Welding, just like a superpower

in #life4 months ago

For many years now I've been toying with the idea that I need to learn how to weld. Why? Well, because it's nothing short of a super power in my opinion. You don't have something? You can't afford it? It's badly broken? Well, you should probably learn to weld.

All that being said, it's not until recently that I've exhausted all excused to delay the painful process of learning to do so.

For almost a year I've been building a workshop for my experiments and projects. I fully intend to get back into building guitars, but that's the tip of the iceberg so to speak.

There are a number of challenges to overcome however, the main one being that the shop is being built very far, and I do mean very far from any power lines. As you might imagine, I had to go with an alternate power source and spent the better part of two months installing solar panels, and wiring the whole place.

The shop itself is operational at this point, but it's not ready for any production work at all. I'm yet to build the finishing room, and I've not solved the water conundrum neither. Having no running water is probably the biggest annoyance, but I digress.

Back to talking about welding... Well, I need to move the Inverter, the batteries and the charge controller to the outside of the building, but I can't simply put the box outside and hope nobody will steal anything, hence the leap of faith here.

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Using pieces of rebar left over from the main building, I've started to build a cage to safeguard my units. They do sit inside a metal box, but I fear someone could just pry it open and try to take a battery or something.

You might be asking. Why those shapes? Well, because I'm recycling and it's what I had laying around. It looks a bit artistic, no?

At this rate a might acquire the super power after all. Not to say it's been easy, and this poorly built incomplete cage, has taken me two days to make. But hey, the pain is part of the fun.

Side note. I'm getting really good with a grinder.



Some years ago A farmer gave me an old flatbed trailer that had been grown over with weeds for decades. So long the plywood had completely rotted away, the steel was flaking off, and in some places had flaked into nothing. The 14' trailer had no tongue, and was on a 1936 Ford pickup axle. I bought a stick welder and a grinder at garage sales and started learning. After I scraped off all the flakes, I painted the remaining steel in Ospho, which chemically alters iron oxide into iron phosphate, stopping it from rusting and turning it hard and black. I bought a half dozen steel bed frames at a thrift store and used some to replace the missing parts of the trailer, using the rest to make upright arches to support walls and a roof. I scavenged some sheets of OSB and 1/4" thick polyethylene, which I bolted and riveted onto the arches for walls and roof. I scavenged some 1/2" plywood scraps and bolted down a floor.

I had never welded anything before that, and I knew I had better make sure my welds were solid, so I took the grinder to them until I was certain I had made solid welds. Some of them I cut apart 7 times and welded them over. By the time I was done I had a tool trailer with a cabin up front where I could sleep. I lived in it for a couple years, until I got the travel trailer I live in now.

If I can weld a home out of rusty scrap and bed frames, I have no doubt you can weld rebar into a secure cage for your power storage. It's pretty fun, too. I eventually noticed that the powerful amperage was affecting my vision when I stood on what I was welding, so I began to make sure I did not get zapped with the DC current when welding. Folks mentioned I needed a welding hood because the spark emitted harsh UV that could blind me, but nobody told me the current could cause problems. I'll tell you so that you can take care not to get zapped. You don't even feel DC, but it does have affects on you, so try not to run current through you.

I also recommend stout leather gloves, which I did not have and now have scars instead, and to keep a fire extinguisher at hand when welding. Hot sparks start fires. Also, if there are cows around, it's a good idea to block their view of the welding. I managed not to blind any cows by using a sheet of plywood.

Have fun!

Well, what a first project you had! WOw... I gotta tell you, it's getting easier for me as I keep going. Today I made myself a welding table from scraps, and it was a fun project. Looks like shit, but it's going to help tons.

I do have some horses around, never considered I would hurt their vision with the welder, but it makes perfect sense.

Lots of great videos on learning to weld.

I've been thinking about picking up the skill too.

I've been watching tons of them. It seems that everyone has their style and opinion... But.. i think i found something that is working for me.

Welding is a pretty rewarding pursuit. I haven't done it in years, but I'd consider it of I ever got back on the grid. Batteries aren't cheap and I baby mine.

Im off grid and I'm welding... maybe to my detriment... Will it kill my batteries? Maybe.. but I gotta finish the project.