The Welding and Metalworking Thread

Unknown

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 17, 2009
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Pacific Northwest,USA
I used to forge a lot of knives. As part of the learning process for doing my own heat treating, and learning oil, brine, and water quench methods on my way to learning to do a clay backed differential heat treat (Hamon) I got one knife so hard that when I tapped it on the horn of the anvil, it shattered into 9 different pieces (blade was 11" long with a 5" handle). I taped all the pieces back together and to looked like it had little cracks under the tape. A friend who teaches industrial metal work at a local college saw it in my shop and asked about it. I told him the story, took it apart to show the grain structure, and he said he was trying to explain that stuff to his class. So, he got the knife to use in his classes about heat treat, tempering, annealing, changing the grain structure of steel, etc. At least my mistake is now a teaching tool.
 
Feb 19, 2012
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Marshall area, MN
Did an interesting repair job recently. A metal recycler broke the main bushing off one of their crane booms. Wish I would have been there to see it. Laffin. Have a few pics on my S3 mini, but it doesn't do internet worth a damn. I can text them to one of you fellas if you're willing to help an e-tard out.
 
Likes: barneybdb
Feb 19, 2012
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Marshall area, MN
Thanks again for posting the pics, Geno.
It took a few hours to get the stretched material trimmed back and get the bushing tacked back into place.
Also took a bit of heat, as you fellas can see on the top plate.

I did the vertical up welds with .045 dual shield and the flats with .052 metal core. I tried to keep the flipping around to a minimum as it was an awkward bastard to roll.

John
 
Aug 21, 2012
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Thanks again for posting the pics, Geno.
It took a few hours to get the stretched material trimmed back and get the bushing tacked back into place.
Also took a bit of heat, as you fellas can see on the top plate.

I did the vertical up welds with .045 dual shield and the flats with .052 metal core. I tried to keep the flipping around to a minimum as it was an awkward bastard to roll.

John
I have no experience with the metal core wire. Is it considered FCAW, or GMAW? with it having a "core" my thought would be FCAW, but those beads you laid down look much more like Mig.
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
So what do you do when you break a quarter-sized divot out of a Henckels professional (white-handle) chef's knife you've owned for 30 years... and are kind of attached to?

Why you make two knives out of it, of course!

Cut off the tip and re-shaped the Chef knife. Used a zip tool under water (air tool... works great) to keep from heating up the blade. Then used a belt sander to re-shape and re-profile. Re-sharpened, it's like new... only shorter! I have a Warther's short-chef knife that is almost identical in profile to this and I use it more than almost any other knife. Far more often than I use my 11" knives. So this came out really well!

But since the tip I cut off was still a nice piece of steel and was sort of in the shape of a... knife... Cut and ground a tang into it. Put it in an ebony handle with brass tang spacers and German silver pins. And grooved it to fit my hand like a glove! Not a bad afternoon's work!



They are both razor sharp and ready for another thirty years!

Cheers,

Sirhr
 
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sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
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The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
Very handy looking knives mate, but how did you manage to break it?
Of all things... cutting a frozen Kielbasa... who'd have thought?

Cheers,

Sirhr

P.S. My favorite Kielbasa recipe is to take a frozen Kielbasa and cover it with grape jelly... cook until done and glazed. Eat with German hot mustard. It sounds goofy... but it's amazing! The things you learn in Bavaria!
 
Feb 19, 2012
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Marshall area, MN
I have no experience with the metal core wire. Is it considered FCAW, or GMAW? with it having a "core" my thought would be FCAW, but those beads you laid down look much more like Mig.
Hey Bogey,
Metal core is some awesome shit if you can position your work and it's thick enough material to take the heat. Fast with very little cleanup.

We typically buy it in 60lb spools and shield it with 90% argon and 10% carbon dioxide.

Some of the drawbacks are that it's limited to horizontal positions, fairly sensitive to contamination, and is prone to severe porosity if the shielding gas gets blown away by a breeze from an open door etc. Undercut can also be a problem, but that normally becomes a non-issue once a guy gains experience with the stuff.

I love the shit and run it whenever possible.
 

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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I think I'm going to pick up a furniture project, mostly wood but I'll try to throw in some metal accents. Currently in the design phase, I have three specialists lined up for some details to take it to the next level and I'm trying to get something a little special for it from another person.

