My husband is teaching himself to weld (with a little help from YouTube and Google). It’s something he’s wanted to do for a long time, but now that we’ve moved, he has more space to do it, and lots of things to weld. He found a welder on Craigs List, and a welding mask on eBay. He got all of the other supplies at various places around town, and found some metal shops that let him take their scraps for free. There’s one place just a half mile or so from our house that has a dumpster out back where they toss their scrap metal, and they told him he can dumpster-dive anytime he wants. It’s all mostly small stuff, but it’s been perfect for practicing.
He made his first project last week. We had bought an umbrella for our patio, but had skipped the $50 umbrella stand, because my husband decided that would be a good place to try out his welding skills. He welded together a chunk of old I-beam and a metal pipe, and they make a great umbrella stand:
I love it. It’s unique, very effective, a great example of recycling, and very frugal.
The next project is window well covers. Our basement windows don’t have well covers, and with a toddler, those are a must. We were shocked to discover how expensive they are if you hire someone else to weld them for you. We were finding prices of $300 – $400 per window (we have two). My husband went to a metal supply shop last week and got all the supplies he needs to make both well covers for about $70 (angle iron and heavy duty grating). By the time he’s finished with the window well covers, the welder and all its accessories will have more than paid for themselves. And there are many more projects to come…