So far all that I have managed to stick is my vice-grip jaws closed. The metal I was attempting to weld a bead on just melted. Disappeared into the ether, too. Like magic.
Welding ain’t easy. Seems the damn thing takes some skill, not to mention a helluva lot of spare metal that can be melted or ‘fizzed’ away while you pick up the knack. Old clothes are a must, too. I have gone through a few check shirts already and nothing but my tools are actually welded. Should you take up the hobby, I suggest less-flammable clothing than Costco check shirts, by the way.
As you may have guessed by now, I bought a small welder and am attempting to use it. I plugged it in, fired up the genset and attached the ground to the metal. I then touched the wire-feed tip of the Mig welder to the sacrificial piece of steel and expected to see a spark or two. Nada. I pulled the trigger til there was six inches of wire hanging out and still nothing. Hmmmmm………? So, I fiddled with a knob or two and VOILA! All hell broke loose! And, as a bonus, the metal scrap I was attempting to weld had pretty much vaporized.
Hmmmmm….more knob fiddling resulted in a bead of sorts but it turned out to include my vice grips. I was so excited that I didn’t notice until I had melted away the better part of the spare square of steel and, when I stopped and tried to remove my vice grips, discovered my error. Using my mini grinder, I freed the grips but they’ll never be the same. And my heart is still pumping. Welding can be scary.
It is not so much the lack of control over a lethal dose of electricity as it is the weird disappearance of what-used-to-be a plate of steel. Where does it go? More to the point…where would I go?
Never mind, I will get the hang of it. I just decided to go and get a few of our fire extinguishers at the ready first. Nothing like setting yourself on fire to remind you of the importance of safety, eh? Thankfully, I tend to smolder first and, having a keen sense of smell, I managed to save myself from a full-Buddha-style immolation. But the experience did bring me closer to God.
Me and Mr. Lincoln, sticking together, making vice grips stronger and disappearing useful steel plate. And I thought it couldn’t get any better!