Creating scrap metal art is a very fun activity to take on, yet, it is also a very difficult art form to hone because there is a level of specialization that people must learn in order to create art from already produced casts of welded mild steel such as iron.
To create scrap metal art, individuals known as Metal Smiths and welders, utilize existing scrap metals that had some utilitarian purpose such as a gear or any part of a machine and fuse them together in unique and clever ways to create art.
This is why welders and metal smiths often have to visit their nearest scrap yards or junkyards to be able to find scrap metal that they will turn into art. In this article, we will discuss where else you can find art as well as some art project ideas for beginners and advanced welders/metal smiths. Let us begin.
Another Man’s Garbage is Another Man’s Treasure.
A certain fact about scrap metal is that it is practically found anywhere. You can find scrap metal in most garages, junkyards, automobile stores, and even online. The basic place to look for scrap is always in your garage where you have numerous tools, car parts, bike parts, appliances, and many more. These objects, if not in use, are perfect to use as scrap metal for an art project.
If you do not have a garage of your own, the next suitable place to look for is in your family member or friend’s garage as they will surely contain loads of scrap metal that you may even get free of charge. Other places that you can find scrap metal are:
Dumpsters. Scrap metal that people no longer use are often disposed of. This is why if you are adventurous enough, you will find numerous scrap parts in dumpster and trash bins located all over your neighborhood. Collecting metal from these places allow you to save a lot of money as they are normally up for grabs.
Garage Sales. Many times your neighbors will have garage sales that feature numerous items for sale. In these sales, you will find a lot of scrap metal parts for dirt cheap prices. You may even bargain with the sellers to get more items for cheaper costs.
Auctions. Getting scrap metal from auctions is usually a more challenging endeavor as sellers actually know the value of their scrap. You are also bidding against other people who intend to use the scrap for numerous purposes such as art projects, repair and maintenance, and many more. For this, you must be prepared to spend a little bit more than you expect.
Junkyards. These places are usually the grail of scrap metal as they regularly receive an influx of vehicles, appliances, house parts, and building parts that they recycle. Junkyards are normally a more realistic venue to visit as they will sell you scrap metal for a bargain. Sometimes you may even get the parts for free as they usually have an over-abundance of scrap metal that they must deal with.
Scrap Metal Art for Beginners: How to Weld Thin Metal to Thick Metal.
In order to create scrap metal art, the fundamental technique that you must learn is to weld metal. In this scrap metal art lesson, you will learn how to weld thin metal into thick metal. Here is how.
Go to your nearest junkyard and find thin metal strips and thick metal strips. Any gauge for both types should suffice. When you return to your garage or workplace make sure you have the equipment required. These are:
- Welding Machine/Plasma Cutter
Place your thin sheet of metal over the thicker sheet at a 15° angle. Use your off-hand to balance the thin sheet over the thicker sheet and proceed to use your welder.
When welding, it is essential that you weld the base of the thin strip leading to the thicker strip in a straight motion. To achieve a more solid base of connection, weld the sides and the center before proceeding to weld the entire strip. After welding these parts, you can now slowly guide your welding machine on the entire strip to achieve a stronger bond.
Scrap Metal Art for Intermediate or Advanced: Creating a Bug from Utensils.
For this next project you will not need to spend a single dime as you already have the items in your home. These are the following items:
- 2 Spoons
- 1 Fork
Before any welding is done, you must cut the fork and spoon heads off their body. Next, you must cut one of the spoon heads lengthwise to half it on to two pieces, leaving you with 3 spoon heads to work with.
Nip off two fingers from your fork. These fingers will be used for your bug.
You will also need to nip an inch off the end of your fork tip.
After cutting and nipping your fork and spoon, you will be left with 6 parts that you will use to create your scrap metal bug. These are:
- 1 Spoon Head
- 2 Half Spoon Heads
- 1 Nipped Fork Tip
- 2 Nipped Fork Fingers
Weld the half spoon heads unto the bigger spoon head. Make sure that that all spoon heads are facing downwards, meaning that the crevices are facing to the ground. You also need to position the smaller spoon heads away from the main spoon head to give you the wings of the bug. When you proceed to welding the wings, only weld the tips so that the wings can be flapped a little bit for more effect.
With a pair of pliers, hold the nipped fork tip and weld it into the tip of spoon heads. This will be the head of your bug.
The final step is to weld your fork fingers on the nipped fork tip of your bug. The fork fingers will acts as your bug’s antenna. Now, weld the fork tips on the edges of the head.