This is a short how-to on the industrial beams that we made for our kitchen.
We were inspired by the industrial-style lamp posts that we sometimes see on the streets and so we decided to replicate it for the interior as a decor.
For this build you will need:
- L-bars of appropriate length to fit the width of the room, 4 L-bars per beam
- Flat bars (steel strips) - plenty to be able to cut many of the small parallelograms
- Angle grinder
- Stick welder
Materials are very few and cost is low. I think it is the time that would be the biggest investment for this project given the amount of welding that goes into it.
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Step 1: Sketch Your Idea
It is always good to at least make a sketch of the idea. It helps to visualize and understand which parts will be needed for the build.
Step 2: Cut the Parallelograms...many of Them
First of all, you will need parallelograms. For the 4 meter length I needed 120 of them. I used the 1.5in (4 cm) wide steel strip for this.
Step 3: Make a Mockup Section
Before spending many hours making 4 full size beams we wanted to test our idea. Small mockup was welded and we tested it in the interior.
Step 4: Welding Table
If the mock-up fits your design, you will want to start making the full size beams.
I highly recommend to use some kind of a welding table to do this job. You will have to have 4 very long sections of L-bars parallel to each other to weld a beam. The welding table we have is not a traditional one - it is made from a metal "cage" door and allows to place clamps wherever you need them. It also is similar to the welding tables we saw in the metal door-making factory.
Step 5: Make the Side Sections
The side sections have most of the pieces on them so they need to be done first. In my case they were around 100 pieces just for the sides. The process is simple - drop the small piece between two L-bars and put two tack welds on each end. You can see the inside on the photos.
Step 6: Welding Two Sides
You will realize that stick welder is perfect for the job at this stage - you will need to go inside into the beams to make the welds. To start the process you will need to measure equal distances between two sides and clamp a few of the strips to both sides with the welding clamps (see second picture).
Step 7: Holding Brackets
The holding brackets were made from bigger L-bar profile. See the photo for the shape and how it holds the beams (in red marker).
I attached these brackets to the concrete walls using super-strong anchor rods and inspect the areas every 2 months just to be on the safe side.
Step 8: Lacquering and Installing
I used the lacquer to add glossy finish as well as preserve discoloring of different kinds.
The beams turned out to be around 160 pounds (80kg) each. Yeah, that's heavy but the beams look real. We installed everything together with a friend.
When the beams were done, I installed also the lamps and kitchen pot rack using these beams so they also carry a functional purpose. Pot rack are fixed to the beams using hooks and a chain. Chain came together with the pot rack and I modified the hooks by tapping the thread on them and tapping the holes in the beams for secure and strong hold. As a result, pot rack carries a very heavy load of kitchenware and different glasses and mugs.
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