Though I’m still very young at welding, I really enjoy it. I think it’s partly the concentration required, partly the art of it, partially the skill and seriousness required, but I enjoy using electricity to meld metals together.
FamiLAB has never really had a dedicated welding area; we’ve had a couple of flux core welders and a stick welder, but they’ve mostly sat around unused. The most welding action we’ve seen has been while working on our Power Wheels Racing Series cars for Maker Faire Orlando (which was my first major welding project, in fact- the entire frame for our 2015 car!).
When we built the space out, we planned on a small dedicated area of the shop for welding, and I pledged to take charge of that area and make it something worth using.
This week, I finally followed through on my promise. With lots of help from Carlos, a much more seasoned welder and member, Barbie, Nick, Rick, and Nate (a visitor from i3Detroit, who happened to be in town and visiting), we got our welding area set up. Some of the things we now have are a sheet metal plate on our table, grounding bolts for the table, loaner PPE, a new (member) flux core welder, a member stick welder, a rack for the two welders, two new angle grinders specifically dedicated to cutting and grinding welds, chalk pencils, magnets and clamps, hooks on the wall for the welding guns, and welding curtains (with frames we made ourselves from PVC). This is alongside the existing (powerful) stick welder and a couple of loaner/member welders.
It’s not perfect (or done), but there’s plenty of room for the area to grow as our needs grow. And we’ve already been getting inquiries about when we’re going to have our first workshop. The answer – check back after the turn of the year! Carlos and I will be setting up a class soon geared towards the complete beginner.