The Electric Giraffe Project
27th October, 2008 by

Help! Eeek! My owner went crazy and tore me to pieces!

Well, this needed to be done, but, ZOMGWTFBBQ, I’m freaked out! I’m down to 25% complete! AIEEEE!!!

He’s assured me I’ll look better than ever, but for now I’m very nervous about my future and wondering what’s going to become of me! What follows is a series of images of my teardown, with my owner narrating. I just hope he knows what he’s doing!

Ouch Oook, Eeek ACK!!!

So, first, the batteries had to come out, along with sanding and grinding down every single screw and bolt hole from past items so that they could be filled with weld, and then ground flat again, making them disappear. There were many holes, gah. And the more I looked at the framework of the giraffe, the more and more cheesy it looked. I was given to remember the time when I built him, and how fast we went, grabbing every piece of scrap steel we could find, hacking it up and welding it on. The more I cleaned on the giraffe, the more this crappy scrap steel revealed itself for what it was. Crap steel.

So I lowered the batteries, using the old original concept neck for the giraffe, rarely seen, and now rather rusty. It finally served a purpose, as a truss for removing the battery set, which was a VERY SCARY operation, and I did it by myself, all 700 pounds worth. The batteries had to come out because I needed to suspend the whole frame in the air while I tore down the whole machine for sand blasting and repainting, and the batteries weighed far too much to make that a safe operation.

On with the pics of the giraffe teardown…zomg…I killed a giraffe! Suffice to say, he will never look the same again. His original configuration is now officially dead. But just WAIT till you see what I have in store.

Lots of holes and rusty steel everywhere. Get a good look…it’s not going to last.

The original legs were hard to climb because I added the steps after I built all four legs the same, and thus welded in the steps, but the 45 degree supports got in the way. Well, after working with the legs and how stupidly strong I made them, those angled supports can be cut away to make room for nice and easy steps to use. Been wanting to do this ever since 2005.

Left leg modified, right leg still original in the steps, but that one’s going to get the mod as well.

Fresh plasma cutter wounds. The giraffe whined, but he knows he’s going to be better than ever, and resisted the urge to kick me. But you should have heard the things he said!

More ouchies.

Another view of the crappy angle iron steel I used in his under body area, and the rust that’s formed from the playa dust mixing with night time dew and sometimes rain. He’s a real dirtbag, and we’re going to change that.

The harbinger of what’s about to happen. Bits of cut off giraffe laying on the ground.

All these images are the very last of what we will ever see of the original giraffe. Things are about to change.

The old original neck, now used as a battery lowering truss.

Close-up of the truss. In spite of it’s strength, the batteries bent it anyway. I will have to carry one battery at a time from now on, unless I beef it up with thicker steel.

The fun part about the giraffe in the driveway: I can walk onto my roof any time I want.

The giraffe’s time is running out…and he knows it. I know it.

And then I turned and looked at the sunset…and had a vision. A very big and important vision for the giraffe’s future.

I thought about the sunset as I looked down on the giraffe, and saw myself in shadow.

I looked at the giraffe again and the thoughts and ideas hit me like a ton of bricks.

“You are going to change…” I told him, “Into something totally awesome and lovely to look at.”

I climbed down and smiled. And formed my plans for the next day.

This is it, he will never look the same again.

By the evening of the next day, I had raised him on struts welded to his frame and to the trailer, and tore his legs off.

Legless giraffe. Eeek!

He floats in thin air.

Soon to change my metal friend. Soon.

Giraffe guts…LOTS of them…buckets of them. All of this is going to the plating shop where it will be dropped in acid, and some of it chromed, painted, and most of it cadmium plated. Every bolt will sparkle when it goes back on.

Giraffenhaus…now empty but for a cacophony of junked giraffe guts and entrails. Soon to be replaced by a totally new giraffe.

Giraffe exploded bits. It amazes me how much this stuff weighs.

Rear leg, minus the steering gear.

Back to square one, yep. I’ve not seen anything like this since mid 2005.

Esploded shoulder bearings. Oh noez!

I picked up a leg and weighed with the bearings, but minus the wheel hardware at the bottom. Each leg weighs 133 pounds. Way too much. I could get away with 80 pounds worth of steel easy. And aluminum? Hah, half again as much. I’m looking into future stuff with aluminum construction. But it’s very expensive and I’d have to have a new TIG welder to do it. Augh, someday, but not yet.

So yes, it had to happen. After looking at the fearsome countenance of the maniac in the zebra shirt, look at the giraffe…he is totally, totally gutted. No upper deck and shoulders, no lower decks, all gone and ground off smooth from the frame. This took two solid days of work. Mike’s friend from out of town stands warily in the background, fearing the maniac with the plasma torch.

You should have seen my Joker costume I did back in the 80’s. Maybe I’ll do it again.

“I…I did what?”

Best tool I ever owned. It’s a one inch long light saber, it really is. Thank you again, Larry.

Here I realize I’m back literally at square one with the giraffe. It’s dead, almost totally dead.

Me, feeling content with where this is going, though the giraffe is a bit torqued about it! Well, WAIT till you see what I’m going to do with the giraffe. We are going PRO, and the giraffe will never go to burning man again. We’ll build other things for that gig. In the meantime, the giraffe’s time to graduate into a real machine is long overdue, and you will simply not believe your eyes when you see him again. I can hardly wait!