The Top 10 Welding Projects for Kids

There has been a lot of discussion over the last few years about when you should start teaching your child how to work with metal. Some people say they should wait until High School, however, the earlier you start a kid learning something like this the better. Children tend to learn better at younger ages. Their brain is a sponge and can learn the process easier. Most of the people that I’ve talked to online and in-person have recommended that the child is about Junior High age.

This would make them about 12 or 13 years old. At this age, they’re old enough to understand the safety instructions and consequences if they do not follow them. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a class or if you’re teaching your own child how to weld, the most important thing with welding is safety. Make sure that the child knows all of the safety guidelines before they even turn the welder on. Once you have instructed the child on all of these precautions and show them the proper way to weld, then you will want to give them a few simple projects. This is done so that they can hone their skills.

I’ve come up with this list for the child that is learning in the hopes of giving you some ideas of projects that they can do which will improve their ability a bit with each project. If you’re going to be working with children, make sure that you use an auto dark helmet. While they can learn with a fixed shade helmet, the auto dark helmet is easier for them to start out with.

1) Nameplate

A simple nameplate is a good place to start a child learning how to weld. You want to use this project to teach the kid welding techniques and accuracy. The process of welding the name onto a piece of metal will help with their understanding of how the ark flows and controlling the stick. This will also depend upon the type of welder that you’re using, but for beginners especially children, an arc welder tends to be easier. Once they have mastered the arc welder, if it is in your budget you can move on to the others.

Ratings

Beginner lesson

Difficulty

The difficulty of this project can depend heavily upon the design. However, if you’re teaching a child how to weld, I would keep it simple and have them use the weld to write their name on a  metal plate.

Cost

To keep the cost low, you can typically get metal from a scrap yard for around $0.40 a pound. Of course in every area, there is a place where you can buy sheet metal as well.

Tools/Space Needed

Arc welder, appropriate electrode, small welders bench, Well ventilated area for welding

Materials Needed

A metal plate cut to the size required.

Skills Needed

Basic knowledge of arc welding and design

Why You Should Choose this Project

This project affords the kid a great deal of leniency when it comes to their technique. It will allow them to see how the weld hits the metal so they can make adjustments to get the weld as smooth as possible. As they become more proficient with welding, they can add on to this project to make it a little fancier. This will also help with their technique because it allows them to experiment with different welds like spot welding, fillet welding, etc.

2) Porch Shoe Scraper

Essentially the porch shoe scraper is just a Tee joint with a longer base and a section that sticks up in the middle. This was used when people came home that did yard work or physical labor. They would keep one on the porch so that they could scrape off their shoes before going in the house. While this has become an oddity in modern society, it is still something that is used and makes a good project for the kids to learn to weld on.

Ratings

Beginner lesson

Difficulty

This is a simple project, the difficulty is minimal. Having said that, as a student becomes more advanced they can design a heavier more efficient unit that makes it a more challenging project.

Cost

If you use scrap metal to make this unit, it should cost you around $0.40 a pound. You can check at one of your local metal stores to get a more accurate price

Tools/Space Needed

Arc welder, appropriate electrode, small welders bench, Hacksaw, and files, Well ventilated area for welding and spray paint if wanted

Materials Needed

At least two pieces of metal cut the right size, one longer, one shorter

Skills Needed

Basic knowledge of arc welding and design

Why You Should Choose this Project

This particular project will help teach them a fill weld and as they become more familiar with welding, it will allow them to practice so they can get a smoother weld. This will also help them see how they might be able to design a more fancy unit. Start with the basics and work your way up from there. Since arc welding is easier to learn, I would start with arc welding and then move on to the more advanced types of welding as your budget allows.

3) Horseshoe Coat Rack

Using horseshoes to form a coat rack is a unique idea. Whether you attach them to a pole or mount them to a piece of wood with small hooks on them, this can be a rustic look that many people like. A horseshoe coat rack can be an easy project that is a little more advanced which makes them a good project to start with.

