My projects - farm repairs and minor fabrication

California

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Maybe describing my projects can encourage someone who is trying to make up their mind about getting into welding at the amateur level.

I've mentioned in other threads that I'm an amateur, welding as needed for farm repairs and minor fabrication. Here's one of my earliest repairs. It more than paid for the $50 I paid for my first welder.

The Wards Powr-Kraft AC-230 stick welder is probably 50 years old by now. Specs similar to a Tombstone. Got it from an estate sale. I was told Gramps played with it for a year then it just sat for decades. After blowing the dust out and oiling the fan it works same as it did new.

My garage door in town came down on something crooked, and tore the hinge pin out of the arm. I took the components out to the ranch, straightened the bent arm, and welded the pin back in with the torn area beefed up.

As far as I can remember this was my first practical application of this big stick welder. Compared to what it would have cost for a garage door company to fix this, I saved several times more than I paid for the welder.

A pro welder's work would look more refined than this but the hinge is solid, it's been in use since 2007 without issues. I'm pleased with what I can do with this welder. I still have it.

P1110932rWeldGarDoorHinge 2007.jpg
 

Gary Fowler

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So true, every homeowner should have some type of welder just for small repairs like that. Just one repair done by the owner rather than hiring it out will pay for the welder. It doesnt have to be a thousand dollar welder either. A small 120v machine will do a lot of work if it is an inverter machine.
 

A-one

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Pine Bluff, Arkansas
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Lincoln Pro Mig 180
I agree. My first machine only costed me $40 and a little time and gas. It paid for itself a few times, and it was working when I sold it. I just wish I would've sold it to somebody that was going to pick it up and use it to learn or tackle their own projects. The guy that bought it still wants to bring me his projects.
 

Gary Fowler

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I agree. My first machine only costed me $40 and a little time and gas. It paid for itself a few times, and it was working when I sold it. I just wish I would've sold it to somebody that was going to pick it up and use it to learn or tackle their own projects. The guy that bought it still wants to bring me his projects.
Charge him like a welding shop would for your work and he wont be back.
 

California

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I see you are a Yanmar fan. My first tractor was a Yanmar 4220D with 4 WD and FEL. I loved that powershift. That is almost as good as a hydrostatic drive.
Yes! Simple, reliable, inexpensive. Plenty of power for its size. I bought this YM240 in 2003 and still have it. An initial month restoring from years of neglect, and it's been near flawless ever since. Still as beat up looking as when I bought it. :(

Then in 2009 when we planted 125 new orchard trees I bought a YM186D with PowerShift, then replace that with one identical with power steering and loader. This little one zig zags under the mature orchard trees towing my watering trailer better than the ROPS-equipped YM240. No significant repairs on this one either aside from the aftermarket power steering that has needed seals - and that doesn't reflect on Yanmar. Yanmars are great. 40 years old and they run as well as they did first year, no issues at all.
 

California

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Ok back on topic - minor farm repairs. My most recent. Very minor. :)

But this is what I bought the welders for. To get repaired and back to work in minimum time.

I didn't use this Harbor Freight breaker bar before the return warranty ran out. Then I discovered its hinge pin wouldn't stay in. I tried staking it but the pin and bar were too hard. F it, weld the stupid pin in.

It turned out better than I expected. Running a flap disc over the weld left a nice shape and surface. Both ends of the pin were exposed and sloppy loose before.

Better than new!

Edit: I see I already described this repair a month ago over in this thread. Oh well.

20200725_202254-1rBreakerBar.jpg
 
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aussiebushman

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Southern highlands NSW Australia
Welder
Rossi Inverter
I persisted with a 130A transformer-type for years and did many minor jobs, but since buying a Rossi Inverter welder productivity has increased out of all proportion to the cost - a mere $A140 including delivery. This little beast will weld thin materials like trailer mudguards as well as much heavier steel components on the tractor and accessories. My welding will not win any awards, but it works!
 

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Bearskinner

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N. Idaho
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Miller
Having a handy welder is what counts. Every time you can do these little repairs, builds, projects etc at home, without having to load up and go somewhere for a simple repair, it’s a great feeling.
 

