5 Boro Bike Tour Tandem Trike: Metal Melting Practice

written by JerseyJim on February 28, 2015 in Projects with no comments

left_rear_fork_cappedThis photo shows the result of today’s efforts. You might remember that I decided to go off plan a bit. Instead of following the building sequence as written, I jumped to a task where the welding was cosmetic rather than structural. I did this so that I could practice my welding skills before tackling a critical part.

I’m glad I took this approach. I practiced with some scrap metal for a bit and then set to capping the end of the left rear fork leg tube. The plans call for this detail to make the part look more finished. Once the plate is welded over the tube end, the welds get ground smooth as shown. Again, this is nice because the ugly practice weld disappears and no one is the wiser.

In general I’m pretty happy with the result. Even though my welds weren’t pretty, I had good penetration and the grinding shows I completed the weld around the seams.

I realized in practicing today that I will not reach the level of welding skill I’m happy with in time to complete the project so I’m just going to have to jump in and deal with it. The main thing is that the welds are strong even if they aren’t pretty.

I’ll do more welding tomorrow for as long as I can stand the cold. I was fine until the temperature dipped below 20 F. Spring can’t come soon enough.