10 Advanced Projects to Help You Really Grow as a Welder

There are a lot of woodworkers out there that are trying to become more proficient at welding so that they can incorporate metal aspects into their builds. This could not only make your build stronger, but it can also bring an extra special aesthetic to whatever your building. Having said that, the best way to improve your welding skills is by working on projects that will hone them. You can do this by projects. I have selected 10 advanced projects that you can use to take your skill to the next level. Once you have completed these projects, you should have a better understanding of welding joints and how the welding will affect the metal. This will allow you to continue on and combine your woodworking skills and your welding skills into one cohesive build.

Before You Begin

In this article, I have listed 10 items that you can use to hone your abilities even more. Having said that, there are a few things that you need to consider before you get started. First of all, you want to make sure that all your safety equipment is readily available and that you have all of the material needed the project. Once you have attained all of the materials, you can start thinking about how to put the unit together. I’ve always found that if I sit down and lay out a simple sketch of the piece, it gives me a better idea of where I’m going with it.

Once you make sure that you have all of your materials and a plan on how to use them, make sure that you have all the tools you need.

The following is a list of all the tools that you will need for these projects:

  • Welding Machine
  • Angle Grinder With Discs
  • Skill Saw/Table Saw
  • Drop Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Electric Drill
  • Orbital Sander
  • Angle Grinder
  • Router/Router table
  • Safety Gear
  • Set Square
  • Spirit Level
  • Paint or Stain
  • Wire Brush

Any additional tool needs will be listed with the project themselves.

Kids Wagon

Diagram 1

The frame for the kid’s wagon is basically 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 36 inches long that are connected with 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 19 inches long. Do this twice to create the bottom rail and the top rail. once you have both of those pieces, use the 8-inch pieces to create the corners so that it is about 10 inches deep. While this is a fairly simple design, you will be able to modify the pieces that you use for the sides and bottom to make it as pleasing as possible. The sky is literally the limit with a project like this, all you need is a set of wagon axles to complete the build. Also, you can refer to diagram-1 for general measurements and assembly.

Why is this project important?

This project is important because it is a fairly straightforward project, but it can be modified depending upon what you’re looking for. Playing around with different woods and even different types of metal stock can give you a better understanding of welding and how wood and metal can work together.

What skills does this project develop?

This project will help you work on your fabrication skills and metal joinery. Furthermore, the welds want to be nice and smooth so that the unit looks good and is strong enough to stand up to the everyday abuse that a kid will give it.

How will this help me grow as a woodworker?

This particular project has wood inlays that can be modified and changed depending upon what you’re trying to achieve. However, the biggest thing that this will work on is honing your welding skills so that when you combine your welding and woodworking skills, you achieve the best results possible.

What materials do I need?

  • 4, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 19 inches long
  • 4, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 36 inches long
  • 4, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 8 inches long
  • 1, 36×7-inch piece of metal/wood for the bottom
  • 2, 26×8-inch pieces of metal/wood for the sides
  • 2, 17×8-inch pieces of metal/wood for the ends
  • 1 Set of wagon axles

Wine Rack

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Diagram 2

The wine rack design that I have chosen uses ⅛-inch thick metal dowels. Use 2, 13.5-inch metal dowels and connect them with two of the 7-inch metal dowels to create the base. On each corner and equally spaced at 4.5-inch variables across the back, you should weld 1, 10-inch metal dowel. This creates the main support for the wine rack. Then weld the 2, 9-inch metal dowels across the front at 4.5-inch intervals. These dowels should be directly in front of the 10-inch dowels that are on the back.

Use the 21-inch-long dowels to create the cross piece that has the indentations in them for the front and back of the bottles. The front indentation should be roughly the size of the neck of a wine bottle and the back ones should have a semi-circular shape about the size of the back of a wine bottle. At this point, weld the remaining 2, 7-inch pieces from the front to the back on both upper corners. Furthermore, you can refer to diagram-2 for general measurements and assembly.

Why is this project important?

There are a lot of small welds in this project that has to be done precisely. If not the unit will not look good and won’t be functional.

What skills does this project develop?

This project will help hone your fabrication and joint design skills.

How will this help me grow as a woodworker?

While there is no wood in this project, making sure that the corner and connecting joints are done well will help hone your skill as a welder. This will carry over into your woodworking.

What materials do I need?

