DIY: Fire Pit This Weekend

If your holiday weekend plans don’t include toasting something in, or near, a fire… they should! With this super-easy DIY plan your backyard will be the life of the party, making warm toes and hearts this weekend!


There’s a number of ways to make fire pits, some easier than others. This simply ingenious plan was conceived and produced by yet another amazing team member at OnlineMetals. Follow these easy steps:


  • Outer Decorative Ring: Galvanized Steel Sheet, 4 pieces at 12″ x 36″ 
  • Inner Fire Ring: 1 Prefab fire ring – (or make second ring with thicker Galvanized Steel sheet for inner wall.) Inner ring diameter should be about 3-6″ smaller than outer ring. Maybe you already have a ring that you want to dress-up!
  • Small bricks
  • River rock
  1. Dig a hole the diameter of your desired pit, according to space available. About 3″-5″ deep is plenty.
  2. Tip: use a level and tamper to make sure the ground is even. A lopsided pit will slowly but surely grate on your nerves until you have to dig it up and do it over.
  3. Use your 4 pieces of .03″ Galvanized Steel, 12″ x 36″, attach end-to-end length-wise with rivet gun to form a circle (just a bit smaller than the hole you dug!).
  4. Place your outer circle in the level hole.
  5. Center fire ring inside outer ring.
  6. Secure rings in place and fill gap between rings with a bottom layer of bricks.
  7. Cover bricks with river rock.
  8. Voila ~ your fir pit is ready to party!


Now you have a fire pit with a lovely edge and room to rest your smores and toes, without getting caught in the flames! Add a grate for more cooking options and you’re good for some fall back yard camping action too!

A few notes on fire rings – this piece can be any fire proof steel. Decorative versions are available at Home Depot or in many local hardware stores. If youare buying and not making, ensure that the depth of your ring matches the above ground portion of your galvanized steel outer ring (according to these plans that will be 7″-9″ above ground.)

Love this idea and plan to make it? Send us a photo of your creation on Facebook!

Thanks A Million! Free Shipping for a Year!

We’ve almost reached a major milestone, and want to share the moment with you. Of course.

That’s why one lucky customer is going to get free ground shipping in the U.S. for a year!  All you have to do is place the one millionth order (O.M.O.), and it’s all yours.

OnlinMetals Free Shipping

What’s the catch? No catch, but there are some helpful guidelines.

  • We have a nifty system that tracks orders and automatically assigns them a number each time an order is placed in our system. According to this OnlineMetals system, whichever order has the number 1,000,000 will belong to the winning customer. If order # 1,000,000 is invalid or canceled, or if the customer account does not qualify, the next order in sequence will win the prize.

Since we want everyone to enjoy our big O.M.O. we’re also offering up to 20% off any order for the next 3-days!

Use coupon code: DCH4E

  • 10% off any online order
  • 20% off online orders $100 or more.
  • Coupon Code expires Thursday, August 28th, 11:59 p.m.


  • No special entry is required.
  • Free shipping for ground service only. Not valid on express or LTL.
  • Customer ship-to address must be located in the continental U.S.
  • Customer may not place orders on behalf of other individuals. Free-shipping is non-transferable.
  • Free shipping has no cash value.
  • Winning customer must agree to terms and conditions that will be sent with prize award notification. If award terms and conditions are declined, the next eligible recipient in sequential order will receive the prize.
  • This is a customer benefit, not a sweepstakes.
  • We expect to hit the big O.M. in the next week. The actual date will depend on the number of orders received. 

EVENTS: Maker Faire NYC

Our favorite makers are on the calendar again! This time in New York City for the “World’s Maker Faire.” The event will be hosted at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. And we can imagine that being in the hub of creativity and diversity of NYC the inventions will be spectacular.

Maker Faire NYC 2014 at NY Hall of Science

WHEN: September 20-21, 2014. 10:00 am – 7 pm

PRICE: Ranges from $17.50 for single day youth pass to $60 for adult weekend pass. Check the website for specials and offers for Make Magazine subscribers. 

WHERE: New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St, Queens NY 11368

WHAT: Touted as “The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth” Maker Faires attract the most talented designers, builders and fabricators in a wide variety of fields. You’ll see exhibits of 3D Printing (of course!), robotics, biotech and DIY Projects of course. But there is also displays of sewing, wearbles, fin arts and food! Anything that can be made will be!

More information and to search for Makers by type, check here.

The Neighborhood Steel Mill

Most residents in the urban metropolis of Seattle get through town on the daily without realizing that there’s a steel mill nestled in the heart of the intersection of the Duwamish waterway and Elliott Bay. Just underneath the West Seattle bridge Nucor steel is pumping away 24/7, rolling out hot rolled steel billets and shapes.


This facility is the only one operated by Nucor in the state of Washington, and has been in its neighborhood for over a hundred years producing American steel – well before the techies and gourmet coffee emerged, but equally ingenious! What keeps this company around and competing successfully for so long is its seeming ability to constantly adapt and use technology to make a thousands-of-years-old industry relevant and vital in today’s world.

