Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beating the winter blues

Winter in my workshop is always a struggle.  Cold, damp and early darkness saps my motivation every year.  This winter I have taken up a welding short course at my local technical college.  I have had a long and difficult relationship with my welder.  It started when I was about 16 tinkering with my Dad's and now my ancient arc welder where I eventually managed a barely passable fillet weld in 6mm material.  At one stage in my twenties I worked for a laboratory manager who was a welder by trade who used to give me grief about my lack of welding skill.  More recently I have thought about welding light gauge tubing but haven't been able to manage a good weld.

The revelation came last week with my introduction to the full penetration open rooted butt weld.  Not the sort of thing I would normally Google so it has slipped me by for the last 30 years.  High strength welds start with an open gap between substrate material.  Layer upon layer a weld is built up which joins the substrate across the full cross sectional area.  My construction project is a new stand for my drill press from 3mm angle which I am very happy with.  High voltage power tools and a slag hammer.  I would recommend them to any one struggling through winter.