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  • Projects to learn fabrication

    With all of the great talented and experienced fabricators on this site, perhaps you can help generate some ideas for projects that would help me and others trying to learn welding fabrication.

    In welding school we learned how to apply weld metal. I can weld the heck out of a 7 inch butt weld, but the real world is a lot more than straight lines.

    I am looking for small projects that develop skills for fabrication and welding. These don't have to be functional or have any end use, so there is no risk from mistakes other than getting to try the project again... They just need to be educational and helpful in developing skills. On the other hand, projects building simple shop equipment like rod holders and such would be good... Projects could be aimed towards beginners, intermediate, or advanced fabricators.

    The basic tools should probably be limited to include oxy-acetylene heating and cutting, electric arc welding equipment, grinders, and layout and clamping equipment. Does this sound right?

    How about it... any good ideas out there? Thanks!
    Bill C
    "The more I learn about welding the more I find there is to learn..."

  • #2
    welding projects

    Bill

    Here is a good one to start out with.

    http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowl...ldingtable.asp
    When in doubt hit the accelerator, it may not be the right thing to do, but it will sure end the suspense.

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    • #3
      Either a welding table or welder cart or some other thing that you need around the house.

      I'm about to modify my cart to be much more functional by adding in quite a few of Rocky's ideas:
      http://www.hobartwelders.com/mboard/...&threadid=1430

      - jack

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      • #4
        Good topic!!!

        Criteria for good welding projects:
        1) Non-critical applications (if it fails, you won't die).
        2) Opportunity for LOTS of welding (I like tube, cause you have 360* to work with).
        3) Minimal prep and finish work. You wanna learn to weld, or you wanna learn to grind?
        4) Functional it should serve a purpose.

        Based on these, several I could suggest:

        1) Welding table
        2) welder/plaz cart
        3) steel-rack
        4) furniture there's a LOT of expensive furniture out there you can make for pennies, don't believe me? go to Crate & Barrel and look at some of their metal stuff. I swear they had a $600 square-tube/glass top table with about $20 worth of steel in it... Maybe $200 in glass. Plus your wife will give you bonus points!!!
        5) simple tools -- improve items you already have (i.e. grinder stands, bandsaw stand, etc.).
        6) Art -- Anything which does not serve a purpose gets labelled "art" at my place. With the proper patina of rust and/or green stuff on it, people will pay millions, I've seen it.
        It's all fun and games until somebody gets shot in the leg. -- Armageddon

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        • #5
          I have made a fair number of trellises for my wife's garden. These can be fancy or simple -- mine have been pretty simple, generally out of rebar. If you keep it "rust"-ic, the crumminess of the welds won't matter.


          Chris

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          • #6
            Re: Projects to learn fabrication

            Originally posted by BillC

            I am looking for small projects that develop skills for fabrication and welding.

            How about it... any good ideas out there? Thanks!
            If you want to get your wife encouraging your hobby (I'm assuming it's a hobby for you and not a career...please don't be offended if my assumption is wrong!), then make something she'll like, like some simple metal bistro for the front porch, or a metal frame for a glass coffee table or end table...

            Make something for the wife, and she'll send you to the garage!

            HTH,
            Dave
            Dave Sisk, Ferrous fun fanatic

            TIG: ESAB Heliarc 161 AC/DC
            Plasma: Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
            MIG: Millermatic 210
            Projects: www.ipass.net/davesisk/metalprojects.htm

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            • #7
              Rack for cooking pot and hooks to hang pots.
              Steel fence with lots of needless decrative pieces
              Lamp post.
              Flag pole.
              BBQ
              Fire place tools.
              Hand rails.
              Exercise equipment, weight bench.
              Corner clamping aids.
              Corner clamp.
              Flower pot rack.
              Modify old bicycle to chopper look.
              Boot scraper.
              Post vice.
              Old car, replace rust with new metal.
              Chin up bars
              Monkey bars
              Swing set
              Slide
              Engine hoist
              jack stands
              Engine stand.
              Burgular bars
              Yard art
              bird feeder
              park bench
              chairs
              table lamps
              floor lamps
              Chandeliers
              coat hooks
              hat/umbrella stand
              Grand father clock
              Skate board grind bar
              bike rack

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              • #8
                Like everyone has said projects,projects,projects! things i have seen is some trainees can not read a tape well and can not add / subtract fractions. Practice math skills!! Get to know the tools of the trade using squares, calipers,etc. How to use a torch cutting straight vertical and horizontal lines. pratice welding out of position a lot! you can have them build boxes sounds simple but you will be surprise how many can not keep them square and keep them from warping up then put a roof on the boxes like a house roof tack it on then tack it to the table and have them weld it inside get them use to the fact sometimes they can not change the position that they have to weld in. also cut a bunch of pipe drops say 2" in length tack them to a plate as close as you can tack it to the table have them practice welding all the way around non stop. Most of all layout get them use to laying out squares,circles, triangles any combination you can think of.
                I hope this helps you.
                Good luck
                Double D
                Turn-n-Burn

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                • #9
                  Bill C,

                  Roger took some time to provide a lot of good suggestions. I think you should wave off engine stand, lift, support for now but do consider all of his input.

                  My humble addition is a support base for spring loaded swing arm lamps. Plastic base on mine was giving way. Some 1/2" electrical tubing, angle iron and I have a bullet proof holder to replace the plastic.

                  Wheel chocks? Make 'em bullet proof.

                  Bob

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                  • #10
                    I think Bill is a mechanical engineer if I remember right and has run some passing test plates. I think he probably could build about anything. A good way is to do some copying.
                    http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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                    • #11
                      Thanks to all who have posted all of these great ideas.

                      Double D really hit the nail on the head. Those are the kind of tasks I was thinking of. Simple tasks with twists. For example, welding all around the piece of round pipe sounds simple. Once that is mastered, do the same thing with the pipe tacked to a horizontal surface. I guess the proper approach would be to start at the bottom and weld up one side 180 degrees to the top then repeat on the other side?

                      Thanks again and keep the ideas flowing!
                      Bill C
                      "The more I learn about welding the more I find there is to learn..."

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                      • #12
                        Trebuchet . That'll test your welding, fabricating and mechanical engineering skills.

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                        • #13
                          I love to watch the Pumpkin Chunkin' on tv ! Some of those trebuchet's and air cannon's are quite impressive ...

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                          • #14
                            Bill, I have a bunch of fabricating aids that will help you as you get into projects. These are for round pipe. The two long ones are for butt joints in pipe. the other four are T, and L joints. The latter has to be perfect 90's.

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                            • #15
                              Here's a torch holder that can be tacked to your table

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