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Butterflies are Cool

Finished product!
The outline
Progress

Welded metal art – 2018 project #12. With the continued abundance of washers, and internet inspiration, I decided to go the route of the butterfly … well, figuratively speaking (obviously butterflies are all over the place when they fly). I used some old handy-dandy go-kart chain to form the shape of the wings – my first effort in welding chain into a shape. Mental note: residual chain oil will burn – but fear not, the residual oil only resulted in an occasional small fire. Using a MIG welder to weld the chain was a little tricky in terms of settings. It was easy to wind up with a glob of feed material on the links, so it took some testing with adjustments of the feed wire speed. After I had the shape of the first wing, I used it as the inverse template for the second wing. The wing veins were incorporated from small wire rod stock (yes, the same rod stock as before …). Different sized washers and lots of small welds were used to fill in the wings. A yard tool handle bracket (I believe from a shovel) worked perfectly as the butterfly body. The bends in the handle piece seemed perfect as they were so all it took was a little grinding to shape it. And finally (you guessed it) wire rod stock curled into shape was welded on top for the antennae. A little wire wheel cleanup and there it was.

I believe this one turned out pretty cool, although holding some of the smaller washers in place was tedious – but in the end the effort was definitely worth it. Another nice piece that went out almost as quickly as it was finished. I haven’t tried another one yet, but it’s on the list to try again. Enjoy!