Making A BBQ Grill from Scrap Metal

DIY BBQ Grill from Scrap Metal

For all you metal DIY enthusiasts, building a barbeque grill from scrap metal could be the ultimate project. Just imagine the crackling fire, the fragrant woodsmoke, the sizzle of steaks, and that heavenly first bite!

But first, you need to think through a few issues before you start to build a DIY grill.

The ideas in this post are for a grill or open fire pit burning wood or charcoal. A gas-fired grill would require additional supplies and equipment.

You’ll need several types of metal for the grate, the grill body, the frame or legs and optionally, a lid with handle.

You might be lucky enough to find a ready-made wrought iron grate. Or, you can weld together a grate of stainless steel rods, to preserve food safety and prevent corrosion. If the metal has been electrocoated or powdercoated, for example if you’re using scrap stainless rods left over from commercial door security systems, that coating should be completely removed to prevent toxic fumes when you fire up the grill.

If you can’t find uncoated scrap, you can always purchase ½-in. diameter stainless steel rod from your local metal supply shop. The stainless rods can safely be welded between two mild steel ends cut from bar scrap.

Grill Body

You might be able to find the perfect piece of scrap to use for a housing, such as an old tractor wheel rim. Otherwise you can build a tray out of stainless steel sheet, for a long-lasting, rust-free lifetime of grilling. Once completed, the grill can be painted with high-heat resistant BBQ finish spray paint.

Draw out your design for the grill tray. It should be large enough to fit the rack inside but flush with the top edge, with walls that are deep enough (say, 4 inches) to hold the wood or charcoal. You could add a dividing wall across the bottom of the tray if you want the option of building a smaller fire at times.

For an open pit fire bowl, you may choose to angle the walls outward. Otherwise, design your grill tray like a box with rectangular walls.

To make the three-dimensional tray you will need to draw your box pattern on the stainless sheet. Then, cut the four corner sections out of the sheet. Make shallow cuts along the inside bend lines to help you bend the walls up. Finally, you’ll need to tack the corners together, with the help of clamps and welding magnets, before making the final welds.

If you’re planning to build a box lid to help infuse your barbeque with hickory smoke flavor, you’ll need holes or slots drilled into the sides of the grill box for vents. You also need to weld in a few stops at the right height to support the grate above the fire and stops on the outside to support the lid.

Supporting Your Grill

When designing your grill stand, you need to know where you’ll be using the grill. Will it be open to the earth like a true fire pit? Or will you set it on a wooden deck or concrete drive or patio that might blacken, crack or mar due to heat?

Options to consider might be welding together a support frame from scrap rebar that would allow you to set the firebowl down inside, while keeping it above ground. Or, you could weld on some legs made from 1-in. bar stock. You may also re-use a large metal tube as a support. Weld one end to the bottom of the grill tray and then weld three perpendicular supports on the bottom end. Make sure than any metal that will directly touch the patio is made of stainless steel.

A project like this can take a lot longer than you might expect. But take your time and don’t cut corners – the end result will be well worth it!

You can rely on Industrial Metal Supply for all your metal and metalworking needs, including welding equipment and supplies.

When to Use Welding Clamps and Welding Magnets

When to Use Welding Clamps and Welding Magnets

You only have so many hands and sometimes to achieve that perfect weld you need help. That’s where welding magnets and clamps come in to play. They can be used to create inside and outside corners as they can hold metal (tube and sheet) at a variety of different angles.

Magnets are useful when you need to get a tack weld started or when you need to solder a couple thin pieces of sheet metal. They can hold pipes in place for soldering and they are also good for doing layout work to prepare for all types of fabrication.

Small to large projects and various metal shapes require different types of clamps and magnets. Here are some ideas to add to your metal shop tools list:

Standard 4-in-1 clamp

Secure a piece of sheet metal to a welding table, or turn it into a pipe clamp with the V-Pad accessory. Add an extender block and reverse the clamp arm to create a spreader for laying out and welding metal cross-pieces. Use one or more extender blocks to create a step-over clamp for stepping over obstacles such as I-beams.

Adjust-O Magnets

Setting up and holding two pieces of metal in place for tack welding can be difficult, but if the metal is ferromagnetic (attracted to magnets), these handy magnets make it a snap. The secret is in the flip of a switch. Start by laying the Adjust-O magnet on the horizontal piece. Next, line up the cross piece using either the 90° or the 45° edge. Once both pieces are aligned, flip the magnet switch to lock them in place.