Ratings

Beginner lesson

Difficulty

Depending on the design of the coat rack, this project can vary in difficulty. Typically with kids, I would start with a simple horseshoe design with a hook on it.

Cost

This type of project is not conducive to using scrap metal. You would need to find a place in your area that sells horseshoes like a farrier or similar place.

Tools/Space Needed

Arc welder, appropriate electrode, small welders bench, Hacksaw, and files, Well ventilated area for welding and spray paint if wanted

Materials Needed

A piece of wood or metal cut to size, 2-3 horseshoes, a small pieces of metal dowel to make the hook

Skills Needed

Basic knowledge of arc welding and design

Why You Should Choose this Project

This could be a quite a simple build and is highly customizable. The kid will have certain leeways when it comes to the design of this piece.  You can weld them around a pole with the points sticking up to make a natural coat rack. You can mount them to a piece of wood with a small piece of metal welded on the bottom to create a hook. Or you can weld them sideways onto a metal plate with the points up to create a hook. I’m sure there are other versions that I haven’t listed here, but letting the kid understand that projects can be customizable is also an important step. This can help teach them to think for themselves and to create projects without plans.

4) Candleholder

Every house needs a good candle holder. This item can be as big or as small as you would like it. Candle holders are a decorative piece that can lend a certain aesthetic to any room. So find a design that suits your sensibility and then make it your own.

Ratings

Beginner lesson

Difficulty

While this is a simple project, the difficulty can depend upon the design of the product. While teaching a kid to weld I would suggest keeping the project simple. This is so they can learn the proper techniques and how the weld goes on to the metal. A candleholder though is not a project that I would start the learning process with.

Cost

This type of project can be built out of scrap metal which tends to sell for about $0.40 a pound. However, if you wish to buy metal in bulk, every town has an outlet where you can buy the pieces you need.

Tools/Space Needed

Arc welder, appropriate electrode, small welders bench, Hacksaw, and files, Well ventilated area for welding and spray paint if wanted

Materials Needed

Depending upon the design of a candle holder you wish to put together, you may need plate metal cut to size, metal dowels or even small metal piping.

Skills Needed

Basic knowledge of arc welding and design

Why You Should Choose this Project

This project is highly customizable and it’s easy for the kids to learn how to easily customize a design. While this is a more intense project, it still uses simple welds that are easy for either kids or adults to produce. A basic knowledge of welding and design is all they should need to produce a reasonable product. I would start with arc welding as it is the easier type of welding and if your budget permits move on to the more advanced.

5) Plant Hanger

In just about every neighborhood, you’ll see a plant hanger in a garden somewhere. These are decorative pieces that have become very popular in the last few decades. It affords the homeowner the ability to place a hanging plant from basically anywhere they wish. You will see many different types of designs. some big and some small, either way, they can add that extra little something to your garden.

Ratings

Beginner lesson

Difficulty

This is a slightly more advanced piece than what we’ve been discussing so far, but these simpler versions are still well within the realm of the welding abilities of a kid.

Cost

While you can build these out of scrap metals which will typically sell for around $0.40 a pound. it depends upon what you’re looking for in the piece.

Tools/Space Needed

Arc welder, appropriate electrode, small welders bench, Hacksaw, and files, Well ventilated area for welding and spray paint if wanted

Materials Needed

Most of these units are made from metal dowels that have been bent and welded together. However, this will depend heavily upon the design of the unit.

Skills Needed

Basic knowledge of arc welding and design

Why You Should Choose this Project

This type of project will rely heavily on the design phase of the build. Once you have a good design, you can figure out what metals are needed. This will allow the kid to be involved more with the design aspect of the build. Once they’ve figured out what they want to put together and gather the material they will need, they will need to figure out what kind of weld will work best for this product. The plant hanger while still simple is a more advanced project for the kids as they become more familiar with the different aspects of welding.

6) Horseshoe Dutch Oven Holder

Dutch ovens were part of life for many years and as a matter of fact, they’re still around. One of the difficult things about the Dutch oven was having the place to set it when you took it off of the fire. That’s why many homes had Dutch oven holders. They could place one on the table and set the Dutch oven on it so that you could retrieve hot food from it and it wouldn’t burn the table.

