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Oh The Possibilities: Many Welding Projects

WeldingThere are many different ways to put your welding skills to good use.  There are of course plenty of welding job opportunities to make a career out of welding, but there are also many other ways to utilize your welding techniques and practices to supply yourself with one exciting hobby.  Welding projects can run the gamut from trailer hitches and bird baths, to intricate entry gates and works of art.  Whether you are looking to embark on a welding project that has a functional use, like welding a table for your living room, one that is sure to bring hours of fun later in creating the body of an awesome go kart, or looking to go in a more artistic way to add welded adornments to your garden, no matter what you choose the possibilities are only limited to your own imagination.

Before you get down to work and bust out the welding tools, the first thing is to form a solid idea of just what welded craft you are going to make.  Since we've already established just how many options there are, for this post we're going to focus on projects that you can use to furnish your home with, such as lamps and tables.  But with all welding projects the very first steps will be similar in that you will need to gather the materials and generate a blue print or game plan for how you will proceed.  You need to have an idea of what you want your finished product to look like and while those who are plenty creative can invent these themselves, (and the more advanced you become in your welding you will be more likely to do this later on) but if not you can find outlines for various projects both online and in books.  These will map out for you the lengths of the materials and any templates your welding project requires.

Okay, down to the nitty gritty; once you've picked a welding project and obtained all of your materials you will want to place everything in your workspace and double check you've got it all.  There's nothing worse than being in the middle of working and then finding out the next item you need isn't there!  You need to also make sure you've got all of the necessary equipment, safety gear and a fire extinguisher.  Then you will start to first measure out the lengths for all of your cuts.  As the old saying goes, "Measure twice, cut once" and it's best to listen to the old adage.  In both instances of welding projects to make a lamp or a table you will then cut the materials in accordance to your plans and then you will want to make sure you've got the right settings on your equipment to the steel's thickness; you may want to run a quick text first on some scrap pieces.

With the table welding project, you will need square tubing that is 1 1/4" x 1/8" thick in three different lengths: 16" for four legs, 44" for three lengths to be the top, and two 17" lengths for the ends.  You will also need 5/16" solid steel rod that you will use for trim pieces, and you can purchase these already made if you'd like.  For your tools, you'll need of course a welding table, metal grinder (about 5 inches), reciprocating saw, C-clamps, MIG welder, bending jig, 0.023" solid wire, gas regulator and hose, shielding gas, and your safety gear (helmet, goggles, gloves, etc.).

You can expect this welding project to take about 10 hours, and after you've gathered and checked the materials your next steps will be welding the end pieces (17" tubes) to the table's legs (16" tubes) at a ninety degree angle.  Holding the pieces in place with the C-clamps you will line them up and tack weld along only the inner angle.  Once you've got your first angle done, do the same to the other end piece.  You'll proceed to then welding those two end pieces to the middle pieces, and then you'll be finish welding the table's top.  You'll follow the rest of your plans to the end and then you'll have a table to put those wary legs up after a hard of work!

For the lamp you'll need two 4 foot lengths of 3/8" steel rod, one 4 foot length of 1/2" steel rod, and two 1" x 1/8" flat stock steel.  The equipment will be much the same as the table, but you'll also need a drill press, bench bender, round metal file, angle finder, speed square, level, ruler, 2 squares (a carpenter and a standard), and you will omit the MIG welder, bending jig, 0.023" solid wire.  The first few steps will be the cutting, and then grinding of the ends so that they are smooth, then marking on these rods your reference, and then you will bend the legs.

With both of these projects the key is to always stick to the plans and the end result should be what you had in mind!  Whenever you are working on a welding project it's important that you pick one that is within your own capabilities.  If you're new to welding, don't plan on creating a airplane; you may get there eventually but picking something that's too advanced for you now is only going to set you up for a lot of frustration and headaches.  In gathering your materials make sure that they are all indeed weldable; if you are out digging in the scrapyard you want to be cautions and should have them x-ray fluorescent tested.

Welding as a hobby can be beneficial in more ways than one; you will have of course an outlet but as you gain experience and your work earns notice you may be able to sell it for a good price.  Hobby welding can make you money, and the more artistic and unique pieces can be much sought after.  But whether you plan on making a profit from your welding projects or enjoying them yourself, there are plenty of different ideas to keep you entertained from now and into the afterlife!

For complete plans for the projects mentioned, you can visit these sites:

table: http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowledge/articles/content/coffeetable.asp
lamp: http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowledge/articles/content/howto_lamp.asp

The post Oh The Possibilities: Many Welding Projects appeared first on Weld My World.

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