The Adjust-O Dual Switch makes the process even more fool-proof. Once the first piece is in place, turn on the first magnet to lock it to that piece. Next, align the cross piece using the 90° or the 45° edge. Once it’s in position, switch on the second magnet to secure it. Reverse the switch to release the magnet when the job is complete. Adjust-O magnets feature 150 pounds of magnetic force and precision machined flat and V surfaces to securely hold both flats or rounds.

Sheet Metal Magnets

These strong magnets with plastic handles makes placing, moving, and removing magnets fast and easy. They hold sheet metal and automotive metal panels firmly in place to allow better access for cutting, tack welding, painting, etc. The magnets are made with rare earth metals for superior gripping power and the replaceable rubber pads provide friction for better handling of large, heavy workpieces. NOTE: Magnets must be removed before completing the weld.

Snake Magnets. This set of two flat magnetic pads with an 18″ cable that holds two workpieces at odd angles. Metallic cable can bend and twist in any direction. Set includes a spring clamp that can replace one magnet head and hold small tools, acting as a “third hand.” NOTE: Magnets must be removed before completing the weld.

Ground Hog Clamp. When performing metal arc welding, the Ground Hog clamps onto the metal surface being welded, creating a contact point that allows complete transfer of the electrical current in a full circuit. The clamp controls the electrical current by isolating the contact surface and the welding cable connection. The result is reduced power consumption and a smooth, continuous arc with no fade or heat transfer.

IMS stocks metal working tools for all levels of expertise, including hand tools and power tools, and an extensive variety of magnets and clamps, depending on your specific need. Some of the many options we stock include C-clamps, tube clamps, standard squares, and bolt-on or clamp-on bench vises.

Visit us online for all your welding supplies, or drop by one of our six convenient locations in Southern California and Arizona.

Industrial Look and Feel

Give Your Space An Industrial Look With These Metals

Industrial furniture style makes for great DIY metal fabrication projects. From mirror polished stainless steel to aged and oxidized copper tubing, metal, in all its varieties, forms the heart of industrial design. Add the organic warmth of weathered or reclaimed wood, exposed pipes, earthy brick or concrete, rivets, and a touch of leather to round out your industrial style.

An Industrial Style Table

If you’re lucky enough to score a pair of vintage cast iron legs from an old lathe mill or workbench, re-purpose them into a side table or, depending on their length, a small café table. Craft a tabletop from reclaimed oak.

Industrial Bed Frame & Headboard

Rectangular steel tubing can be cut to make the legs and frame for an industrial style bed. Use two longer tubes for the headboard and two shorter tubes for the foot of the bed. Weld all four supports to a rectangular frame made of steel angle. Then weld crossbars between the legs of the headboard and footboard, and several more across the base to support a mattress and box springs. Sand, prime, and paint the frame an industrial gray. To make an interesting headboard design, add horizontal strips of reclaimed wood coated in a non-toxic finish.

Industrial Computer Desk

Use square steel tube to build a framework for an open-shelf computer desk. Weld together two “pillars” consisting of four legs and two perforated steel shelves each. Weld a large rectangular frame across the top of the pillars, leaving a large enough space between them for your knees. Bolt a piece of polished, weathered wood across the frame to create the desktop. Hang a pull-out shelf for your keyboard under the central section of the desk.

By cutting a hole at the back near the base of one of the desk legs, you can string electric cables through the tube and up to the desktop, avoiding a messy tangle of cords. You could also build a matching steel tube stool with a wooden seat. To complete the industrial look, place wire or woven wood baskets on the open shelves for storage.


More DIY Industrial Metal Projects Ideas

  • Metal hardware casters can turn any size or height table or bookshelf into an industrial design showpiece.
  • Create a large metal wall clock reminiscent of an old-time factory.
  • Use woven or welded wire mesh as shelves for an industrial bookshelf or baker’s rack, or even the walls of a wine cabinet.
  • Create a pendant light with a steel or cast iron basket cover – and try finishing it with an antique patina.
  • Replace the wood doors on your kitchen cabinets with chicken wire or wire mesh.
  • Use copper tubing or steel pipes to support floating wooden shelves.

