DIY Spotlight II

So it’s time to dust off the old welding machine you inherited from Dad. Or you just treated yourself to a shiny new TIG machine from Miller Welders. Either way, the time to do-it-yourself has come, and a-welding you will go toward creating something from a pile of sheet metal scraps, iron rods lying around the garage, and a few specific materials you pick up from your local metal yard.


If you have any level of experience safely running a welding machine and joining metal pieces together, you can get started with a number of beginner’s DIY welding projects. Even a cursory internet search can yield endless free or cheap designs to start from. For example, plans for a free utility trailer are available from an old farm manual. Looking this design over can provide the hobbyist with valuable experience reading diagrams and learning to follow welding instructions.


More simple starter project ideas include home objects like clothing hooks and square shelving. Slightly more ambitiously, you could attempt an entire garden bench with some iron and wood. Any number of furniture adaptations are possible, from tables to chairs to kitchen items. Fun projects for the sports-minded include metal sleds (relatively easy TIG welding of sheet metal) or, for the more advanced DIY TIG welders out there, an entire bike frame. This one requires a bit of preliminary effort such as measuring out a jig, or pattern to align the workpieces at the right angles so you don’t have to grown an extra arm mid-weld.

An even more abundant supply of welding plans can be purchased and downloaded for just a few dollars. These types of plans are likely to provide the most details for precise welding work, including exact measurements, materials listings, and even 3D CAD drawings. Fun project ideas include old DIY standbys like go-karts. The money invested in plans will help the beginner learn in a step-by-step manner so you can make fewer mistakes as you weld.


One of the best ways to let your DIY welding self go wild is in the wide-open field of garden art. You could start by taking a trip to your junk yard and finding some disjointed pieces of iron. If you already have a cutter, you can practice on these and get creative with the shapes. Weld them together in creative ways you can call art no matter the outcome, and you’ll have logged some crucial practice hours with your welding equipment at the same time. You can either stick the finished, beautiful piece of art in your garden, or throw it in the back of the garage to become fodder for a later DIY cutting and welding project.

For great ideas of welding projects and the welding supplies you’ll need to carry them out, just call your local branch of Sidney Lee Welding Supply in the Atlanta, GA area.