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The worst weld you have ever done

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  • The worst weld you have ever done

    I know everybody has one or 2 so lets hear yours

    So last night I was working on a Chrysler Concord (POS) trying to change cradle bushings, and the factory nut plate rounded off inside the frame rail. Much to my dismay I discovered it was a captive design in the frame rail, to make things worse I had to have the car out of the garage last night. Well before it was all said and done I had to plasma cut the frame rail open, remove the nut plate, weld additional metal on to the nut plate and then put it all back together. The worse weld part comes in at the first layer of frame rail (2 layers thick) and it was covered in galvanizing and that combined with the plasma cut edge did not make for a great first weld (grind reweld). I made up for it on the second layer of frame rail. But it was not pretty and I hope nobody ever sees it.

    Before anybody gets excited I know for a fact that the repair is strong enough and that the car is safe to drive.

    Last edited by engnerdan; 01-13-2009, 12:07 PM.
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  • #2
    Back in the 80's I was staioned on a submarine tender in the Navy. We USUALLY workedd on boats (Subs) mainly however the ship that I was on had a 3" Low pressure steam line that came out on the O1 level (Officers Deck). It came through a penetration in the deckplates and wooden deck and then about a foot above that 90'd over to the valve and a rigid bracket holding the valve and other valves for connections to boats alongside.

    I don't remember if I cut the elbow out or someone else did but the new one did NOT fit well at all . I mitred some ends, prepped, refit etc till about 3:30 in the AM. I then proceeded to weld it up. Got done about 5:30 and hit my rack for an hour sleep before getting up again.

    I was barely asleep when the watch came and woke me before everone else to tell me the Repair Officer wanted to know who made that weld. I was thinking wow what a good job I musta done. It looked a little rough when I left.

    After getting back up and dressed I got the word that I was NOT in line for a Navy Achievment Medal. I had 3/16" to 1/4" reinforcement on the bottom of the weld, stringer beads on one side, weave on the other, arc strikes not fully removedd etc...

    It was an easy weld to make and if it hadn't been for the fact that I know that nobody could have turned in another hotwork request and welded it, I would have sworn someone else came behind me and welded it.

    Needless to say as a Nuc welder, I was Not looking good in the eyes of t he repair officer. The weld still looked better than the ones on adjacent lines but that was still no excuse. I just had a case of not caring and walked away.

    Like I have told people before, I Have made some slick welds in hard places and some ugly welds in easy places.

    And of course "I don't have to weld to prove I can weld" was used commonly in the weld shop on the tender I was on before that .


    • #3
      Ugly welds

      When I was in college, I had to weld a 1" plate overhead to qualify for AWS D1.1. It was a very ugly weld. When we did the bend tests, there were small tears at the edge of the bends. The tears were just barely acceptable to code. I passed the qual, but my grade was poor. The professor gave me a D on the project. Poor but passing. It was a disappointment because I usually got all A's on my welding lab projects. (Of course on his grading scale, up to a 76% was a D.) It humbled me as a welding engineer to know that my skills are limited when it comes to difficult out of position work. (I might get better with more practice.) I have a lot of respect for people who can weld pipe and structural stuff out of position.


      • #4
        Mine was a clutch fork that worn through and needed a new saddle for the pivot rod to sit in. the part was still on the truck, greasy and oily and a nice little fire....Then using a drill to chamfer a new hole guess what,,, another fire of course. A small job and yet a huge pain in the behind.



        • #5
          I was working on a dock doing some welds to hold a cosmetic member in place. It was 32 deg F, gusting wind, and drizzling rain. I was working until well after dark, missing lunch and dinner on this rush job. I was hungry, tired, soaked, freezing, and I was getting shocked about as bad as that guy on YouTube that said "Don't Tase Me, Bro!"

          I couldn't see crap through my hood cause of the rain drops outside and fog inside. Under any normal circumstances I would not have been working in this weather but it had to be done and this was unforecast...

          It was a lot of out-of-position stuff and in my opinion it ended up looking like chicken schitt that had been beaten with an ugly stick, but it HAD to be done that day. I was going to write it off as a definate callback, but the owner loved it cause it looked as good or better than anything else there (which I did NOT DO!)

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          • #6
            my first arc and mig welds

            my first arc weld was exciting i thought i was doin good untill i heard oh ****s from my fellow peers. i finished the stick and was proud of myself then my shop teachers said your weld reminds me of bird ****. and i looked at it some more then agreed.

            mig was a little different it was so bad but the wire speed was way up and it felt like a wild ride!
            serious welder lol!!!!

