When Dean Timms finds a piece of scrap metal, he doesn’t see junk, he sees potential.
“I’ll look at something and think, ‘Hmm, I can work with that,” said the Sarnia pipefitter, whose eye-catching, homemade lawn decor has become quite a hit in his neighbourhood.
“It’s just a hobby of mine. I’ll go through a scrap bucket and see what I can create out of it.”
Over the years, he’s fabbed-up everything from a dog (out of railway spikes) to a space alien crafted out of a ball valve and springs.
Everything gets a name.
His most recent creature is a giant centipede welded together with more than 100 legs made from wire mesh, bent by hand and painted in blue and yellow — the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
“I’m calling it a ‘Ukripede’” he said.
Timms, a member of local UA 663, tinkers away at his projects after work, sometimes spending upwards of 40 hours on a single piece.
A giant scorpion he crafted last year is stationed outside the Sweden Street home, along with a ladybug, turtle, dinosaur and other pieces completed over the past decade.
“Little kids come by all the time,” he said.
He also makes custom pieces for friends and family, and is often told he should be making a business out of it.
“Nah, then it becomes a job,” he said with a laugh. “I just love to do this for fun.”