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mtmetzler 03-14-2012 04:50 PM

Brew stand... giving it a go!
OK, so I am going to try the DIY approach for a single tier brew stand. I picked up a welder at Harbor Freight for cheap and have been practicing to the point I feel comfortable. I am fortunate enough to have a steel place down the road that sells drops (short cut off pieces) and full length pieces. Here is my first dilemma. They offer both 11gauge (1/8") and 14gauge (5/64") square tubing. I see allot that use the 11gauge but have been seeing more using 16gauge (1/16"). Since the 14gauge is thicker than the 16 I would love to use that over the 11gauge since I can get the 14 for almost a buck ($1) cheaper. Any thoughts out there about it? or should I just buck up and get the 11gauge mild steel?

I will be sure to take some pics as the project unfolds. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


1KD1 03-14-2012 05:02 PM

I haven't built one but I do quite a bit of welding. If you are using square tubing, I would use 14ga for the short pieces as well as the vertical pieces but might go ahead and bump up to 1/8 inch stuff for long horizontal pieces (I hope that makes since).

14ga might be fine all the way around but a little overkill might be worth it with this project. A kettle full of hot liquid could cause serious injury if things went bad.

mtmetzler 03-14-2012 05:09 PM

makes perfect sense. Thanks!

mtmetzler 03-14-2012 05:10 PM

Since you do allot of welding, much change to wire speed if I have been practicing on 14gauge already to accommodate welding the 2 different thicknesses?

socalboomer 03-14-2012 05:20 PM

I don't change much between the two gauges, but I do change the speed at which I weld... Realize the lighter gauge will blow through quite a bit more easily, so either turn down the heat a notch (my Lincoln has clicks) or you can speed up your pace a bit. Just watch the puddle.

1KD1 03-14-2012 05:23 PM


Originally Posted by mtmetzler
Since you do allot of welding, much change to wire speed if I have been practicing on 14gauge already to accommodate welding the 2 different thicknesses?

Not really. The easiest way for me to tell you goes like this:

Listen to the welding. If it goes buzz...buzz...buzz (like intermittent arcing) adjust the speed slightly and try again. When playing with wire speed, you want to get a constant gradual buzz.

Different wire (flux or mig) comes in different sizes. Depending on the voltage of the welder and the size/type of wire being used, you will have to make slight adjustments to wire speed. Most often my welder's wire speed is somewhere between 4 & 6 (but remember, welders aren't the same, materials aren't the same and the temps as well as conditions in your area can differ from the next guy).

If you are using a 110v mig welder, make sure you are using wire size .023 - If I recall, harbor freight doesn't sell that small of wire but it works much better with the smaller welders.

1KD1 03-14-2012 05:27 PM

Like the previous poster mentioned, it is possible to "blow out" thinner gauge metal (welding just fine and then "holy crap" there is a hole the size of a dime!

If this happens, just do short bursts with the welder to fill the hole back in. Short bursts and some grinding will take care of the "blow outs"

mtmetzler 03-14-2012 07:21 PM

WOW! Thanks for all the feed back. As mentioned I will come back with some before and afters of the build! Thanks again

Tomtanner 03-14-2012 07:45 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hey there! Excited to see this thread. I am on the exact same path but am a little ahead of you. I have never welded before and have built this thing. More to come but it's fun!

mtmetzler 03-14-2012 09:02 PM

Dude that looks awesome! What dimensions are you using for the support diamonds to hold kettles. Also from the looks of things this is definitely 2" tubing correct (also what thickness did you use?). It looks like a tank and hope I can replicate what you have done. Thanks for the picture.

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