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Awesome Steel

Making Fancy Manhole Covers

Making Fancy Manhole Covers

The manhole covers here in the U.S. are pretty utilitarian. But in Japan, manhole covers can be works of urban art. This video from Process X takes us inside a high-tech factory that turns raw steel into embossed discs, then has artists embellish them with colorful enamels applied with squeeze bottles.

Handmade Steel Sledgehammer

Handmade Steel Sledgehammer
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Given how beautiful this sledgehammer looks, we’re not sure we’d hit anything with it. The 10-pound steel hammer is handmade by Joseph’s Metal Works. Its bronze-accented head is filled with steel shot BBs, with a torched patina and a protective clear coat. Deerskin leather wraps around its metal handle.

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Remaking a Weird Vintage Multi-Wrench

Remaking a Weird Vintage Multi-Wrench

Hand Tool Rescue came across Michael Volpe’s 1919 patent for an insane multi-wrench. The concept for the hand tool was that it could turn just about every imaginable fastener. He decided to make a replica of the impractical wrench in hopes that one day he might find every kind of fastener it can tighten.

Making a Folding Metal Staircase

Making a Folding Metal Staircase

Woodworker Bourbon Moth asked his pal Rainfall Projects if he could help him build a custom staircase for his new workshop. He came up with a tubular steel structure with wooden steps that can fold flat against the wall when not in use. That giant plywood jig he created was genius. It could use a handrail, though.

Petrol Vibes Metal Art

Petrol Vibes Metal Art
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Petrol Vibes makes metal wall art based on the silhouettes of sports cars and motorcycles. In addition to classics like the Ferrari 250 GTO and C2 Corvette, they can fabricate custom designs. Each is made from laser-cut 2mm steel and comes in sizes from 31″ to 55″ wide. Get 10% off with coupon code THEAWESOMER.

Turning Molten Steel into Rebar

Turning Molten Steel into Rebar

The Process K channel shares videos of industry at work in factories around Korea. In this clip, you’ll see how thick steel bars are stretched and pulled while hot to create skinny lengths of rebar used for reinforcing concrete. Let’s face it, can you ever get enough footage of molten hot steel?

Explosively Crushing Ball Bearings

Explosively Crushing Ball Bearings

The Hydraulic Press Channel has figured out that you can get metal objects to explode even more dramatically by pre-scoring them. In this clip, they start by crushing a series of progressively larger ball bearings, then try the same with one they put cut marks into. The slow-motion footage is really impressive.

Making a Damascus Steel Blade from Staples

Making a Damascus Steel Blade from Staples

Ukraine-based blacksmith Shurap has made Damascus steel from a variety of unusual items. For his latest blade-making experiment, he took stacks of staples, nested them into star-shaped clusters, added steel flux powder, then forged and hammered them to create a pattern we’ve not seen on a knife before.

Making a Ring from Twisted Sawblades

Making a Ring from Twisted Sawblades

Black Beard Projects shows off an interesting way to create a steel ring. The blacksmith started with a rusty bandsaw blade and chopped it up into flat pieces. He then welded, forged, and hammered them multiple times to create a Damascus pattern before twisting the metal into a cylinder and refining it into its final form.

Tying a Knot in Steel Rebar

Tying a Knot in Steel Rebar

Steel rebar is a stiff metal bar typically used to reinforce concrete. But like any metal, with enough force, you can bend it to your whim. Metalsmith Gavin Clark shows us a series of maneuvers he used to tie a length of 1/2″ rebar into a clove hitch knot. We’re impressed that he did it without applying heat.

Leatherman Cap Lifter Carabiner

Leatherman Cap Lifter Carabiner
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This inexpensive and basic steel tool from Leatherman doesn’t try to overdo things. It combines three useful functions: a carabiner clip for your keychain, a 1/4″ hex driver, and a bottle opener. The perfect little addition to your belt loop or backpack.

How Train Wheels Are Made

How Train Wheels Are Made

This sped-up video shows how workers produce those big steel wheels for trains. They start with a rod of molten-hot metal, flatten it with a mechanical hammer, work it into a clean round disc, press grooves in the wheel, then punch a hole into its center for an axle. Here’s how a more automated factory does it.

Best Kinds of Knife Blade Steel

Best Kinds of Knife Blade Steel

There are so many kinds of steel used in knife blades, and they all sound pretty fancy in the marketing materials. How do you figure out which blade steel is best for your needs? Everyday Carry put together a concise guide to different kinds of steel, and recommends a number of great knives based on their blade material.