Find more creative ways to use sheet metal for DIY industrial projects on our blog.

Shop Industrial Metal Supply for all your DIY metal fabrication needs. Click here for the location nearest you or visit us online at

Build Your Own Welding Table

Build Your Own Welding Table or Workbench

Joe Mooney of Homesteadonmics built a welding table/multifunctional workbench for his shipping container shop, using steel sheet and tubing. He plans on using this table for more than just welding, so he built in added functionality, making it a multipurpose workbench for more than just metal projects. This welding table build should also help him out a lot for the next few shipping container shop additions!

Gather Your Metal Materials

weld a table measurementsTo begin this project, Joe made a trip to his local Industrial Metal Supply, checking out the reference board and the scrap room for ideas. After purchasing materials, he measured and cut steel plate for the top and steel tube into lengths to make the frame and legs: four (4) legs, four (4) long frame struts, four (4) short frame struts, and, ultimately, five (5) cross pieces.

Laying out the tubing on the table’s top to ensure fit and spacing, Joe used large, powerful welding magnets and an L-square to square the frame corners. Then he tack welded the rectangular frame together, turning it over to ensure it was square before continuing to weld. He made sure to work on opposite sides of the frame so that the tube didn’t heat up too quickly.

Welding Your Table

Next, Joe welded the sides of the frame together, adding three cross pieces on the top and two on the bottom. He also welded small square pieces of plate to the bottom of each leg to serve as a base for the wheels.

To add to the versatility of the table, Joe installed some perforated steel tubing across the length of the table directly under the level of the table top. This allowed him to add a slide-out section from each side of the table to hold his table saws.

Using four pieces of steel tubing cut on a 45-degree angle, Joe welded together two rectangular drawer frames. He welded a hinge on one outside corner of each drawer, to allow them to swing out from beneath the table top. After adding some perforated sheet to form the bottoms of the drawers, he welded the other side of each hinge to the back table legs near the top. Then he added a piece of scrap underneath the table top cross braces to act as a backstop for the flip-out drawers.

Next, Joe built a large pull-out front drawer using some flat steel bar scrap, along with a piece of the perforated sheet for the bottom of the drawer. He mounted that drawer on a couple of slide-out rails hung from the top cross-pieces.

The Finishing Touches

To finish the frame, Joe sanded it all smooth, went over it with paint thinner, and then sprayed it with a couple of coats of gray paint.

He added heavy-duty poly casters to the four legs. Then he added a clear coat of Penetrol to a large rectangle of perforated sheet (to maintain the metal look) and screwed it to the base of the frame to form a shelf that would allow metal shavings to drop through.

Joe welded tabs to the steel sheet used for the table top and then attached those to the frame with sheet metal screws. He also screwed bent flat bar at various spots on the legs to make handy brackets and accessory hooks.

To create a pull-out expansion section, Joe slid steel tube into the perforated tube already mounted on the frame and welded a cross piece to each end. He added some clever leveling stops to the bottom of the frame to allow him to level the table on uneven surfaces.

For complete details on Joe’s welding table build, visit our YouTube channel at

Industrial Metal Supply Co. partnered with Joe on this How-To DIY project by supplying some of the steel for this build! Visit for the Southwest’s largest supply of metal and metal tools and accessories.

Build Your Own Diamond Plate Tool Box

Build Your Own Diamond Plate Tool Box

Our friend Joe Mooney of Homesteadonmics is back at it again with another one of his metal projects – this time he’s built a tool or battery box for his travel trailer. Everyone loves aluminum tread plate and who better to show you how to build your own toolbox than Joe!

Joe needed a rugged container that would fit in a large open space at the front of his trailer, and he decided to build one that would fit the trapezoidal shape perfectly. The diamond plate project began with tread plate purchased and cut to size at Industrial Metal Supply, which made the sheet more manageable and transportable. He started with a 16’ length of aluminum tread plate that was .100 thick.

Find the Right Measurements

build your own diamond plateHe also used IMS’s shearing service to get the main dimension, a long 16-in. wide strip for the walls and sides of the box.

At home, Joe measured the dimensions needed to fit the trailer frame. Then, using a carbide tipped wood blade on a circular saw, he cut a piece of treadplate to use as a baseplate and template to determine the angles and shape for the box.

