A very useful skill on any farm is being able to weld in order to make simple repairs and fabricate tools.
I am keen to learn to be a somewhat competent stick welder.
So far I have tooled up and bought myself safety gear and some tools (clamps, brushes, rods etc).
I had a very old ‘handyman’ welder in my shed which I think I used once about 20 years ago. It is a fixed current device and was probably designed to use a standard ‘one size fits all’ handyman rod (probably 3mm). A local friend (another ‘John’) who is a mechanical engineer and has a great workshop gave me a few pointers and some scrap to practice on.
After making a mess on the scrap pieces I had a need to make a metal holder for a squid pole to be used as an HF antenna mast. John gave me his old Transarc transformer welder (he uses a more modern inverter unit now). This is much easier to use, and adjustable so I can use different rod sizes if necessary. John says just 2.5mm rods for everything. Sounds good.
I bought a metal cutoff saw because John told me to. He was right, a very useful tool for cutting angle iron, and metal pipes.
The antenna mount was simply a star picket with a couple of small lengths of pipe welded to it so the squid pole could sit in it. I got to use the cut off saw and fiddled around with the welder until it was working ok with the 2.6mm rods I had on hand. It was not a very neat job, but it works ok. I still need a lot more practice.
I made a very simply stand for the potash barrel. I cut 40mm angle iron up with the cutoff saw and but joined them. Pretty rough, but good practice.
Kirsty has put an order in for a potting bench which I will see if I can make from angle iron and some reo or metal fencing.