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  • did my very first weld at the weekend EVER! Was super exciting Unfortunately, now I want a welder

    Anyway, making some new vise jaws for my HF 4x6 bandsaw. The current ones have pi$$ed me off since I got it and I have a 2x2 stick of QCTP holders I can't cut as the jaws don't extend close enough to the blade to hold the work.

    So cut up a nice piece of 3/8" thick angle iron I found at the side of the road (I think), then milled some slots, drilled some holes etc etc. Finally I used my friend's MIG welder and flux core wire (he doesn't have gas for MIG) to weld some braces to the back of the angle iron for some stiffening. Huge amounts of fun. I might need to help him make a welding table as the plastic picnic table he uses started melting towards the end of the job.

    I picked one of the nicer welds for a picture
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    here's what they look like compared to the original moving jaw
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    haven't finished them yet (having some issues with tram on the mill) but had to put them back on the bandsaw to cut some material for a cargo rack tongue extension. Here you can also see a "not quite QR yet" jack screw to prevent the moving jaw from wracking when holding short stuff. I love my bandsaw - made a coffee AND had a crap while it cut this piece.
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    also split the nut to take a whole load of slop out of the moving jaw
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    and made a T-nut for the fixed jaw as the original set up was a nut and bolt, with the nut underneath the saw. Figured I might as well fix that annoyance while I was at it
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    now I have to record some lectures so I can get back to my rack project..

    Comment


    • Matt,if I might suggest, do your homework on what you are considering buying. A unit that is capable of welding steel and aluminum with a sufficient power capacity and the ability to do a broad range of work is a machinists friend. That being said, a TIG machine such as an AHP201 or similar might be the ticket. MIG is capable for many things but its ease of use can trick you into thinking you are a welder. A 200 amp machine will do any fabrication or repair job short of battleship repair usually. Welding tips and tricks or the fabrication series are good sources of info. My first welding machine was a Hobart 120 handler, a good machine for small light stuff,but lacking enough power for really good penetration on anything above 1/4" material. I traded work for a used ESAB migmaster 250 and that was more than sufficient for any large jobs but it is a beast. I also have a Lincoln Square wave 175 that is my TIG machine, also a beast. The smaller inverter type machines are much nicer to haul around and are just as capable. Get something that is multi voltage, the machine will run better with a higher duty cycle on 240 than on 120 but still give you the ability to run it on a garage receptacle if you don't push it. Just my thoughts, sorry if it seems long winded. Jim

      Comment


      • thanks for the tips Jim, much appreciated. Won't be for a while yet due to a likely move in the near future and other funding (ie. non tool) priorities, but I'll definitely put some research into it beforehand. Also depends on what's available wherever we end up as I'll most likely buy used unless that's not an option.

        Comment


        • Was at a Harbor Freight last week and they had an open box Titanium 170 dual voltage mig/flux core welder for $187, regular price $499. Gas regulator was missing but the hose and everything else was there. Clearly was never used. Haven’t tried it yet as I want to install a 240 volt outlet so I can give it a fair test. Supports a spool gun for aluminum too, but then you need Argon.

          Comment


          • That sounds like a good deal on a capable machine Gary. The dual voltage is a nice feature and one that swayed me on my plasma cutter purchase. I just picked up a spool gun for my Lincoln 180c last weekend, so I'm all set for welding gear for the foreseeable future.

            Too bad you weren't close Matt, I'd make you a great deal on the hobart 140, and buzzbox I got started with. Looking to move them along shortly to make room, and get started building a monster catch all welding cart for the mig, tig, and plasma.

            Those are some good welds for a beginner. Much better than mine that's for sure

            Comment


            • Surprisingly,the horrible freight TIG machine that is comparable to the Lincoln Square Wave 200 that I have at the company that I work at's shop has gotten some good reviews and it is much less money. The Lincoln is a good machine also but I think they are going for 1500 USD or more. A good used machine can be had from craigslist sometimes at very good prices.

              Comment


              • Thanks or the offer Dan, if I were closer and able to I'd take you up on that I was surprised how straightforward it was, though I think the thick metal (for the machine, it was on 110v) made it more forgiving.

                those HF units look decent and get good reviews. No pressing need right now with my friend round the corner, but definitely something I'd like to get into in the future. I'm trading my friend machine work for welding capability - I'll be making him a SS gear shift for his '57 pickup restomod.

