The following is a collection of metal shop project ideas to help inspire hobby metalworkers to get back in the shop and start creating.
Bench Metal and Wrought Metal Project Ideas
These projects are made primarily with Bench/Wrought Metal:
1. Camp Saw
This lightweight yet sturdy camp saw is simple to make.
The aluminum tubing is strong but easy to bend.
You should be able to find saw blades which fit this size, but the length of the bow can be altered for other size blades.
2. Fireplace Tool Set
This fireplace set is made of aluminum.
The handles are wrapped with heavy cord or plastic material.
The shovel and broom sections can be assembled with rivets or machine screws.
A metric equivalent chart is added to use metric measuring tools.
3. Pickup Tongs
These tongs are a useful tool for the workshop.
They are handy for holding hot metal parts and containers.
The sizes and shapes of the jaws can be altered to meet special needs.
4. Stackable Tables
These tables combine metal with either wood or plastic.
The dimensions are given in both inches and millimeters.
5. Caddy Tray
This tray can be used as a desk accessory or anywhere to hold small items.
The wire parts can be assembled by brazing.
All dimensions are given in millimeters.
6. Fishing Net
This fishing net is made from aluminum.
It would make a great gift for a fisherman or possibly a mass produced item to sell.
Measurements are in inches.
Sheet Metal Projects Ideas
These projects are made primarily with sheet metal:
7. Decorative Planter Box
Many sizes and shapes of planter boxes can be made with sheet metal.
This front of the planter can be decorated with scraps from stampings or with perforated or expanded metal.
8. Bird Feeder
This useful feeder can be made in many shapes and sizes. Here is a suggested form.
One way to experiment with further ideas is to fold sheets of paper into interesting shapes.
9. Paper/Pad Holder
This simple metal container is a handy item for holding sheets of note paper on a desk.
It can be made in a variety of sizes to match standard paper sizes.
Finish it in the color of your choosing.
10. Colonial Hanging Lamp
This beautiful lamp can be made from a few simple materials.
Assemble the perforated sheet with pop rivets.
Change the bulb by removing the two #8 by 1 1/4 inch flat head wood screws shown at the top of the assembly.
11. Spice Rack
A handy kitchen accessory to hold all the small cans and jars of spices.
Several of these can be mounted on the inside of a kitchen/cabinet door.
All dimensions are in millimeters.
12. Charcoal Hod
This is a very useful item for a patio or around a fireplace.
It is great for holding charcoal.
This useful mailbox will give you practice in laying out, cutting, forming, and assembling sheet metal.
The project can be finished with colored enamel.
14. Small Waste Basket
A practical waste basket container that you can finish by painting.
Art Metal and Jewelry Project Ideas
These are smaller/more artistic projects:
15. Small Candy Dish
Here is a simple yet elegant metal candy dish.
The wooden form is shown in the drawing, but other forms can be made for other shapes.
16. Decorative Metal Box
This decorative copper box has a chased design on the cover.
The inside of the box can be covered with flocking.
The bottom can be finished by gluing a piece of walnut to it.
The box can be used for storing jewelry or other small items.
17, 18, 19, & 20. Bracelet, Armband, Letter Opener, and Scriber
Three of these give practice in art metal.
The other gives practice in bench metal or beginning machine shop.
They include many steps in metalwork.
Machine Shop, Foundry, Forging and Heat Treating Project Ideas
These are projects which will require more advanced processing such as forging and heat treating:
21 & 22. Tack Hammer and Plumb Bob
This brass tack hammer and plumb bob are two examples of the miniature tools that can be made in machine shop and used for hobby work or as souvenirs.
The hammer handle can be knurled to provide a better grip.
Any tool can be made to a smaller or larger scale.
A metric equivalent chart is given for reference.
Here are two interesting machine-shop projects.
One bookend is made from shallow aluminum channel, backed with contrasting walnut.
The decorations are made with a circle cutter or fly cutter.
The other piece is made of mild steel.
A shaper was used to create the striking cross-textured effect.
Both pieces measure 3 by 3 1/2 inches (76 by 89 mm).
They are screwed in place.
Try your own ideas for decorative bookends.
24. Hobby Knife
A good machine shop and heat-treating project.
The blades must be shaped, heat-treated, and ground.
This project will give you experience in casting (foundry) and machine shop.
26 & 27. Tack Hammer and C-Clamp
Here are two small machine shop projects. The heads of the tack hammer can made of cast aluminum.
28, 29, & 30. Cold Chisel, Punches, and Screwdriver
These tools will be a good addition to your tool box.
Producing them will give you experience in forging and heat treating.
None of these ideas are piquing your interest?
Here are some videos of metal project ideas which could also inspire your creativity.
100 DIY Project Ideas From Metal:
80 Metal Furniture Ideas:
Make Your Own Ideas
Come up with your own metal shop project idea by looking around your life for problems which need to be solved or tasks which need to be done.
Is there a metal object which could assist you?
Start planning and designing, maybe you’ll come up with a new invention!