I missed last week as I was away on a business trip but it turns out there was a fun demo of a plasma cutter. This might be repeated before the end of the course if we have time.
This week we looked at the TIG welder. A massive Miller Syncrowave machine with a dazzling array of knobs and switches, a digital readout of current and a water cooled gun. The tutor demoed joining some square tubing without using any filler wire. The TIG produced a very fine weld, approx 1mm across but a wide area approx 20mm was heat affected. We all had a go at this and although the slow start is a little hard to get used to, I did not think TIG was much more challenging than MIG. However it is a subtly different technique so it would need practice if I was going to use it for anything important.
Josh at Brown Dog Welding has some excellent examples of TIG welding on his site.
I managed to crack on with my welded sculpture, using magnetic clamps to hold the legs at an awkward angle whilst I tack welded them in place. I was advised that the magnets can affect the welding process so it’s best to take them off and finish the weld on the table.
I tack welded the main frame together and then slowly built up each corner by adding a little weld at a time before moving onto the next joint. I’ll probably add another block so that the back legs can also pivot but this does not need to be as large as the main pivot as it’s just holding the weight of the legs not the whole sculpture.
I was pleased with the results as the leg pivot worked fine and the flea can be posed sitting up. The next job is to drill a hole in the mounting block and make a tapped rod that the eyes will screw onto.