🔌 Welding Class #5
After stick welding, we got to try our hand MIG welding. They say MIG welding is easy compared to stick welding. And it is unless you're welding thin material.
I enjoyed this chance to practice my MIG welding skills. And learn more about GMAG, FCAW and Dual Shield welding, which combines GMAG with FCAW. I now have a better understanding of their applications and how to best use my Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder at home.
We practiced laying down beads on a 4x4" plate just like we did with the stick welder. Followed by practicing 5 different welds:
- T joint (2 welds)
- Butt joint
- Lap joint
- 90º Corner joint
Welding magnets proved to be essential to hold the metal pieces in the right place.
These 5 welds were a lot harder to get right in 1/16 inch steel. I would burn through the thin metal even with reduced voltage (and wire speed). And I struggled to stay on top of the butt joint. The thinner material requires a narrower gap and I found it difficult to see where to go. The bright arc made the surrounding area very dark in comparison. I couldn't look ahead to where I was going and quickly wandered off course.
🐍 Clogged Drain
We've been plagued by a semi-regular flooding of the laundry room floor. Sometimes the drain can't handle the final spin and drain of the washing machine.
I've snaked the drain a couple of times now and never encountered an obstacle. Then it occurred to me that perhaps the drain's vent was obstructed and the air couldn't escape as water gushed into the pipe.
Sure enough, one of the 2 vents had a dowel stuck in it.
A while back Casper had dropped this in the vent when he was on the roof. He didn't think much of it, but now it might be causing problems. I spend most of Saturday and part of Sunday fishing it out with a homemade gizmo. I welded a screw to the end of a galvanized pipe which I could then stab/screw into the dowel. Unfortunately, it only got part of the dowel. The bottom 6 inches remained in the pipe. Those I had to pull out piece by piece through the access cap. Try as I might, I wasn't able to spear this last part with my gizmo.
After all that work, the drain still wasn't flowing properly. I had no choice to open up the line. Perhaps this could tell me in which half the problem resides. And it did. With the pipe open, I observed that the bottom half could fill up. Either our French drain at the end is filling up with sediment and/or the ground isn't perking as well as it used to.
Time to dig up the French drain and inspect it. 🚜
🚌 Decoy Bus
The California Highway Police are now using decoy buses in an attempt to catch the shooter(s) who fire upon tech shuttles like the one I'm riding to/from work.