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.

DIY Kitchen Backsplash Thumb

DIY: Making a Stainless Steel Kitchen Back-Splash

Stainless steel makes a great backsplash for many kitchen styles, from contemporary industrial to retro eclectic. In addition to its posh, upscale look, the material is easy to clean, lasts forever, and doesn’t harbor germs. Putting up a stainless DIY kitchen back splash is relatively easy, if you pay attention to the following basics.

Choosing a grade, thickness, and finish

The most versatile and widely used of all stainless is grade 304. This material provides the best all-around performance due to its chemical composition, mechanical properties, and corrosion resistance. Stainless sheet comes in a variety of sizes, gauges, and finishes. For a DIY back splash, choose a thickness of about 20 or 22 gauge.

To maintain a unified design, you want the back splash to match your stainless appliances, countertops, and cabinet fronts. The #8 mirror finish is attractive, but you may find that the #4 brushed, or satin finish, is better at hiding fingerprints.

For an even more exciting look, choose one of the many embossed and textured stainless sheet patterns. This type of decorative sheet is rigidized, so that a much smaller-gauge piece provides greater durability and protection from scratches and dents.

Cutting to size

Measure the wall(s) to be covered, include holes for outlets. Typically the backsplash extends to the bottom of the upper cabinets, but you may choose to go only a few inches up the wall – or all the way to the ceiling. You may want to create a paper template using these measurements, which can be used to cut the steel sheet. Be sure to indicate on the template which direction you want the brushed grain or embossed pattern to go.

If you are using a cutting service, ask them to debur the edges of the panel, so that it doesn’t cut your hands.

J-channel and T-channel (also known as trim strips) complete the easy installation of backsplashes and wall cladding systems. They are made from corrosion-resistant 430 stainless steel with a bright annealed finish. They are sold in 12-foot pieces and are easily cut on the spot for simple installations with two-sided tape.

Adhering to the wall

Prepare the wall surface by sanding it smooth, to eliminate any bumps or uneven spots. Tape down brown kraft paper over all nearby surfaces, to protect them and make cleanup easier. Use pencil and a level to mark a line along the top and sides of the backsplash.

Apply a construction adhesive to the wall and smooth it down with a trowel or putty knife. Align the stainless sheet in place and smooth it down with rags or a tile float. You may need to prop it in place until the adhesive sets. Once the backsplash is installed, remove any protective plastic layer from the front of the sheet.

Industrial Metal Supply is the supplier of choice in the Southwest for stainless steel sheet. Contact IMS today for a quote.

diy sheet metal, sheet metal projects

Creative DIY Sheet Metal Projects

Sheet metal is a versatile material that provides endless possibilities for creative do-it-yourself projects that are both aesthetic and functional. The variety of materials and forms available, from sturdy corrugated steel panels to delicate aluminum mesh, can spark inspiration for all sorts of sheet metal project ideas for your home and yard.

Sheet comes in different types of metal, including aluminum, steel, stainless steel, brass, and copper, with a range of textures from shiny to satin. Choose from wide array of patterned perforated sheet in aluminum, steel, or 304 stainless to create decorative lampshades, candleholders, ventilated cabinet doors, security panels, room dividers, and even framed jewelry holders.

Home & Kitchen Interior

Modern farmhouse decor, which incorporates industrial metal with more traditional wood, is the perfect style for DIY sheet metal projects. Corrugated sheet, with its corrosion-resistant galvanized finish in a variety of patterns, embodies the look. Use it to make the perfect enclosure for an outdoor shower or storage shed, as well as roofing, wall panels (both indoors and out), or fence panels to cover an unsightly view.

Metal range hoods are the perfect place to add personality to your kitchen. Choose shiny stainless to match the appliances or pre-painted aluminum sheet to match the cabinets. Or apply a bronze or copper patina to plain steel sheet for an old-world look.

Embossed and woven wire mesh for ventilation.


Use diamond tread plate in aluminum or steel to cover floors or add to stairways for a non-slip grip. Tread plate also makes a distinctive wall covering that provides protection from scrapes and bumps.

Furniture Designs

Create unique furniture designs from metal sheet, including headboards, tables and table tops, desks, chairs, and all types of shelving. Decorative accessories, such as lampshades, lamps, chandeliers, plant stands, gazebos, railings, vases, picture frames, as well as sculptures, can all be constructed from metal. Make box planters from stainless steel sheet or a raised bed with strips of galvanized sheet.

When it comes to metal sheet projects, if you can dream it, you can DIY it!

Industrial Metal Supply is your source for everything sheet metal. Visit one of our six locations today!

How-To Video Building a DIY Travel Trailer – The Frame

Our friend and master DIY’er Joe Mooney of Homesteadonmics is back at it again! This time he’s working on a Travel Trailer build, currently welding the frame together to create the basic shell. This will end up somewhere at the crossroads of a Teardrop Trailer & a full size Camp Trailer. Stay tuned as his project transforms from this base frame into a full fledged aluminum clad roadworthy companion!

From the Forney welder to the steel & aluminum, down to welding tabs, our six stores have everything you need to make one of your own!