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Character Toolbox

Character Toolbox
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Who says your toolbox needs to be ugly? Character believes toolboxes should look as good as they work. Their stylish toolboxes are made of 22-gauge steel with a colorful powder-coat finish, a modern look, slide-out drawers, and non-slip silicone liners. They also sell color-coordinated tool kits and organizer bins.

Higo no Kami Brass Pocket Knives

Higo no Kami Brass Pocket Knives
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Handmade in Japan’s Nagao Kanekoma factory, these pocket folders have a Wharncliffe blade made from Warikomi steel, wrapped in a satin brass handle, and comes in three sizes. The simple design and antique style have been passed down through five generations over 125 years. It also comes in satin black.

Steel Beam Factory

Steel Beam Factory

Factory Monster takes us inside a steel foundry in Korea that receives over a million tons of scrap metal each year, melts it down in massive industrial cauldrons, then extrudes the metal into H-beams for use in construction. There’s something so satisfying about the warm glow of molten steel.

Lautie EDC Crane Pocket Tool

Lautie EDC Crane Pocket Tool
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This premium pocket multitool from EDC maker Lautie comes in titanium, copper, and zirconium versions, each with a stainless steel tip. Its tools include a bottle opener, box cutter, pry bar, and a 1/4″ hex bit driver, set into a keychain-compatible wedge shape inspired by the head of a crane bird.

Madsteel Metal Spider Model

Madsteel Metal Spider Model
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This metal spider looks like some kind of creepy-crawly robo-arachnid. It’s made from dozens of tiny stainless steel parts and can be assembled or disassembled without glue. The finished model measures about 4.92″ x 4.92″ x 1.38″. They also make a more complicated steel scorpion kit.

DMOS Delta Collapsible Shovel

DMOS Delta Collapsible Shovel
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This steel and aluminum shovel collapses down to 24″ x 11″ x 2.75″, and opens up to support up to 1000 pounds. It adjusts between 24″, 37″, 51″ length and its spade-style blade digs through the toughest dirt. At 6 lb. 5 oz. it’s pretty light, but if you’re looking to minimize pack weight, check out DMOS’ all-aluminum Delta Pro.

BK Skeleton Skinner Knife

BK Skeleton Skinner Knife

A lightweight, skeletonized knife from Belnap Custom Knives. The expert blade maker has been making a custom version of this ulu-style knife that sells for $175 and is ramping up for a more affordable production model. Each is made from D2 tool steel and comes with a fitted Kydex sheath. View a 3D model of the knife here.

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Making a Steel Hammer from Washers

Making a Steel Hammer from Washers

Hammers typically have a solid metal or wood handle and a solid metal head. But this unique hand tool by Hassan Abu-Izmero (with the help of his trainee Damian) conceals that structure under dozens of stainless steel washers welded together. The washers appear to be purely aesthetic, but they sure look cool.

Making a Floating Bed

Making a Floating Bed

Every bed we’ve ever slept on had visible legs or a platform to hold it up. But HomeMadeModern created an amazing bed that appears to float off of the ground. It has a tubular steel frame with its legs inset substantially from its edges. Its headboard is made from live-edge cedar and has small built-in shelves.

Forging a Damascus Knife from Pennies and Dimes

Forging a Damascus Knife from Pennies and Dimes

One reason metals are so wonderful is because they can be melted down over and over again to form new objects. In this video from Rob Bonifacio, he shows us how he took some Canadian copper pennies and dimes, layered them with high-carbon steel and forged them into a Damascus blade for a knife. Part two here.

Alphanumeric Steel Stamps

Alphanumeric Steel Stamps
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Add your initials, a serial number, or other identifying text to your projects with these heavy-duty steel stamps. Hit them with a hammer to leave an impression in wood, leather, or soft metal. Each 36-piece set includes letters from A to Z, numbers 0 to 8 (9 is 6 upside-down), and an ampersand. Choose from 1/4″ or 5/16″ sizes.

Fanciest Pizza Cutter Ever

Fanciest Pizza Cutter Ever

A store-bought pizza cutter is usually made from stainless steel. The guys from Waterjet Channel decided to make one from Damascus steel and titanium instead, so they teamed up with Jesse and Jeff from Vegas Forge to create this impressive wheel for slicing with style. Though we’d hate to get cheese all over it.

How Wrenches Are Made

How Wrenches Are Made

Go inside of Italy’s Beta Utensili factory, where they take pieces of raw steel, heat them, hot roll, and machine hammer them into their rough shapes, before cutting them out, sand blasting, grinding, tumbling, and refining their openings before hardening and plating each piece into a finished combination wrench.

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