Some first welding projects - Costume Racks

I must admit this site started out of pure frustration of spending hours and hours looking for welding plans that I could do on the cheap. One of my first projects was a small welding table that cost me $50 and I still have it today. 

I was lucky enough to have a roommate get me started welding. My mother owned a costume shop and needed some costume racks that were strong (at 12′ to 16′ long) and custom built. She needed to be able to roll them around when it came to re-organizing the layout of her store. She told me she’d give me $500 to make her about 6 racks. I took $375 in advance and bought a welder with my friends advice. I found it on craigslist and bought it from a guy who had upgraded. It is called a Lincoln HD3200 and included the cart and tank. Its a small 120v welder but it does a great job when used properly.

Costume Rack

My friend helped me realize that there were metal stores around town and pointed me to the best ones in the area. I seriously had no idea at that time how easy it was to get started! We found some tube steel and bought some 3″ flat stock. Then I bought some 4×4’s (pine wood), casters, and lag bolts from Home Depot and got started.

Costume Rack

I need to put some emphasis on planning. It took a lot of measuring and conversations with my mother (as she changed her mind a few times) and we worked out a plan. I knew the exact height, length, how many levels she needed to hang costumes on, etc.

Costume Rack

To be honest, they turned out even better than I expected!! My mother was reminding me for years how much she loved her costume racks. In the end I think I may have spent $50 of my own money to make them for her because of my own mistakes on cutting, messing up something, or faulty planning. But I really came out ahead! I now had a welder and some experience to add to my tool arsenal!

Costume Rack

I was able to dig up some pictures of the costume rack from 2007. Notice that I did not take the time to measure where I drilled the holes in the metal to secure it to the 4×4’s, it was obvious and embarrassing to me because I take pride in my work. Great lesson I learned early.

Costume Rack

Anyway, it started with a project I made enough money on to buy a welder, after that, I made the small welding table, and next my own go kart (click for pictures). Every time I weld I’m reminded how great it is to feel like I’ve just built something for life… unless it doesn’t turn out that great, that’s another story that involves a lot of grinding wheels and cutting disks and I’m not ready to go there just yet… 

So back to my point on starting this website. Over the years I have spent countless hours searching for plans on the internet. I have purchased my fair share of plans and am excited to get more. I’ve noticed that the simpler the plan, the more likely I am to use it. The least amount of materials needed and the most practical projects have always been the ones that caught my attention.

I hope in putting together this website that it will bring people around the world who are searching for a hobby, a career, or just a class project, some satisfaction in accomplishing their goals and having a great time working from plans. Plans are designed to keep us safe, smart, and productive so we don’t make so many costly learning mistakes or cause injury.

In the coming months I hope to make a lot of changes, add a lot more content, and benefit the welding community so come back often!

Thank you for your support, suggestions, and for submitting your own projects!

Happy welding!

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