One lucky OnlineMetals team member recently got to take a tour of the facility and reports back that the dedication to efficiency by the company and every team member is indeed a marvel!  Of the amazing facts about the urban Nucor Steel plant, here are a few that stand out and may astound you as well:

  • Good urban neighborliness rating - the plant implements noise reduction programs to keep residential neighbors happy 
  • Nearly zero waste production - even dust from the furnace (mainly zinc) is collected and sold; Slag is sold to be part of asphalt
  • Zero water run-off - cooling & dust reduction water is treated & re-used inside the plant
  • Seattle mill is the largest recycler in the state and Nucor is largest recycler in the country
  • Recycled materials are picked up by a ginormous (industry term) magnet and dumped into the 3,000 degrees furnaces

Wanna see how it works? View a great photo tour done by Seattle Times photographer Mike Siegel >>

We’re happy to have Nucor in the neighborhood (and don’t mind the $154 billion in gross revenues per year that Washington manufacturing companies contribute to the economy either.) For more information about Nucor, visit the company web site or check-out this recent article from the Seattle Times.

Want to see the finished steel mill product? Check-out our selection of hot roll steel.

Events: SOFA Chicago

Mark your calendars now so that you don’t miss this phenomenal event!  The SOFA in the name stands for Sculpture. Objects. and Functional. Art. Officially it’s the 21st Annual Exposition of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art + Design Fair.


With more than 70 galleries of the finest caliber representing works in glass, ceramics, textiles, wood, and metal, every interest can be indulged. The event features well known artists and emerging artists, to keep things edgy and meaningful!

WHEN: November 7-9, 2014. 11:00 am – 7 pm

PRICE: $20 for general admission; $30 for three-day pass. Students and senior (with ID), and group (10 or more) are $15.

WHERE: Navy Pier, Chicago

WHAT: “A gallery-presented, international art exposition dedicated to bridging the worlds of design, decorative and fine art. Works by emerging and established artists and designers are available for sale by premier galleries and dealers.” Exhibition and contests for students too! 


Don’t miss out – save the date now!”


Pro Tip: How to Tell Steel By the Numbers

hot-roll-steelDid you know that carbon steels and alloy steels are designated by a four digit number and that each of those numbers signifies the alloying elements and carbon content?

The first digit indicates the main alloying element(s). The second digit indicates the secondary alloying element(s). The last two digits indicate the carbon percentage.

Let’s take a look at a few examples: Ex. – 1018

  •  The first digit indicates that it is plain carbon steel
  • The second digit indicates that there are no alloying elements
  • The last two digits indicates that the steel contains approximately 0.18 percent carbon

Let’s look at another example: Ex. – 4130

  •  The first two digits indicates a Chromium-molybdenum alloy steel
  • The last two digits indicates that the steel contains approximately 0.30 percent carbon

Here’s a reference table so you’ll always know your stuff  

10XX Carbon steels Plain carbon, Mn 1.00% max
11XX Carbon steels Resulfurized free machining
12XX Carbon steels Resulfurized / rephosphorized free machining
15XX Carbon steels Plain carbon, Mn 1.00-1.65%
13XX Manganese steel Mn 1.75%
23XX Nickel steels Ni 3.50%
25XX Nickel steels Ni 5.00%
31XX Nickel-chromium steels Ni 1.25%, Cr 0.65-0.80%
32XX Nickel-chromium steels Ni 1.75%, Cr 1.07%
33XX Nickel-chromium steels Ni 3.50%, Cr 1.50-1.57%
34XX Nickel-chromium steels Ni 3.00%, Cr 0.77%
40XX Molybdenum steels Mo 0.20-0.25%
44XX Molybdenum steels Mo 0.40-0.52%
41XX Chromium-molybdenum steels Cr 0.50-0.95%, Mo 0.12-0.30%
43XX Nickel-chromium-molybdenum steels Ni 1.82%, Cr 0.50-0.80%, Mo 0.25%
47XX Nickel-chromium-molybdenum steels Ni 1.05%, Cr 0.45%, Mo 0.20-0.35%
46XX Nickel-molybdenum steels Ni 0.85-1.82%, Mo 0.20-0.25%
48XX Nickel-molybdenum steels Ni 3.50%, Mo 0.25%

DIY: Race Pedals

One of our talented OnlineMetals team members recently constructed a custom brake pedal and dead pedal for his Honda S2000, and is kindly sharing his tips on how-to Do-It-Yourself!

diy race pedal honda s2k

Honda S2k photo from

Pro Tip: Adding an extension to the brake pedal puts it closer to the accelerator allowing the driver to easily rev match while down-shifting during braking into a corner.



