Simple Steel Drawers With Tig.

Introduction: Simple Steel Drawers With Tig.

About: Just a fellow who want's to learn new tricks and skills.


I wanted to get sturdy drawers to collect scrap metals.

When the drawer is full, i pull it out and deliver it to recycling.

Another drawer is to collect wood to be used as a firewood.

I decided to make them from steel, to get them strong enough, also because there might get oily parts.

Oil could be soaked through wooden box.

I used 2mm mild steel for the drawers.

Tig for welding.

Circular saw for cutting materials.

20 x 20 x 3mm l-profile for the slides.

8 bearings (for 2 drawers)

Screws, bolts to attach bearings, rivets to attach slides to the drawers.

Front plates would make them prettier, but its easier to empty them without.

Video shows the process.

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Step 1: Start..

I used my circular saw for cutting mild steel sheets to right size, i like its quick and easy way to make straight cuts.

As mentioned, material is 2mm thick, so it needs little sturdier bending brake.

Before bending sheets i drilled holes for the rivets, later im going to attach slide rails to those holes.

When making bendings, you must know that bending radius "shortens" sheet, if you take closer look for it you notice that corner is actually like 1/4 part from the circle, and you can't just take circle from nothing, so its obvious that it "eats" material.

In my case final size of the box wasn't very important, i just add 1mm / every bend for the sheet.

100mm high x 450mm wide box with 10mm sprocket on the both side. (outer measures ) = 674mm wide sheet.

Bends are marked from the center of the sheet. > first bend 223 ( - sheet thickness 2mm ) sprocket (remember to bend from the opposite side) > 321 ( +2 for the radius -4 thickness of the sheets. ( -2 from bottom and the -2 from the sprocket, wich is the highest level.))

Using 5mm bending radius, that gives me box with the outer measures, height 100mm x width 450mm.

( 8mm eaten by bending radius.) Note that bending brake that i used had no accurate radius adjustment, so your result may vary. But this might explain the idea about it.

Also because radius shortens the sheet, its very important that you make similar bends in the same way, otherwise you'll result is that other side is higher than other.

Step 2: Tack Welds..

I used tig for welding.

Its very easy method with sheet metals. In this case you don't need to use rod, you can just melt pieces together.

If there's cap or holes, i use E70S2 mild steel tig welding rod.

Because front and back plates we're cut straight angled, i could use them as a guide to get box symmetrical.

I tack weld the front plate to the bent box from the corners.

Then i bent the sides to the same line with end plates using fingers. And tack weld them together.

Make tack welds allways to the "middle". If you start tack welding pieces together from the one end, it slowly "pulls" pieces together and usually plates are "crossed" before you notice.

Thin sheets needs to be tacked very closely. Otherwise there rises a cap between sheets when you start welding.

Step 3: Welding..

Because i just melt the pieces together ( yes, its still very strong )

I used 120 A current, if you are beginner use much lower at first. 40 A or lower.

Much depends from how fast you move the torch, and how you point the "flame"

You can think tig welding arc as a flame of the candle. You don't need to point the arc directly to the seam, if you do so, all heat points to the joint, and it gets easily overheated, specially if you don't have much experience. ( Result is oxidation to the back side, oxidation to the surface, or melts totally, or partly. )

When welding together edges from the corner.

Point the "flame" so that the tip of the arc passes the joint, and use the side or "bottom curve" of the arc to melt the material. (That also gives nice and smooth surface to the joint )

That way you can easily control how much heat goes to the joint, simply just increase the distance of the "flame" to the joint if it gets too hot. Shape of the arc is like a candle flame, and you can use every sides of it for heating.

Welding without adhesive works well when welding together thin plates from the outer edge.

Fillet- and butt welds, ends to be easily under cutted without adhesive.

During welding, if you get holes or caps that doesn't melt together nicely, skip those points. Wait until joint is cooled down, and then fix them. Use adhesive if necessary.

If you stop to the one point too long time, cap usually melts larger.

Important thing is that you make similar welds to the same direction.

Otherwise you'll box might end to be twisted.

Longer welds is good to start from the middle and weld in both directions.

Welding makes allways little disortion, this way it happens symmetrically, wich looks better, and is easier to straighten if necessary.

Step 4: Slide Rails..

For the slide rails i used 20 x 20 x 3mm L - Profile and bearings ( 20mm x 10mm x 8mm(center hole).)

I cut the material for the slides with circular saw and weld parts together with tig.

Then i drilled holes for the screws, rivets and the bearings.

Step 5: Assembling..

I connected the rails using rivets.

Also support bearing in the drawer is bolted trough the slide and the box, so it also holds rail on its place.

Structure is very simple.

Support bearings in the both sides of the drawer are located to the back.

Support bearings in the sides of the slide are located to the front.

Weight is on the bearings, and drawer moves easily.

Because bearings we're 20mm outer diameter, and the L- profile that i used was with the same height.

I weld little steel pieces to the slides, where i drilled the bearing connection holes.

Thanks for checking this out. :)

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