About The Project – By Joe Mooney:

Building the base frame of this DIY Travel Trailer project started about two years ago when I was asked if I wanted an old axle from a Travel Trailer that was getting a larger axle installed.   Being an opportunistic user of what some would call junk… I said YES!  And that was the start of a rather long developed build that is now becoming a travel trailer!

After getting the axle, I figured I’d build a simple ‘angle iron’ utility trailer frame that I could pull with my 2006 Jetta TDI.  And maybe add some sort of lightweight teardrop style camper later on.  Well, as time passed, so did the Jetta with it’s 300k miles.  And the trailer sat just collecting dust and rust until I figured what the new plan would be.  And so the Travel Trailer plan developed.

Extending the Base frame…

The first step was to lengthen and widen the trailer from the angle iron utility frame that I originally built.  This definitely isn’t the ideal start to a travel trailer, incorporating different profiles and steel thicknesses, but it’s what I had to use.  I made all of the extensions with 2×3 14ga tubing coming off of the original 2×3 3/16th angle frame.  Each of the extensions off the sides and the back was also supported by the original frame angle that was positioned horizontally and had been left slightly wider than the original frame.  This keeps the new sides from ‘pulling’ outwards on the original frame.

As a matter of dimension the original frame started at roughly 5.5’W x10.5’L and with the new additions sits now at 7’ wide and is 13’ long for the foot print (lengths do not include tongue)

Building the upper frame…

The upper frame is constructed of 1×1.5” 16ga steel tubing for the sides and roof and 1×1” 16ga tubing for the front and back walls.

Starting the upper frame began with laying out a basic roof outline on the base frame, using it as a template, and then welding four wall posts up from the roof assembly.  Once this was done I then dragged it off of the trailer base frame and then flipped it over and set it back on the trailer base frame and tacked it into place.  Boom!  Walls and a roof started!  Once these were in place I then welded vertical ‘studs’ to infill the side walls and roof.

Next I added the back wall and connected it to the base frame at a 45 degree inward slope to give a clearance section for the back of the trailer.    The next big step was adding the front wall and then bending the front ‘radius’ sections.  This was accomplished in the old school method of a torch and an old water tank we used as a form.  Once those bent sections were in  tacked in place I then in filled horizontal pieces and went about framing a doorway and adding metal tabs to provide mounting points for window frames and interior wood framework.

So that’s about it for the general frame build.  The next steps are to prep for paint and adding all the window frames and other support members prior to adding the aluminum ‘skin’ to the outer shell.  This is currently underway and will be in the part 2 video of this series!    Thanks for watching and stay tuned for more on this build!

VIDEO: How To Build Your Own Welding Table

Our friend Joe Mooney of Homesteadonomics building a Welding Table / Multifunctional workbench for his shipping container shop. He plans on using this welding table/workbench for more than just welding so there’s added functionality. It will likely be a multipurpose workbench for many of his projects and will help out a lot for the next few shipping container shop additions!

We (Industrial Metal Supply Co.) partnered with Joe on this How-To DIY project by supplying some of the steel for this build! Shop our inventory, check our store locations or get quotes online here.

how to bend sheet metal

How to Bend Sheet Metal

With just a few simple tools, such as a vise and hammer, you can bend sheet metal by yourself – for auto restoration, home decoration, light metal fabrication, etc. The size and thickness of the sheet will determine whether the job can be accomplished with hand metal bending or will require the help of a metal bending machine, or brake.

Bending is Not for All Metals

Sheet metals come in a range of sizes and gauges (thicknesses). Some sheet is more brittle than others and may break if bent too far, so you may want to test a small sample before committing to a large project.

Bending a piece of metal will cause it to stretch on the outside of the bend (and compress the inside). That means the finished length will be longer than the original sheet length, so include that in your calculation when sizing the sheet.

How to Calculate Bend Deduction

The total amount stretched is called the bend deduction – because that amount must be subtracted from the starting length of the piece in order to end up with the correct length after bending.

The bend deduction calculation depends on several factors, including:

  • Thickness of the material
  • Outside bend angle (180° minus the inside bend angle)
  • Inside radius of the bend
  • The K factor, a constant based on the material’s properties and thickness

The K factor of your metal sheet, and the calculation of bend deduction, may require a few different sample bends. You can estimate the bend deduction using this chart, which uses an assumed K factor of 0.33, or plug your values into a design software such as Solid Edge, Solid Works or Pro-Engineer.

The Bending Process

Mark the two lines on the sheet metal where the bend will begin and end (the material between these two marks – the bend allowance – will deform to create the angle).

To create the bend manually you can use a shaped form, perhaps made of wood, which conforms to the bend radius you want to achieve. The form should be wider than the metal sheet you are planning to bend.

Set the form into a heavy vise so that the curved radius faces up. Next, place the metal piece into the vise right next to the wooden form and clamp it securely. Make sure the first bend mark lines up exactly with the curve in the form, so that the bending will begin in the right spot.

Using protective gloves hold the free end of the metal sheet with one hand and with the other hand use a mallet or hammer to begin bending the sheet down and around the curved radius of the wood form. Start at one end and slowly work down to the other

To help the bending process you could apply some heat, which softens the metal, making it easier to work.