To create the 16-in. strip for the walls of the box, Joe measured and marked off the location of the corners of his baseplate. He turned the strip of plate over to the inside and scored perpendicular lines about 25% to 30% of the way through the depth, to make it easier to bend the corners. Then he used an angle grinder to clean up and soft the score marks.

With the help of a strip of 2×2-in. lumber, Joe began the process of bending the aluminum strip at the score marks to make the walls of the box. After completing the bending process, he measured and cut the strip to the exact length needed to create the back wall of the box.

Welding Your Tool Box

welding diamond plate toolbox

To weld the box together, Joe used a MiG spool gun on a Forney 190 multi-process welder with 100% argon gas. Housing the aluminum weld wire in a spool on the back of the gun is preferred due to its softness.

This was Joe’s first time welding with a spool gun, so it took a few tries to get the settings right – such as wire speed, voltage, and amount of shielding gas – but he persisted. In some cases, he actually burned through the aluminum in spots, and he had to go back over some of the earlier welds after improving his technique.

Holding the sides together with a clamp, first, he tack welded the sides and base in spots. Even though the sides were made of one continuous piece of treadplate, Joe needed to weld the length of each corner because the scoring and bending process compromised their strength. He also welded the sides to the bottom of the box.

To seal the back seam opening, Joe added a scrap piece of aluminum plate, making it easier to weld the seam shut.

Joe made a lid of the same diamond plate as the toolbox. He cut a piece that was about 2-in. larger around than the base on each side, which he then scored and bent to overlap the box sides (making a triangular cutout odiamond plate toolboxn each corner). Bending the edges was tricky and required a mallet, some clamps, and some rectangular steel pipe.

After welding the corners of the lid together, Joe welded strips of aluminum angle together to make a frame on the inside of the lid and around the inside top of the box to reinforce it and give it more structure. He also installed a peel and stick rubber gasket, stainless steel hinge, some aluminum coated insulation, and a latch to hold the lid in place.

Watch the video here to see all the great details of Joe’s diamond plate tool box!

Industrial Metal Supply is the Southland’s largest supplier of metal and metalworking equipment and accessories. For more information, contact us at

diy metal wall clock

DIY Metal Wall Clock

Looking for a fun DIY project creating a large metal wall clock? This project doubles as wall art, and depending on the way it’s designed, would fit perfectly into a rustic farmhouse, eclectic, modern, or industrial chic décor. Thirty inches in diameter is a good size for filling a large block of space, such as a brick or stone fireplace chimney.

How to Make a Clock From Metal

There are a few different ways to create a DIY clock from metal. The simplest method might start with a large square of stainless steel sheet cut to size and sanded or beveled to smooth out any sharp edges. You could choose a shiny, mirrored finish or a perforated or textured sheet.

Then, using a straight edge, draw a straight line from corner to corner, crossing in the middle, to find the exact center of the piece (don’t remove any protective backing until the project is completed). Drill a hole in the center to fit the clock mechanism and securely attach the spindle through the hole, using washers if needed to make a snug fit. Fix the hands to the front of the clock shaft and Voila! A DIY metal clock.

Other Methods For Making Your Own Clock

If you’re lucky enough to find a large old electric radiator/fan, you can re-use the metal circular frame for a clock. You might be able to find a set of metal clock numbers at a craft store. Or, to create Roman numerals, weld short sections of ¼-in. mild steel rods between the inner and outer loops of the fan.

If you don’t have a frame, try bending ¼-inch steel rod welded to several metal tabs that can be screwed down to a round plywood template the same size as the clock. Create a housing for the battery mechanism with a short length of metal pipe covered with a round of sheet metal. Make an inner ring about 4 inches smaller that the outer circle, and use four 1/8-in. rods in a cross shape to connect the rings and the battery housing in the center.

Weld the short rods between the inner and outer rings in the shape of the Roman numeral symbols from 1 to 12. Before the final weld, make sure the center of each symbol is exactly positioned at even intervals around the circles.

You may wish to paint the metal or add a patina to the clock frame before installing the hands and movement mechanism. Hang it on the wall, and enjoy!

Industrial Metal Supply is your source for all DIY metal, patinas, welding equipment, and supplies. Visit us online or at one of our six locations.

diy sheet metal ideas

Creative Ways To Use Sheet Metals for DIYs

There are a million creative sheet metal DIY projects. Even for someone that’s inexperienced with metalworking, it’s not that hard to learn how to use sheet metal. Here are some ideas to spark your imagination.

