Recycled metal art plans
There are many items that you can make on this way:
- Scrap metal furniture
- Scrap metal sculptures
- Nuts and bolts figures
- Scrap metal indoor decorations
- Scrap metal outdoor decorations
- Scrap metal art pieces
and other useful things.
Recycled metal art or scrap metal art is a great hobby, which in time can grow into a small business that is a very good opportunity for gaining additional income. Recycled metal art requires very little investment in tools and materials for the production, and does not even require a special workshop.
To deal with recycled metal art you need only a few simple tools like:
- Basic metalworking hand tools,
- Holding tools (clamps, vises...)
- Welding, brazing and/or soldering tools
- Bending machines or bending tools for sheet metal or wire
- Drilling machine...
- Safety equipment
As a material for the recycled metal art you can use various scraps like:
- Pieces of metal from metal junkyards (scrap yards)
- Unused metal objects around your home
- Dumpsters behind welding shops (always ask permission before rummaging around, especially on private property)
- Standard parts and fasteners.
You do not have to be a top welder or metalworker to make scrap metal art products; all you need is basic knowledge and creativity.
In dealing with Recycled metal art you will mainly use metals that are commonly used in industry like steel, copper, aluminum, brass, bronze, zinc... Operations that you will most frequently apply are: cutting, bending, drilling and joining the metal parts.
Be careful – small metal figures made this way are not child toys; they are not intended for children to play with them.
We are presenting you some ideas for making Recycled metal artistic objects:
Nuts and bolts Chess is completely made out of standard parts (fasteners). Standard parts are widely used and you can find them easily in the workshop, junkyards or in local hardware store. You can join the parts together with metal glue, or with welding, brazing or soldering technique. You can use a pre-made chess board or – as we presented in the plan – you can create a chess board out of the thin square sheets, which you will join on a flat board made out of metal or some other material. You can make figures out of metal with different colors, or you can paint half of the figures in black, to obtain a difference between “black” and “white” figures.
Nuts and bolts Chess - Parts list
Nuts and bolts Chess - 2D drawing
Scrap metal garden snail: You can make very interesting snail figure out of the flat metal bar and nuts and washers, which you can easily fasten with screws on the wooden pillar of a pergola or any other place in your garden or on terrace. You can paint the snail anyway you like.
Scrap metal garden snail plan - 2D drawing
Scrap metal dog figure plan - 2D drawing
Standard parts and scrap metal offer endless opportunities for experimenting while making art and decorative pieces, but also sculptures that can have some practical use. With a little bit of imagination you can make figures of various animals, insects, flowers, cars or bikes. Very interesting objects are the figures of people representing different occupations, athletes or creatures from fairy tales. This way, you can make a baker, chimney sweeper, skier, tennis player, musician, fairy, witch and almost any occupation you desire. This type of figures can also serve as a pen holder, cell phone holder, paper towel holder in your kitchen, or whatever comes to your mind.
You can join the metal parts using several techniques:
• Mechanical Interlocking
• Mechanical Connection (Screws, Nuts, Bolts, Rivets)
• Gluing or Chemical Bonding
• Welding Methods (friction and diffusion)
• Brazing Procedures
• Soldering Processes
Joining metal into scrap metal art is most often done by welding, soldering and brazing technique.
Brazing requires less energy than welding, but more than soldering technique. With brazing technique the metal parts are heated above 450°C. Brazing technique is suitable for joining the thin parts, or for joining dissimilar metals. The joint made by brazing is very firm.
Soldering technique uses the lowest amount of energy, because the parts are heated below 450°C. Soldering technique is suitable for joining the thin parts or for joining dissimilar metals. The joint made with soldering is not firm enough for load-bearing constructions.
You can examine the metal joining techniques in our category Welding, soldering and brazing books. You can also find excellent video tutorials on the YouTube website.
After you finish your project, you will have to grind sharp and rough edges. After that, you should clean surfaces and sand them if you want to paint the project. Otherwise, you can leave the bare metal.