Step Up to Steel
As you spend time outside this summer, you’re bound to notice improvements you want to make to your outdoor space. Fuel your creative drive with these outdoor DIYs that use steel pipes. This strong, sleek, versatile material lends itself to all sorts of useful items from benches, planters, and carts to fun accessories—and its rugged nature is especially well suited to perform in your outdoor living areas.
Steel pipe is becoming so popular among do-it-yourselfers, there’s now a company devoted to supplying you with the quality parts you’ll need: SteelTek manufactures a high-quality line of supplies that resemble traditional plumbing pipes and fittings, but with thread-less connections that make it a breeze to plan, build, and modify an array of cool projects. The line is available in-store and online at Lowe’s, and SteelTek offers complete illustrated step-by-step how-to instructions to ensure you’ll have truly impressive results. So get on the pipeline and check out how you can upgrade your porch, deck, patio, and more with SteelTek.
Hang Your Plants
Too many plants? No such thing! But finding a striking, sturdy means to display hanging baskets on your patio can be a challenge—until you build this bi-level plant rack. You’ll need a drill, an Allen wrench, and some screws along with ¾-inch SteelTek supplies, including non-threaded pipe, socket crosses, elbows, and flanges. By the end of the weekend you'll have a beautiful vertical garden.
Build a Sturdy Mailbox
A flimsy, tilted mailbox stand looks shabby and just might get blown over in the next big storm. So take a few minutes out of your day to improve this aspect of your curb appeal. To install this mailbox post, you’ll attach the box to a flange, secure it to the post (a 36-inch piece of pipe), and sink it in place with a ground socket. Pro Tip: For extra security, pour some cement into the hole you dig for the ground socket.
Serve In Style
The warmth of natural wood meets the rugged cool of steel in this handsome serving station— and guests are sure to “ooh!” and “ah!” when they learn you built it yourself. In addition to your SteelTek supplies (including adjustable side outlets, combination sockets, flanges, and non-threaded pipe), you’ll need three wooden tabletops 1½-inches thick and eight flathead wood screws. This serving station can also make a great potting bench and work space.
Make Your Patio a Destination
Define your outdoor space and upgrade its functionality with a statement-making patio frame. SteelTek supplies include flanges, side outlet elbows, socket tees, and various lengths of pipe, which you’ll assemble from the roof down. Then string some lights and enjoy your structured space into the evening. Or consider other ways to accent the frame—climbing plants, a billowing curtain, whatever strikes your fancy.
Find a Spot to Sit
Whether it’s the front porch or back patio, you can always benefit from having additional seating available for your outdoor space. Steel-Tek makes it simpler than ever to build an attractive bench, fashioned from a wooden plank, four angled flanges, and two pieces of pipe. You can pull this easy project together in just a couple of hours.
Take Your Drinks To Go
Outdoor entertaining will get a lot easier once you craft this neat serving cart. Similar quality carts sell for upwards of $200, yet this is one of SteelTek’s least-expensive projects—and you get the satisfaction of making it yourself. You’ll need two ¾-inch wood boards and a handful of screws; SteelTek makes all the metal parts the project requires, including the hooks, handle, and casters. In no time flat and with no power tools, you’ll be open for service.
Develop a Birdhouse Neighborhood
Want to attract birds to your backyard? Create a community that they’ll flock to. This ultra-easy, inexpensive project transforms a 6-inch by 6-inch piece of scrap wood and a variety of SteelTek pipe and fittings (including elbows, flanges, and end plugs) into a strong birdhouse shelf. You’ll need a hammer, drill, and Allen wrench to put it together, then attach to a tree, pole, or other tall, stable surface.
Have Some Friendly Competition
This portable horseshoes game will be great fun in your backyard, at the beach, on a camping trip—wherever! All it takes is the tap of a hammer to attach SteelTek non-threaded pipe (four 6-inch pieces and one 24-inch length) to end plugs, then assemble the game on a four-socket cross. The entire project can be completed in just a few minutes, and endless hours of fun will follow!
Make the Stairs Safe
Safety first is the key to outdoor enjoyment. This low-cost, easy-to-assemble stair railing will give you peace of mind—and help keep everyone in one piece—on multi-level outdoor areas. Each railing calls for internal swivel tees, single socket tees, double tab offset flanges, and non-threaded pipe, plus some screws and a pipe cap. You’ll build the supports, attach them to the railing, and feel secure every time someone takes the stairs.
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