I may have even lined up a wood shop so I'll have more specialized tools available than just my table saw, router and hand tools.
 
Aug 21, 2012
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So the trailer/ float conversion I was helping on yesterday ended up being a shit show. I'm going to bitch for a bit and then ask for some guidance from those of y'all in the business.

It was a 40' cotton trailer with 8' sides that needed to be torn down to sub frame for a conversion to a Mardi Gras float. Through a convoluted multi-party deal my buddy got the job and got permission to bring me on as his helper for the demo on-site and the two of us were supposed to help the fab shop do the rebuild.

The demo was figured (by the Client and our boss) as about 4 days of work paid hourly. We got there and figured out an efficient way of doing it and realized we'd probably have it done in a lot less time and conveyed that and let them know we were going to be able to get it handled in less time and asked for some consideration on our pay since neither of us is the type of guy who's going to milk the clock but didn't want to get totally shafted by getting done in way fewer hours. The Client even doubled the amount of shit he wanted removed from the trailer mid day based on us pointing out some serious structural issues and we were still able to keep a great pace going. At this point we found out that the Client had a buddy with a fab shop that rode in his Mardi Gras Krewe that was going to do all of the rebuild for him, so we were essentially just the demo crew and weren't going to be a part of the real money job of rebuilding it.

We plugged along and got about 80% done yesterday before my buddy had to go grab his kids from school and the heat index was comfortably 105* so we showed the Client where we were at, had already made some cuts and prepped it for completion and that even with the extra work he wanted we'd be done with it today. My buddy got a call last night from the client's son (who actually hired us but wasn't the guy paying us) to tell him that he just used a skid steer and ripped the rest of it apart on his own and that we were done and that he'd told his dad to just pay my buddy and me $100 and $70 respectively based on our hours worked yesterday. This was the same fucking guy who had told us to get it done and he'd "make it right" on the pay since we weren't racking up hours on him.

My buddy was fucking gutted. He knows all the people involved in this deal and is taking on these side jobs to literally keep food on his family's table while his own business that he's had for over 20 years is struggling and his wife has had to take a job. We're both old country boys who basically only know how to give a solid day's work and would be lost if we had to scheme and connive to make an extra dollar off of someone. I ended up feeling so guilty that I might have cost my buddy the extra time and money on this job that I gave him my share for groceries. I figured at least one of us should have walked away with a fair day's pay for what we did.

I think we've both resolved to only do these jobs for the old timer who runs the shop if we're paid by the job vs the hour, but that's my question to those of y'all who have been in this business for a while:

What have you found to be the fairest way of working fab jobs where you know you're being compensated and still being fair to the boss and the Client? Keep in mind that we're fairly skilled middle-aged "labor" and are currently working for someone else. We are however looking into picking up our own mobile rig to be able to act as true subs for the shop owner while taking on and costing jobs ourselves.

Pics of the trailer to follow
 
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Aug 21, 2012
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IMG_2789.JPG IMG_2790.JPG IMG_2800.JPG IMG_2794.JPG

Note the OSHA-approved cooler we used as a ladder. The decking was so rusted out in that corner that we couldn't trust a ladder, so I set it on top of a rib and balanced on it to make some cuts before stepping over to some cross tubing and hanging on for dear life while cutting the tops of the walls.
 
May 20, 2006
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Winnipeg, Mb.
You've definitely found yet another asshole with privilege. I hear what you're saying, and hate that they exist. Short of having these assholes tattoo'ed on their foreheads "ASSHOLE" as a warning for anyone else who meets up with them, there's no way of knowing.

Short of your memory, sharing said details with fellow like-minded peers, or staying out of the public's venue. Some instantly think towards litigation/suing and whatnot. My view is, as soon as one needs to get a lawyer, they've already lost. Prop's on ya though, for helping out your buddy. Of course, those props don't pay your bills, do they?
 
Aug 21, 2012
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What did you charge for an hourly rate?
That was totally on me. The guy who hired my buddy was a friend of his that knows me. Originally he was supposed to do the job on his own. When he saw the scale of it he said he wanted to bring on a helper. He could never get a straight answer on who he was actually working for, since all the parties knew each other and it was a "buddy deal". He was getting push back from everyone on a helper but no one would step up and say that the decision was actually theirs.

