Brian left his welding rig in the garage last week, and it’s been out there calling to me since Sunday. It’s a beautiful new Hobart MIG setup with a gas hookup, built to switch between 230 and 115, so it can run off the wiring in my garage and still burn 3/16″ steel.

I had some box steel scrap laying around from my bumper project, so Wednesday night I covered myself in bug spray and busted out the angle grinder to clean surface rust off everything. Then I gloved up and started laying simple lines down. It took some time to get the rig dialed in, but once I’d sorted that out, I took some deep breaths and just focused on getting some good lines across the tube.

After I covered all four sides I cleaned of some smaller scrap and welded them to the side and the bottom of the tube, with the goal of not burning through everything.

I was able to get things dialed in well enough that I started thinking about a bottle jack mount and how easy it would be to put one together with some steel and the welder.

After working on Finn’s fort Saturday morning through to the afternoon, I stopped at 3:30 and turned my attention to the garage. I began forming elements with cardboard and then moved to cutting down some steel we’d picked up at Lowe’s. I started with a piece going down the front of the inner fender and attached an L-shaped section to that, curving back around to the side of the fender to keep the jack in place. After tacking it in to see if it worked right, I welded each side in and cleaned the section up.

Then after dinner I cut two sections of galvanized electrical conduit down and welded them to the tail of the L for both of the jack levers to sit in. This was tricky, as the steel bar was 1/8″ and the conduit was much thinner. I hit it with short burns to avoid blowing through the thinner steel, and after some practice with scrap steel I figured it out.

When that was done, I ground everything smooth, wiped it all with acetone, and shot it with some black paint. When I went to install it for the last time, the threads in the hole I’d been using gave out completely and the bolt spun freely. Disgusted, I moved it to a second hole about 1″ outboard and tightened everything down for the night.

Tomorrow I’ll see if my tap and die kit has a tap for the next bolt size up, and hopefully I can get the whole thing permanently installed. I’ve got some toolbox shelf padding in the basement that will go under the jack and keep everything from banging around.

 

Date posted: August 22, 2020 | Filed under Progress | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to Welded

  1. Neal in Boston says:

    Nice work.
    I like the wrap-around design.
    I had Two thoughts for doing something similar.
    One is to screw on a rigid piece of steel across the top from the front support to the side, maybe shaped like a thick L. Then I thought about pumping the jack up to use pressure to hold it in place from the bast to that new piece. I also thought of just zip-tie engineering to hold the handle pieces against the inner fender Or against the front support. Thinking that the jack will be used infrequently, I figure one could easily just cut the zip-tie to get access to the tool(s), and then recipe with new ones to re-secure.
    I like your design, especially. Conduit loops to hold the handle pieces. Maybe drill holes through the conduit and handle to secure with a zip tie?
    Keep on Scoutin’. I’m still dreaming!

  2. bill says:

    Thanks Neil. I hadn’t thought of using pressure to hold the jack in place, but that’s an intriguing idea. The bottle jack in my first Scout came to me bungee-corded to the fender holes. Given that lots of other things are zip-tied on this Scout I’m trying to find more permanent solutions to some of these problems!

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