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.


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.


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.

Floors

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!