Sticking together

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!

8 thoughts on “Sticking together

    • Yeah. I should. Stopped burning everything for a while and found myself dreaming of making my own dune buggy. We don’t even have sand up here! Last night I dreamt of making a submarine (non-nuclear, of course – powered by Honda).


      • just wait a few years…… the Canadian navy doesnt seem to know what to do with the subs it has………you’ll be able to buy one for a dollar.


        • Sadly, they don’t float. They sink but won’t come up. And they are getting rusty. Going the way of the Protector (metal salvage). And to think we only paid a few billion for them, spent a few hundred million on them and now get to sell ’em to the Chinese for scrap. And this is the party that hypes it’s business expertise.


    • It has been broken. Plaintiff afraid to vote, let alone go to court. Everyone intimidated into passivity and surrender. Or dulled by drugs and consumption. Defendant just another bully with deep pockets used to hire lawyers and thugs (read: justice system) to control the victims. Retains huge propaganda department to spread lies. Even a minor protest from the plaintiff will result in his/her incarceration. All victims tracked by smart-phones like ankle bracelets. Welcome to the Great White North Department of Corrections.


  1. Hi Sally&David,
    Looking forward to the visit with you, Lisa said that Sally and her have covered the food aspect, so after reading your blog; do you need anything from a welding supply shop?
    What are you trying weld? You said M I G what kind of gas are you using? What is the wire diameter, diameter of the tip? If not gas, flux core?
    Is it aluminium?
    I would gladly weld anything, steel based, above the surface of the water, do you have any pictures of what you want to weld?
    Let me know if there is anything I can bring?


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