WELD A SKULL HANGER
Hanging a skull directly on the wall doesn’t do a big deer justice because the tines tilt out instead of up. Here’s a better way to show off any skull—and your welding skills. This project calls for attention to detail and clean, strong welds.
Measure and cut the back plate to 4-by-6 inches. Use an angle grinder with the cutoff wheel. Next, drill two ¼-inch holes into the plate. Align them vertically—you’ll need these holes to mount the plate to the wall. Cut the ³⁄₈inch rebar at 3 inches and bend it in the middle so it angles up at about 35 degrees when attached to the plate. Measure and cut a ³⁄₁₆-inch steel rod and bend a 2 ½-inch radius
(this will be used to stabilize the skull).
Arrows/arrowheads Cut three pieces of ³⁄₈-inch rebar to 4 inches. These pieces will be your arrows. Next, measure and cut two 2-inch-square pieces of ¹⁄₈-inch steel plate. Draw an arrowhead on each plate with a marker, and then use a ballpeen hammer and angle grinder to shape the arrowheads. Bevel the edges with a grinder for a bladelike look, and then hit each with a sanding pad. Weld the arrowheads to the rebar arrows and wrap them in brazing wire.
Use pliers to cut two pieces of brazing rod to 2½ inches. The fletchings should taper, so each pair of rods should be slightly shorter than the previous pair. Cut a total of 18 rods (nine pairs). Weld the brazing rod to your remaining rebar arrow.
Lay out the pieces to check spacing, then tack-weld all three arrows to the plate. Make your welds at the bottom of each rebar arrow and at the top of the plate behind the rebar. Then tack-weld the bent ³⁄₁₆-inch rod to the bottom of the 3-inch rebar. This piece will stabilize the skull, so adjust it to fit the skull you’re working with. Now weld the 3-inch piece of rebar to the back plate so it curves upward. Finish welding all the tacked parts, and hit everything with a sanding pad to take off any sharp edges. Secure the back plate to a wall stud, and hang your trophy.