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  • Mailbox Post

    Recently the county re-did the traffic lights and widened the road at several of the intersections in town. As a part of the retrofit, they dug up some of the existing posts and discarded them in a dumpster. My customer thought that post that used to have the street crossing button on it would make a nice mailbox post. The Aluminum post is 4-5/8” OD with a ¼” wall, so it is sturdy. I made a plug for hole where the button used to be and welded up a half a dozen tapped holes in the post. I welded two blocks to the horizontal tube, so that my customer can attach a piece of wood to mount the mailbox. I left the horizontal tube open, to be used for newspapers. Even though there is a cast cap on top of the post, I welded a cover over it to minimize moist air getting into the post and condensing. It was a challenge TIG welding on the post because my Dynasty 200 DX welder is a little wimpy for the ¼” wall thickness. The other challenge was that the Aluminum post was heavily oxidized because of the years of exposure to the elements. I cleaned up the area of the post to be welded with a 4-1/2”stainless Steel wire wheel. I used 75% Ar 25% He mixed gas and a little preheat to extend the capacity of my little 200-amp welder.

    -Don

    Pictures:
    1. Pieces all cut up
    2. Tee joint
    3. Block to mount mail box
    4. Mailbox all done
    Attached Files
    sigpic
    Miller Thunderbolt
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Lincoln LE 31 MP
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport

  • #2
    Originally posted by Don52 View Post
    Recently the county re-did the traffic lights and widened the road at several of the intersections in town. As a part of the retrofit, they dug up some of the existing posts and discarded them in a dumpster. My customer thought that post that used to have the street crossing button on it would make a nice mailbox post. The Aluminum post is 4-5/8” OD with a ¼” wall, so it is sturdy. I made a plug for hole where the button used to be and welded up a half a dozen tapped holes in the post. I welded two blocks to the horizontal tube, so that my customer can attach a piece of wood to mount the mailbox. I left the horizontal tube open, to be used for newspapers. Even though there is a cast cap on top of the post, I welded a cover over it to minimize moist air getting into the post and condensing. It was a challenge TIG welding on the post because my Dynasty 200 DX welder is a little wimpy for the ¼” wall thickness. The other challenge was that the Aluminum post was heavily oxidized because of the years of exposure to the elements. I cleaned up the area of the post to be welded with a 4-1/2”stainless Steel wire wheel. I used 75% Ar 25% He mixed gas and a little preheat to extend the capacity of my little 200-amp welder.

    -Don

    Pictures:
    1. Pieces all cut up
    2. Tee joint
    3. Block to mount mail box
    4. Mailbox all done
    Nice job, as usual, and the argon-helium mix appears to have worked. Do you think you got FJP?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Northweldor View Post
      Nice job, as usual, and the argon-helium mix appears to have worked. Do you think you got FJP?
      I believe that both legs of the fillet weld penetrated into the parent metal. I did not bevel the tube or blocks, so I probably didn't get FJP (full joint penetration), But I think it is more than strong enough for the purpose. For liability purposes my customer may want to notch the tiedown bolts, or do something else to allow the mailbox to shear off of a car hits it.

      -Don
      sigpic
      Miller Thunderbolt
      Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
      Miller Dynasty 200DX
      Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
      Lincoln LE 31 MP
      Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
      16" DuAll Saw
      15" Drill Press
      7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
      20 Ton Arbor Press
      Bridgeport

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Don52 View Post
        I believe that both legs of the fillet weld penetrated into the parent metal. I did not bevel the tube or blocks, so I probably didn't get FJP (full joint penetration), But I think it is more than strong enough for the purpose. For liability purposes my customer may want to notch the tiedown bolts, or do something else to allow the mailbox to shear off of a car hits it.

        -Don
        I was not implying that FJP was required for this job, but was curious as to whether the Ar-He mix worked well enough to maintain another cylinder for aluminum weldors.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Northweldor View Post
          I was not implying that FJP was required for this job, but was curious as to whether the Ar-He mix worked well enough to maintain another cylinder for aluminum weldors.
          Helium does improve penetration, but I don't think that it would penetrate the all the way through the 1/4" wall. I use it to help my little welder weld thicker metal. The bottle was 25% Ar 75% He, before I refilled it and it helped even more. The Helium also makes the puddle flow better, which I find helpful for thicker Aluminum.

          -Don
          Last edited by Don52; 08-19-2017, 09:41 AM.
          sigpic
          Miller Thunderbolt
          Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
          Miller Dynasty 200DX
          Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
          Lincoln LE 31 MP
          Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
          16" DuAll Saw
          15" Drill Press
          7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
          20 Ton Arbor Press
          Bridgeport

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Don52 View Post
            Helium does improve penetration, but I don't think that it would penetrate the all the way through the 1/4" wall. I use it to help my little welder weld thicker metal. The bottle was 25% Ar 75% He, before I refilled it and it helped even more. The Helium also makes the puddle flow better, which I find helpful for thicker Aluminum.

            -Don
            So, worth the extra investment, if you have need?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Northweldor View Post
              So, worth the extra investment, if you have need?
              I think so.

              -Don
              sigpic
              Miller Thunderbolt
              Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
              Miller Dynasty 200DX
              Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
              Lincoln LE 31 MP
              Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
              16" DuAll Saw
              15" Drill Press
              7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
              20 Ton Arbor Press
              Bridgeport

              Comment

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