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

To 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcdMMgUfH6o.

Industrial Metal Supply Co. partnered with Joe on this How-To DIY project by supplying some of the steel for this build! Visit www.IndustrialMetalSupply.com 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.

diamond plate toolbox

Find the Right Measurements

He 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 on 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 www.IndustrialMetalSupply.com.


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.


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.


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!