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            • #7
              Mine was a broken torque tube on a Komatsu D-475A-2 carry dozer. The hydraulic lines for the tilt cylinders run through the torque tube underneath the dozer. One of the lines blew overnight and the night shift mechanic was just getting it put back together when I got on shift. That's when we found a crack on the mount where the tube bolts to the track frame. I found out the hard way that the torque tube will hold about 25 gallons of hydraulic oil. When I gouged into the crack most of that 25 gallons came raining down on top of my head. I spent the next 8 hours trying to get the crack sealed up enough that it would stop dripping hot oil on me and I could complete the repair. I got it done and it's still holding together 3000hrs later. But needless to say, I'm glad that not many people will ever get to see the finished weld. By the time I got it done I was soaked to the skin with oil and just really didn't care what the cover passes looked like.
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              • #8
                When I first started arc welding Itried to weld 2 pieces of 1/2" thick bar without beveling the edges on about 80 amps and I was able to beat it apart with a 2lb slede ammer.
                This is an automotive discussion forum that has some great infromation



                • #9
                  Hundreds of them in difficult places over the years, fixed a lot of others attempts too. Most difficult was in a nuke, the quality in some almost impossible places, 3 bends in the rod with a mirror, etc.


                  • #10
                    Worst Weld...

                    I'd have to say my worst one was trying to finish some pipe supports during a near-blizzard 5 or 6 years ago. Chunk of beam about 4-1/2' long coming off the side of a column about 10' off the ground. My partner struggled to hold it in place while standing in an awkward position while I squared and levelled it. I put a couple good-sized tacks on it with 7018, and told him it was good to go. As soon as he let go, the support let loose, swung down, hitting his arm, and then fell off. He wasn't hurt too bad, but I hung my head in shame for a few days.


                    • #11
                      Welding inside of my smoker. No way you could ever clean all the smoke and grease out it enough to make a nice clean weld. Thankfully it wasn't anything critical.
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                      • #12
                        My worst as in difficult was probably the top rail bracket of an elevator addition. 35' feet in the air, no way to stage it, I was basically tied off, hanging upside down doing an overhead fillet welding the bracket to the beam.

                        Another was welding in a 4" tall "post" that mated the new addition structure to the existing W24X128 main roof beam. I had to cut off the W24 beam, weld a 3/4" plate onto the end of it and jack it up enough so I could slip the 6x6X1/2" "post" between the w24 and the new steel under it. I had to do this all through a 12" wide slot cut through the masonry bearing wall. I went through many, many 7018 rods with 3 bends in them.
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                        • #13
                          Well, my worst weld which i hope NO ONE ever sees was welding a door back on a jeep on the trail. the door was barely atatched by the bottom hinge and the top was broken completely off. THe wner didnt want to take the door off it's hinges to fix it properly so through a combination of some 6011, covered and coupled by some MIG action in there too we got the door to stick. It looked about like some one put grey bubble gum on the top and bottom of the hinge.

                          Luckily I have a 4x4 that holds my generator and welders or he's be driving with no door at all still today. that was a month or so ago and it's still holding.. I've offered to pull the door, grind out the welds and fix it right, but he says the door's never sealed better and he's fine the way it is.. i told him NEVER tell anyone that's one of my welds :LOL:
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                          • #14
                            Depends on which process, We all made lots of bad ones when first starting I remember one time when all I had was 6013 and a buz box and I had more slag trapped in it then weld bead, just tried welding over it until it looked like a bee hive!!

                            35years later I get my new Dynasty200 and decide to teach myself aluminum! I welded a flat bead on some scrap stuff about 11ga and looking through the hood it looked nice, lifted the torch, the sparks flew! I got off the pedal, and was admiring my flat weld (wondering where that filler material went??? Turned it over and there it was dripping out the bottom (That is the day I got registered on this site and started asking questions (just cause I been welding for 45 years didn't make me a Tig welder)

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                            • #15
                              I'm not a pro and will never claim to be !! First starting out I had so many bad welds I cant even begin to think of which one would have been the worst. I think the worst to work on was an oil tank on a cheep store bought log splitter. I for sure was not happy and defiantly was not proud, but when a friend needs help I try when I can. The happy ending was he left happy, had no leaks and thought it looked wonderful.

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