I was out to site at 7.30 am and left at 5.30pm
Not one of my better days.
I started work on main front veranda outer steel - welding on the cleats.
The first step was to take the small 1m extension piece I made up last week, lay it in position and then, starting from the bevelled end, mark every 400 mm
To leave a permanent mark I ground slightly into the surface with an angle grinder.
I started welding from the extension piece end as this is the least visible display of my poor welding skills.
I found it very difficult to create neat welds, and I seemed to become worse and worse as the day went on.
After a whole day of swearing and sweating I had only managed to weld 12 cleats.
What I was finding was that even though I could lay a good bead of weld accurately (I now have an automatic helmet) - when I knocked the scale off, all I had was a thin line adhering to one surface of the other.
Each weld took 3 passes. They are structurally strong but very ugly.
I nipped out to try a different current setting on the welder.
Ian happened to be passing and stopped to have a try as well - he felt that the arc was not strong or penetrating enough.
I took my welder to a shop I trusted and asked them to try it.
They confirmed that it was not performing and sold me an entry level DC inverter machine.
I also dropped in to an electrical outlet and purchased a very thick 20m extension lead.
At the end of the day I took the new welder out to Wooroloo and had another try.
The difference was as between night and day.
I found I had a lot more control and penetration.
Although my welding is not great, I was able to lay in a single weld each time that reaches both surfaces.
I was able to weld on another 5 cleats in a fraction of the time.