1989 - Volume #13, Issue #5, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Scrap Iron Dinosaur Roams Iowa Pasture
Allen used old disk blades, plowshares, car axle housings, and other junkpile odds and ends to build the skeleton replica of a stegosaurus, a lumbering dinosaur identified by a double row of bony plates along its back. He researched dinosaurs at a local library and used photos of a stegosaurus skeleton as a model while building the dinosaur, which weighs nearly a ton.
"I've always been interested in dinosaurs and I thought it would be a challenge to build," says Allen. "Dinosaurs are large so they're relatively easy to build from farm machinery parts. It was interesting to see how drivers reacted when they first noticed the dinosaur. Some of them walked out into the pasture to see it, and some even climbed up on it."
Allen built the dinosaur from the top down. He says the most difficult part of the project was building and shaping the dinosaur's backbone, which he made from a 25-ft. tiling machine chain. He formed the chain into a curve on the shop floor and then welded the links together. He then used a front-end loader and chain to hang the back-bone from the ceiling so he could weld on the ribs, shoulder blades, head and legs.
Allen made the ribs from 5-ft. lengths of galvanized well pipe, hand bending the pipes to the proper contour. He used old disk blades to make the bony plates along the back and tail, as well as the rear shoulder blades. The front shoulder blades are made from moldboard plowshares. He made the front legs from car rear axle housings, using the transmission cases on those housings as knees. Allen removed the differential gears from the transmission case so he could bend it, then welded it back together to provide the effect of a knee joint. He made the large rear legs from rectangular tubing and angle iron. He made the head from a transmission case, using the spout of an old hand well pump and cultivator blades to form the snout.
Four disk blades, placed underground, anchor the dinosaur to the ground. A toe on each foot goes through the hole in each blade to keep the structure rigid.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dennis Allen, RR 2, Box 11, Aurelia, Iowa 51005 (ph 712434-5706).
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