I didn't want him killing himself in the heat trying to safely tear the thing apart so I told him that I would be there to help, for free if necessary, but it was ridiculous for him to tackle it himself and for his "friends" to expect him to. Once his shop owner and his friend found out I was going to be the helper they agreed to pay me because they knew who I was and had seen me work. Still no one could tell him what he was being paid, or if it was by the hour or by the job, but that they'd make sure he came out okay. I told him I'd work for whatever they felt was fair for the work I did. I've done that in the past and generally been treated very well. In several cases I've given money back because I didn't feel like I'd earned as much as someone felt they owed me.

He tried getting an assurance that we wouldn't get fucked for doing the job quickly vs running up hours and got the "we'll do you right" answer but still everyone was claiming that he was working for the other guy. We ended up putting in 7 hours yesterday and got to the point they figured he'd be at after a couple of days. Best as we can figure, his buddy, who wasn't even there to see us working, made the decision to pay him $15hr and me $10hr. I haven't been paid that little, in any profession, for probably close to 30 years.

And I just got an update, my friend just went by to collect the money and looked at the "completed" job: they twisted the I-beam frame and left a bunch of ruined steel still attached. So their hookup with the fab shop is going to end up eating a lot of unexpected labor ( and possibly materials) on his side, at a lot more than $10-15hr, because they decided to save some pennies on us.
 
May 20, 2006
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Bogey, does it need to be made clear to the 'shop' that the destruction and devastation caused to the trailer was specifically NOT you or your buddy? I ask, because ya'll wouldn't want the wrong word going around that 'you guys' are the ones who took it apart as such.

The pittance of 'do you right' is a whole other story. Don't let this crap-fest haunt or follow either of you.
 
Likes: barneybdb
Jan 5, 2012
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Maple valley WA
Yeah I know what you’re saying and where you’re coming from. It’s the reason I charge by the job on most things, I’m not gonna get penalized cause I’m fast, it took years to get “fast.”

Sorry to hear you got screwed
 
Aug 21, 2012
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Bogey, does it need to be made clear to the 'shop' that the destruction and devastation caused to the trailer was specifically NOT you or your buddy? I ask, because ya'll wouldn't want the wrong word going around that 'you guys' are the ones who took it apart as such.

The pittance of 'do you right' is a whole other story. Don't let this crap-fest haunt or follow either of you.
I'm totally with you, and had the same thought. There's not much we can do, but my friend does know the other shop owner and may have a chance in the future to let him know. It will be ridiculously obvious that part of the trailer was methodically cut away and part of it was ripped apart by a Bobcat with a grapple.

Once we found out we weren't doing the rebuild we made it a point to be extra conscientious to cut every thing back at the welds and wash them out so that whoever had to work on it next wasn't dealing with trash. So from a very specific stopping point on the trailer you can see that someone gave a shit and someone else monkey-fucked it.

I'm not really torn up over it. I was there to help a friend and got to do that. I was willing to work for free, and ended up doing just that. I know well enough that not everyone is of a nature to do right by others and that the richer someone is a lot of times makes them stingier instead of more generous. They simply don't have the frame of reference for what fair pay for honest work is. In this guy's case he runs a business where I'm sure he under pays all of his labor and they take it because most are probably unemployable otherwise.

I felt like shit for my friend, who kills himself to do right by others; donates his time and comes out of pocket even when he doesn't have it to help children's charities, and simply doesn't know how to not be a solid fucking man with everyone he meets. To give you an idea of this guy, he is seriously struggling right now, but came out of pocket to build that huge smokehouse in the "Firewood" thread so that we can spend a week, for free, cooking food to raise money for a disabled kids fundraiser.
 
Aug 21, 2012
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Yeah I know what you’re saying and where you’re coming from. It’s the reason I charge by the job on most things, I’m not gonna get penalized cause I’m fast, it took years to get “fast.”

Sorry to hear you got screwed
Thanks for the advice, it's what I'm looking for.

I've typically looked at a job, done a mental calculation of what kind of time I'll have into it, material costs, etc and just charge for the work. I hate hourly and always feel on edge like a Client has reason to bitch if I need 10 minutes in the shade to have a cigarette and work out in my mind how the next step is going to go together.
 
Likes: barneybdb
Feb 19, 2012
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Marshall area, MN
Sorry to hear you and your bud had a negative experience with a customer, Bogey.

I can't help you much with the money end of things. The people I work for keep me focused on my craft and rarely tell me if a job was a win or a loss.

