Watch Some Old Nuts and Bolts Morph into a Beautiful Wasp

You won't believe this beautiful wasp is made from old nuts and bolts!

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Wasps, love them or hate them, are quite remarkable and fascinating creatures. So, why not pay them the ultimate compliment by creating a model one out of nothing but nuts and bolts? 

If this sounds interesting, then follow this simple guide to make your own. You will not be disappointed by the final piece -- it is quite beautiful. 

nut and bolt wasp complete
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Like any project of this nature, you'll first need some stuff to get you started. 

Tools and equipment needed

Step 1: Form the basic thorax

The first step is to prepare the materials you'll need for this project. You will need two long brass bolts and seven brass nuts, and a few steel nuts.  

nut and bolt wasp bits
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Take the longest bolt, and attach one brass and two steel nuts to one end. Then chop off the screw cap to the bolt and insert the entire piece into the chuck of your power drill. 

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Secure your power drill in a vice to make a sort of DIY lathe, and then you can begin to shape the nuts. 

nut and bolt drill lathe
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Turn on the drill, and grab your metal files. Use them to progressively round the edges of the endmost nut. Swap out the file for sandpaper at times to provide more refined control of the rounding process. 

nut and bolt wasp round nuts
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, turn off the drill, and turn the rounded nut around. Add another brass nut to the end of the bolt and tighten it by hand. 

With that complete, turn the drill on once again and begin to round off the sharp edges of the nut with your metal files. 

nut and bolt wasp round nut 2
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Use a combination of files and sandpaper to continue to round the nuts and merge the two brass nuts into one piece. 

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Next, grab some steel wool and continue to work the edges of the rounded brass nuts.

Step 2: Form the basic abdomen

With that complete, remove the rounded nuts and add five more brass nuts to the end of the bolt in the power drill.

Turn on the drill and round off the edges of the nuts using your metal files. 

nut and bolt wasp abdomen nuts
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Next, continue to work the nuts to form the abdomen of the wasp. You will want to round and tape the edges as needed. 

With that complete, use the edge of your metal files to add a series of grooves in the abdomen to simulate the wasp's stripes. 

nut and botl wasp abdomen stripes
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, remove the nuts once again. You should now have two rounded sets of nuts -- two to form the head, and the last five to form the abdomen. 

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nut and bolt wasp head and abdomen
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Step 3: Form the wings and legs

With that, remove the bolt from your power drill. Heat it up using a blow torch, and place it against a solid flat surface -- like an anvil.

Hammer the bolt flat. 

nut and bolt wasp flatten bolt
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Next, wrap some double-sided tape around a block of wood, and stick the flattened bolt to it to hold it into place. 

With that files the surface of the flattened bolt until it is nice and shiny. 

nut and bolt wasp polish flattened bolt
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Use some wire wool to help you out at times too. Turn the flattened bolt over and do the same on the reverse side.  

nut and bolt polished flattened bolt
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, transfer the polished flattened bolt onto a piece of paper and trace out its outline. Then remove the bolt and sketch out the rough design for the wings and legs of the wasp. 

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Cut out the design and glue it to the flattened bolt. Then transfer the design to the flattened nut using a marker pen. 

nut and bolt wasp wings and legs
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, transfer the flattened nut to your vice, and begin to trim down the edges to match the design using your metal files. 

nut and bolt wings file
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Once you are happy with the top side of the wings, remove the piece from the vice and drill a hole through the middle of the central portion to allow the wing portion to fit on the remaining bolt. 

nut and botl wasp drill middle hole
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Next, take the piece and place it once more inside the jaws of your vice. Begin to cut out the lower details using a hack saw, as needed. 

nut and bolt wasp cut lower wings
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Keep moving the wing piece out of the vice jaws to expose more of the details -- like the legs and then continue to cut out the shape. 