Install attractive corrugated metal siding or roofing on a garage, potting shed, garden gazebo, barbecue pit, or even the main house. Choose a shiny, corrosion-resistant Galvalume finish, a pre-painted color, or use weathering steel for a rustic look. For something different, try perforated aluminum corrugated sheet. Use concrete screws to drill sections to concrete block walls. Alternate panel colors/materials or make a checkerboard pattern with the ridges.

Thin gauge perforated metal sheet can be bent, cut, and glued into a range of shapes to create see-through candle covers, free-standing or wall-hanging sculptures with led light illumination, lamp shades, privacy screens, luminaires, planters, bird feeders – whatever suits your fancy.

Create outdoor metal sculptures from corrugated sheet that can stand up to the elements, including Christmas trees, pumpkins, valentine hearts, Easter bunnies, and American flags. Use a pair of tin snips and wear protective gloves to cut out shapes – then spray paint with weatherproof paint to keep them looking good year after year.

Another fun DIY metal project: Build a robot costume for your child (or yourself). Use lightweight aluminum sheet and bend it into rectangles with a metal hand brake (see below) and glue sections together with epoxy.

Cover flat cabinet doors or walls with aluminum sheet for a dry erase board or steel sheet for a magnetic board. Decorate with metal letters and magnetic mesh baskets from a hobby shop. You can use small magnet-backed containers to attach and hold dried herbs and spices in the kitchen, paper clips and wall pins in the office, or beads & buttons and jewelry findings in the craft area.

Cutting and Bending Sheet Metal

Freshly cut sheet metal can be extremely sharp, so use protective gloves and work carefully when cutting with tin snips. After cutting to size, frame the sheet with wood trim. Or if the edges will be exposed, crimp or fold them over using clamps to hold the sheet to the edge of a workbench, and then hammer down the borders with a wooden mallet.

If the metal is too thick, you can try a metal bending machine, or brake. Small hand operated brakes are inexpensive and work on sheet less than 30 inches wide. For larger jobs, try a metal cutting and shearing service at your local metal supply dealer.

Click here for more creative DIY ideas for sheet metal.

For all your DIY sheet metal and supplies, contact Industrial Metal Supply.

diy magnetic board

DIY: How To Make a Magnetic Board on a Budget

Magnetic boards can be found in almost any room of the house, or at the office, for that matter. These practical items can help you organize and display everything from crafts and sewing notions to children’s artwork and school papers to dried herbs and spices. Here are some tips for making a DIY magnetic board without breaking the bank.

Start With a Pre-Made Frame

The easiest – and most cost effective – way to make a magnetic board is start with a frame or framed piece of artwork. Remove the glass, cardboard backing, and the art. Then use the cardboard rectangle as a template for a piece of sheet metal.

Select The Right Metal Sheet

Though you made find small sizes of metal sheet at a hobby store, a metal supply stores carry a larger variety of steel sheet. Make sure you don’t choose aluminum sheet, because it’s not magnetic. Galvanized steel sheet will resist rust and corrosion over the years. Choose a thickness that’s easy to work with and not too heavy – for example, 16-gauge galvanized steel sheet, which is about 1/16-inch thick.

Cut The Sheet to Fit the Cardboard Template

Very small-gauge steel sheet can be cut fairly easily with tin snips, or you can ask the hardware or metal supply store for custom cut-to-size sheet.

Prepare The Frame

Before assembling the magnetic board, you may want to change the look of the frame to fit the style of your home. If it is bare wood, sand it lightly and then stain it, following the directions on the package. If the frame was already stained, start by sanding it down to the wood grain before re-staining or painting. If you’re going to paint the frame, you may need to sand it and coat it with a couple layers of primer, let it dry, and then apply the final color.

Assemble The Magnetic Board

Insert the steel sheet into the frame, followed by the cardboard backing. Use the same hardware provided to lock them into the back of the frame. Add hanging hardware as needed, and then hang and enjoy!

