A coat rack is a practical and stylish welding project that can bring organization to your home or workspace. Whether you’re an experienced welder or just starting out, welding a coat rack allows you to create a unique and functional piece of furniture that perfectly fits your needs and style.
So, if you’re looking to declutter your entryway or want to showcase your welding skills, grab your tools and let’s get started.
Table of Contents
This tutorial project aims to guide beginners in welding by creating a functional and stylish coat rack using mild steel. The tutorial covers the basics of MIG welding, the necessary equipment, and tips and techniques for welding mild steel.
By following the step-by-step instructions, participants will learn how to create strong and durable joints and how to shape and finish the steel to create a sleek and attractive coat rack for their home or workspace. Whether a DIY enthusiast, hobbyist, or just starting out in welding, this tutorial provides the knowledge and skills needed to create a high-quality coat rack from mild steel.
Welding Process: MIG
Shielding Gas: 25% Carbon Dioxide and 75% Argon
Filler Wire: .035″ ER70S-3
Recommended Amperage: 140 amps
Wire Feed Speed: 200 inches/minute
- 140 Amp MIG Welding Machine
- Circular Saw
- Wire Brush
- Welding Helmet
- Welding Gloves
- Welding Jacket/Apron
- 1/4-in Mild Steel Plate
- Steel Hooks – Horseshoes, Chains, Rebar, etc.
- Estimated Cost: $15
- Expected Duration: 30 mins
- Sales Price: $40
- Profit: $25
- Hourly Rate: $50/hour
Properly prepare your mig welder and gather all necessary safety equipment. This includes checking and ensuring that the welder is in good working condition, setting the appropriate parameters for welding mild steel, and ensuring that you have all necessary consumables, such as flux core wire.
In terms of safety, it is recommended to wear proper protective gear, such as a welding helmet, gloves, and long-sleeved clothing to protect against sparks and heat.
Additionally, the mild steel should be thoroughly cleaned of any rust or debris to ensure a smooth and clean weld. This can be done using a wire brush, sandpaper, or chemical rust remover.
The welding pattern required for this coat rack project will a series of straight welds, typically called “butt welds“. This type of welding involves joining two pieces of metal end-to-end, creating a continuous joint along the length of the metal. The butt welds will be used to join the vertical and horizontal pieces of the coat rack, forming the frame and ensuring its stability.
PRO TIP: Inspect your work regularly - Check the weld bead periodically to ensure it is smooth and consistent, and make any necessary adjustments.
Step 1: Cut the Steel to the Desired Size
There are several methods for cutting mild steel, including the use of hand-held cutting tools such as hacksaws and metal cutting saws, or powered cutting tools such as plasma cutters and metal cutting band saws. I just used a circular saw.
It is important to measure and mark the steel accurately to ensure that the cuts are straight and precise. Additionally, it is recommended to use proper eye protection and hearing protection while cutting, as it will generate sparks and loud noises.
For this project I cut the frame of the coat rack to be 36 inches long x 6 inches high and is made out of 1/4″ steel. This is going to have 3 hooks for coats. You can customize these dimensions to whatever size you want and any number of hooks. Just make sure there is enough distance between each hook.
Step 2: Clean and Prepare the Plates and Hooks
Remove Debris: Use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any debris, such as rust, oil, or grease, from the surface of the steel plates.
Clean the Steel: Clean the surface of the steel plates with a degreaser or solvent to remove any remaining contaminants.
Dry the Steel: Thoroughly dry the steel plates with a clean cloth or compressed air to ensure that no moisture or residue is present.
Inspect the Steel: Carefully inspect the steel plates for any cracks, dents, or other imperfections. If any are found, they should be repaired or the plates should be replaced.
Prepare the Hooks: You can really use your creativity on the styling of the hooks. I have seen some great coat hooks made from bent rebar, horseshoes, or chains that have been spot welding into place. I am just using the same 1/4″ steel and bending them into shape.
Step 3: Weld the Hooks to the Frame
Align the Hooks: Align the steel frame and place the hooks in position one at a time. Measure accuratly to place them in the correct positions both horizontally and vertically.
Clamp the Hooks: Use the clamps to securely hold the hooks in place. Make sure the clamps are tightened enough to prevent any movement while welding.
Weld the Hooks to the Frame: Begin welding the hooks with tack welds to secure them. Keep the weld pool small and consistent, and make sure to maintain the correct travel speed and angle. Depending on the shape of your hooks will dictate how much welding is required.
Weld a Second Pass: After completing the first pass, inspect the weld bead for any defects or areas that need additional welding. Make a second pass if necessary, following the same procedure as the first pass.
Remove the Clamps: Once the welding is complete, remove the clamps and inspect the coat rack for any defects. If necessary, make any repairs and repeat the welding process until the hooks are attached securely and free from defects.
Step 4: Grind and Sand Welds
Let it Cool: Give it some time to cool completely before starting to clean and grind the welds.
Remove Slag: Use a chipping hammer or wire brush to remove any slag or debris that may have formed on the surface of the welds.
Clean the Welds: Clean the surface of the welds with a cleaning solution, such as a degreaser, to remove any oil, grease, or other contaminants. Rinse the coat rack with water and dry it thoroughly.
Grind the Welds: Use a grinder with a coarse grit sanding disc to grind the welds. Start by grinding along the length of the weld, holding the grinder at a low angle and using light pressure. Move the grinder in a circular motion to ensure that the weld is smooth and even.
Smooth the Welds: Change the sanding disc to a finer grit and repeat the grinding process, focusing on smoothing the surface of the welds. Apply light pressure and work evenly and steadily to achieve a smooth surface.
Step 5: Attach it to the Wall
You need to consider how you will attach your coat rack to the wall. For my design, I will simply drill a hole into each end of the frame and screw it into a brick anchor. My coat rack is relatively light, so if you have gone for a larger design you may want to use more than two screws and anchors. You can drill holes midway along the frame as well to increase its strength.
Inspect for Defects
A visual inspection is a straightforward and efficient way to detect surface-level defects in your welded hooks. During this process, watch for the following commonly seen issues:
Cracks: These can appear as straight or jagged lines on the surface and are present in the weld or base metal.
Porosity: This issue is caused by entrapped gas and appears as small circular defects in the weld bead.
Undercutting: This defect happens when the base metal around the weld has been melted away, resulting in a groove along the edge of the weld.
Overlap: This occurs when two separate welds overlap, forming a ridge or bump on the surface.
Lack of Fusion: This issue arises when the weld bead does not bond properly with the base metal, creating a gap between the two.
Paint the coat rack to prevent corrosion and rust. I prefer a matt black paint, but I have seen some great designs done with a silver. You can choose any finish that suits your tastes.
Other Designs for Inspiration
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I ensure that the welds are strong and durable?
It is important to use proper welding techniques and to use the correct settings for your mig welder. This includes using the appropriate filler material/welding wire and ensuring that the metal is clean and free of debris. It is recommended to make multiple passes over the joint, rather than attempting to make one continuous bead, as this will help distribute the heat and prevent warping or cracking of the metal.
After welding, allow the metal to cool slowly to room temperature to prevent thermal shock, and perform performing a visual inspection to ensure high-quality of the welds.
Welding a coat rack out of mild steel is a simple but rewarding project that requires proper preparation, attention to detail, and proper use of welding equipment. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can ensure that you have the necessary tools and materials to complete the project, and that you are taking the appropriate safety precautions.
With the proper technique and attention to detail, you can create a functional and stylish coat rack that will be the centerpiece of any room. I have found these can also be appreciated gifts or can be sold at your local market.