Bulid your own giant steel anatomic skeleton hand out of junky nuts and bolts! It makes a nice coat & towel rack too.
This is a perfect first welding project because you can make lots of mistakes and it will still come out fine.
Step 1: Find some scrap nuts and bults
This project was inspired by finding a couple buckets of large nuts and bolts at a junk yard, and then deciding that i wanted to learn to weld. This project is great for your first welding project because if the welds are a mess it won't ruin the piece. There is not much measuring to do and if you make mistakes they are easy to fix or else they don't matter. You have a lot of flexibility on your choice of parts and you can easily build the hand at whatever size you want.
note: do not use galvanized nuts and bolts because they give off poisonous fumes when you weld them.
all the parts you need are shown below:
Step 2: Make the fingers and thumb
Start by making the individual fingers and thumb. If you mess one up badly you can just make more! Use a vise or a locking plier to hold the fingertip, and hold the middle joint with the ground clamp. Choose the curve angle of your finger joint and then weld the two bolts together. Repeat to add the third finger joint. I made each finger with a different curve because I think it makes the hand look more alive.
The photos show the fingers already attached to the hand, but that's just because i forgot to take a photo before I attached them. At the end of this step you just have 5 loose fingers.
The carriage bolts are nice because you can choose the curve of the finger joint more easily and they look a little better. You can still choose your finger curve with a normal bolt but it is not quite as nice looking.