  • 2, ⅛-inch metal dowels, 13.5 inches long
  • 6, ⅛-inch metal dowels, 10 inches long
  • 2, ⅛-inch metal dowels, 9 inches long
  • 4, ⅛-inch metal dowels, 7 inches long
  • 2, ⅛-inch metal dowels, 19 inches long
  • 4, ⅛-inch metal dowels, 21 inches long

Mechanic Creeper

Diagram 3

The mechanic’s creeper is a unique tool that has been used by mechanics for many years. This reaper design is a simple rectangular frame made by 2, 34-inch long tubes that are connected on the ends by the 18-inch long tubes. I added a 16-inch cross-member in the middle so that it would give you a little more support. The caster arms are two pieces 1, 2-inch long and 1, 3-inches long. The 2-inch piece should be angled up slightly to provide another half inch of clearance. The 3-inch piece protrudes straight off of that.

With this configuration, if you use a 2 ½-inch caster on each corner support, you will wind up with approximately an inch of clearance under the unit. Furthermore, the piece that covers the bottom can be sheet metal or you can use a piece of wood cut to size with padding on it to make it more comfortable. Also, you can refer to diagram-3 for general measurements and assembly.

Why is this project important?

This project is important because if you don’t get the welds designed and filled correctly the piece will not hold up to the strain of supporting a person’s body weight.

What skills does this project develop?

This project will help you with your joint design skills. It is more important that the welds be strong so they can support weight instead of being clean. As long as you have the joints designed correctly, there should be no problem with that aspect of it.

How will this help me grow as a woodworker?

While the majority of this unit has no wood on it, the skills learned will allow you to incorporate metalwork into your woodwork.

What materials do I need?

  • 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 34 inches long
  • 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 18 inches long
  • 1, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 16 inches long
  • 4, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 2 inches long
  • 4, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 3 inches long
  • 1, 18×36-inch metal plate, ⅛ -inch thick
  • 4, 3-inch casters

Fire Pit

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Diagram 4

The design that I have chosen for the fire pit incorporates 1×2-inch metal tubing, 1×1-inch metal tubing, and sheet metal to create a fire pit that is both decorative and strong. The top and bottom frames are each made from 6, 1×2-inch metal tubes, 20 inch long. Each end of these tubes should be angled in at 30 degrees.

When combined with the other cuts, each joint will deflect 60°. This will give you the desired six-sided shape. Once you have done this twice, you will weld a 12-inch standoff at each corner effectively creating the frame of the fire pit. The inside is created using sheet metal. Furthermore, you can refer to diagram-4 for general measurements and assembly.

Why is this project important?

The angles used while building this project makes it more difficult than the average, especially the metal sheets for the fire pit portion.

What skills does this project develop?

This project will work on your fabrication and joint design skills. If you do not get the angles correct and the joints designed correctly, they will be weak and will not hold up to everyday use.

How will this help me grow as a woodworker?

This fire pit design was put together to help you learn more straight edge welding and joint design. Once you have completed these pieces, you should be a better woodworker because you can incorporate metal effectively into your projects.

What materials do I need?

  • 12, 1×2-inch metal tubes, 20 inches long
  • 6, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 12 inches long
  • 6, pieces of ⅛-inch sheet metal to create the pit

BBQ Grill/Smoker

Diagram 5

Firstly, the barbecue grill design that I have chosen incorporates a 30-gallon metal drum that has been cut in half and welded to a metal frame. The frame is made up of 1×1-inch metal tubes. Use the 39-inch long tubes for the legs. Connect 2 of the 39-inch tubes by one of the 27-inch long tubes to create the front and back. Use the 18 inch long tubes to connect the two pieces on each side. Make sure that the cross members on the front, back, and sides are all equal height.

Lastly, To make the lid portion of the grill, weld hinges on to the backside of the grill that connects the two pieces of the drum. You will need to create a place on the inside for the cooking grill. You can even add air vents so that you can control the amount of air in and out. Also, you can refer to diagram 5 for general measurements and construction.

Why is this project important?

While it is not as important to make this unit aesthetically pleasing, it is important that you make the welds as strong as possible. Plus, this project can be modified easily to incorporate other aspects.

What skills does this project develop?

Helping to make sure that the metal joints are designed properly so that the weld fills them up and make some strong enough to withstand the heat. This is imperative with this type project.

How will this help me grow as a woodworker?

Once you have completed these pieces, you should be a better woodworker because you can incorporate metal effectively into your projects.

What materials do I need?

  • 1, 30-gallon metal drum cut in half lengthwise
  • 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 18 inches long
  • 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 27 inches long
  • 4, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 39 inches long

Wood Stove

Diagram 6

The wood stove design that I’ve chosen makes use of a 50-gallon propane tank. A square door should be cut in the upper half of the propane tank so that the wood can be inserted. Plus, in the lower half of the propane tank, another door should be cut so that you have access to the ashes once the wood has burned. You will need a thick hinge for each door so that the heat will not warp it.