California

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I started this thread mainly as encouragement to other novices starting out, or considering buying a welder.

Here's the 230 amp AC Montgomery Wards Powr-Kraft stick welder again, that I bought used in about 2004. I still have it.
This photo shows the acetylene-welder hand truck that its first owner had adapted to make it movable. It's heavy!

And my first venture into a flux-wire welder, a $72 (after coupon) Harbor Freight flux wire welder. 110v, 90a, AC. A bad design! I never could weld as well with it as I could with the big stick welder. I later replaced it with a better Century 110v flux welder, which worked as expected.

P1610964rBothWelders.JPG
 
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California

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An early project with the big stick welder. Grabbing some scrap on hand, I cobbled together rear forks to go on my tractor's Quick Hitch. Handy! I can just back up to this forks assembly, lift, and drive away with it.

Fabrication, before painting.

P1050892rFabricateRearForks.jpg


Then I immediately tested it, lifting the heaviest object nearby. 450 lb Box Blade. Test passed, nothing bent.
Now today 10+ years later after much abuse, the forks remain perfect.
I later painted it blue.

P1050890rTestRearForks.jpg
 

California

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Another early project with the big stick welder.

We inherited a set of cast iron garden furniture. But several legs had their tabs broken off, where the leg bolts to the tabletop or seat.

P1060368r-IronFurn.jpg


I bought special nickel welding rod to weld the broken tabs back on to the legs. I've read that preheating is needed to weld cast iron so I heated the area to be welded using a high-output gas burner that belongs to a turkey fryer.

This picture shows one intact leg including its tab in the background, and two of the legs where I used nickel welding rod to build up the attachment tab and weld the tab back onto its leg.

I also ground flat the mating surfaces where the leg meets the top. Uneven castings mismatched there, had made the furniture wobbly and likely contributed to stresses that broke off the tabs.

Success. The furniture has now been in use many years, including gatherings of the extended family at the ranch with kids treating the furniture roughly. So far nothing I've ever welded has broken again.

P1090642rCast-weld.jpg
 

California

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Now a couple of my first repairs done with the HF 90 AC flux-wire welder. While the big stick welder just worked like a competent tool, a Crescent wrench or something to git-er-done, this flux welder was a continual frustration. AC splatter, uneven feeding, only two heat choices, a general sense that it was impossible to turn out nice work.

Here I re-attached the gas lift cylinder to the underside of a cheap office chair. After the lift cylinder had lost its gas, I slipped a piece of pipe over the cylinder to keep full height. But then after a while, the seat pan would fall off the pipe/cylinder. This was because the the pipe was holding the seat up as the cylinder gradually leaked down.

Welding the delicate thin gas cylinder to the heavier structure on the underside of the seat pan needed a cautious approach. I made it all the way around before I heard a tiny pfft, a slight burn-through. Whatever. I'm not a pro.

I slipped the pipe back on. Project completed. Now the seat couldn't fall of the top of the pipe.

Photo - underside of the seat pan.

P1160829rWeldOfficeChair.jpg



And a farm repair. I use this slender shovel to dig out unwanted volunteer blackberry and oaks. It folded back then broke as I pulled back too hard trying to break off a root.

This was an ugly repair with the HF-90. I had cleaned the area well but I kept losing the arc.

The repair turned out better than it looks. I had intended this as only an emergency patch to get back to work and serve until I could get the other shovel from home out to the ranch, but its been back in service for several years now without folding or breaking again. This must have stiffened an area of bad steel. Not very pretty but its functional.

KIMG0492rTrenchingShovelRepaired.jpg
 

Gary Fowler

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Lots of good repairs using your welder. I did a little welding on my lawnmower blades today. The ends had worn pretty thin and the blades were unbalanced. I balanced them up by welding up the worn areas using my Titanium flux 110 welder. I kept building up the thin areas, checking the balance and finally getting them sort of thickened up to last for at least the rest of this season. I had bought a little plastic balance tool at 2 for 4.99 and surprisingly they work really well. They are kind of a miniature wheel balance tool that bubble balance tires (old fashioned way before computer balance)
 

welding seabee

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Maybe describing my projects can encourage someone who is trying to make up their mind about getting into welding at the amateur level.