Ratings

Beginner lesson

Difficulty

Using horseshoes to build a unit like this makes it fairly simple. All you have to do is make a round pattern out of them and weld them together. Once this is completed then weld some small pegs on the bottom to hold it off of the table.

Cost

While you can get scrap metal for around $0.40 a pound, in order to get horseshoes you would need to speak to a local farrier or another shop that specializes in things like that.

Tools/Space Needed

Arc welder, appropriate electrode, small welders bench, Hacksaw, files or a grinder, Well ventilated area for welding and spray paint if wanted

Materials Needed

3-4 horseshoes, small lengths of metal dowels

Skills Needed

Basic knowledge of arc welding and design

Why You Should Choose this Project

While this is a simpler project, there are many different variations you can do using horseshoes. If you decide not to use horseshoes, you can let the kid be involved in the design process and see how much they’ve learned about the craft. However, even with horseshoes, the kids will get a good bit of time on the welder. Arc welding is the easiest to learn so I would start with that and work your way into the more advanced welders if your budget permits.

7) Simple Pencil Holder

A pencil holder or something that just about every desk can use. This is a wonderful beginners project for a kid and helps them feel like they’re making something functional. This is a simple design which uses 11 inches of 3/8 inch by 3/8 inch round or Square Tubing.

Ratings

Beginner lesson

Difficulty

This is a simple project that does require some cutting with a hacksaw. The design of the item can be modified in many different ways, giving the child a good amount of leeway in the build.

Cost

While it is recommended that you buy much of the material for this project at the local metal good store,  it might be possible to get the material from a local scrap yard for around $0.40 a pound

Tools/Space Needed

Arc welder, appropriate electrode, small welders bench, Hacksaw, and files, Well ventilated area for welding and engine enamel spray paint if you’re going to paint it

Materials Needed

11 in 3/8 by 3/8 round or Square Tubing cut into sections that are 2 inches, 2 ½ inches, 3 inches, 3 ½ inches long and a base plate that is long enough and wide enough to hold them.

Skills Needed

Basic knowledge of arc welding and design

Why You Should Choose this Project

This is a highly customizable design that you can change around to basically look like whatever you want. The kids will love being able to make changes to this so that they can make their piece their own. Not only that, but you can use several different kinds of welds on this item to hold it in place. This means that whatever lesson you’re on, you can still use this piece to teach it. If your budget allows, you may even try some of the more advanced welding techniques.

8) Simple Doorbell

A doorbell is something that every home needs. For many years now doorbells have all been digital but in the past, the doorbell was mounted to the outside of the house and you used a ringer to ring the bell. These simple doorbells make a wonderful addition to the outside of any home. In addition, they also make a good project for the kids to work on.

Ratings

Beginner lesson

Difficulty

The use of the pressurized cylinder to create the bill requires a lot of cutting, so this is a more advanced project.

Cost

You should be able to get the pieces you need for this from the scrap metal yard at around $0.40 per pound. The pressurized cylinder is the more important part of the project, the rest of them are interchangeable.

Tools/Space Needed

Arc welder, appropriate electrode, small welders bench, Hacksaw, and files, Well ventilated area for welding and spray paint if wanted

Materials Needed

Steel plate to mount to the wall, steel rod to create the holder, and a 4-inch diameter pressurized cylinder like an argon or fire extinguisher cylinder to cut and use for the bell.

Skills Needed

Basic knowledge of arc welding and design

Why You Should Choose this Project

Requiring more cutting and fabrication than the previous projects, this will let the kids understand more about the design and fabrication of the unit. Safety is very important with this project because by using a pressurized cylinder, you will want to make sure it is depressurized before use. This project will also help them think about aesthetics and what it would look like on the outside of the home. For a cleaner weld, you might also teach them the more advanced types of welding

9) Heavy Duty Nutcracker

A heavy duty nutcracker may not be the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about a welding project. When you think of a nutcracker, you probably think of Lou’s small little plier size ones that you get around Christmas time every year. This one is substantially bigger and tougher.

