Ok - a little foreshadowing...
I took a stick welding course back in '06 at a local community college and did well with it, but I never followed it up. I didn't have a welder to keep practicing with, so whatever I learned was eventually lost.
Fast forward 4 years.
I have so many ideas in my head of things that would make my life easier that only require simple fabrication skills. One day I started mentally adding up everything if I had to go out and buy it. Buying a welder was less expensive - if I could use it, of course.
So, I get the itch again. MIG, TIG? More research. More hair pulling. More moving money around via rotating MC equity.
What to do, what to do?
Well, to get the ball rolling, I sold a very nice DL650 that I just bought and was only 3 months old.
Nice bike, but they make 'em every day. I'll get another eventually. I just needed the cash flow.
Ok, bike sold. Now what? Well, I picked up a very nice, hardly used Miller Syncrowave 180 SD on ebay. Then I bought all sizes of tungstens, collets, gas nozzles, filler wire, you name it.
Hmmm....I still have some cash from the DL. I'm not smart with money. But I am smart enough to know if will disappear little by little if I don't focus it on the project at hand - setting up for welding.
So like anyone who likes to blow cash, I did the next best thing: I bought a brand new Miller 252 MIG with a 30A spoolgun. Now I can do aluminum with the TIG or the MIG.
Ok. The cash is all gone. Whoops! I have no materials! Good going, genius. I knew I should have held off on the MIG. Oh well, it's in the garage now.
Next up - I wired a 50A plug in the garage. Perfect for both welders. Plus I bought some 80 ft3 tanks and had them filled. So now I have some welders, but absolutely no knowledge of them and still no materials.
OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! I work at a data center, and they are upgrading their UPS battery racks. They are TRASHING all the old metal! Suh-weeeet!!!!
So, I hauled in my trailer, and loaded that puppy to the gills.
Everyone knows that you need a good table to get in a proper position for any kind of welding. So, with free metal scrap in hand, I went to work. I broke out the MIG, burned a couple of test beads, and just went for it. Here is one of my very first projects...a heavy duty table with a drop down vise...
It is roughly 6' wide x 3' deep. I made the vise drop down so that I can load full sheets of metal on the table with no obstructions. Plus I made the top the way I did for future plasma cutting. I took breaks frequently and drank lots of milk to try and stave off "metal fume fever" since mostly everything was galvanized. This table took me about a day to make, and I have made modifications to it since for holding tools, a port-a-band bracket, and pockets for markers and pencils and other small items. Total cost? About 10 bucks of gas and filler wire using .035 ERS70-6 and CO2/Argon mix.
My main goal off all of this was to attempt to make my own aluminum panniers, and all the materials for them is currently in the mail. I have made a bunch of other things and will post pics up when I take them. I've only been welding for about 2 months, but I'm getting better with practice.
More piccys to follow...