Saturday, April 1, 2017

Fixing a Metal Stool Pt. 7

I last left off with my stool when I was using an angle grinder to remove the stumps on the legs of my stool.

Right after, I had to bend my foot ring rest pieces at a 90 degree angle

And then....It was finally time to weld!

Question: What was the first thing you had to do? How did you hold up the pieces as you welded?

Kelly: As usual, I had to set up my TIG Welding station and clean out any impurities from my pieces. As for holding them in place, I used metal clamps on both ends of the pieces so it would be aligned and at the same height.

Question: How did you do your weld? Was it something you weren't used to?

Kelly: First, I had to weld on three tacks. I did this so that the pieces would be held in place and I can take off the clamps and they won't get in the way as I am welding straight down. It was definitely an uncomfortable position to weld on.

Question: Did it effect the way your weld came out?

Kelly: Unfortunately yes. I had a difficult time trying hold my stability and I had nothing to rest my elbows on. I was able to weld all the way down. However, the weld's heat and positioning wasn't even throughout the edge of the piece and it came out messy.

Question: Oh that's a shame! What did you have to do then?

Kelly: Well for starters, I tried to see if welding horizontally at eye level would help me. I also tried attaching clamps close to where I would weld to have something to lean my fingers on. I needed this because my hands would be kept still and not slip out of place.

Question: Wow! Sounds like you had to be very diligent! How did your next few welds turn out?

Kelly: A lot better! the clamps helped keep my weld more consistent. The heat was kept at the same temperature. Although my line wasn't exactly straight, it was an improvement.

Question: Did you have any other problems when you were welding?

Kelly: I did actually. Sometimes, I tended to keep the torch at a high heat in one same place and I had to move quickly. Because of that, I almost made holes on the weld! Thankfully, I tried going at a more steady and patient pace. I also had to keep in mind that I only had to dip the filler metal and not keep it between the tube and the torch the whole time. With that being said, my last few welds came out almost perfect.

Question: Whoa! So after welding all the pieces onto the legs, were you finally done fixing your stool?

Kelly: Not really, I checked the stability that my pieces were suppose to make. When I tried to compress adjacent legs horizontally, the legs were stiff and didn't move. However, when I tried to compress the legs that were diagonal, the stool slanted. And, the center of the foot ring rest pieces were easily twist-able.

Question: That's terrible! Did you have to come up with something new?

Kelly: I tried to experiment with rulers. And I came to the conclusion  that I needed triangles with an "L" shape on two corners diagonal from one another and it would hold the shape of the legs.

Question: Oh cool! How did you make the pieces? Why did you make an "L" shape?

Kelly: I first cut it out with paper to make sure it came out the way I imagined it. I first cut out the outline of the steel piece with hand shears and then cut out the curved part with a drill press. I did the "L" so it would lay flat against the two side of the foot ring rest pieces and it will be stronger against bending. I used a brake, shear, and roll machine to bend the three parts that needed to be bent.

Question: How did it turn out?

Kelly: The shape came out the way I wanted it to. But, I had to hammer down the bottom part of the triangle that would make a second "L" shape. I did this because the curve of the triangular piece wasn't completely against the curve of the tube. After I did this, the pieces were right against the outline of the inside of the corners.

Question: Did you TIG Weld to stick the pieces on?

Kelly: I actually didn't use TIG Welding this time. Instead I used a Spot Welder to make easy and simple tacks on the pieces. I also decided on this because the space between the edges of the pieces were too tight for me to weld on. 

(To be continued...)

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