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Old 03-17-2012, 07:50 PM
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silverbear silverbear is offline
The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: northeastern Minnesota
Posts: 8,131
Default Re: Old dog learns new trick...Welding!

Dan had some scrap pieces for me to practice on and had me do several weld lines, none of which were very impressive or even very straight. With the welding mask on I could see fine until I hit the trigger completing the circuit and the arc of light, even through the protective darkened glass is so bright it makes it very difficult to see what you're doing. At least it was hard for me. I tried to focus on holding the angle of the gun steady, pulling the line along slowly and in what I thought (incorrectly)was a straight line.

I figured I might as well start tacking the welding cart frame pieces together. I had cut pieces of angle iron salvaged from a Hollywood bed frame. They form a rectangle the welder will sit down in, like a cradle. In the photo of the Hobart in the previous post you can see the pieces along the bottom edge of the welder.

I thought tacking the pieces together would e simple. Zzzzt. It would be if I could see what I was doing. I missed one corner so badly I welded the angle iron directly to Dan's welding table. Oops. It took a chisel to get it loose. The others went a little better, but not much. I did the welding from the other side and by the time I had welded all four corners I was getting better and was getting a sense of where I was in the 'bright darkness' (It is like trying to see something next to the sun, overpowered in light so intense as to be virtually invisible).

I chipped away the slag left over from the welds and cleaned things up with a wire brush and could see a number of missed spots, poor bonds. Good thing this is going to hold a welder and not gasoline. I used a grinding disc on the side grinder to clean up the welds and spatter, then went back to fill in where I had missed. By now I was getting more of a feel for the gun, the angle of attack and the rate of moving the weld bead along. There is no teacher like experience.
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Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...
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