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.

January 2013

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.

First Project

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.


Metal Stand

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.

Potash Barrel With Welded Stand

Potash Barrel With Welded Stand

Potting Bench

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.

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