Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Skill: Welding!

I've always wanted to try welding. I see metal furniture and think- "Hey I could make that!" If only I knew how to weld...

Well, I found out that my husband's grandfather has a welding machine that he rarely uses anymore. He offered to show me how its done. After a few practice rounds and some reading up on the subject I was ready to try it for real.
I needed some side tables for my living room and thought this would be a good way to get some. I had some old burgalar bars off a window of an old house that I needed to do something with. So I thought those could be used as the top with a piece of glass on the top.

I measured existing tables to get a good size and drew up a plan for all the pieces to be cut. I got the steel at a metal shop in town (I got some weird looks but they were very helpful. I don't think they are used to seeing young women coming in looking for steel!). Once I purchased all the materials I got to work. And work it was! Welding isn't physically demanding as in - lifting heavy objects hard, but tiring because it's hot, dirty work. You have to be precise while you are doing it and that can be hard sometimes with a giant welders mask over your face.

I really respect the people who do this for a living. Its both a utilitarian skill and an art form. Though it was hard it was fun. I would love to try it again now that I know how to fit things together and have a better understanding of what materials are available. For example; I purchased all flat bars, had them cut, welded them into angles and then fit them together to make the table. In the future I would purchase angled bars and save a lot of extra work.

I'm so glad that I got to try welding. I've always wanted to do it and hope that I will be able to do it again. I'd live to make a bar for my dining room, end tables for other parts of the house, ect. I'm not sure when I'll have the time though!
Detail shot

Me with finished product

In our living room!

Is there anything you have always wanted to try or learn more about? If so go for it!


The DougFish said...

That end table is GORGEOUS. I'm so jealous! ;) What a talent indeed. My grandfather is a retired welder from GE. He used to make us all these miniature BBQ pits (smaller than your weiner dog!)

Tobi Britton* said...

Wow! I have always wanted to learn how to weld also! Well done...or should I say "weld dlone"!! Hee hee
Sparkly Hugs,
Tobi and the Pixies!

Kelly said...

LOVE this! I just found your blog and have always wanted to learn to weld! Thanks for sharing.