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  • Fishing Rod Holder

    Ray my customer and friend sent me a drawing and a solid model of the fishing rod holder that he wanted me to machine and weld for him. He also sent me all of the required stock. He designed it on AutoCAD inventor so I pulled the solid model in the STEP format into SolidWorks, so that I could use it.

    1. SolidWorks Model of Rod Holder
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    If I were still working, I would have printed the part full size on our $50,000 roll plotter at work, but I retired in the end of June, so I laid it out full size on piece of paper that I cut from a paper bag. (How far we fall.) I used my Fireball squares to line up the end plates and I rested each end of the tube on a 1” magnetic block also from Fireball Tool Company to hold it off the table. I held the tube in place with two 2” x 2” x 1” magnetic blocks pressed against the side of the tubes on each end.

    2. Magnetic blocks to hold parts in place
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    If you look closely in the following picture you can see my layout pencil lines.

    3. Close up of blocks
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    Next, I positioned all of the parts in the fixture.

    4. Holding pieces in place
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    In this picture you can see how the 1” block holds the tube off the table and how the 2” blocks hold the tube in place sideways.

    5. Close up of magnetic blocks
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    Miller Thunderbolt
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Lincoln LE 31 MP
    Lincoln 210 MP
    Clausing/Colchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport

  • #2
    Ray ordered the blocks from On Line Metals cut to the correct size so I didn’t bother to square them up on the Bridgeport. I drilled and tapped the holes as required and then routered the corners on the router table using carbide tipped piloted router bits.

    6. Plates machined.
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    7. Router table setup
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    Below is a picture of all of the parts ready for welding.

    8. All pieces machined
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    I welded together some scrap Aluminum to try out my settings and to see if I required the 75% Ar 25% He gas that I have. I used an oxyacetylene torch with a rosebud to preheat the block to 250°F. Then I welded them with my underpowered Dynasty 200 TIG welder running full out.

    9. Test weld
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    Settings:

    A/C Current output: 200 amps.
    Balance: 65% Electrode Negative
    Frequency: 100 Hz
    Electrode: 3/32” Tri Mix from Arc Zone.
    Shielding Gas: Straight Argon
    Shielding flow rate: 15 CFH

    As you can see it worked ok, but I would have liked to use a larger TIG welder if I had one.

    I normally grind the tip of my Tungsten electrodes to a 30° angle. I found that when I used this angle the end of the electrode melted away as shown below. The picture on the top is as ground and the others are after use.

    10. Tapered electrode
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    Miller Thunderbolt
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Lincoln LE 31 MP
    Lincoln 210 MP
    Clausing/Colchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport

    Comment


    • #3
      So, I ground some of the electrodes at a steeper angle as shown below. Again, the picture on the top is as ground.

      11. Blunt electrode
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      I felt that this was acceptable so I moved ahead with my welding project. What else could be done?

      -Use a larger diameter electrode like 1/8”
      -Use an even blunter angle
      -Tried a higher balance setting like 70 or 75% EN
      -Use a spherical end to the electrode, (like we all used to use with pure tungsten with a transformer welder).

      I found that it was more difficult to weld the actual parts compared to my test piece, because both the tubes and the plates were more massive and soaked up more heat. I could establish a puddle, but it was difficult to move it along. I wished that I could push the pedal more.

      12. Small plate welded
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      13. Large plate welded
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      14. All done
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      -Don
      Miller Thunderbolt
      Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
      Miller Dynasty 200DX
      Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
      Lincoln LE 31 MP
      Lincoln 210 MP
      Clausing/Colchester 15" Lathe
      16" DuAll Saw
      15" Drill Press
      7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
      20 Ton Arbor Press
      Bridgeport

      Comment


      • #4
        Don't know what to say but that I do enjoy following your pictorial project threads. I've never TIG'd aluminum. I've only had DC machines for steels.

