Monday, 20 October 2008

Workshop tour

Now i'd love to proudly show you around an extensive workshop.. you know the kind, lots of useful tools hanging off the walls, a sturdy workbench, with a lathe or mill in one corner and maybe a knackered old arm chair next to the beer fridge in the other but unfortunately that's not going to happen (anyway i wouldn't know what to do with all the fancy equipment). Instead take a look at the sharp end of the WMW setup:

Inventory so far:
Collapsible workbench - two workmates and a reinfor
ced sheet of mdf
Tool box - collection of tools slowly growing :-)
Pillar drill - bought while trying to drill holes in some ba***rd tough steel sprockets
Two gas torches (more on them later)

Workspace - backyard with tarpaulin stretched across it

I've only recently rigged up the foldaway awning after getting the idea from the Instructable website. Previously the seemingly default wet weather in Wales had been making working out in the backyard at weekends a bit unpredictable. Also the addition of an inspection lamp has given a bit more flexibility as the nights draw in. But it wont be long before i'll be wanting a more robust setu
p.. maybe with a solid roof and walls. The only reason i haven't invested so far in some kind of shed it because i'm currently in rented accommodation and don't really want to put money in to something i can't easily take with me.

Lastly the welding kit.. Ideally i'd like to have got myself an oxy-acetylene welding kit because that is what i have learnt with at college and i know i can achieve some decent fillets. But living in a residential area i didn't really want the responsibility that comes with the acetylene gas. Instead i have bought two other types of gas torch which still require respect in terms of safe use and storage but they aren't as scary as a bottle of acetylene.

The first torch is an oxy-propane set (see pic below) that can apparently achieving a flame temp of 3050 deg Celsius in favorable conditions. This is a surprisingly small kit, and i've heard it will rip through the oxygen rather quickly, so i plan to use this only for laying the fillets and use a second propane torch for pre-heating the joints.

The second torch is a propane torch (see below) that is meant to be suitable for brazing (with idea conditions.. probably not a windy backyard then!), so hopefully between the two they will be man-enough to fillet braze the frame.

My plan is to prepare all the pieces of the frame and build the jigs in readiness for welding. Once this is done i'll then have a play around on any left over scrap metal as i need to practice a bit. Should it turn out to be a no go i'll go to plan B and see if i can weld it up at the local college using their equipment but with my filler/flux.

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