For a wide range of steel sheet, visit Industrial Metal Supply today.

repurposed metal projects

Items That Are Perfect for Repurposed Metal Projects

Many DIY projects make good use of repurposed metal. The result can be not only practical and aesthetically pleasing, but also good for the planet. Most metal objects do not break down quickly in nature, so it’s important to keep them out of the landfill as much as possible. Here are some creative ideas for projects that breathe new life into metal:

  • Build a new frame for an old metal fireplace screen to create a decorative wall hanging.
  • Repurpose old rebar into chairs, end tables, bookshelves, and more.
  • Frame a rectangle of rusted corrugated sheet in recycled wood and add lettering for a custom sign in the bath or hallway.
  • Recycle old metal sheet into rustic planters for the garden or flower boxes under windows.
  • “Upcycle” colanders or metal washtubs into lampshades.

Simple tin cans can be reborn as wall sculptures, flower vases, arts & crafts organizers, drink holders, luminaires, lamps, alarm clocks, and much more!

Imaginative souls can dream up an unlimited number of fun and fancy sculptures for home and garden by welding together repurposed metal objects such as horseshoes, old keys, bike chains, wrenches, hammers, nuts and bolts, washers, axe heads, springs, shovels and rakes, pipes, forks and spoons, chain links, railroad spikes, and the list goes on.

Repurposed weathering steel corrugated sheet adds a rustic look to outdoor structures, such as fences, barbecue pits, potting sheds, barns and garages. Indoors, it lends a modern farmhouse style to accent walls in a bedroom or media room. Use it to face cabinets, wrap around a kitchen island or cover a bar or backsplash.

Painted sheet metal can be repurposed for many uses, both indoor and outdoor. Pre-painted aluminum sheet has a hard, abrasive resistant coating that is extremely durable. Build all sorts of furniture, accessories, and sculptures with this versatile metal sheet, which can be extensively formed and fabricated without cracking the finish.

Aluminum sheet works with almost any style décor, from retro to farmhouse, minimalist to eclectic. Create a custom headboard with matching side tables, benches, and even lamps. Build a bookshelf, desk, dining set, coffee table, or bar.

For a wide range of pre-painted aluminum sheet colors and pre-cut sizes from 12 in. x 48 in. up to 48 in. x 96 in., contact Industrial Metal Supply.

How to Insteall Sliding Barn Doors Thumb

DIY: Sliding Barn Door

If you love the look of sliding barn doors, try making one yourself using one of the sliding barn door DIY kits now available. These kits provide all the hardware you need, plus instructions on how to measure, build, install, and hang your door. Just follow these basic steps, and you can complete the job in a weekend or so.

Measure the Door and Nearby Wall Space

If the door is framed, include the frame in your measurements. If you plan to cover an open doorway, add at least an inch to each side in the total width. Remember that the door will be sliding all the way to one side or another, so make sure there’s enough wall space for double the door width. Or, plan to divide the width in half and use double doors that slide apart. Some sliding barn door kits can be adjusted to allow two doors to stack together.

The height of the ceiling above the door opening should also be measured, to ensure there’s enough space to lift the door and hangers above the track when setting it into place.

Choose a Track-Mounting Method

Barn door kits typically can be top-mounted or front-mounted.

Decide How to Attach the Hardware to the Wall

If wallboard is in place, you’ll need to support the door track by screwing it to a header board mounted to the studs, or to bolt it directly to the studs themselves. If the door itself is very heavy, the second option is preferred.

Calculate the Spacer Length

Different sliding barn door DIY kits approach spacers in different ways. Some are adjustable, and some kits provide spacers in more than one length. The length chosen will depend on the door thickness, and whether or not the door opening is framed.

Calculate the Roller Height

This will depend on the roller size, as well as the method you choose for mounting the track to either the header board or to the studs. Follow the directions to calculate and mark the location of the bolts, and then mount the track and spacers.

Build the Door

This is where your creativity kicks in. If you don’t have access to old barn wood, create your own “aged” wood by cutting fresh planks to size and then distressing them and applying different colors of stain. You can use overlapping planks or try a chevron pattern, held together with a door rail or frame. When the stain is dry, assemble the door and then attach the hangers to the door according to the instructions.

Install the Door

It will take two people to lift the door so that the rollers can slide onto the track. Then apply end stops to prevent the door from falling off either end, and install the bottom guide.


Industrial Metal Supply carries DIY sliding barn door kits in stainless or powder coated steel. Contact us for all your DIY needs.