The intRo to metalworking experience

In this article, we will take you through our journey in the pilot class of the Introduction to Metalworking.

Wood x metal.

The intro to metalworking class aims to integrate the metal element into woodworking. For a hobbyist, craftsman, business owner, or someone who just wants to get to experience new things, this class is perfect for you! This metalworking class will unlock new skills, knowledge, and an exciting whole-day activity for the students.

What to expect? Well, as the class title states, you will get introduced to metalworking – you will get to experience all the steps involved in processing metal and make it to whatever you want. In this case, a side table (that we got to take home!). After the class, the students are expected to know the basics of metalworking – from safety precautions and procedures to the actual use of the tools and machines. With this knowledge, the students can then carry on with mastering the craft in their own workshops. The added bonus to joining Wood Academy classes is that you will be added the The Wood Academy Community Facebook group, where you can interact with all the students and instructors – ask questions, get answers, help others, share your accomplishments, and keep the passion burning!

In this class, we spent most of our time tackling the metalworks. We got to learn the basics of metalworks – planning out the piece, measuring, cutting, welding, and finishing the metal. The pilot class started at 9:00AM and ended at 6:00PM.

Before anything else..

As usual, every Wood Academy class starts with the orientation. This is where the students, old and new, get conditioned for what’s ahead. Aside from getting to know what we will do, we got to know what to do and what to look out for with the equipment, so that we get to enjoy the class and be safe at the same time. Our instructor, Sir Chris, laid out what we were to do for the duration of the class. The class structure is as follows:

  • Orientation
  • Planning and measuring the metal legs
  • Cutting (straight & 45-degree angle)
  • Grinding
  • Welding
  • Finishing (application of putty and painting)
  • Final Assembly (attachment of wooden tabletop)

During this time, it’s important to note what Sir Chris said: “The actual welding is the easy part. Mas mahirap yung measuring and cutting part, because the measurements and angles have to be exact. Pag nagkamali tayo sa part na ‘to, mahihirapan at matatagalan tayo sa assembly and welding.” In other words, it’s important to pay attention to the details from the very beginning, so we can minimize errors in the job.

The tools! (A big thank you to powerhouse philippines for supplying the metalworking tools)

We’re getting to the good part! It’s important to emphasize that the actual welding is just a small part of metalworking. We spent most of our time measuring, cutting, and grinding the metal to perfection. The welding machine is just one out of the many tools and equipment we used in the class. See the full list of tools and equipment used below:

POWERHOUSE tools used

  • Arrow magnetic welding holder
  • MIGWELD-200TECH Gasless MIG Inverter Flux Cored Welding Machine 
  • Angle Grinder w/ Back Switch 800W 4″ (variable speed)
  • Welding gloves (18″)
  • Welding mask (with auto darkening feature)
  • cut-off machine (not shown in the image above)
  • stone grinder (not shown in the image above)

Other tools used

  • Starrett try square
  • Makita dry/cold cutoff saw
  • Steel brush
  • F clamps
  • Long nose cutter

All of these equipment are available via Tools for Wood, Wood Academy’s very own hardware.

 

It’s game time!

After the orientation, we went straight into getting familiar with the equipment we were going to use and then went on measuring and cutting the metal. The metal used for the legs is a 1″x2″ tubular galvanized metal, 1.5mm thickness.

The first step was to measure the parts. This is a crucial step, as the parts’ sizes have to be exact. Making a mistake in this step could lead to delays and redoing this step.

After measuring, we then started to use the Powerhouse cut-off machine for straight cuts and the Makita cutoff saw for 45-degree angle cuts. One major difference between the two machines is that the Powerhouse cut-off saw uses a cut-off disc to grind/cut the metal, while the Makita cutoff saw uses a carbide-tipped metal saw. Both serve the purpose of cutting, but when you get to experience using both, you get to see their output. If you are planning to buy, you can properly compare the costs and benefits of both machines.

After cutting, we used a Powerhouse stone grinder to refine the edges of the cut sides. It’s important to note that some craftsmen use the sides of the cut-off blade to refine the metal edges. This practice is deemed dangerous as the cut-off blades will get thinner in the middle and if applied with enough pressure when used for cutting, the blade might burst under pressure. Hence, the using of the stone grinder is highly recommended.

Product Assembly

This is the part where the welding is involved. The image you see above shows a work in progress of the assembly of the side table. This part is the most exciting – there is where you will see all the prepworks manifesting into a finished product. Not to mention, the Powerhouse MIGWELD-200TECH Welding Machine was an absolute pleasure to work with. This particular unit is perfect for beginners and experts alike, because compared to the stick welding machine, this is much easier to operate and with proper use, can produce an at-par or even better output.

You will also see that the student is wearing 18″ Powerhouse welding gloves, an essential protection tool for welding. The gloves are made out of cowhide to provide a thick layer of protection while still giving enough dexterity for the hands to work. Also, the welding mask’s auto darkening feature is very helpful. The view only darkens when the welder emits the bright spark, giving you the ability to not raise the mask every now and then while welding.

After welding the parts together, it’s time to grind away the welding slags. We used the Powerhouse variable speed grinder and put on the flap disc for a faster finishing time. It is important to pay attention to detail, as successfully remove all the slags will make for a better painting finish.

For the painting, we were given the choice whether if we want to try putting on the primer and finishing paint ourselves. Those of us who were already tired from the long day opted to have the assistants do the painting, while others who were still up for the task did it themselves.

BEHOLD, the finished product

After the paint dried off, we attached the already finished tabletop. The size of the whole table is length 15″ x width 12″ x height 29″. It’s truly satisfying to be able to craft something out of your own hands. After hours of non-stop work, this piece is definitely worth it. We will all have something to remember.

key takeaways

In one word, this session falls under the word SULIT. In just one day, the students got to learn how to handle metalworks from planning, laying out, measuring, cutting, grinding, welding, and finishing. Of course, the students are not masters of the craft just yet. Mastery comes with time and experience. That’s where our respective workshops come in. This workshop will let you dive into the world of metalworking – it will give you the basic knowledge and the capacity to properly and safely master the craft.

So there you have it! The Wood Academy Introduction to Metalworking Class.

You can check out the available dates below:

Introduction to Metalworking in Antipolo

10,000.00

  • Location: Rich Golden Shower Montessori Center (Covered Parking Area) Montessori Lane, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
  • Introduction to Metalworking
  • Click on READ MORE to see class overview and booking details
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