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Iron man enjoys retirement

Mack, left, comes out to enjoy some sunshine with his creator Brian Gibbling on the front lawn of their home on Forest Drive Friday. Gibbling, a retired heavy duty mechanic, has been creating Mack, mostly from scrap stainless steel, since November.  - Chris Bush photo
Mack, left, comes out to enjoy some sunshine with his creator Brian Gibbling on the front lawn of their home on Forest Drive Friday. Gibbling, a retired heavy duty mechanic, has been creating Mack, mostly from scrap stainless steel, since November.
— image credit: Chris Bush photo

Mack isn’t going anywhere in a hurry.

For one thing, he weighs about 200 kilograms, plus he’s pretty settled into his retirement home on the front lawn of Brian Gibbling’s house on Forest Drive.

Mack started coming around, so to speak, about two months ago and it wasn’t long before Gibbling fell into the habit of saying ‘good morning’ to him whenever he’d step into his workshop.

As they got to know each other, Gibbling, a 60-year-old retired heavy duty mechanic, got the back story on Mack.

“He’s a retired soldier,” Gibbling said. “He’s back from the wars and he’s happy now to just sit on the front lawn and feed the birds.”

Mack is a retired cyborg warrior, made from nuts, springs, bolts, spoons, forks, automotive and mortorcycle parts, metal tea sets, bearings, metal stove and refrigerator shelves, a small model steam engine from 1957 – that works – for a brain, a brass heart and propane bottle lungs. The closer and longer you look at him the more details you discover.

Mack sits and feeds nuts and bolts from a can to a small peacock made from spoons, forks and old channel lock pliers.

A bird made from part of a tea set sits on his shoulder and a second bird created from a working gas model airplane motor sits above Mack on a small shelter Gibbling made to keep the rain off.

It took about 400 hours for Gibbling to design and weld Mack together. That’s not counting all the hours spent scouring second-hand stores around town for spoons and forks.

“I’ve welded pretty much all my life, but this was the first time I got to weld what I want to weld,” Gibbling said. “I do lots of art work and I just  got carried away and tried to use up all the spare parts I’ve had laying around the house here.”

This is Gibbling’s first attempt at a sculpture like this. The level of detail is nothing short of incredible and the longer you look the more curiosities you find.

Gibbling doesn’t know what inspired him to start the project. He just happened to notice an upper control arm from a Honda car laying in his shop one day that looked a bit like a collar bone.

“The rest is history,” he said. “I just started welding and I was gone.”

Mack sits on an old wood stove bolted to a stump. His feet are off the ground, so Gibbling has to fabricate Mack a foot rest out of metal that will look like a log when it’s done.

“He definitely grew to more than what I envisioned when I started,” Gibbling said. “This guy’s going to have a dog eventually and maybe squirrels and who knows?”

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