        Comment


        • #5
          Good job Don, looks like a fun project. You can squeeze a little more out of your machine on heavy aluminum by dropping your freq way down too. For heavy stuff, I’ll drop it as low as 50hz and you’ll get a puddle almost right away without the addition of He or much preheat.

          As always, really well done documentation.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm a layout guy too, except I don't use paper bags but now I know about them. Looks very nice.
            MM250
            Trailblazer 250g
            22a feeder
            Lincoln ac/dc 225
            Victor O/A
            MM200 black face
            Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
            Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
            Arco roto-phase model M
            Vectrax 7x12 band saw
            Miller spectrum 875
            30a spoolgun w/wc-24
            Syncrowave 250
            RCCS-14

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
              Don't know what to say but that I do enjoy following your pictorial project threads. I've never TIG'd aluminum. I've only had DC machines for steels.
              Thanks.

              Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
              Good job Don, looks like a fun project. You can squeeze a little more out of your machine on heavy aluminum by dropping your freq way down too. For heavy stuff, I’ll drop it as low as 50hz and you’ll get a puddle almost right away without the addition of He or much preheat.

              As always, really well done documentation.
              You were correct, the low Hz as well as the 75% Ar 25% He did the trick. See complete discussion below.


              Originally posted by MMW View Post
              I'm a layout guy too, except I don't use paper bags but now I know about them. Looks very nice.
              If it were a really large layout, I could burn a favor and get one of my former associated to run a roll plot for me.

              Experimentation on Rod Holder Welds

              Thanks for all of the comments. I considered all comments and came up with the following conclusions. There are two major problems:

              I. Damage to the electrodes.
              II. Not-enough-heat for puddle to flow smoothly.

              To solve the damage to the electrodes problem I did the following:

              - Increased the electrode diameter from 3/32” to 1/8”
              - Increased the balance from 65% EN to 70% EN.
              - Ground a spherical shape on the end of the electrode

              To solve the not-enough-heat problem I did the following:

              - Used 75% Ar 25% He shielding gas
              - Used a frequency of 60 Hz instead of 100 Hz

              I welded up a second test piece without any preheat. I used the same dimensions as the larger ½” x 3” x 5” plate, because it was a larger heat sink. I used the following parameters:

              A/C Current output: 200 amps.
              Balance: 70% Electrode Negative
              Frequency: 60 Hz
              Electrode: 1/8” Tri Mix from Arc Zone.
              Shielding Gas: 75% Argon 25% He
              Shielding flow rate: 15 CFH

              The puddle was established quickly and it was easy to weld the plates as shown on the following two pictures:

              15.Test weld-2a
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              16. Test weld-2b
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              It seemed to me that the new blue marked Arc Zone Tri-Mix Tungsten electrodes had a greater tendency to form the small balls on the tip, while welding, compared to the old tan marked Tri-Mix Tungsten electrodes, so I did the following test. I bumped the balance down to 50% EN and I took a square cut electrode of each type and held the electrode 1/8” away from a ½’ thick piece of aluminum and increased the current until the end of the electrode melted. On the left two electrodes, in the following picture, you can see three balls on the end, which were the electrodes with the blue mark. The two on the right formed a single sphere on the end, which were the electrodes with the tan mark. I should note that if I increased the current even more, I could also get multiple balls to form on the end of the tan marked electrodes, but I found when I attempted to form a single sphere all the way across the end of the blue marked electrodes, it always formed multiple balls.

              17. Knobs on electrodes
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              Below you can see the marking on the ends of both electrodes. This confirmed my hypothesis that it was easier to form multiple balls on the end of the blue marked Arc-Zone Tri-Mix electrodes.

              18. Blue and Tan Marks
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              -Don
              Last edited by Don52; 01-17-2021, 09:36 PM.
              Miller Thunderbolt
              Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
              Miller Dynasty 200DX
              Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
              Lincoln LE 31 MP
              Lincoln 210 MP
              Clausing/Colchester 15" Lathe
              16" DuAll Saw
              15" Drill Press
              7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
              20 Ton Arbor Press
              Bridgeport

              Comment

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