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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Welding robot bones





I finally had a little time to start experimenting with the acetylene torch this week. First thing I figured out is the acetylene tank was just about empty. So yesterday in a downpour I exchanged it for a full one.

After reviewing my "how to" video to make sure I didn't blow up the house, I started adjusting the valves and pressure making very sure to keep the acetylene pressure below 15 pounds. After accidentally going far into the DANGER DANGER ZONE 3 times, I finally figured out the CORRECT way to use the valves. And lived to blog about it. Having a full tank makes all the difference in the world. Torch is very hot now.

So tonight I experimented by creating some robot bones for upcoming sculptures. Wanted to try welding copper to steel and use brazing rod. Surprisingly strong compared to what I was expecting. Also did some spot welds with a thin gauge of steel and practiced filling in holes with filler rod. Most of the welds came out pretty good and even though a few were pretty ugly, they were strong.

I like the idea of using acetylene instead of wire feed. The acetylene is a little slower but more versatile. Plus less intimidating. Don't need a big honking welding mask and the sparks don't fly as far (so I don't set my workbench on fire). Plus you can texture metal with an acetylene torch which makes some pretty interesting effects for metal sculpture. I can now picture about a million projects this would be good for. My poor wife ....

Another good thing is the weather is starting to cool down a tad here in Florida. So I can wear long sleeve shirts and pants while welding without getting heat stroke.

2 comments:

Gary Cook said...

Jim,
i was just wondering if your bottle cart was "shaft drive" or "chain drive" :) Looks like your on your way to a whole new set of crafting skills. One thing to keep in mind when using an oxy/acy torch inside, the curly black wisps of soot that you get when first lighting your torch have a way of floating around and landing on curtains and drapes. I can still remember my mom's fit of rage when my dad replaced the compressor on the refrigerator in the kitchen. He was using his acy torch for the silver soldered fittings. Flecks of soot all over her house.... twenty some years later, her tantrum is still fresh in my mind.

Gary

Jim Quinlan said...

That bottle cart is made with 2 motorcycle wheels which came with the setup when I bought it. It's a crude shaft connecting it but makes for easy wheeling around and is pretty stable.

Good story about your poor dad fixing the fridge and mom. You can't blame her but dad still needs to fix the fridge. Hopefully I won't need to bring the torch in the house. And I don't care if the garage curtains turn black : )