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Welding: It Takes Forever…

So if you’ve been reading along with my quarterly project of welding, you know that I announced that my first project in the class would be a truck bed extender/kayak rack. It’s been a while since I’ve posted progress on this so here we go…

These pieces will end up creating something similar to the image below, minus the pivot point.

Tada! Yes… sadly this is as far as I’ve gotten in like two months of class. With only about a month left, it’s beginning to look like my first project will become my ONLY project. I’ve learned that there’s a lot that must be done before you can actually get around to welding pieces together. You have to plan and design, purchase metal from steel companies that are only open when you are at work (of course), measure measure and re-measure, cut all pieces to size, grind down cuts so they are nice and smooth and safe to handle, drill any holes or do sandblasting or any other thing you might need to do… and THEN… FINALLY… you can start welding shit together! Sheesh…

So this past Sunday I spent grinding and smoothing out a few remaining cut pieces, and then… I got to try my hand at the giant drill press!

Drill press… this thing was at least 6 ft tall
. Machinery bigger than me = effin scary.

I was surprised that drilling holes into metal was nothing like I’d imagined (I had conjured up images of sparks and very loud, jarring metal-on-metal screeching and grinding sounds). The trick is to use lots of oil and drill slowly… (refraining from dirty joke here). To my surprise the process was really quiet and smooth… like butter folks, like butter. My fear instantly dissolved as I drilled holes where holes needed to go!

Next week I plan to finish drilling a few holes I didn’t have time to get to Sunday, and then at long last I can finally start welding the thing together! Man, I better not eff this up… over $70 and endless hours of time already put into it! Here’s hoping that in 1-2 weeks I will have a totally completed kayak rack… just in time for the paddling season!

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Claudia #

    Very cool, Sarah! I love your description of the drilling process.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012
  2. that looks pretty cool! If you don’t mind, can you tell me a few things you learned about welding? I wanna take it next year and I want an idea of what i’m getting myself into lol!
    Thanks a lot! :)
    Azure James

    Monday, April 2, 2012

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