Welding

New welder. Grinder, in the background, is an essential accessory.
New welder. Grinder, in the background, is an essential accessory.

All told, I spent maybe an hour playing around in the garage melting metal and fusing bits of scrap together in an effort to get comfortable with MIG welding. I was going to do the same this weekend, and I even picked up a bunch of scrap iron for that purpose.

On Saturday morning, though, I figured “what the hell . . .” and just dove into an actual project. I had seen a lot how-to videos by expert welders, and while they got me started, it was frustrating trying to duplicate the quality of their results. My welds to that point were generally not pretty–lots of spatter and sometimes not enough penetration–but seemed sturdy enough, at least for a simple project.

First day's progress: mitered shelf brackets, one leg attached.
First day’s progress: mitered shelf brackets, one leg attached.

Actually building something was, of course, much more fun than simply welding bits of steel together and dropping them in the scrap bin. I’m about half-way through the project and it’s coming together pretty well. The welds are solid, and about a third of them I would call decent-looking, too.

The cart I’m building is based on a plan posted at the Lincoln welding site, though I’m modifying it a bit to save a few dollars (if not some time as well). So far, I’ve built the shelf frames, cut the legs and got one of them installed. By cocktail hour today, I expect to have a a finished cart.

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