Starting Out in Steelworks: Useful Things You Can Create with Steel

Oct 22, 2021 | Lifestyle

The pandemic urged many of us to acquire DIY skills. We started out with basic home repairs, like fixing a leak or a minor maintenance issue. If those things have become boring already, perhaps it’s time to challenge yourself with DIY steelworks.

This isn’t to be taken lightly, though. Working with steel involves some risks, like an electric shock, since you might have to use a welding torch. So it would take lots of practice and trial and error to create your first decent steel item. But don’t be discouraged. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to nail the projects listed below.

But before we dive into those, gather these tools first:

DIY Steelworks for Beginners

With all the necessary tools and equipment in your kit, consider creating any of these useful items:

1.  New Plumbing  Pipes

This one’s incredibly easy since it won’t require a lot of work. If your existing plumbing pipes have aged and corroded, it’s time to replace them with corrosion-resistant galvanized stainless steel pipes. There are many uses for this particular type of steel, but it’s most common in plumbing systems. Galvanized pipes are coated in zinc so that they won’t corrode. As such, it can be used for outdoor or exposed plumbing systems.

Galvanized pipes may need to be cut before their installation. So with your pipe cutter with rotary cutting wheels, cut the pipe to the required length, placing it on a flat surface, such as cardboard or plywood. Wear safety goggles and gloves, because cutting metal generates sparks.

When you’re done, smooth out the sharp ridges of the cut pipe. Thread end of the pipe with a die cutter. You may need to use cutting oil to protect the pipe thread die and make the process easier. Then cut the thread to the width of the die. After that, install the fittings on the joints, then hang the pipes with hanging straps or regular pipe hangers.

2.  Outdoor Steel and Concrete Table

If your yard is lacking a patio, you may no longer need to buy a patio set if you have some spare metal table legs and concrete. You can also buy those things at a DIY store; it’ll still be cheaper than a patio set.

The tabletop doesn’t actually have to be 100% concrete. You can use plywood as a base, then wrap it with a cement board. Seal it with a paint-on membrane then cover it with ceramic tiles, if you want to. Once the tabletop’s all finished and ready, start with the metal legs.

Use steel bars to create the table’s legs, bending it using a jig to create an appealing curve. Install some small steel bars around the legs to reinforce them, then screw the finished legs into the tabletop. Use a power drill to bore the screw holes.

3.  Suspended Bookcase

You can buy a suspended bookcase from the store and install it yourself, following the manufacturer’s instructions. All you’d need is a power drill to make the holes on your walls. But if you want to take it up a notch, you can DIY it from the ground up.

For this, you’d need some wall standards, wall studs, and a cable equipped with shaft collar stops. The shelves themselves can be wood boards. First, install the wall standards, securing them with the studs. Then attach the wood boards. Use the cable to increase support, screwing them into the top of the wall standards, and attaching the other end on the edge of the bottom-most wood board.

4.  Pen Holder

If the work-from-home or online school setup has been making you lose your pens, make a pen holder using some steel tubes. This is a basic welding project that will barely make you sweat. Just gather the tubes, making sure each one fits at least one pen. Arrange them in a straight line, then weld them into a piece of flat metal, creating something like a miniature skyscraper. Cut the tubes to the size of half a pen.

Steelworks is a lot harder to master than woodworks and DIY home repair, so be patient with yourself. Consider enrolling in a course if you’re really serious about it. Your expertise in steelworks can land you great opportunities in construction.


– a contributed post

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