Tag Line

"Built Dam Strong!"

31 January 2012

I actually got a bunch of welding done yesterday! (Justin, this pertains to YOU!)

I was going to upload these pics and write up a post last night, but I had a wicked headache and went to sleep very early and slept it off. Meh. I am mostly fine today, so, here's a quick and dirty lunchtime (PB&J with clementines!) update!

I welded up the new downpipe and the divergent and convergent cones for Justin's Bisi header that I have been working on:

I don't have many pics of the process, as it required both hands to hold things in place while tacking the pieces together, and after that, I just welded stuff. LOL! 

I am finally starting to see something resembling beads that I really like:

That's as far as I got with that, but welding all the pie cuts took a good long while. I didn't grab any inside shots, not because I am afraid to show what they look like, but because I forgot. I got interrupted by helping my friend move some cabinets he sold to a dude, which frees up more space for me to work in and actually set up a little shop area. I'll eventually be able to have one section of the garage to call my own and not have to disconnect every freaking thing and then reconnecting it every time I want to set up. Hurray for eventual efficient working! It takes me over half an hour just to get things set up and ready for working. After setting up a little work shop area, I will be able to get more work done during the little time I have there. That is very precious to me! 

The next thing I worked on was taking this:

Which is an Acura Integra dual ben shift lever; then doing this to it:

(That's not the same shift lever as in the first picture, but I forgot to get pics of that one after I chopped it to bits.) And then, welding the extended bits onto the stock parts, like so:

In order to make the final product look like this:

Why? Putting the shift knob closer to the steering wheel greatly reduces the time it takes to complete a shift, and increases the time the driver's hands are on the wheel. Both of these things are excellent for drivers who value the details of making the car faster and safe. It looks ridiculously long, because, well, it is. The customer asked that it be positioned to a certain height, with the bend placed a bit farther back and towards the seat. Mission accomplished.

And here is something you won't see on a lot of other people's blogs: Mistakes. I am not perfect. If other people can learn from my mistakes, then I won't feel so bad. 

Look at where the feet are. Look at where the cross supports are. Yeah . . . The outside dimensions of the base for the welder are dead on to what I wanted for it. I wanted a good amount of overhang on the front and back to protect the hose and line connectors. The sides have a bit of overhang so I could make it easy to lift the welder up and out (if I need to move it) when I add some odds and ends to the sides of the cart. So, I measured the outside of the box, came up with my plan, then executed it pretty darn perfectly. But I forgot about the dang feet. In fact, I never even looked at the bottom of the welder. Dur.  So, I have a couple of options. I can cut the supports out and start over, or weld in some new supports. Given limited material, I am not going to waste material and make the cart heavier by welding in new angle. I have some 1/8" strapping I could use, but, I'd rather not "waste it" on correcting a mistake. One thing that makes me pause from doing that is that if I cut the supports out, it will twist the frame. It's pretty effing square right now. (I had to learn to make things square within 1/16" while I was in the Army, or my "boss" would kill me. It pays off, for sure, since a lot of guys can't even keep things within 1/4" on small stuff.) I might just weld on some strapping and call it a day.

Another possibility is putting a plate on the top, but . . . I don't have the sheet metal, and the feet would still need support unless I go with way too heavy plate. I also don't like plates, as horizontal surfaces collect dust and dust isn't good for the insides of the welder. I prefer to keep things open, or with grating/thick mesh, as that cuts down on the cleaning you need to do. Since I've worked in super dusty environments (I will post up a pic of some sand in the air eventually), I know a few things about keeping equipment functional. 

The reason why my material selection is limited is that I am using an old bed frame I got for free off of Craig's list. I love (almost) free stuff. I have to find a few more to complete the whole thing, but I have enough from one frame to get the basics of the cart made up. I also scored some free hard rubber wheels so this sucker will be rolling pretty eventually. =) 

And that is my quick lunchtime update. =)