I will say that I wouldn't expect anyone other than a high school kid to work for 10 bucks an hour, though. This job is too hard and dangerous for that wage.
 
Aug 21, 2012
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Chicagostan
Sorry to hear you and your bud had a negative experience with a customer, Bogey.

I can't help you much with the money end of things. The people I work for keep me focused on my craft and rarely tell me if a job was a win or a loss.

I will say that I wouldn't expect anyone other than a high school kid to work for 10 bucks an hour, though. This job is too hard and dangerous for that wage.
Thanks man, I really didn't intend to go that far down the rabbit hole bitching about it. I guess I needed to vent since pretty much everyone I know locally knows the involved parties and I don't want to sling shit in my own sandbox. It was a good day of work with a friend and I learned some things in the bargain, not a bad deal in that context.

I was really just looking for feedback on how guys price themselves on jobs.

@Mendy300wm , congrats on the new torch. I'm looking forward to some project pics. Do you run air or liquid cooling, and what's the advantage either way?
 
Likes: barneybdb
Aug 21, 2012
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Chicagostan
Bogey, I'm surprised nobody's asked you this question yet:

What part of Mexico are you from?

:D

(too soon????)
My buddy and I already had that conversation. I asked him how they could confuse us two for Mexicans and to just call me "Manuel Labor" from now on. But we actually pay Mexican labor pretty well, so we were more along the lines of a couple of crackheads you'd pay to sweep your parking lot
 

sgtsmmiii

Lieutenant
Sep 2, 2010
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Lexington, KY
Yeah I know what you’re saying and where you’re coming from. It’s the reason I charge by the job on most things, I’m not gonna get penalized cause I’m fast, it took years to get “fast.”

Sorry to hear you got screwed
I charge by the job; if I get done too quickly, or feel that I over-estimated the difficulty of the work, I / or YOU can always give part of it back. Word gets around when you give part of the payment back.
 

jbuck88

Full Member
Oct 25, 2010
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Port Angeles, WA
Coming from a commercial fishing background, I have seen some amazing pipe fitters. They always blew me away when they weld two or three sticks together, bend them around a pipe or bulkhead to finished welding a seam on the backside. And all while using a mirror to see as they work. We hired our welders by name, it didn't matter what company they worked for. It was a understanding that only certain welders were allowed and they we would get another company if they didn't send who we asked for.
 
Likes: my human host
Mar 7, 2013
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Spokane, WA
So I hope I am not hijacking the thread, but I am wanting some quick advice on plasma cutters. I think it is time to add one to my home shop to allow me to better process sheet/ plate material. I have a HF 4x6 horizontal band saw, Dewalt portable band saw, and angle grinders.

I am not very familiar with how plasma cutters work, so I would appreciate some input. That being said I am looking at the Hobart Airforce 27i or the Lincoln Tomahawk. I have a Craftsman 26 gallon air compressor that is rated at 3.8CFM @ 90 psi, and 5.1 @ 40PSI. Would this be sufficient to run either of those machines reliably? I really only do home improvement, "dinking" around, and furniture projects.
 

oneshot86

Full Member
Jul 13, 2001
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citrus park ,fl
i run a ESAB pcm875, and i love it, bought it new in like 2000. at the time it was the best. and by that i mean quality of cut and it doesnt eat up the consumables.
i use it, obviously, for non ferrus metals, and thin ferrus, 10, 11 gauge metal...
while the machine cann cut 1 inch steel, its not made for it, really, get a machine that is rated like this so you can get the reliablity for regular work.
for small work, your air pressure will be lower and you figure, after each cut, you will have a break while resetting up for anouther cut, this will let your compressor to recoup, therefore i believe your compressor will be fine...
the best thing you can do is have good driers for your air supply, the moisture will eat up the consumables.
if you get a smaller machine, you can mess w inert gases like helium to heat up your cut need be.
 
Feb 13, 2017
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Camano Island, Washington
Of all things... cutting a frozen Kielbasa... who'd have thought?

Cheers,

Sirhr

P.S. My favorite Kielbasa recipe is to take a frozen Kielbasa and cover it with grape jelly... cook until done and glazed. Eat with German hot mustard. It sounds goofy... but it's amazing! The things you learn in Bavaria!
Try crockpotting Costco frozen meatballs in Grape Jelly sometime......brain dead simple. Even I can manage it. Great stuff !