Money is always tight around the Christmas season and the price of tradesmen is always on the rise. It is for this reason that the number of people looking for DIY solutions is equally on the rise, as the cost of the tools required to meet most job requirements are relatively low and the directions for almost any job can be found on the internet. This makes the DIY option a very attractive one to most people but it is not always easy to find the right tool for the jobs you need doing.
As the number of DIY enthusiasts grows so too does the range of DIY projects available. DIY is not simply putting together your Ikea flat-pack bedside table anymore, it can be a rewarding hobby and can help you learn very useful skills which can be used to undertake more challenging projects or even turned toward a potential career as a tradesman.
Metalworking as a hobby is made up of a passionate community of people that continues to grow. The types of projects they will undertake vary as much as any, with some creating practical household items like shelving brackets and others use their skills to follow more artistic endeavours.
The first thing you will need to worry about before you even consider picking up a tool is safety equipment. No doubt you hear this a lot these days but we cannot stress enough how important it is to take precautions. The one-off cost of a pair of safety gloves and some protective goggles is around £15 and the time it takes to put them on is less than a minute, surely those are acceptable losses compared to the potential of a loss of sight or severe burns.
Once you have your safety gear you will need to get the right tools to cut and shape the metal you will be working with. You would think that these would cost hundreds and hundreds of pounds and whilst some do there are very affordable quality options out there. Metal cutting saws are a strong basis on which you can build your metalworking abilities.
You will have to replace the steel cutting disks of the saws periodically as they will eventually wear down. They will also need replacing depending on the thickness and type of metal you are working on as the blades do come in different sizes and thicknesses. It is a good idea to get a few spares before you start working and fortunately they are very inexpensive, normally costing between £1.00 and £6.00.
At some point you will want to attach two pieces of metal together and sadly unlike wood you cannot simply glue them together. Arc welders use electricity to weld metal together and require arc welding rods when used to weld mild steel. There are also a whole host of arc welding accessories and consumables to help make life easy, if you choose to invest in them.
Once you are done welding and you’re nearing completion it is time to turn your attention to how your project looks. Chipping hammers are useful for removing the residue left from the welding process (this residue is known as slag) and it is always a good idea to sand or polish the fruits of your labour so that it looks its best when you get round to using it or when you are showing it off.