With less than one day left before we’ll be sitting around the tree opening presents, if you’ve not finished your Christmas shopping, you may find yourself tempted to go the mall. Don’t go! Instead, wouldn’t you rather be welding? There are tons of great gifts you can make to hand out, and you’ll be doing something you love, for someone you love!
We’ve heard from tons of fans who have welded gifts: a stainless steel flower, a welding table, a Christmas Candelabra, belt buckles made with stainless tubing and TIG wire, a fire pit, a barbecue pit, a horseshoe and wagon wheel bench…. The creativity of our fans is amazing!
Arc-Zone’s own Joanie (aka MIG Ryan) loves to weld gifts for her friends and family and wanted share some tips.
Joanie recommends a MIG welder. “It’s quick and easy to set up for mild steel. And if you use scrap, most of the metal you’ll find is usually some type of steel.”
Joanie also loves her plasma cutter, “I call it my paintbrush for metal,” she says. You could also use a die grinder with a flap disc to remove surface rust and welding slag to add another level of texture, basic hammering tools, chisels, vice grips, nippers, metal shears, a chop saw, and other metal hand tools to shape the metal you’re working with.
For any items that are going to be outside, cure items with clear acrylic. “Once it’s out in the elements, different characteristics of the metal will emerge,” Joanie says.
1. Joanie’s favorite items to make as gifts usually involve using found objects or repurposing things. “I take an old hand saw—most people throw them away—and I write a positive message like ‘Life’s a Journey. Have Fun’ on it and cut it out with my plasma cutter. Joanie says these signs are perfect for the garden.
2. Joanie also likes to make heart signs—which also make great gifts. (pictured above)
3. Windchimes are another whimsical and easy to make gift with scrap metal, everything from bottle caps to broken down metal parts. Joanie even adds rocks for a natural element and gears—whatever she has found laying around.
4. Picture frames made of scrap metal are always a popular item, especially if it includes a nice picture of you with your special friend!
5. My favorite of Joanie’s gift items are the garden critters. They’re so wacky and fun.
Of course, like all of us here at Arc-Zone, Joanie say: SAFETY FIRST! Especially a respirator and proper hand, ear and eye protection. “The Miller half mask respirator is AWESOME. I can’t tell you how much I love that,” she says. (pictured right)