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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DIY Projects for Men: Basic Welding to Try at Home

There’s no need to be intimidated by at-home welding, because, these days, with the correct welding supplies , and knowledge of safety procedures, it’s simple and satisfying to try some DIY welding projects at home. A welder will find that these skills come in very handy for any number of odd jobs, particularly repairs around the house or car. A welder can also flex his creative muscles, using the skill of welding to create objects of beauty and style to compliment the home. In this article, you will learn how to create a beautiful coffee table using basic welding skills.

All the tools needed for this project are widely available at your local hardware, and you can expect the process to take about 10 hours, including cutting your pieces of steel to the correct length.
You will need:
* Welding table
* Metal grinder, about 13cm
* Reciprocating saw or chop saw
* 2 squares – one large standard square and one small carpenter’s square
* C-clamps, approximately three to be used to clamp project pieces to the welding table
* Weldcorp Gasless MIG Welder
* Welding helmet with lens shade and safety glasses. Safety is top priority when using welding tools. * Cigweld 0.6mm x 0.8kg Solid MIG Welding Wire
* Bending jig
* 1”-1.4” X 1/8” in thick square tubing cut to three different lengths:
- 4 pieces – 16” in length to be used as legs
- 3 pieces – 44” in length to serve as the top
- 2 pieces 17” in length for end pieces
* 5/16” solid steel rod for trim pieces. You can choose your own trim length depending on what you like, or you can also purchase decorative trim pieces. Some companies can also make trim pieces to order.

Before you begin, be sure to check that you have all the materials listed. You may need to purchase some items online, or ask any employees at your local hardware store. Take particular care in ensuring that you have all safety gear as required.

1. Cut the tubing to the specified lengths above. Check the reference chart for your welder, as it needs to be set on the correct settings for the thickness of the steel you will be welding. Be sure to test your settings by welding on a piece of offcut steel before you begin.

2. Using one of your 17” long end pieces, and one of the 16” long legs, align these two components in a 90 degree angle. Check that your angle is accurate using your big square. Then, using the C-clamps, clamp the two pieces to your welding table. Line up the leg flush with what will be the top of the end piece, making sure that the open end of the leg is showing. Repeat this process on the other side of the end pieces for the other leg, and repeat the whole process to create the other end piece of the coffee table.

3. With the feet pointing up, put one of your end pieces on the ground. To hold it upright you can attach a piece of scrap angle iron with a C-clamp, similar to how a bicycle stand works. Place the large square on the ground, and line up along the outside of one of the long tabletop sides and the end piece to ensure a 90-degree angle. Use the carpenter’s square to ensure a 90-degree angle between the leg and the long table top side piece. Set the end piece in place by readjusting the C-clamp. Tack weld the inside of the angle only. Repeat this process on the other side of the end piece with a second long tabletop side member. Right now, you only need to tack weld the inside angle. After this, lay your third long tabletop member in between the two you have already welded, measure to ensure that it is central, and tack weld the bottom (which is facing up). Repeat these steps for the opposite side.

4. Turn the table over so that it is standing upright, and finish weld the top of the table where the long tabletop side pieces meet the end pieces.

5. Turn the table over again so that the legs are facing upwards towards you, and finish weld the seams on the bottom of the coffee table, where you tack welded in step 3.

6. At this stage you need to finish weld the seams on the inside of the joints that you have not yet welded. To do this, you will need to move the table around, and you can use C-clamps to help you with this. Be sure to attach the welder’s work clamp after each time you move the coffee table and before you begin welding.

7. Before you add any trim pieces to your table, you need to smooth the welds with the grinder. The welds will be unreachable after the trim pieces are attaching. Make sure you wear safety glasses with side shields when you are grinding, and be careful as there will be sparks from the grinding process that can potentially ignite flammable materials.

8. After you have grinded and smoothed your welds, you can tack weld the inside of the brackets of your trim pieces. These inside welds will not show from the outside of the table.

9. Now your frame is complete. Before attaching your tabletop, it is a good idea to clean the entire table (including the tabletop you have chosen) with a cleaning solvent to remove machining oils. You can now paint your frame with a good quality, semi-flat paint in the colour of your choice.

10. Your tabletop can be made of any material you like: wood, slate, glass, tile etc. You should secure the tabletop with adhesive, flanges, or bolts drilled through the frame and into the tabletop. Depending on what material your tabletop is, you will need to determine the most secure way to attach it to your frame.

Once you have completed all of these steps, you will have a beautiful and entirely unique piece of furniture standing before you!

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