                Comment


                • got another job finished today. We bought a really nice folding cargo rack off CL for when we go camping or end up moving, so the dog has more space in the back of the car (Subaru wagon). Only problem is that the hitch is recessed and the tongue isn't long enough to safely go in the hitch and have the trunk lid open over the cargo bag. So I made an extension to the tongue

                  starting random scrap. New bandsaw vise jaws came in handy for this one.Click image for larger version

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                  pieces milled/ filed to shape
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                  pressed and screwed together. Hitch pin hole is tapped 1/2-13 so I can use the same hitch pin as I have on my Yakima bike rack.
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                  installed on the rack. Extension is held in place with a couple of washers and screws that go in the original 5/8" hitch pin hole
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                  works a treat. Tongue now goes to within 1/2" of the end of the hitch tube, there's plenty of steel left in the hitch and the little 4-40 screw means that the hole lines up right everytime (need to do that for my bike rack).
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                  very pleased with myself and reinforces my habit of never walking past an interesting piece of scrap at the scrapyard..

                  Comment


                  • Got round to finishing a little job thats been on my to-do list for a good 15 years or so. I used to scuba dive back in the day...before I gave up fighting my ears over who decided if/when I dived. I bought my own kit the first time some of the loan kit I was offered was visibly dangerous (standards in Egypt were scary). One of those was a dive knife - in case you get tangled in nets, rope etc. I lost the pommel that holds it together - it's dismantleable for cleaning. Finally made a replacement for it!

                    mattthemuppet Would appreciate knowing what size tapping drill you used for that 1/2-13 as that happens to be the thread I needed to tap. Not my system so I'm not very familiar with it but I had trouble in aluminium even with an 11mm tap drill....and I thought that was on the generous side. Could be just a bad tap....it was an eBay cheapy for a one-off thread after all but it could also be user stupidity... and that's correctable!

                    Comment


                    • 10.7 mm would work (actual 27/64")
                      1601

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

                      Comment


                      • Nominal diameter - (1/thread pitch). 0.5-(1/13)=0.423

                        27/64th = 0.422
                        21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                        1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                          10.7 mm would work (actual 27/64")
                          Thanks. Tried that last time and it was so difficult to tap, the hole got wallered (spelling?) out and ended up a sloppy fit. At least I know I was on the right track and it's probably just a short-coming of the cheap tap.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Cenedd View Post

                            Thanks. Tried that last time and it was so difficult to tap, the hole got wallered (spelling?) out and ended up a sloppy fit. At least I know I was on the right track and it's probably just a short-coming of the cheap tap.
                            Yes, a cheap tap can make life miserable, in addition to which aluminum can be a sticky/hard pain. PS your spelling is OK, there are several variations... the one you used is a bit more southern, IMHO

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Cenedd View Post

                              Thanks. Tried that last time and it was so difficult to tap, the hole got wallered (spelling?) out and ended up a sloppy fit. At least I know I was on the right track and it's probably just a short-coming of the cheap tap.
                              One of the worst things about many cheap taps and dies is that they refuse to start right..... They often seem to just chew up the hole or rod and never "get a proper bite" so they can start. MANY years ago, my wife got me a big set of "Craftsman" taps and dies. The taps in that set were kinda OK, but the dies would not start on any rod that was not very significantly undersized. That set got returned.

                              I subsequently picked up a set of older ones that were all fine, so at pne time Sears sold decent ones.

                              Most of my taps and dies are "Card" or other good older brands. It would probably cost me 20 grand to buy them all new from whatever decent brands are left, but sharpening taps is perfectly possible. Dies are a bit harder, but it can be done.
                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Cenedd View Post

                                Thanks. Tried that last time and it was so difficult to tap, the hole got wallered (spelling?) out and ended up a sloppy fit. At least I know I was on the right track and it's probably just a short-coming of the cheap tap.
                                I have been only buying power taps spiral point & spiral flute the last few years,I use them for hand tapping on occasion.

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