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5 Do-It-Yourself Metal Projects for the Summer


Spring is in the air! Try tackling one of these 5 DIY metal projects now that the weather’s nicer.

Build a Steel or Aluminum Boat

Enjoy the great outdoors by going on boat trips and savoring the beauty of nature. With a little ingenuity you can build your own boat.metal boat

Steel and aluminum are the best materials for boats. Steel is suitable for larger boats with broad hulls because of its weight. Aluminum is lighter and is better for smaller boats with narrow hulls. Before you start, you need to decide what type of hull is suitable for your boat. If you’re planning to use your boat in the sea you need to have a narrower hull which will give you more stability. If you’ll be sticking to rivers, rounder and flatter hull shapes are suitable and will give you the ability of being able to travel in shallower water.

The tools required for boat building are mainly standard implements including hammers, saws, power drills, benches and vices. You will also need silicon bronze screws, type 316 stainless steel screws, epoxy resins and hardeners. Before you start it would be a good idea to take a boat building training course such as the one offered by the International Yacht Restoration School.

Build a Boat Trailer

Now you have your boat, you’ll need a trailer to transport it in.boat trailer

8” x 3” aluminum I beams are ideal to form the structure of your boat trailer. Before you start, you should check the law in your state or province regarding the permitted size of your trailer. Cut the I beams to size with a production saw, or have us do it for you.  Assemble your trailer, using BZP nuts to hold your structure together as you build it. When everything fits perfectly, replace the BZP nuts with 316 stainless steel nuts and Locktite. Next you need to fit suspension stubs. Then you can attach the axle and wheels. Lastly, fit a taillight assembly including park, brake, and signal lights. The wiring harness should be installed under your trailer.

Build a Custom Go-Kart

Always wanted to be a racing car driver? Well if you make your own go-cart you can hone your skills until you’re ready for Formula One.

The chassis can be constructed from 1 inch square metal tubing. Weld the frame together from the square metal tubing. For the stub axles you should use straight pieces of 0.75 inch steel rods with bushings at each end. Keep everything in place with washer and cotter pins. Attach the front stubs axles to a steering column and make sure there is room for the wheels to be steered in either direction. The rear stub axle should be attached to the frame via an axle carrier with a bearing bracket. Next you should weld a steel plate onto the chassis and secure it with high-tensile bolts and lock nuts. The seat can be made from plywood padded with foam and covered with vinyl.

Mount the engine on the steel plate at the rear. Attach the drive pulley to the rear axle. The steering linkage can be constructed from 0.5 inch steel rods. Finally, install the wheels and brakes and attach the throttle cable and hand throttle. Make sure you thoroughly test your brakes and suspension system before test driving.

Build a Custom Metal Roll Cage

Off-roading is great fun and guaranteed to give you an adrenalin rush.

Before you hit the dirt, make sure you install a roll cage to your car. It will keep your vehicle sturdy and protect you should you crash. If you plan to compete in drag racing, roll cages are mandatory for vehicles reaching high speeds. You can make your own roll cage out of steel bars with 1 ¾ inch outer diameter, 0.118 inch thickness. The steel should be Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welded for reasons of strength, looks and time efficiency. You should invest in a quality tube bender to shape your steel to your desired dimensions.

Build an Airplane

If you’re a keen aviator, why not build your own plane. It’s a big project but the sense of accomplishment will last you a lifetime.

Firstly you need decide what you are going to make your airplane out of. Aluminum is the ideal material as it requires little maintenance and will help your airplane go very fast. You need to obtain a construction manual with detailed plans for your choice of aircraft. Next you need to find a suitable workspace. A spare garage is ideal. Now you can start building your airplane. Most experts advise starting with the tail. The main construction techniques you will need are riveting and welding. Instruction on both is readily available if you need it.

When you have completed your airplane you have it certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Then you should contact the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) who can help you plan your first flight and test period.


Metal Supermarkets

Metal Supermarkets is the world’s largest small-quantity metal supplier with 125 brick-and-mortar stores across the US, Canada, and United Kingdom. We are metal experts and have been providing quality customer service and products since 1985.

At Metal Supermarkets, we supply a wide range of metals for a variety of applications. Our stock includes: mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, tool steel, alloy steel, brass, bronze and copper.

We stock a wide range of shapes including: bars, tubes, sheets, plates and more. And we can cut metal to your exact specifications.

Visit one of our 120+ locations across North America today.

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