Ratings

Beginner lesson

Difficulty

The difficulty of this project should fall in line with what they’ve learned before this. By this time they should have all the abilities they need to be able to post office build.

Cost

You should be able to find everything you need the metal scrap yard for around $0.40 a pound. However, if you want to go with new metal contact your local metal supply store and they should be able to give you a more accurate cost.

Tools/Space Needed

Arc welder, appropriate electrode, small welders bench, Hacksaw, and files, Well ventilated area for welding and spray paint if wanted

Materials Needed

1-inch steel Pipe, ⅝ x ⅝  bar stock, 1 inch of ¼ inch steel dowel, and a ⅛ x ¾  inch bar stock

Skills Needed

Basic knowledge of arc welding and design

Why You Should Choose this Project

This project requires a lot of fabrication as well as welding. The fact that you have to think about pivots and mechanical workings helps to add an extra little degree of difficulty to this project.  The kids should be able to pull off a device like this by this time Between the cutting of the pieces to size and the preparation of the joints to weld, this is the logical next step in any welding class. You might also think about starting to teach the kids about MIG welding and TIG welding.

10) Small Charcoal Grill

A small charcoal grill can be a very useful object which might be used for tailgating or going camping. Either way, this should fit the bill. This project is very customizable depending on what type of grill you would like to make. The one that I’m going to describe is just a basic grill with two charcoal grooves and straight sides that act as the legs and a grill grate support.

Ratings

Beginner lesson

Difficulty

This is a very customizable unit and should be a challenge for the kids. The basic unit that I am describing is a simple build that will use several fill welds. However, you can make this peace as big or small as you would like depending on what you’re looking for.

Cost

If you can find the metal in a scrap yard, it should only cost you about $0.40 a pound. However, buying what you need at a metal retailer is recommended so that you get a clean weld.

Tools/Space Needed

Arc welder, appropriate electrode, small welders bench, Hacksaw, and files, Well ventilated area for welding and engine spray paint if wanted to withstand the heat.

Materials Needed

15 in of 5-inch diameter metal piping split equally lengthways and two metal plates Lennar 12 in x 8 in

Skills Needed

Basic knowledge of arc welding and design

Why You Should Choose this Project

This project will teach the kids how to prepare an edge for a seam weld. Since they have to weld the two halves of pipe together to create the bit of the barbecue and then joint will the ends of the pipe to the plates to create the ends and legs. This is a slightly more advanced project to help them understand what needs to be done to complete a joint. Depending on the type of material you use, you can also start teaching them Mig and TIG welding so that the weld joints will be smoother.

In Conclusion

After doing the research for this article, I can tell you that there’s a lot of projects out there that I didn’t even think of that would help teach kids to learn how to weld.  If you start your kid off at this age and teach them the right way, they’ll remember it for the rest of their lives. You never know, they may like it so much that they might decide to use it in everyday life. Welding can be an art or job, depending upon what you’re looking for. Even if it is not what they want to do when they grow up it is still a good life lesson. It will teach the kids to think outside the box and better hand-eye coordination as well.

If you’re going to start teaching your kid or a class how to weld, make sure that you have all of your safety precautions covered. Make sure that you have a good first aid kit. This can be one of the more valuable pieces in any shop, especially if you’re teaching. I would recommend starting would be simpler projects on the list just so you can teach them the basics and then continue on to the tougher ones as they hone their skills. So let’s go get all of the materials you need together and start teaching and welding.

Comments

  1. Hello. I’m a teacher at a Junior High School 6-8 grade. I took a beginning welding class at my local Junior College and absolutely loved it. I wanted to see if it is something I can introduce to my students. Many of my students are from low income areas. I think if I get them introduced to a trade early some would really excel. I would want to work maybe as a club first. I have an opportunity to write grants for tools and materials to get started. What do you feel I need to get started and maybe a few lessons I could introduce students too. What kind of basics would you suggests I have to start out? Can you please point me in the right direction. Any info you can give me would be great.

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