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The Crattlesnake

Final piece
The ‘crattle’ part
Coils done
Time to cut off the excess chain
Still needs some eyes
All done – needs a little cleaning

Welded metal art – 2019-27 Project #44. Fresh off of the completion of Motorcylce #2 and ready for the next venture, I cranked up the TIG and … ugh, out of shield gas. So I shut down the TIG and switched over to the old trusty MIG welder (thank god for back plans and equipment). After a little online searching for an appropriate MIG project, I found some examples that were made from heavy chain. A little contemplation time later, a snake seemed to be an appropriate direction, so I went with it. I had collected a bucket of chain (not everyday a find like that happens) and pulled out the one labelled ‘snake chain’… ok, I was not that organized. While my metal bin organizational efforts were progressing, I still had not added a label maker to the equipment list (it was on order). The initial part of the work with the chain involved chasing it as it slid through the slots in the weld table (dang it). Enter the metal plate (as seen in the pictures) to cover the slots. After that correction the effort to make the coils and weld the chain into form progressed smartly, as opposed to the alternative. However, I had forgotten the amount of sparks that are generated with the MIG. It didn’t take long for a reminder of the importance of the very nice (and rather appropriate) leather weld apron that was hanging in my vicinity for this project. I’m sure that the person that bought me said apron would remind me that it works much better when I do wear it. The rest of this story goes something like: my ‘weld jeans’ had developed a frayed hole in the knee and at one point a series of weld sparks entered the hole. This promptly caused a small singe of the frayed cloth on my pants (yeah, my pants were burning). Hot! Put out the flame (with an appropriate amount of whacking using my welding glove)! Put on the apron – and another lesson learned in this process.

As previously noted, I started with some chain and MIG welded it in a coil. The tail was welded in a vertical position, so I guess that was part rattlesnake – it made for a better visual. After welding the sufficient number of coils (don’t know how many – looks like about 3 or so?), I commenced with the vertical part of the neck and cut off the excess chain at the top. A flat piece of of metal from a previous scavenged pulley was used for the head. The bottom jaw was a portion of the handle of old vice-grip pliers (that one had been broken and since replaced with a super-whamadine set). The fangs were 2 concrete nails (I have since been informed that I have incorrectly called them old fashioned nails). The eyes were created from 2 ball bearings – looking snake-ish. The final addition was 2 kart carburetor covers to give a flared visual at the top of the neck – I know, that’s more cobra and less rattlesnake. So let’s call this finished project ‘crattlesnake’.

Another completed project and one that went to my grandson in California. The experience in boxing the snake for shipping was interesting to say the least – but I digress. So many things to learn about welding … and sparks, and flamable materials (and of course the benefits of using the leather apron hanging next to me). In any case, I promptly made a trip to the weld supply shop for more TIG gas and was ready to move to the next project. A really cool effort that I was looking forward to. I must say that things were going great and I was feeling productively awesome. In those moments it is easy to forget to appreciate the little things. All those little things, coupled with a few big things, add up to the overall big thing called life. So with that I say, remember to enjoy and embrace your life moments, be your a source of own happiness, use a metal plate when working with chain (eliminates some frustrations), crank up some music in the shop … and Weld On!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Ed Johnson

    I feel your pain my friend. I’ve done a dance known as the MIG Jig when a molten piece of weld gets between my shoe and foot. Anybody watching would think that fool is crazy!

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