Introduction: How to MIG Weld a Box

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This instructables details how to MIG weld a box made out of old scrap metal.

Step 1: Get Materials

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You will need:

1. Thin steel. I used 1/8" steel from a local scrap yard. The amount depends on the size of box you want.

2. MIG welding equipment.

3. Plasma cutter or other tool to cut the metal pieces.

4. Welding helmet, gloves, long pants, long sleeve shirt, closed toed shoes.

5. Various clamps.

6. Sander.

7. Soap stone marker, measuring tape, square ruler.

8. Paper towel, acetone and clear lacquer (optional).

Everything here was made at Gorilla Enterprises.

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting the Sides and Base

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Measure out the base of the box. I made mine 5.5" x 4". Use the soap stone marker to mark where you want to cut. I used a plasma torch to cut the steel. Using the base as a guide, measure and cut 2 long sides and 2 short sides. Label each piece to avoid future confusion.

Step 3: Sanding

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Using a sander with 50 grit sandpaper, polish the steel. I should have polished the steel before I cut it but this worked too. Make sure to relabel each piece.

Step 4: Sand the Edges

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The edges may be a little uneven, I just took the pieces to a vertical belt sand really quick to smooth everything out.

Step 5: Line Up the Base and Side and Make Tack Welds

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Using the magnetic welding clamps, line up the base and one of the sides. You can use a square ruler to line up the edges and make sure they are perpendicular.

To keep the sides in line with the base, make tack welds in between the magnets. Attach all four sides to the base in this manner, again making sure everything is perpendicular.

Step 6: Final Welding Steps

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In between the tack welds, weld the remaining edges of the box. To decrease warping, do not weld the same piece consecutively. Switch from one side to another far side of the box.

Step 7: Polish the Weld and Apply Lacquer Coating

Picture of Polish the Weld and Apply Lacquer Coating

Take the sander and carefully polish the weld. Place the sander orthogonal to each surface, do not polish directly onto the corner because it will weaken the weld. Clean the box with a paper towel and some acetone. I applied a thin layer of lacquer to finish the box, but this is optional.


Steelewilly (author)2016-02-06

Get an angle grinder, use grinding disc, then smooth off with a flap disc

rhino (author)2014-08-18

Is this flux core? Are you using shielding gas?

I love reading things like this, your pictures and descriptions are very good!

nathanwide (author)2014-06-29

I don't know a lot about welding but I think it might look better if you welded the inside, just a suggestion

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