Sunday, December 22, 2013

scanner: welding

Cherise (one of Nathaniel's SURF students) went over to Sculpture with me so we could weld the scanner box. Matt had purchased more Argon for the studio as they were out. I brought my welding rod and gloves and Cherise and I got to work. We pre-heated the scanner to help facilitate welding. Cherise was a big help in being able to wield the torch and keep me in welding rod. I was nervous about welding this, as my welding skills are not that great and aluminum is particularly challenging. I was meticulous about removing the oxide layer of aluminum and cleaned the metal very well to prep it. It paid off and things went very well. I laid a root pass in the corner where the sides come together and then laid two successive overlapping passes over this. We ran out of my 1/8" welding rod at the end and I had to finish up with some of the smaller rods that the Sculpture studio had. The back plate worked flawlessly as a jig to hold the sides in place and noting warped or moved. I dressed the corners a bit with a flap wheel and then let the whole piece cool down before taking the back plate off. I still had to weld up to the end of the corners where the back plate bolted on. Unfortunately I had to go home before I could finish doing that, so I called it quits and came back the following day. I had ordered welding rod from McMaster Carr and it had come in the day that we were welding so I had 1/8" rod for patching the ends of each seem. I bolted the back plate onto the front of the scanner box, so I could assure that things would stay in place while I did the finish welding. Again, everything worked out well and I dressed the corners for the last time. Then is was back to my studio to work on fitting things.

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