If you've recently started working with metal and steel, you likely understand that the work requires a lot of attention to detail. That said, the number of things that need to be tracked can be overwhelming sometimes to someone new to the craft. Here are 3 key tips for metal and steel fabrication work that beginners to the practice will want to keep in mind.

Use the Same Hand Tools For Every Project

If you started doing some of your metal or steel fabrication work with whatever spare tools you had lying around, it might be time to take a step back and look at the situation from the big picture. If you use hand tools of varying sizes for your projects, it can be difficult if you notice a mistake later on that you need to go back and fix the problem if you can't remember which tool you were using for which project. If you see yourself working on more than one piece of steel or metal at a time, make sure you are using the same type of tool at each table. 

Let It Set

If the project you are working on has you inserting steel or metal into a concrete base, keep in mind that wet concrete needs sufficient time to dry and become set in place. A common rookie fabricator mistake is to spend a lot of time making sure the metal or steel work is absolutely perfect, but then find out that they need to start over because they rushed the job before the concrete was fully in place.

Invest in a Portable Welding Table

If at all possible, make sure at least one table in your shop is portable or mobile. If you discover after everything is set up that you actually need to move a piece over to a different workstation, it's much easier to just glide the table itself over to where you need to be as opposed to having to pick up sheets of metal or steel off the table. Obviously, make sure though that any table you use can be locked down so that it doesn't move on you when you don't want it to.

Steel and metal fabrication is complex and rookie fabricators can be prone to mistakes. But you can give yourself a fighting chance by using tools that are standardized across your entire shop so that you can quickly fix any mistakes with confidence. When working with concrete, don't be so obsessed with your fabrication work that you forget to let the concrete dry properly. If you find that taking on your own fabrication project is too much to handle, don't be afraid to reach out to a professional for help.