By Blair Weilnau
Building your own backyard oasis is simple with a plasma cutter and welding machine. With these machines, you can fix your broken metal gate, build a trellis for your garden or create customized backyard art. Intricate furniture and one-of-a-kind sculptures can be easily designed, welded and pieced together to create unique outdoor living spaces. With a plasma cutter and a welder, you can bring the indoor lifestyle to an outdoor porch or deck. Think of it as adding an extra room to your home, without adding the square footage.
Welding shouldn’t be intimidating. With the right gear, trial and error, and an instructional class, you can become the next backyard artist. “Welding is a lot easier than you think,” says Will Hyde, do-it-yourselfer, artist and founder of Mile High Landscaping in Denver. Mile High Landscaping is a firm dedicated to creating outdoor spaces for enjoyable living. Hyde credits his mechanical and artistic mind for helping him maneuver his way around a welding machine. He practiced his craft and played with different ideas until he became more comfortable. “It’s important for me to create outdoor spaces that my clients want to show off and want to spend time in. Life can be stressful. There isn’t a more peaceful way to unwind, than to sit outside and relax.”
First and foremost, Hyde is an artist who thinks outside the box when designing landscape projects. He started welding customized pieces after noticing the demand for outdoor art. He creates functional metal structures like gates, arbors, trellises and water features that have an artistic flair. Hyde knows that working with metal ensures a strong and sturdy piece that lasts longer than other materials.
“Increasingly, we were getting more clients who were requesting outdoor pieces of art to accentuate their landscaping projects. I found that combining my artist ability with a welding torch and a plasma cutter was much easier and less expensive for the client. I was first intimidated by the thought of welding, but once I opened the box and started practicing, I found that welding is truly an easy hobby that anyone can do.”
Hyde is armed with a Forney 190 multi-process (MP) welding machine that is a perfect fit for any do-it-yourselfer or experienced welder. He enjoys the Forney 190 MP because the 3-in-1 function allows him the ability to work on any scale project or metal thickness. The benefit of having a 3-in-1 is the ease of switching between MIG, Stick and TIG welding processes. The multi-process machine is also spool-gun capable for aluminum welding. Hyde enjoys the adjustability, long power cord and lead he gets with the Forney 190 MP. He says, “It runs very smooth, leaving a cleaner weld line with no burn-through.”
With the use of the new Forney 190 MP, Hyde’s creations convert a simple backyard into a unique outdoor retreat. From planters, water features, and sculptures to furniture and art, the comforts and aesthetics of being inside can now be relocated outside. “Outdoor art is the cherry on the top,” says Hyde. “It’s what makes your landscaping and outdoor room pop.”
Editor’s Note: This article appears courtesy of Forney Industries, one of America’s most established family-owned welding and metalworking product companies, founded in 1932. Today, the company offers nearly 5,000 products serving the automotive, hardware, farm & ranch and do-it-yourself markets. Visit Forney Industries at www.forneyind.com and Will Hyde at www.milehighlandscaping.com.