Also, The 69-inch piece of sheet metal should be molded into a circle and welded end to end. Welding the top part of the ring onto the bottom of the propane tank will create the foot of the stove. Cut a hole in the top of the propane tank to allow the smoke to escape. The 25-inch piece of sheet metal should be welded end-to-end and welded to the opening to create the beginnings of a chimney. Furthermore, you can refer to diagram-6 for general measurements and assembly.

Why is this project important?

This is another project that teaches you about repurposing other items so they can be used for something else. While this is not a classic wood stove it is a functioning unit and the design can be modified so that is can fit in whatever space you need it in.

What skills does this project develop?

This project helps you work on your straight welding and joint design. Plus, it involves using a cutting torch to create the hatches on the front and the hole for the chimney.

How will this help me grow as a woodworker?

Once you have completed these pieces, you should be a better woodworker because you can incorporate metal effectively into your projects.

Any other tools required?

Cutting Torch

What materials do I need?

  • 1, 50-gallon propane tank that is 24×34 inches
  • 1, 5×25-inch piece of metal plate, ⅛-inch thick
  • 1, 5×69-inch piece of metal plate, ⅛-inch thick

Welding Work Cart

Diagram 7

The welding cart design that I have chosen has free shuttles the top of which would be used for your welder. There is also a 9-inch shelf on the front of the cart for an oxyacetylene torch. The entire frame of the piece is made from 1×1-inch metal tubes and sheet metal. The base consists of 2, 30-inch long tubes connected at each end by 2, 18-inch long tubes. The upright consists of 2, 25-inch long tubes connected by 2, 18-inch long tubes. This will be welded to the base as seen in diagram 7. The 2, 14-inch long pieces run diagonally from the ends of the torch shelf to the front of the upright creating a support structure. The first 18-inch long beam for each shelf should be welded between the uprights at equal distances up from the bottom.

Make sure that the cross-member for the top shelf slants about 5 degrees upward so that the shelf will have a slight skew to it. This is to keep the welding machine pulled back against the upper part of the upright. Weld the 4 remaining 18-inch tubes to the fronts of these to cross members. Once finished, there should be a 16-inch gap at the front of what would be each shelf where the 2 remaining 16-inch pieces will fit. Cut sheet metal to fit the bottom of the lower deck and middle shelf so that you create a storage compartment that has a lip around it. Lastly, cut a piece of sheet metal to fit the top of the upper shelf so that the welding machine will have an even surface to set on.

Why is this project important?

This is a good project to start with especially if you’re going to be doing welding periodically. This will give you a good place to store your welder and experience while building it.

What skills does this project develop?

This project works on straight welding and joint design because you want to make sure that it is sturdy enough to support whatever you put on it.

How will this help me grow as a woodworker?

Once you have completed this piece, you should be a better woodworker because you can incorporate metal effectively into your projects.

What materials do I need?

  • 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 30 inches long
  • 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 25 inches long
  • 10, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 18 inches long
  • 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 16 inches long
  • 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 14 inches long

Custom Truck Bumper

Diagram 8

I based the custom truck bumper on a 71-inch wide body. The center part of the truck bumper is a 8×27-inch piece of metal plate. Connected to that on each side there will be an 8×22.5-inch piece of plate metal angled about 12.8 degrees toward the truck.  Above and below the centerpiece there is a 6×28-inch piece of metal plate that creates the upper and lower portion of the bumper. The remaining 4, 6×22.5-inch piece of metal plate create the upper and lower portion of the side pieces. The 1-inch wide stock should be welded all around the edges to create a bevel that blends in with the body of the vehicle. Make sure that the central portion is created so that it does not interfere with the grill of the truck. See diagram 8 for general measurements and assembly.

Why is this project important?

This project is important because it has to be modified to the vehicle that you’re working on. The angles and sizes of the pieces will be different depending on the truck width and a curvature of the front, so even the size of the grill will matter.

What skills does this project develop?

This being displayed on the front of a vehicle, you will want the welds to be nice and smooth so that they are aesthetically pleasing. Plus, the joints need to be designed correctly so that the bumper will be strong enough to protect against whatever you come across. The main skills that this project works on are straight welding and fabrication.

How will this help me grow as a woodworker?

Once you have completed these pieces you should be a better woodworker because you can incorporate metal effectively into your projects.

What tools are required?

Cutting Torch

What materials do I need?

