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Matt Got Himself a Welder

Why hello there fellow Chaser of Trails!


Thanks for actually opening my first attempt at a blog post. You must be completely bored or on some kinda medication maybe? Either way, I really appreciate it.


First things first, it took Cody a good 15 minutes to explain to me what a blog was. Thankfully Jose was there and was able to translate for me. Once you get Cody goin on about spread sheets and algorithms it gets pretty hard for me to follow. Thanks Jose!


Now, what could I actually have to blog about you might ask? My favorite IPA? Aliens/UFO’s? Maybe Steve Garvey? These would be great topics! And who knows, maybe someday. (See what I did there. Now I have you already looking forward to my next post!) 😃

Nope. I’m going to talk about the “logic/reasoning” behind fabricating my rear bumper.


You ever watch a show or video of somebody fabricating something and think to yourself “I could totally do that!” That’s basically it. Not sure if we talked about the minor fender bender I got in a couple months ago but the cash I received from that incident is funding this project. My thinking was, “I can take this cash and buy an after-market bumper or buy a welder and try to fabricate one of my own”. $400 bucks later and here we are!


Once that decision was made I was super stoked to go mig welder shopping! FYI, I’m not a complete rookie when it comes to welding or even fabricating. I’ve been in construction for over 25 years! (Fuck I’m old!) 😩. Most of that time hanging ductwork and installing various kinds of equipment. There was always the need to field modify sheet metal or come up with creative ways to hang equipment. Brazing and soldering copper was an everyday part of the job as well.


That brings us to mig welding. I wish I could say I took a class or I was certified by some master fabricator but no. I was basically taught by my sheet metal Sensai, Dave Ryan. He and I worked together in a sheet metal shop and one day we had a large order of grease duct to fab. Grease duct has to have a fire rating and is typically made out of 16ga cold rolled steel. Now here’s the thing. Dave was a master at laying out and fabricating specialized duct fittings like offsets and square-to-rounds. But he couldn’t weld for shit! This was my chance!


The only instructions Dave could give me was how the welder should sound if I was doing it right. That was it. Just a dude making buzzing noises at me! 😃


Now, Imagine getting paid to learn how to weld! Flippin sweet! The next week or so I spent welding about 200’ of grease duct! So much fun! I’ll admit, the first 20’-30’ of duct was pretty bad. Luckily by the end of the order I had got the hang of it. Now I can hear some of you already squawking, “owww. Those don’t sound like good enough qualifications to me!” or “sounds like you might be qualified to weld some duct to the hood of your truck!” And you know what, you might be right. But I don’t care! And suck it! I’m doin it anyway!


Now that my qualifications have been established, let me break down my plan.

  1. Buy welder- done

  2. Buy steel- done

  3. Watch fabrication videos- done

  4. Fabricate and install bumper- not done.


I did buy the 125 amp, Titanium brand welder and supplies from Harbor Freight. (See photo below). The ¼” thick, 2”x6” tube steel I found in the recycle bin at the Patton’s steel in Ontario. I think the steel is a bit heavy so I’m planning on cutting off a few pounds from the backside of the bumper. Nobody will ever know.





So far I’ve cut the steel to length and I’ve started removing material from the back. Unfortunately all my power tools are battery powered and all 4 of my 20v batteries died yesterday while removing that back weight. Haha, back weight! 😏


Who wants to tell Moni I need to buy some more tools! Seriously, who wants to tell her?


Stay tuned! Hope you’re not as bored anymore or at least your meds have kicked in!


Thanks again for your time!! Check out some progress photos below!


Until next time,

Matt





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