EVENTS: Metalsmithing, Jewelry & Beading in Dallas

Get ready for winter sports! Yes, we mean the sport of making! When the weather gets nasty there’s no better time to get indoors and learn a craft.


If you’re in the Dallas area check-out the next round of classes coming up at the Dallas Craft Guild. Offering a range of classes and workshops, held in state-of-the-art studios for beginning students to advanced jewelry, students learn metals fabrication, wax carving and casting, metal clay and beading techniques to create unique jewelry and small-scale metal objects.

In addition to introductory courses, Master Workshops are taught by visiting professionals, and present unique opportunities to learn from top artists in the field.

The metalsmithing workshops range from one to several days. The’re mostly in the evenings and on weekends for convenient access, and are offered on a regular basis. (Hurry, the next one to learn to make a clay bracelet is next weekend!)

Full classes start their next sessions November 2nd.  Learn more and check-out the full schedule here.

Transforming Plastic Waste into Fashion

Plastics are essential for modern life as we know it. They are ubiquitous – employed to improve medical products, computers, construction, aerospace, food production and more. They are also often used by the end consumer for less than one minute, and then disposed.

The good news is that plastics are also easily recycled, and much can be done by the end users and industry alike to see that this is done. While there are many large and small scale initiatives to step up plastic recycling, a challenging amount of plastic still ends up in landfills or the ocean.


There are actually giant islands of plastic and garbage in the middle of the ocean—five of them to be exact. The largest is “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” which is roughly the size of Eastern Australia. The garbage collects in rivers and flows out to sea, getting caught in the ocean currents and collects in certain spots in our oceans. It’s a sad site to see, and the impact on marine life is devastating.


The ocean conservation organization Sea Shepherd is doing something about it that hasn’t been done before. They are collecting plastic debris from beaches and the ocean and partnering up with the companies Bionic Yarn and G-Star RAW to produce jeans made from the plastic waste.


Image of G-Star Raw Women’s Skinny Jean. Available on their website:

The evolution of recycling into new and creative products inspires great hope for even more future efforts. And, as these innovations gain visibility there will be more demand for such products, which can only drive even more improvements and hope for the future of our environment.

To learn more or donate to the Sea Shepherd, visit their web site. For more information on the Vortex Project, supporting efforts to generate consumer demand for recycled materials in support of clean oceans, visit their web site.

DIY: Modern Metal Stair Rail

Here’s another fabulous project completed by one of the many talented OnlineMetals customers. This custom metal stair rail adds a sharp sense of order and clean design to an exterior residential stair-well. The sturdy yet transparent construction provides safety, weather resistance and low-maintenance all in one!

If you would like to make a railing like this, see below for the complete list of products used in this construction.


The railing was constructed as one solid piece, moved into place, and attached to the concrete foundation and building wall for security.

This clever design utilizes Hot Roll Steel, which is easily welded, corrosion resistant and well-priced.


Materials List:

PRO TIP: Machinist’s Chip Brush Removes Debris

If your shop has chips you should have this gadget! An efficient single-piece unit to easily remove metal chips from your machining surfaces, the Chip-Away Brush is strong and effective. One end, with a solid nylon brush head, easily wipes chips away, while the other end sports a heavy duty steel blade to scrape packed chips out of bevels and corners.

The best way to get how this works is to watch it in action, so we’ve got a super-fast clip to help you see what the chip away brush can do >>

Now that you’ve seen it, we know you need one! So go ahead and shop now >> 

More facts about the Chip Away Brush

  • Made in USA
  • Patented design provides ergonomic grip
  • Made of solvent and impact resistant plastic
  • Steel scraping blade integrated into handle for added strength

Back-To-School Special Up to 25% Off Today!!!

Big savings plus new products give your projects the competitive edge!

25% off any* online order $100 or more

15% off any* online order.



Offer expires Friday, Sept. 12, 2014

*Discount does not apply to shipping or cut fees.



aluminum-sheetIt’s X-tra stress-corrosion resistant! This material is solution heat treated and artificially aged to produce superior performance. It’s great for aerospace and defense applications.

Shop 7075T73 NOW >>


Customer Product Reviews for You

Ever think about experimenting with a new material and wish you could ask someone who’s already tried it? Thanks to the amazing customers of your wish is about to come true!

OnlineMetals Ratings and Reviews

We’ve asked for customer feedback on the materials available in our store and received loads of feedback with a wealth of helpful, insider tips. While we work on getting all of this info published in an easy-to-use format, here’s some top reviews to get you started!