  • 1, 8×27-inch piece of metal plate, 3/16-inch thick
  • 2, 6×28-inch piece of metal plate, 3/16-inch thick
  • 2, 8×22.5-inch piece of metal plate, 3/16-inch thick
  • 4, 6×22.5-inch piece of metal plate, 3/16-inch thick
  • Enough 1-inch wide 3/16 thick stock to create the bevel all the way around

Hanging Sign

Diagram 9

The hanging sign design that I came up with is based on a 30 inch by 20-inch frame. These dimensions can be adjusted depending upon the aesthetic that you’re looking for. The only thing you need to keep in mind is the weight that will be applied to the unsupported end of the sign. Starting with the bracket that mounts to the wall, I used a 2×30-inch piece of sheet metal, ¼-inch thick and welded 3, 2×6-inch piece of sheet metal, ¼-inch thick at the top, middle and bottom to create mount points. Then I welded 2, 2×30-inch pieces of sheet metal, ⅛-inch thick to that and capped it with another 20-inch piece to create the body of the sign.

Furthermore, I ran a 36-inch piece of the same stock diagonally from the lower corner to an upper corner. This makes the structure more rigid so that it holds its shape. The scroll work on top and bottom are done with a 1-inch thick stock that is molded and welded into place. You will have to play around with the design to find one that you like. The one that I have depicted is aesthetically pleasing, but it may not fit everyone’s sensibilities. Also, you can refer to diagram-9 for general assembly and measurements.

Why is this project important?

There is a lot of finish welding with this project that will help you hone your skills even further.  This being displayed in public places, you want the words and design of the piece to be as clean as possible.

What skills does this project develop?

This project works on finish welding, straight welding, and joint welding.

How will this help me grow as a woodworker?

The inserts that will be put in each side will need to be finished and appropriate for the style of the sign. This can help you to incorporate your skills as a woodworker as well.

What materials do I need?

  • 1, 2×30-inch piece of metal plate, ¼-inch thick
  • 3, 2×6-inch piece of metal plate, ¼-inch thick
  • 2, 2×30-inch pieces of metal plate, ⅛-inch thick
  • 1, 2×20-inch pieces of metal plate, ⅛-inch thick
  • 1, 2×36-inch pieces of metal plate, ⅛-inch thick
  • 15, 1×30-inch pieces of metal plate, ⅛-inch thick

Lawn Tractor Yard Work Trailer

Diagram 10

The size of this trailer will ultimately depend upon the size of the axle you decide to buy. The standard size trailer is 48×32 inches, not including the tongue. To achieve this I used 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 48 inches long and connected them with 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 30 inches long. This created the outer rim of the trailer. Then I used 2, 18×46-inch pieces of sheet metal, ⅛-inch thick for sides and an 18×30-inch piece for the front.

Furthermore, I used a 30×30-inch piece of sheet metal, ⅛-inch thick for the bottom. I cut a diagonal piece off of a side from the end of the bottom to the back of the top lip. This should create an opening for a piece of metal that is 24×30 inches. Weld the last piece of sheet metal into that area. Attach the tongue and trailer axles to the bottom of the box and “Walla” you have a lawn mower trailer. Make sure that you place the axle at an appropriate point so that if you need to dump the trailer, all you have to do is unhook it and raise the tongue up in the air. Furthermore, you can refer to diagram-10 for general measurements and assembly.

Why is this project important?

This project combines many different techniques in order to complete the entire project. That being said, by the time you complete this project along with the others, you should honed your skills. You should also be proficient when including metal in your woodworking.

What skills does this project develop?

This project works on your joint design and fabrication, straight welding, finish welding, and spot welding.

How will this help me grow as a woodworker?

These projects were all designed to challenge you as a welder so that you can incorporate metal into your woodworking seamlessly.

What materials do I need?

  • 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 48 inches long
  • 2, 1×1-inch metal tubes, 30 inches long
  • 1, 3×3-inch metal tubes, 48 inches long
  • 1, 18×30-inch metal plate, ⅛-inch thick for front
  • 2, 18×46-inch metal plate, ⅛-inch thick for sides
  • 1,24×30-inch metal plate, ⅛-inch thick for incline
  • 1, 30×30-inch metal plate, ⅛-inch thick for the bottom

In Conclusion

Once you have completed all of these projects, it should give you the skills needed to successfully incorporate welding into your woodworking. At this point, your skills should be more advanced than just the normal, allowing you to adjust for aesthetic of the environment and the size of the piece. I can tell you that while writing this article, I came across a few aspects of welding that I hadn’t considered before even though I have been incorporating welding into my projects for a few years now.

Also, if you’re going to work on one of these projects, I would suggest that you start at the top and work your way down the list. Each project works on different aspects of the skill. However, each project that you do will build up to the next. Whichever way you decide to do these projects, make sure that you stay safe while doing the work. The hope is that this will be a fun and effective way of honing your skills with a welder, so let’s pick a project and get started.

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