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nut and bolt wasp cut legs
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, remove the piece from the vice, and sketch out the individual legs on the leg block of the piece. Place the piece back into your vice and cut out the separate leg details as needed. 

nut and bolt wasp seperate legs
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Once complete, remove the legs and wing assembly from your vice and re-polish as needed. 

nut and bolt wasp polish wings
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, grab your metal scribe and begin to add some fine details to the wings. Scratch the basic look of an insect's wings into the wing portions of the wings. 

nut and bolt wasp scratch wing details
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Step 4: Complete the thorax and start on the head

With the wing details now complete, we can now begin to finish the thorax of the wasp. Take the remaining bolt and secure it into your vice. 

Take the twin thorax nuts you created earlier and thread them in sequence to the bolt. Add the wing and leg portion of the thorax between the two nuts. 

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nut and bolt wasp bend wings and legs
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, remove the bolt and gently bend back the wings, and splay the legs using a pair of pliers. 

With that complete, take the scrap pieces of brass from the flattened bolt. Secure them in a vice, and begin to file them down to make the wasp's antennae. 

With the basic shape complete, remove the antennae and hammer them flat using your hammer and anvil. Fold the piece in half, and then secure it once again into your vice. 

nut and bolt wasp antennae
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Continue to file the piece as needed. With that complete, take the remaining bolt, and secure it in your vice cap facing upwards.

Place the folded antennae piece inside the groove of the nut head, and hammer the antenna into place. 

nut and bolt head antennae
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, we can begin to form the head of the wasp.

Step 5: Form the head of the wasp

Next, begin to file down the head of the bolt to form the basic shape of the wasp. Use a mixture of broad and fine metal files to carve out the angular shapes of a wasp's head. 

Form details like its mandibles, eyes, etc. 

nut and bolt wasp head
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Keep working the head to the best of your ability and be sure to use a variety of files to get the job done. 

nut and bolt head
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Continue to work the piece using a mixture of sandpaper and wire wool as needed. 

nut and bolt wasp polish head
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Next, add some grooves to the antennae, and then bend them outwards at angles to one another. 

nut and bolt wasp bend antennae
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that, the wasp's head is now effectively complete. Polish it some more if needed. 

Step 6: Begin to assemble the wasp

Secure the bolt sideways in the vice, and then begin to file down the threads of the bolt in places between the head and thorax and thorax and abdomen. Shape the metal to replicate the connecting parts of the wasp's body. 

nut and bolt wasp form body
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Use sandpaper and steel wool to further refine the shape and thickness as needed. You can also use a hack saw to help thin and shape the metal. 

Gently bend the piece as well to give the different parts of the model a more organic shape. 

nut and bolt wasp bend body
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, mark out enough room for the abdomen at the open end of the bolt, and cut off any excess using a hack saw. 

nut and bolt wasp cut off excess
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, turn the bolt in the vice to expose the cut end of the bolt. With that complete, begin to file down and shape the exposed end to make the stinger end of the wasp's abdomen. 

Mold the end to form a dome with a matching curvature to the rest of the bolts that make up the abdomen nuts. 

nut and bolt wasp stinger
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Keep working on the piece to polish it up and form the barbed end of the abdomen.

Step 7: Complete the piece

With that complete, we can now begin the final assembly. But first, grab the wings and legs and complete any final touches to it, if needed. 

With that complete, add a layer of thread lock to the wasp's body bolt. This will fix the nuts into place on the bolt. 

With that complete, take the thorax nuts, and begin to thread them onto the body bolt of the wasp. Next, thread on the wing and leg assembly, and then the final part of the thorax. 

nut and bolt wasp final assembly
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

Tighten them as needed. 

With that complete, grab the abdomen-shaped nuts, and thread them in sequence to the rear of the bolt. If not already done, add a layer of thread lock first. 

nut and bolt wasp abdomen final
Source: Ross The Random/YouTube

With that complete, give the entire piece a good polish. Your nut and bolt wasp is now, finally, complete!

Now you can place your piece somewhere prominent in your house and give yourself a well-earned pat on the back.

If you enjoyed this project, you might want to consider some other nut-related DIY projects. How about, for example, turning an old nut into a beautiful ring? 

Interesting Engineering is a participant of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and various other affiliate programs, and as such there might be affiliate links to the products in this article. By clicking the links and shopping at partner sites, you do not only get the materials you need but also are supporting our website.

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