Paul Bunyan Class Rocketship Construction

Now that this season’s round of the Independent Film Festival Trophies are complete, and after a few hours of sorting donated metal, I’m onto something new. For years off and on I had been asking weld shops for retired tanks, but without much luck; so when Derek from the Artisan’s Asylum donated four spent SCUBA tanks I was ready to build something I’ve been looking forward to for years: A Paul Bunyan Class Rocketship.

While typically I use hand tools, the straightness of these big cuts were critical for aligning the two tanks. They cut remarkably smoothly.

Watching the blade descend inside the tank was like watching Mr. Bond slowly meet his doom.

Many know of the musical properties of the retired tank. And check out this smooth cut!

The tanks were tough to weld. I need to grind more.

Steel tanks would rapidly corrode in salt water. Whatever coating these tanks had needed to be removed before welding. This may be the second time I’ve ever used an angle grinder to make art. Reminds me of Evil Dead 2 every time I pick one up. I have to admit the sparks are magical.

The fins were plasma cut from some scrap plate I pulled from the ever-bountiful scrap bin. They were less fussy about being welded to the tank.

The fins were still warm when this photo was taken.

Next Steps

  • More grinding!
  • The Spire
  • The Thrusters
  • The Landing feet
  • The Ladder
  • The Portal
  • The Greebles

As usual, I’m likely to omit or addend to the processes.