PRODUCT: 6061 Aluminum Rod

REVIEWED BY: Bud, from Maryland | Hobbyist



USED FOR: “Made a prototype alcohol lamp with an adjustable wick and a snuffer.”

RECOMMENDED FOR: “I make my prototypes in 6061 with the intention of making the “real” thing in steel or brass. I most often find that 6061 is acceptable as the “real” thing.”


PRODUCT: 2″ Aluminum Tubing

REVIEWED BY: Kevin, from California | Sailboat Industry



USED FOR: “I used the tubing to attach a solar panel to the stern of my sail boat. Got GREAT service and prompt shipping.”

RECOMMENDS FOR: “Any thing where you need tubing that is lightweight, secure and doesn’t seem to rust.”

PRODUCT: Aluminum Sheet

REVIEWED BY: Mike, from Washington | Hobbyist, Aerospace



USED FOR:  “I made airplane parts that fell into two categories:    I manufactured parts for my aluminum homebuilt aircraft using both sheet and angle aluminum in several different grades. Worked great — and online ordering made this possible because as a hobbyist I needed to place orders well outside of normal business hours.    I also ordered sheet aluminum to repair a flying plane. Under the FAA’s “owner manufactured parts” regulations I was able to manufacture a replacement vertical stabilizer for under $100. Purchasing an aftermarket version of that same part would have cost $2100, and in addition would have been lower quality.”

RECOMMENDED FOR: “any similar project”

PRODUCT: C145 Tellurium Copper Rod

REVIEWED BY: Katter, from Oregon | Custom Machine Working



USED FOR: “Lathe milled custom speaker wire terminals for DIY speaker project. The material cut easy and smooth,  did not bend in the narrow sections and polished bright.”

RECOMMENDED FOR: “Any custom project where the best electrical conductivity and  high machinability are required.”


Would you like to review a product and enter-to-win $250 in free materials from OnlineMetals? Our contest is open until September 14, 2014. Submit your review here >> 

See complete contest rules here >>

Events: Seattle Design Festival Is Here!

We told you it was coming and now it’s arrived! Join us today for the Seattle Design Festival!!! This year we’re working with the Industrial Design Society of America on the organization’s event booth, and can’t wait to see how the structure comes to life.

Design by Industrial Design Society of America

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, SEPT. 6TH & 7TH: The entire event actually takes place over several weeks with many activities to join in. But, today and tomorrow is the “Block Party” from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Pioneer Square’s Occidental Park.

Event Overview: The SDF Block Party will present design demonstrations, activities, workshops, exhibits, tours and more!  This year the Block Party will feature nine installations from the SDF Rumble, designed and built by teams of local designers, community groups and contractors. Visit the Showcase14:Seattle Design Gallery and Pop-Up shop with innovative products from local designers. Come hear and see performances, try parkour, take part in art activities and games. Families welcome and encouraged.

Find out more on the Seattle Design Festival web site. We look forward to seeing you there!

The New Has Arrived!

new-onlinemetalsWe’ve cleared the clutter to help you find just what you need faster and better than ever before!

The new web site experience offers more navigation in the shopping pages so you can see all the offerings in a product category, and a cleaner shopping cart so you can understand your order in a flash! Plus, we’ve added quick-view tabs to help you pick custom sizes and to see all the properties of the product you’re researching without scrolling, scrolling, scrolling!

Our goal is to help you save time and money with smarter shopping and a faster check-out!

We also understand that if you’ve been coming to for a long time, you’ve probably got a routine to find your way around the old site. So, no matter how simple we’ve made things, it’s gonna be different.

No worries – we’ve got you covered! Check-out this quick video to walk through the process of ordering materials, and you’ll be on your way in a snap! We’ve also made a downloadable version of the “How-To” so you can keep it handy (see below!)

Watch New Demo Video



Download the How-To Guide PDF Version Here >>

Click this text to open PDF >> The-New-OnlineMetals-Guide


Click the blue link above to open a PDF version of the new web site guide!






If you’re ready to go, check-out the new site now! 


Shop OnlineMetals




Still have questions? Check-out the Live Chat! Customer Service agents are ready to support you during our regular business hours. Just visit the home page and they’ll pop-up!

That not working for you? Give us a call at 800.704.2157.

If you’re not in a hurry and prefer email, you can also send us a message here >>


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!