I started with a 3mm piece of aluminium pre-cut to size by Metal Supermarkets. The existing screw holes were easily replicated with PEM nuts, but the old faceplate vibrated horribly, so I wanted to add 2 more mounting bolts, and oh dear, the drilling for the top one just missed the panel.
This was a perfect excuse to zap something with the TIG welder.
With this done, a coat of gold paint and a pasting with letter punches…
Wanted a track light fitting for the living room and more aluminium welding practice 🙂
20x20mm square tube (ashamed to admit I bought it from B&Q) was cut into the shape of a lightning bolt.
Oh dear, the mitreing could have been better…
This is the nicest weld, there were much worse 😀 I got off to a bad start by burning several holes in it while trying to tack it together, and had to weld up the holes. I didn’t realise the tubing was only 1.6mm thick and started off with too large a tungsten and too much current. Another reminder to always test the welder settings on a scrap of the material you’re going to use… 🙂
After fully welding (OK I didn’t do the inside corners 🙂 )
I was looking for an aluminium welding project that wouldn’t kill anyone if it failed. And also some speaker stands that wouldn’t take up any desk space.
I started with a 1m length of 3″ x 3″ x 1/8″ box section.
After a whole afternoon of hacksawing, jigsawing and filing it was reduced to 2 columns and some wedge shaped pieces.
The pieces were then welded together into a giant C clamp shape and a 3mm plate was welded to the top to support the speaker. I decided to only tack weld the plate because I was worried the heat of a full weld would warp it.
I find the fillet weld the most difficult. This doesn’t exactly look great but it’s my best yet.
The stand base screws to the underside of the desk with some hefty wood screws.
The desk is completely clear and there is plenty of room underneath for oscilloscopes, soldering irons and so on.
I got fed up with the thumb controls on the torch that came with my welder and decided to try a foot pedal. They are extremely expensive to buy so I decided to make one out of an unwanted wah pedal.
The main difference between a wah pedal and a TIG foot pedal is that the switch engages as you first apply pressure to the pedal, telling the welder to open the gas valve and go through its preflow and ignition cycle. Depressing the pedal further then controls the welding current.
To allow this operating mode I threw away the existing stomp switch and replaced it with a microswitch operated by a cam.
The other difference is that it needs a rather strong return spring to avoid igniting the welder by accident. I found this out by trial and error. D: Keeping with the musical instrument theme, I used some Strat tremolo springs from eBay.
I connected it to the socket for the hand controller as a spare plug for this was supplied with the welder. It thinks it is a torch with 1 button and thumbwheel. This seems to work fine, but I will try the foot pedal socket if I ever get round to figuring out the mating plug for it.