Anyone who has ever worked with metal will know that when you are approaching a project it is better to have too much material than too little. This is excellent practice, and there is no way you should reconsider this, but it does often lead to the piling up of quite a bit of left over material. The thing to bear in mind is that whilst it is leftover material it is still good and suitable for use, the trick is simply working out what use it would be most suitable for.
Left over material tends to one thing in abundance: Character. Mild steel in particular often has a rustic look about it, making it the perfect material to make quirky household decorations out of. If this look is not exactly the one you are going for then that is fine too, as it will only take a little more time for you to sand and clean the steel up so you can decorate it to better suit your tastes.
If you want to make the best of steel's unassuming charm then we would recommend using it to make a piece that is useful and decorative, but is in no way the centre piece of a room or display. Steel planters are a good choice, as when they are used in pairs they are effective as a means of drawing attention to whatever is placed in the middle of them; and when they are viewed individually they create an aesthetically pleasing juxtaposition between themselves and their contents, be it flowers or other decorative features.
As with all other projects, before you begin you will need to ensure that you have all the materials and tools required to accomplish the task. In terms of material all you will need is mild steel; this does not need to be leftover material of course, but as mentioned above planters are ideal for using up leftovers so bear that in mind if you are torn between this and another potential project.
In terms of tools you will require a:
These tools are what you will require to perform this specific job, but remember that you should never be without the safety equipment that every project of this nature calls for. Just in case you have forgotten we suggest that at the very least you wear:
The planters we shall be making are rectangular, so you will need to be pretty exact with your measurements. How many planters you make is entirely at your discretion but each one requires five pieces of metal that will be joined to create it:
Once you are ready to begin you should less than 2 hours away from completion, all you need to do is adhere to the following instructions.
Begin by marking the desired dimensions directly onto the steel sheet. You will want these measurements to be precise and exact so take your time measuring it out and mark everything clearly with the help of a framing square and a marker pen; such as a Sharpie.
Taking your plasma cutter, or alternative cutting tool, cut out the pieces that you have marked out so clearly. Just to be on the safe side, continue using the framing square as a straight edge to help keep you to the marked out lines.
Once the pieces have been carved out it is time to prepare them for welding, which is where your grinder avec sanding disk comes into play. We suggest that you use this time to smooth all the sides down, including those that will not be welded; this will help to ensure the presentability of final product.
Using your MIG welder connect all the pieces of metal together. This can be approached in anyway you desire, but we found it easiest to weld the sides together first and then finish it off by attaching the bottom.
Finally, take up your grinder once again and use it to touch up the welded areas. The welded areas should already be rather neat so there is no need to get carried away, but it is always good to touch up your work to make it as presentable as possible.
There you have it. Now that you know how to make steel planters it should not be long until you become the proud owner of one; maybe even two. If you intend to use your planter outdoors to keep real flowers in you may want to add a small hole in the bottom to help excess moisture escape; which can be done quickly and easily with a hand drill and a small drill bit.