Custom Crafted Race Pedals made with 6061 Aluminum Sheet installed in Honda S2K

Project Construction:

  • Material – Aluminum 6061 Sheet, size .19″ (Small piece, as close to size of desired finished pedal as possible to reduce shaping effort.)
  • Process – Shape your small piece of 6061 Sheet, ensuring that the corners are smoothed to eliminate snagging.  Add traction capability by drilling several holes in the surface, and running a sander across the face for texture.
  • Installation – Rivet pedal extension onto existing pedal, and rivet dead pedal into floor board.
  • Enjoy responsibly!!!

(Thanks for the great tip Brad!)


Ratings and Reviews | Enter-to-win $250

Don’t be shy! Let the world know what you know about metals and plastics! Plus, enter-to-win $250 in free materials from!

OnlineMetals Ratings

Contest is open through Friday, September 14th.

Complete Contest Rules:

Ratings and Reviews Contest


This sweepstakes begins August 11, 2014 and is open to all legal United States residents at least 18 years old at time of entry, except employees of ThyssenKrupp , any of its affiliate companies, subsidiaries, retailers, suppliers, vendors, sales representatives, distributors, advertising agencies, promotional suppliers and the immediate families and household members of each. Sweepstakes ends September 14, 2014. Void where prohibited.
To enter: Register for the contest by submitting a complete product review online on  between August 11, 2014 and September 14, 2014. One valid and complete product review equals one contest entry. Multiple reviews of the same product are not valid, but customers can review multiple products and secure multiple entries in the sweepstakes. “SPAM” or fraudulent reviews will not be posted and all entries from said user will be void. Entries must be received by  by 11:59 PM PDT September 14, 2014. This contest is sponsored by Online Metals, Inc. Onliine Metals, Inc.  and its agencies are not responsible for lost, damaged, misdirected, illegible or incomplete registrations, reviews, or entries.

Prize: 1 – $250 worth of materials from

On or about September 19, 2014, Online Metals  will work with a third party to conduct the first random drawing from all eligible entries received in the preceding 4 weeks to award one (1) winners $250 in materials from inventory. Prize does not include shipping fees, if any, which will need to be paid by winner and will be collected at time of order. Winner will receive redemption details with prize notification.

Prize 2 – $100 worth of materials from

On or about September 19, 2014, Online Metals  will work with a third party to conduct the first random drawing from all eligible entries received in the preceding 4 weeks to award two (2) winners $100 in materials from inventory.  Prize does not include shipping fees, if any, which will need to be paid by winner and will be collected at time of order. Winner will receive redemption details with prize notification.

Prize 3 – $50 worth of materials from

On or about September 19, 2014, Online Metals  will work with a third party to conduct the first random drawing from all eligible entries received in the preceding 4 weeks to award one (1) winner $50 in materials from inventory.  Prize does not include shipping fees, if any, which will need to be paid by winner and will be collected at time of order. Winner will receive redemption details with prize notification.

Online Metals, Inc.  reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend this sweepstakes should viruses, bugs, or other causes beyond the control of Online Metals, Inc. corrupt the administration, security or proper administration of sweepstakes. Online Metals, Inc. is not responsible for computer system, hardware, software or program malfunction or other errors, failures, delayed computer transmissions or network connections that are human or technical in nature. In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of the person submitting an electronic entry, the entry will be deemed to be submitted by the person in whose name the e-mail account is registered.
Online Metals, Inc. decisions are final and binding with regard to this sweepstakes. Odds of winning the prize will be determined by the number of eligible entries received. Winners will be notified by email.
All entries become property of Online Metals, Inc. Except at Online Metals, Inc. discretion, no cash redemptions, substitutes, or transfer of prizes allowed. Prizewinner grants to Online Metals, Inc. the right to use his/her name and likeness in advertising and promotion without further compensation or permission, except where prohibited by law. Any and all taxes on prizes are responsibility of winner. As a condition of entering, entrants (or their parent or legal guardian if an eligible minor) agree (and agree to confirm in writing): (a) to release Sponsors, their affiliates, subsidiaries, retailers, sales representatives, distributors and the advertising and promotional agencies, and each of their officers, directors, employees and agents from any and all liability, loss or damage incurred with respect to the awarding, receipt, possession, taxes, and/or use or misuse of any prize, including without limitation, loss, damage, system damage, loss of property or data, accidents, injuries, or death, (b) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential, or any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses; (c) all causes of action arising out of or connected with this sweepstake, or any prize awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and (d) any and all claims, judgments, and award shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, excluding attorneys’ fees and court costs. Winner will be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and a liability/publicity release within 14 days of notification. If prize notification e-mail or prize returned as undeliverable, the prize will be awarded to an alternate winner. Limit one prize per person/address. Void where prohibited.

Please view our privacy policy at to see how we use personal information collected in connection with this contest. To obtain a copy of the winner’s name; send a self-addressed stamped envelope by September19, 2014 to:
Online Metals
1138 West Ewing, Seattle, WA 98119
1138 West Ewing
Seattle, WA 98119