How To Get Started In Metal Working

Metal working is a general name for a diverse sets of skills and specialties. Metal workers include jewelers, blacksmiths, welders, auto body specialists, sculptors and more. If you’re thinking about getting into metal working, you first need to think about what kind of metal working you’re interested in. Then, you should consider what metal or metals you want to work with. Different metals will require different type of tools.


How To Get Started In Metal Working

Tip: Absolute beginners probably want to start with copper, which is soft, pliable and easy to shape, and you don’t need the highest-quality, high-priced tools to make something awesome.

Tools

Here are the types of tools you’ll need to gather as you set up your metal working shop:
  • Safety equipment: Safety goggles and heavy gloves
  • Tin snips
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Ball peen (or ball pein) hammer
  • Vise
  • Riveting hammer
  • Rawhide mallet
  • Scratch awl
  • Steel square
  • Hacksaw
With just these tools, you can get started on your first simple fabrication projects and build your knowledge and experience. If you want to dive right in to welding work, though, you need to consider what type of welding you want to do. Most authorities recommend starting with stick welding, which is the least expensive option, but you have a number of choices:
  • MIG welding
  • TIG welding
  • Gas welding
  • Resistance welding
  • Laser welding
Each of these general processes is further subdivided based on the materials used. Don’t forget the extra safety gear you’ll need if you’re welding. Specifically, find yourself a nice welding helmet to protect your eyes from the radiation that welding throws off as well as thick, gauntlet-style gloves.

Where To Start

If you’re thinking about trying your hand at metal working, you probably already have a particular project in mind. Research what other people have done — this research can give you a better idea of what’s involved and what kinds of machinery you’ll need for what you want to do. If your chosen project seems too complex for a beginner like yourself, concentrate on the skills you can learn from smaller projects and build up your experience. You can find all sorts of educational help if you just know where to look. A search of the Internet might yield:
  • How-to books
  • Step-by-step videos
  • Local day and evening classes
  • Online forums where you can talk to metal working professionals
If you know of a local person or business that does metal work, talk to them about what you can do to get started. Some of them might even offer their own classes, but if they don’t, they may be able to give you some pointers. If you like working with your hands, you have an artistic bent and you aren’t afraid to learn new things, metal working can be a great outlet for you as either a career or a hobby. Your educational resources are vast, but always remember that safety comes first. And keep in mind that there’s a learning curve to get over. Your first metal working projects might not come out exactly like you had hoped, but that’s OK. With each new project, you learn more about your skills and the craft, and with more experience, you’ll turn plain old pieces of metal into beautiful and/or useful items that you can be proud of. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles: Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Diane submitted. She has recently worked with a co-worker on a group project. When it came time to present the project at a meeting, Diane let her co-worker present. While it went great, the co-worker proceed to take credit for nearly all of Diane's work. Frustrating to say the least!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less

There are LOTS of questions around resume dos and don'ts. There's so much advice out there that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what's the correct answer.

During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

SHOW MORE Show less