Well I am not sure I have much to show for this past week’s worth of garage time, at least nothing all that interesting. I had spent the week in assembly line production mode working to get the gazebo railings fabricated. Once I had the first prototype figured out I then tackled the remaining 4 all at the same time.
I am pleased to say that all 5 railings, 27 feet worth, are assembled and tack welded. I was keeping an eye on both the argon gas, for the TIG, and the BlueShield gas, for the MIG. I knew I was getting low but I was hoping that I would have enough gas to last until everything was tacked. Lucky for me I made it. Since I can’t get welding gas on the weekends I would be stuck until the business week. Since I was able to get all 5 railing assembled I decided to work at all the finishing welds until I ran both my gas bottles dry. I was able to get a 1/3 way through the railings until the well was dry. Oh well…at least I knew it was going to happen.
After I finished my 5th railing I reflect back to see what I could have done to make the build go smoother or better. I think I did ok. The jig I built to clamp the horizontals was the way to go. It made things go so smooth and quick. I find that the more projects I do the more time I spend in prep mode. Sometimes the preparation work is not all that exciting to do but it certainly pays off in the end. A job well planned is a job ½ done. With the horizontals clamped I was able to use a scrap piece of 4” x 3/8” flat bar to space all my circles and spindles center for welding onto the horizontals.
I thought I would play around a bit with the video camera so I decided to take a video of one complete railing mock up. I had already done the prep work which included fabricating all the railing horizontals and fitting them into the railing jig. All the circles had been previously cut and all the spindles were trimmed up. The video was simply the assembly of 1 railing. The actual time it took to shoot was 40 minutes. I then sped it up 8 times which brought the viewing time down to 5 minutes. The video quality is not great and I will explain why. I spend most of my free time in the garage and not sitting on the computer. I do not have good video editing software or knowledge. I have the basic editing software but nothing that does a great job. Anyways…were I am going with this is that in order to speed the video up the software I had would start to remove frames. The problem with removing frames from the video is that it makes the feature film really choppy. I was not thrilled. After downloading some trial versions of higher end editing software I still had no success. So…I ended up setting the video camera up in front of my computer monitor. I decided to play the video on my computer in fast forward mode while video taping. Basically the video that I have posted is a video of a video. So this is why the quality is low but I think it still worked out ok. Again…I did this purely out of boredom, once you have seen the first 30 seconds you have pretty much seen it all. If you have nothing better to do you can watch the high speed welding action.
So next week I will pick up some more welding gas and spend a couple of evenings completing all the final welds. Next on the list will be drilling holes for securing the wooden railing caps and then fabricating some planter box holders on 2 of the railings. I want to get the railings shipped off the the powder coaters ASAP.