

Next I put the wings on the body. I have a spot welder that I use. You can drill and tap a hole in the body for a small bolt and bolt the wings on. I have used both methods. On this one I use my spot welder. See photos 9 and 10

Next I put the legs on. I am using Loctite super glue. Sometime I use epoxy. See photo 11

Next I put the antenna on. See photo 12

Next I prime the butterfly. See photo 13

Now comes the hard part, at least for me, painting the butterfly. This is your scrap metal butterfly and you can paint it any color or combination of colors you want. When your friends see it they will say "I can't believe you made it."

Have fun. Think of other ways you can make it or put it together if you don't have all of the material or equipment I used.

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