I've mentioned in other threads that I'm an amateur, welding as needed for farm repairs and minor fabrication. Here's one of my earliest repairs. It more than paid for the $50 I paid for my first welder.

The Wards Powr-Kraft AC-230 stick welder is probably 50 years old by now. Specs similar to a Tombstone. Got it from an estate sale. I was told Gramps played with it for a year then it just sat for decades. After blowing the dust out and oiling the fan it works same as it did new.

My garage door in town came down on something crooked, and tore the hinge pin out of the arm. I took the components out to the ranch, straightened the bent arm, and welded the pin back in with the torn area beefed up.

As far as I can remember this was my first practical application of this big stick welder. Compared to what it would have cost for a garage door company to fix this, I saved several times more than I paid for the welder.

A pro welder's work would look more refined than this but the hinge is solid, it's been in use since 2007 without issues. I'm pleased with what I can do with this welder. I still have it.

View attachment 1219

Those were good machines. My current weld is a Power-Kraft 230 AC/DC. Works great and cost $35 at the auction. Had to cleanup and adjust the buzz out of it. This my second one. No sense buying a new machine when everything I do this one works fine. I don't buy new "just because I can". Ron
 

Gary Fowler

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I bought my Miller 250 amp AC/DC CC machine ($350) and my Phoenix 300# rod oven ($150) from a fab shop that was down sizing. I found them on Craigslist back when everything on it wasnt a scam. I also bought 2 of the 100 gallon fuel tanks with 15 GPM Fillrite 12v pumps for $200 each, a very good bargain.
 

California

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Another small farm repair project, today. I love having a welder onsite to fix anything. (Three welders actually).

Long ago - before I inherited it - the wooden handles on this pruner were broken then replaced with pipe that was just jammed on. One handle aluminum, one steel, reason unknown. I like the pruner and carry it on my tractor. These handles are longer for more leverage, and stronger, than the originals.

When I bought my first flux welder (HF cheap 90A AC) in about 2005 I welded the metal pipe handle to the cutter so it wouldn't fall off again. Then 15 years later, today, I broke the cutter metal beyond the pipe.

Photo 1 - after welding the opposite side, I took a picture of the trademark on this antique because the repair weld will cover it. The old weld attaching the pipe to the cutter, visible here, was the best I could make with that HF AC flux junker at the time. I recall frustration doing it. But it has held up to years of abuse.

Photo 2 Project completed, with a new bead across the crack in the cutter part. I also cleaned up the old weld next to it somewhat. Then to verify that its good, I tested it with all my strength. Then went back to pruning in the orchard.

And a comment - This is Hobart E71T-11 .035 flux wire, in the HF MIG-180 welder. I like this wire best of anything I've tried because its easy to remove flux residue to prepare for an additional pass. It's rated multi-pass (T-11) in contrast to T-GS single pass. Part of the mess in my old weld securing that pipe handle onto the cutter was due to welding over slag I couldn't get cleaned properly. That was likely using the original HF wire that came with that old HF90-AC welder long ago.
Also this Hobart wire and flux-core in general are claimed suitable for welding down through rust and mill scale where it is impossible to clean a complex shape like I have here. Similar to 6011 rod. That attribute worked well. None of the weld bead stood up repelled by dirty base metal, like I had to overcome on that old weld.

At any rate - this work isn't pretty enough that I would weld for others but it meets my needs to repair a tool or tractor implement and get back to work.

20201021_143749rPrunerOneSideWelded.jpg 20201021_154607rPrunerWelded,ShowingOldWeld.jpg
 

Gary Fowler

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I would have put a bit of a bevel to both sides of that crack, but if it is holding then it is a good repair. For farm repairs, strong enough to hold without breaking is a good weld regardless of how it looks.
 
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