Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Road Trip - Part VI: It's ME!!!! I'm WELDING!!!!!

Phil took a lot of pictures of me welding.  Maybe he didn't think I'd do it and I surprised him!

Everything that gets welded has to lie flat - and be clamped in place so it doesn't move.

Mitch and I inserted the rings between the bars of my first stand, made sure everything was square and everything got clamped in place.

I didn't really want to mess up my stand by welding it myself, but I also didn't want to go away from the weekend and not try welding.  So, I took a few practice moves before actually pulling the trigger on the welding torch.

You can't tell, probably, but I was holding my breath while I was welding.  Notice that Mitch wasn't even there while I was welding at one point!

And you probably can't tell from this photo, either, but Mitch was yelling, "Yeah!  You got it!"

I WELDED!!!!!  I DID IT!!!!!  And my welds came out "OK" - at least most of them.

I did have a few bumps and places that were kind of lumpy, so I had to sand them down.  I'm not a huge fan of sparks, but I braved the sanding power tool thing and did it.  Then I asked Phil to help me clean up what I couldn't get.  He's really GOOD at cleaning up blobby welds!  :-))

And then we measured and clamped the two channel pieces that would hold the glass in place on the stand.  I just don't remember if I welded the two pieces in place, or if Mitch did it. 

And... after finding a suitable piece of metal for my stand, and measuring to make sure it fit in all the right places...

Mitch and I got everything lined up and clamped down so it could be welded. 

Mitch did the welding of the stand for me so that it wouldn't get messed up too badly.  If the support gets messed up, I don't think that is a good thing.

The next piece we worked on was my "Asian theme piece" - the black and red glass piece.  This was an interesting experience...

This was the original layout.  Mitch was going to show us how to make a tripod stand for it.

The first piece we needed to weld was the piece that I call "the frame" - the piece that would hold the glass.  The first time we welded it, we got it put together incorrectly and Mitch had to saw it apart. 

Mitch added the clips to the "frame" because tacking thin metal to thick metal is tricky.  Better for him to do it - he has a lot of welding experience!  But I did a lot of the welding on this stand myself.  Yes, I'm pretty proud of it.  :-)

We accidentally put the frame backwards on the stand; but after thinking about it for a minute, I decided it should just be left that way.  After all, whether it's Chinese or Japanese - or whatever language - don't they write from right to left?  Maybe it should be backwards?

So, here it is - it just needs to be painted.

And Phil took this really fun video of me working on it.  :-)

In case you can't understand what I said, or if by chance you don't have sound on your computer (or if it's turned down so no one can hear you watching it at work), at the end I said, "That's a lot of clamping for just two little things."  Yes.  There is a LOT of clamping that has to be done!

Time was running out, though, for our class.  With only 20 minutes left, I begged Mitch to help with welding on the thin little leaves for my Kachina piece.

This is what it's supposed to look like when welded together.  Mitch did weld just the headdress part for me, and I am so eager to get our own welding equipment or ask someone we know who welds to let me finish the rest of my projects!  But we really do want our own welding equipment.  :-)

This is the piece - "The Natives Are Restless" - that, at my pace, would probably take two more days to finish!  I've wanted to have some kind of stand for it for a long time... I made the pieces in 2008!

Here is the group of people working in the class this weekend... It's sort of like the Phil and Cat show with the pieces shown in the photo.  Everyone except Shannon - who is holding the "B" and "S" pieces - is holding something that Phil and I made.  Debbie had already packed hers away in her car.

I'm holding the Kachina headdress.  Phil (in front) is holding his piece with my glass piece in it.  Mitch is holding my red and black piece.  Shannon is holding the "B" and "S" which will one day be installed on her mailbox, I believe.  And Debbie is holding my little V-channel stand with a thick yellow piece I made in it.

Gosh we had a good time!  I can hardly wait to get our own welding equipment!  :-)

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great job!!! Everything looks amazing & like you had a lot of fun! :)