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-   -   Welding a brew stand via the oxy-acetylene method? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/welding-brew-stand-via-oxy-acetylene-method-233274/)

Golddiggie 03-18-2011 06:13 PM

Welding a brew stand via the oxy-acetylene method?
Checking to see if anyone has welded up a rig with an oxy-acetylene setup before. I don't have an electric welder, but I do have an oxy-acetylene setup that I can use. I was thinking of using mild steel (not stainless, since I don't think I'll be able to weld stainless with the gas mix) square tubing for the frame and any parts that will need to support weight.

I do realize that the welding process will probably take more time, but I'm ok with that. My only other option would be to purchase an electric welder, learn how to use it properly, make sure I get one that will be able to handle the material wall thickness (combined) and such... That would probably push the project out a good year. Where I could do it via gas welding much sooner.

If welding with gas really isn't a viable option for this, I'd rather know now. That way I can plan accordingly. Who knows, maybe in the neighborhood I move to next a neighbor will have an electric welder and will help me out for some home brew. :rockin:

Catt22 03-18-2011 06:51 PM

Gas welding the stand will work just fine. It will be slower, but the quality and the appearance of the welds can be every bit as good as with an arc welder. Obviously, much depends on the skill of the welder, but that's true with any welder. The key to both is the proper preparation and fit of the structural members. Another option would be to bolt it together instead of welding, or use a combination of welding and fasteners.

Golddiggie 03-18-2011 06:59 PM

Solid points... I have an angle grinder that I can prep the edges with, before welding them up. I can also use it to clean up the welds after... I might end up doing the combination, where it makes sense... Maybe weld up the frame, then use fasteners for parts that makes sense...

Thinking about making it so that I can take it apart for storage if needed. So, have the top one piece, with legs that nest, and use bolts to keep them connected... I'll have to design it up right as I get closer to making it. I'll probably take the drawings to people that know how to do this type of thing to make sure I"m not setting myself up for failure.

I think I'll get some extra plate to practice on before going at it. That way I can brush up on my welding skills. It has been a few years since I did any welding. I do plan on making this before it gets cold again. That way, I won't need to worry about the cold air reducing the gas flow.

Just need to design it up, figure out what wall thickness stock to get and such... I would imagine that I could get away with pretty thin stock, if using square tubing... Maybe 3/16 or 1/8" (if that)... I'll probably hammer on the welds before considering them solid... Just to CMA...

conpewter 03-18-2011 08:52 PM

Pretty cool, I had not heard of gas welding before. Wonder if I should go that route instead of getting a welder. Could you weld thin stainless with this method?

newbee17 03-18-2011 08:57 PM

I would just use bolts for this project as your looking to flaten it down for storage.depending how stuck you are for space i would only consider welding this if you can store it fully assembled.
Personally i would go with bolts as it would be quicker and i would tink itd be a better job as its been a few years since uv welded.

Id be interested to see how this project progresses i like these d.i.y. jobs
keep us posted.

Golddiggie 03-18-2011 09:09 PM

It will be once I've moved to a place where I'll be able to actually brew outside. I'm thinking of having the top and base welded, with the legs between either pinned or bolted at the top, and then pivot into the base. That way, I'll be able to store it in a smaller amount of space, as well as transport it more easily. I might just go with rods with cotter pins to hold the legs in place while it's in use.

Thinking back, you can weld stainless, if you're good. You just can't cut stainless with the oxy-acetylene torch. Go to a welding supply store and pick those guys brains. How thick is the SS you're looking to weld? A lot of what you can do with the dual gas torches has to do with the tip you put on the torch. A small tip for fine details, where larger ones to heat up thicker material. Then there's the cutting tip. :eek: I think mine can cut through 1" steel (not stainless) without too much issue.

When I'm getting ready, I'll probably also hunt for an used electric welder that can do the job. Provided I can get one that runs on 110v current (probably the more difficult task)... Otherwise, I'll just practice with the old torch some and get to it. I already have the setup, with good sized tanks, so it won't cost me much to do the project. Just might need to get the tanks filled up partially through (will check to see how much they have left in them before starting)...

Looking forward to the day I can actually do this... Will probably just need to get some magnets to hold the parts in alignment (easy and cheap enough)... Might need a new set of goggles/mask before starting, since the one I have is rather old now...

Inodoro_Pereyra 03-18-2011 09:52 PM

Goldiggie: if you take your time with the oxy-acetylene, your welds will be every bit as strong as any arc-mig-tig weld. The trick is in getting the gaps as small as possible, and heating the joint enough that it's gonna be a weld (the parts fuse with the welding material) and not a braze (only the welding rod melts). And, if you're good, chances are you won't need to dress the welds at all.
Either way, if you want to go the electric route, Harbor Freight has now a 110A, 240V, flux core mig welder for $110 (here, first flyer, page 6, lower left corner) that is an excellent machine, and very easy to learn. I had the 90A one, and have welded 1/8" thick mild steel with it, without a problem. The only downside is that, being flux cored, it makes a lot of slag, so you will have to dress up all your welds.

Golddiggie 03-18-2011 10:00 PM

Thanks Inodoro... I probably will try the gas method first, since I have what I need already. Plus, I have some brazing rods on hand. Might need to get some new flux though... But, that's usually pretty cheap. I think that if I take my time, practice a little first, I'll be able to do a good job of it... Plus, not needing any extra power to do the welds has it's own attraction.

Since I have plenty of time to design the stand up, using a process that could take a little longer won't be a bad thing. Besides, honing my welding skills isn't a bad idea... I might get an electric welder in the future, if I have other projects where it makes sense to have one.

Inodoro_Pereyra 03-18-2011 10:20 PM

Anytime. :)

Just a little tip: If you see that the flux is expensive, or hard to find, just go to your local supermarket, and buy a box of borax (normally in the laundry aisle). Mix some with water, and you got your flux.

Golddiggie 03-18-2011 10:26 PM

I do recall that flux is basically just borax... Never needed to make my own though.. I do know of people that use the powder form (from the market most of the time) when forging.

Pretty sure you can also simply heat up the rod and dip it into the powder, to get some to stick to it, and use it that way...

That's where the practice will come into play. :rockin:

Being able to do this is just another reason why I need to move ASAP... Just waiting to hear about a couple of job interviews... Hope to have one or two lined up this coming week... Had to open a new unemployment case this week... Going to take 3-6 weeks for them to do their sheit, since I wasn't laid off from all the places I've worked... Just hope it takes less time than that, otherwise things could get rather interesting...

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