How to Weld, Part 2

Materials for Your Welding Project

We’re going to get down to making something cool with these new welding skills you’ve learned. First, you want to line up your materials. When choosing your steel, don’t go thinner than 3/16-inch or you’ll run into trouble. For this project you’ll need some 2-inch wide steel, 3/4-inch steel, and some 1-inch L-bracket steel.

Arranging Your Pattern

Cut several 2-inch squares and connect them with some 3/4-inch framing. We’re not going by a pattern here – this is art! Just arrange them in a way that looks good to you.

Start By Tack Welding

You’re going to have a bunch of loose pieces here that want to slide around. We’re going to use some tack welding to start holding things together, but you need a place to start, so tack weld your first piece to the table itself. Then put in full welds along the length of the join.

Adding Beauty with Grinding

Once we’ve welded the pieces together, it looks pretty nasty. Now comes the grinding to make it beautiful.

Making the Hanging Bracket

This is where that 1-inch L-bracket comes in. Cut two tiny pieces, and one slightly bigger piece off that L-bracket. Drill a hole in the slightly bigger one. Then we’re going to attach them, and that drilled hole will become a place for a mounting nail.

The Final Grind

One last polish, and your piece of metal art is finished and ready to hang!


  1. John B says

    I enjoyed the welding episodes immensely. I’ve been interested in it for a long time, but have yet to take the plunge.

    I do have a couple of questions.
    First, once you’ve done the grinding on the finished project, and you’ve got all that fresh metal exposed, what do you coat the metal with in order to inhibit the appearance of rust over time?

    Second, I have experience in woodworking, but the grit numbers for sanding over there are waaay above what you were using on metal. I have seen fairly high grit numbers used to wet sand car paint jobs but not metal like you were working. Are higher grit numbers just not required on metal projects, or are we talking apples vs oranges by my trying to compare metal grit numbers to wood grit numbers?

    Thanks for the help, and thanks for the welding videos. Looking forward to your next bit on that, and of course, more Geekbeat!

    John B

    • Profile photo of John P. says

      Great question John,

      1) I did forget to tell people about what to do with the metal after grinding it. Clear Rustoleam spray paint! :-) Either that, or clear UV Protected powder coating if you have a company nearby that does that.

      2) The grit choices here are different from wood really for only one reason. If you use a very fine grit on metal it will leave a very smooth surface. But that is not going to refract light the way you want it to in order for it to have the shiny effect. I’ve found somewhere in the 80 grit range seems about optimal. Especially after clear coating the paint.

      When you work over a car, or make a knife, or something like that it is still customary to go up to fine grits of 1,000 or more. But that is to make for a very clean even surface. Those surfaces show scratches very easily, and don’t look very pretty for long. 😉


      John P.

  2. says

    Another great video. Thank you!

    Watching your two videos in your workshop I was thinking “Hey, I have the same chop saw….and grinder……and Lincoln Electric MIG welder…and helmet and welding jacket.” Then Cali dropped off the new jacket and helmet and now I’m thinking “Hey, I need a new jacket and helmet. Those are sweet!”

    Question. Wouldn’t the welding light cause damage to your cameras? Did you prep them with a filter or something? I read in the manual (even though guys should not do that) of my Nikon that direct sunlight or something like welding could cause permanent damage to the camera.

    Also, if you have time I would like to invite you two down to my blacksmith booth one weekend during the Texas Renaissance Festival to hang out.

    Thanks again for your hard work.

    • Profile photo of John P. says

      Hey Anthony,

      Yes, the welding light is no good for the camera sensors for sure! We were putting them at risk just trying to film this. I don’t recommend it at all!

      But what we did was:
      1) For certain parts we kept the camera back a ways and used a 70-200 lens so we could have some distance.
      2) Disassembled a welding helment and used the screen to shoot through!


      Would love to hang at the booth with you one day. Let us know when the festival is, and drop me an email to john AT to chat about it.


      John P.

      • says

        Hi John,
        I was wondering what type of video camera you used to make your How to Weld video (part 2)?

        If you don’t mind, I’d like to link to your video from our company blog We make industrial welding cameras, and I’m writing a post on DIY welding cameras for those who can’t afford the industrial price tag. Your video showcases a lot of the issues and techniques that may be used, like lens selection and working distance plus filtering. Please let me know if that would be okay.

        • Profile photo of John P. says

          Hey Nicole, feel free to embed the video. Glad you enjoyed it.

          Additionally, everyone has been begging for more welding videos, which I’ve promised to make, so if you guys wanted to loan us a camera to shoot some of that with I’d be happy to review it and show everyone why a specialized welding camera really helps! 😉

          Just email me to john AT geekbeat.TV if you want to collaborate on that.


          John P.

  3. Rick Morris says

    This is great! I’ve always been interested in welding but haven’t found any good coverage on YouTube. “How to weld 1 and 2” really cleared up questions I’ve had. I probably won’t ever do any welding, but if I do, I’ll start back here with a review of both episodes.

    How about a show on silver brazing? I’ve done that, making a tool rest for my woodturning lathe.

    • Profile photo of John P. says

      Hey Rick,

      Thanks for the feedback and glad you found it enlightening! I would love to do a show on brazing, but honestly I suck at that! It seems like once you get very used to either welding or brazing its kind of hard to do the other because the technique is similar – but the amount of heat is very, very different! :-)


      John P.