Boba Fett, R2-D2, a fire-breathing dragon – Sleaford-area man creates fantastic burners after taking up welding to de-stress from work

From one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy to a fire-breathing dragon, the humble stove has being getting quite the makeover thanks a Sleaford-area man.

Giving stoves a sci-fi and fantasy twist ...
Giving stoves a sci-fi and fantasy twist ...

Patrick Welby-Everard, of Caythorpe, is the self-taught welder behind a growing catalogue of eye-catching, often sci-fi-inspired, outdoor burners.

The 51-year-old took up welding after finding himself struggling with anxiety.

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“I found I couldn’t switch off after work and I needed to put my mind to something else,” he said. “There is the creative side to this, where I can let my imagination go, and then the problem-solving side, where I look at a problem and work out a way of dealing with it – before I know it, hours have gone by. It’s incredibly satisfying when you have finished a project – and more satisfying when people like it.”

Patrick's favourite creation.

Patrick started with a £15 second-hand arc welder he found online; as his skills have grown, he has been able to upgrade his kit. Initially, he used scrap metal he had ‘kicking about’, but now uses a steel merchant.

When he finishes a piece, Patrick will usually put it on his Facebook page for sale, though some have been built as gifts and others to commission.

Many of his creations have been inspired by science fiction, in particular Star Wars, including Boba Fett.

“I found that working with metal to be a forgiving medium, if you make a mistake you just get the angle grinder out and grind it off and start again,” he said.

Patrick and his Boba Fett-inspired stove.

“I have had no training at all,” he continued. “I am totally self taught and have always worked on the principal that there is no shame in trying and failing as long as you get up and try again and the more you practice the better you become.”

Patrick’s favourite creation is the dragon.

“He stands six-foot tall and when you fire him up he breathes smoke and if you stoke him up with wood he will breathe fire. For this project, everything was made from sheet steel that I fabricated and shaped. I actually had to build a small anvil out of a bit of railway track so I could shape each of the 200 steel scales I cut from the sheet metal I had.

“Everything was made by hand and worked to fit an exact location.”

The VW camper vans are the most popular designs, Patrick says.

The most popular? His VW camper vans.

“They look really funky,” he said. “I get asked to build these a lot.”

You can see more of Patrick’s work at www.facebook.com/Patchworkwelding/

A 50-hour build, R2-D2.