For a lot of us, quarantine has meant staying at home with a whole lot of time on our hands. And we’re guessing that by now, you’ve organized, cleaned, fixed, and installed anything that needed it, and are at the point where even Netflix is getting old. If you’re scratching your head for something to do, here are some awesome, easy beginning metalworking projects to keep you busy. You can sell your work on websites like Etsy, or even get a head start on Christmas presents (hey, it never hurts to be proactive). As a bonus, you’ll even learn a new skill or two!
Rings are a great beginning metalworking project. Making them will help you hone a few basic skills, like bending and smoothing, and they don’t take a lot of material to make, so all of your mess-ups won’t be a terrible loss. With a little practice, you can create thoughtful presents your friends and loved ones that they’ll cherish for years to come. And if you get really good, you could launch a new side-hobby crafting handmade wedding rings.
We don’t have any formal statistics on this, but drawing on our 30 years’ experience selling metal fabrication equipment in Apex, it seems like the vast majority of people who start metalworking as a hobby do so because they want to make a sword. Unfortunately, swords aren’t all that easy to make, especially if you’re new to metalwork. Just as you need to crawl before you walk, crafting knives will help you pick up all the skills you’ll need to eventually make a sword, with less wasted material. As a bonus, knives are super useful to almost everyone, and also make a great handcrafted gift (just don’t forget the penny).
We aren’t talking about building an entire propane grill—that’s definitely not a project for beginners. But making the actual gridlike surface on which you cook your steak and hamburgers is pretty easy and fun. The job mostly consists of cutting pieces of metal piping and welding them together. Once you’re done, you’ve got an awesome DIY grill that’s unlike any other in the neighborhood.
Bottle openers are another easy metalworking project that make for fantastic gifts. And, if you aim to make a little money off of your new hobby, you won’t have any trouble trying to sell this particular craft. You can be as creative or minimalist as you want—for instance, while this wall-mounted octopus bottle opener probably isn’t within the range of a beginner, it’s certainly something to aspire to.
Now that you have a few ideas to help you get started, you’re going to need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Check out Active Machinery’s product inventory to find all the metalworking tools you need, including shears, press punches, waterjets, plasma cutters, laser cutters, and more. We rent out equipment, too, so there’s no need to commit to a big purchase until you’re sure you love it! To order a piece of machinery, click here.