More welding, and cyclekart progress, May 2, 2009

After yesterday’s experience messing around with the welder for a whole 15 seconds of arc time, I messed around with it quite a bit more today. Previously, when consulting the chart that tells you a suggested voltage setting and wire feed speed setting given the thickness of metal you’re working on, and the thickness of wire you’re using, I had erred on the slim side. That is, my metal was midway between two chart entries, and I had picked the thinner chart entry. Turns out that was a big part of my problem. Today, consulting the chart again I tried erring on the thick side, and this meant full voltage, and a greatly increased wire feed speed. This produced much better results. I actually got some beads going. No “row of nickels,” but not the wretched mess I made yesterday.

After making a few beads, I decided to try welding two pieces of metal together:

Not too pretty, but strong enough that I couldn’t break it. I’m not sure how great the penetration was, or exactly how to tell. I notice there’s not much discoloration of the metal around the weld, so I’m guessing the penetration wasn’t great. I think I may do something like this to make an old timey steering wheel for my kart.

I figured out (I think) that when it starts going “pop pop pop pop” that seems to mean the shielding gas isn’t working. Probably your wire is sticking out too far, or you aren’t holding the gun close enough to the work.

The wire feed doesn’t seem to stop instantly when you release the trigger. So, when you stop, you have to cut it off. Maybe this is because there’s a little ball of melted steel on the end of the wire, so you have to cut it off anyway, so the machine, being nice, squirts out a little more wire so you can cut it off to the right length? Not sure.

The process, when working well (with this thin wire I’m using) goes fast. It’s just “pop… chshhhhhhhhhhhhhhzt!” and done!

As for cyclekart progress, I “tapered” one of the frame rails with a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade.
Above the cut is in progress. Check out my space age gravity clamps!
Above, the completed cut. After this photo was taken, I hit it with an angle grinder a bit.

~ by scaryreasoner on May 3, 2009.

2 Responses to “More welding, and cyclekart progress, May 2, 2009”

  1. Hi scaryreasoner, I guess there is no complete penetration that weld in the picture… Keep practicing and you will get the perfect weld you want!! Cheers!!!

  2. Hi,
    following your progress closely, planning on starting my own, (well for my son), cycleKart soon. Many thanks in advance.

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