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New Member SATX

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  • New Member SATX

    Howdy all,

    I picked up my Hobart 210MVP about two weekends ago, with only some MIG welding experience under my belt. I actually started learning on a TIG welder a few years ago and can do okay, but I've only recently really been able to get back into practicing as my current contract position as a web developer for a local shop also allows me the ability to do some fabricating and learning on the side.

    My reason for picking up a MIG welder was that I need to fix a few things around my house (fencing, stair rails, etc.). The portability and ability to use flux-core without the need for a shielding gas makes it ideal for hauling around the yard or to worksites. As I get better, I hope to make a little extra cash on the side welding up things.

    My first project is currently building a new stair rail for my outdoor stairs leading out of the garage back door; not only was it not up to code, but the original was literally some square and rectangle tubing welded together with no balusters to speak of! I'm taking a crack at it myself and so far am doing alright. Getting the machine dialed in and the technique down is still a bit of a challenge, but my welds are at least penetrating and providing good fusion, even if they aren't pretty!

    I'm using some quality square tubing, with lackluster quality wood posts from Home Depot that I had to modify somewhat to fit the 4x4 post bases. Looking back at it, I should have shopped elsewhere for these posts. I do woodworking too, but lack a wood lathe to turn pillars myself or I'd simply do that. I'm slowly amassing tools to do the things I want, but I've got a while to go before I really get to where I want to be. At any rate, for my first attempt at making a stair rail, it's going alright.

    If the section that connects to the house looks crooked, that's because it is... sort of. That section of railing is actually perfectly level, and it's the staircase which is a separate slab that has slightly settled at an angle! I could have given the rail slight angle to compensate for it, but I prefer the rail to be level with itself and the house, and not that staircase.

    I'm hoping to get better as I find more projects to do, as I really do enjoy welding and fabricating, and would love to make the switch from my IT dayjob to something that has me working with my hands again.

    I've been watching a lot of videos on youtube as well (ChuckE2009,, etc.) and have found a lot of good tips and inspiration watching them.

    Excited to contribute to the boards and welcome any tips and tricks that can help me get better!