MakeShift Challenge: Mounting a Super Cow: “Rebar of Seville” Honorable Mention

MakeShift 03: Andy Seubert’s “Rebar of Seville” Honorable Mention
by William Lidwell
November 01, 2005

Rebar is the one material at a construction site that’s both ample and cheap enough to “borrow” without getting into too much trouble. Strong and easy to weld—-and the price is certainly right. Congratulations, Andy!

Not being much of an artist with the drawing and whatnot, I am just going to describe the procedure:

Drink some cola–you’re going to be thirsty. Give cola to the onsite workers–they are thirsty, too.

At any construction site with a crane, you will find no end of rebar. Take some rebar from the dumpster, or trade for some duct tape. Get the largest diameter you can find, but no larger than one inch. Measure from the hoofs to the top of the cow, and cut lengths to match. Drill or cut holes in the cow (drilling preferred) to match the diameter of the rebar. Put the rebar lengths through the cow so that they go from below the bottoms of the hoofs to above the shoulders of the beast. The one bent leg will require that the rebar come out the leg and go back through, but this is no big deal.

Then grab some 1-inch plywood which was discarded in the dumpster from broken concrete molds, and cut a rectangle which is about 2 feet wider than the cow’s footprint in all directions. Place that under the cow, mark where the rebar will go through, drill holes for the rebar, and push the bars through the plywood.

Next, you will be ideally finding some flat steel of at least 1/4-inch thickness, and not too wide. If you can’t find a plate, rebar will do. If you have to use rebar, weld all 4 leg bars together into a rectangle below the plywood. We will be welding this metal to the rebar below the plywood. We want this to be as flat as possible. You have plenty of cardboard and packing peanuts to cushion the cow, as you will be leaning it on its side to do the underneath welding.

Weld up the rebar to the plate steel (you will want to use their oxy/acetylene torch to cut the holes in the plate for the rebar). Once that is done, we will need to weld the rebar to some plates on the top of the cow. This is the part where you will be hoping their welder operator is well stocked, because you ideally want a welding blanket to protect the cow’s gentle hide. If they don’t have a welding blanket, cardboard soaked with water does just as well. We will just have to be more careful. So on the top, you will need to connect all four rebar bars together as snugly against the body of the cow as possible.

We just built the cow a skeleton, which will connect the cow to the crane, making the cow one with the crane. Just crane it on up, and the onsite workers can fasten it to the crane body with some of those chains they always have around for lifting stuff. Chain binders are often lying around larger construction sites, which you can enlist for the cow’s securement.

Take the $20 and buy beer for the workers who are standing around watching you work. We just did the job with free materials.

> MakeShift 03: Analysis, Commentary, and Winners