Architectural metal fabrication is commonly considered to be a type of custom metal fabrication, meaning it's something only professional fabricators can do, though smaller architectural projects are fully possible to perform on your own. A common small project that a lot of people attempt to do on their own is to fabricate their own metal handrails. This is a relatively simple project, but it does require some skill. In order to create your own metal handrails through metal fabrication, there are a few things you should think about.
Choosing material for your metal handrails is an important choice, as this decides the quality the handrail is going to have throughout its life. Aluminium is a popular metal for many metal fabrication projects but might not be the best choice for handrails. Aluminium is a soft and light material, and you want your handrails to be sturdy. Steel might be a better choice. Steel is hard and sturdy enough to hold the bodyweight of a person. The downside of steel is that it might be prone to rusting. You best avoid this by opting for stainless steel. Stainless steel handrail fabrication is a bit more difficult than aluminium fabrication, as the material is more rigid, but the result might be worth the effort.
When it comes to stainless steel handrail fabrication, one of the most important things to figure out beforehand is what design you want your new steel handrails to have. If you're a complete beginner at custom metal fabrication, you should consider going with the simplest possible design. This means that you create a handrail without additional ornaments that could complicate the fabrication process. You also need to consider where the handrail is going to be placed. If it's just a short set of stairs, it might be enough with a top bar supported by a few posts to secure it. If you're creating handrails for a tall set of stairs, or for a staircase with a large drop to the side, you'll also need to place a security bar underneath the top bar. This prevents people from slipping underneath the top bar, and thereby prevents falling accidents.
You also need to remember to be safe as you're doing your custom metal fabrication. You most likely will have to weld the handrail to get a desired result, and welding can be rather dangerous. Use a proper welding mask approved for steel fabrication. You also need to remember to cover your body up fully with flame resistant clothing to avoid getting burns from the sparks on your skin.