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2012-Jan-14 - Wooroloo - Steelworks #21
I was out to site at 7.30 am and left at 5.30pm

Not one of my better days.

I started work on main front veranda outer steel - welding on the cleats.

The first step was to take the small 1m extension piece I made up last week, lay it in position and then, starting from the bevelled end, mark every 400 mm

To leave a permanent mark I ground slightly into the surface with an angle grinder.

I started welding from the extension piece end as this is the least visible display of my poor welding skills.

I found it very difficult to create neat welds, and I seemed to become worse and worse as the day went on.

After a whole day of swearing and sweating I had only managed to weld 12 cleats.

What I was finding was that even though I could lay a good bead of weld accurately (I now have an automatic helmet) - when I knocked the scale off, all I had was a thin line adhering to one surface of the other.

Each weld took 3 passes. They are structurally strong but very ugly.


I nipped out to try a different current setting on the welder.

Ian happened to be passing and stopped to have a try as well - he felt that the arc was not strong or penetrating enough.


I took my welder to a shop I trusted and asked them to try it.

They confirmed that it was not performing and sold me an entry level DC inverter machine.

I also dropped in to an electrical outlet and purchased a very thick 20m extension lead.


At the end of the day I took the new welder out to Wooroloo and had another try.

The difference was as between night and day.

I found I had a lot more control and penetration.

Although my welding is not great, I was able to lay in a single weld each time that reaches both surfaces.

I was able to weld on another 5 cleats in a fraction of the time.

Yay !!!

Ugly weld with old welder

Beautiful weld with new welder