Making things!


I really 'ought to post here more often. I make stuff but I guess not having a facebook all these years conditioned me not to talk about it online, ya know, because of the toxicity. Here that’s not a problem so I should maybe poke my head out of that shell every now and then.

So I’m currently making a sword (not for me, god no, storing a sword seems like a nightmare, friends birthday gift/prank as then he’ll have to store the huge heavy and sharp object)

No pictures as it’s 11 and it’s in the shed but I bought a hot rolled stock 3/8’’ thick slab, I forget the dimensions.

I’m not gonna even try and temper the damn thing as it’s huge and fuck trying to store a goddamn forge. I mostly did it for the welding practice, I’ll post some pictures of that later because my welding is finally getting to the point where I’m not ashamed of it anymore.


Never be ashamed to not be perfect at things, especially tricky things like welding. How can you get help and support, if you’re embarrassed to show your progress? I spent years doing booger welds, I still occasionally blow holes, splatter all about, and do some nasty-ass looking welds, and I’ve got years of experience on you, don’t worry so much friendo.


Plus it’s an even better prank if it’s an ugly huge ass sword your friend has to hang on his wall.


Partially inspired by @GeorgePatches, I’m starting to get back into painting miniatures and models, and in order to practice, and to kind of stretch my atrophied painting “muscles,” so to speak, I decided to try painting some Disney Infinity figures I had laying around the house:

Iron Man before:

Iron Man after:

Iron Man before:

Iron Man after:

Thor before:

Thor after:

Avengers Assemble (kinda)!


There’s this guy who brings me a lot of 8 bit computers and accessories for various repairs / mods. He brought me a ZX81 that had previously had the RF out converted to composite as well as this TRRS AV out board thing without any clear plans on how to mount it.

CNC router and HDPE to the rescue! Also Sam’s Club cutting boards are the cheapest way to buy small quantities of half inch HDPE.


Ok money where my mouth is time. I made things today and actually took some pictures. There’s like 8 and don’t wanna make a mile long post, so here is an album

I wanted to get the handle done today and sorry for no shots of the full length of the blade or anything but bleh, I make things not photograph them.

Was sure to get a moneyshot of my booger welds though.

I’m a total amateur and it really shows to me but I see people say that in other posts and I totally don’t know what they’re talking about so maybe the reverse will happen here? Either that or I’ll rejoice in the fact that sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something.

Also in defense of some of my terrible welds, the circut I’m using cut like maybe 4 times during the welding process. So 4 of those globs are not my fault. The other 200 are totally me though.


If I remember right, and I do because I scrolled up and checked the thread, you’re using a fluxcore MIG. So first thing to do is to make sure your tip is clean. That’s just a good general advisory, since if it builds up enough and your wire arcs to your tip, it’ll weld to the tip, and birdnest the fuck out of your machine - building a big tangle of wire inside - and that’s a pain to sort out, and a waste of wire. You can just scrape it out with a pair of short wirecutters, it’s fine - just make sure you take the tip off the gun when you do it.

As for the lumpiness and gaps, it looks to me like you’re running it too cold and too quick. Push up your voltage and feed speed up a bit, and don’t move your gun as quick, slow it down a little. Get your pool formed, and don’t race it, you want to be almost pulling it along with you. Don’t worry about adding too much filler to the weld, because as you obviously know, it’s easier to remove metal than add it.

BUT, it still looks pretty decent to me. It’ll definitely hold strong. An admirable job! As for the runes, try hitting it with some metal dye(or really, basically alcohol ink) and then gently wipe the surface off. The ink will help define the etched area by sticking in the deep spots, especially at the edges of the etch. Once you have a look you like, hit it with a careful coat or two of clear for protection, and you’re all sweet.


I noticed the feed felt too slow and put it almost as high as the machine would go, pretty early on.

That said I should try and remember to pool it. I had a few pools going today but I think you’re right, I sorta raced past them and when I moved on it started losing contact and sputtering. Definitely need some more practice. Thankfully I think I’ll get some on the project after this one. Or on this one if I give up on wood handles and buy some pipe.

We’ll see.


Yep. As my father used to tell me, relax your hand, focus on your puddle. Your puddle is where the action happens, you guide it, and it guides you. A good technique is to draw little cursive Es or Ws of a consistent size, right along the edge of the puddle, it should keep your speed about right, and keep you running that puddle right along where you need to go. The other thing he used to say is that if your weld sounds like bacon frying, you’re doing a good job, if it smells like bacon frying, you are having a very bad day.

And trust me, we all need more practice - I’ve seen apprentices with many, many hours of welding under their belts blow certification exams because they felt like they were good enough, and didn’t need to keep practicing. Even experienced welders will practice.

With a straight hilt like that, shouldn’t be too hard to do some wood scales for the handle. As ever, remember build big, shave down. And plus, wood is cheap and easy to replace, so it’s okay if the first run doesn’t work out quite right.


Coooooooooooool in a complete sentence.


I got my welder working! $300 flux core welder for free! later today I might burn some wire. :smiley:


I didn’t make anything today, but I had two separate things occur to me. Both are huge aha! moments but one makes me feel like a dumbass.

Thing one, As a practice welding project I should just make one of those signs like they have on mythbusters that say plausible or busted. I basically can’t just practice doing stupid things that won’t serve any purpose as my brain makes that feel inherently wasteful so just writing some slab of metal to say something in practice welds (hopefully you can literally see the quality of my welds go up over the corse of the sign would be great)

Ideas for what to write?

Second, I just put two and two together and feel like an idiot. I wear a full face welding mask and quite long sturdy gloves but I never until today really thought about why I do that. I was sorta doing both because I like my eyes still seeing and my fingers not burned.

My skin not full of melanoma was not one that occurred to me. I haven’t been wearing long sleeves. Thankfully I’ve not done boatloads of welds until this point, but skin cancer isn’t something I wanna fuck with. This is one of those times I can thank /r/welding for making me think, yeah I’m an idiot, of course I should have sleeves.


Measure is Unceasing.



The thing with Welding is that it’s a source of UVR - full spectrum UV radiation, A, B, and C. You need protection, and it’s not just cancer - You can get serious sunburn from welding, a lot quicker than you think. Plus, UVC damage is nasty on it’s own - it can seriously burn and give you skin ulcers, which are as plesant as they sound, as well as having a severe skin cancer risk. Normally, we don’t worry about it, since it’s absorbed in the atmosphere before it reaches us, but there’s not enough atmosphere between you and your weld to really block that out.

Now, that said, it doesn’t mean you have to roll with a full apron, shirt, snood and gloves every time you want to tack something up. When it’s wicked hot out, I tend to just go gloves and helmet(and on more than one occasion, Gloves, Helmet, apron, and then just shorts and boots), but I slather exposed parts with serious sunscreen - I’m talking full-spectrum SPF50 or above, serious goth-block shit. It’s not a perfect solution - you still get a tiny percentage through - but providing you keep up reapplying it on time, and make sure you get all your exposed bits, it’s safe enough to pass muster.

Also, fun facts, it’s why I always wear a mask instead of goggles. Turns out, when I’m welding, I tend to open my mouth a bit, because it’s hot, makes you want to breathe more, and because I’m relaxing while I concentrate on something. You ever been sunburned inside your mouth? Fuckken sucks.


Just gloves and a helmet is some Mad Max biz.


That shit was my default until today. I’ve never welded enough to get a sunburn, but that’s no excuse at all.

I don’t own an apron but I’ve got hoodies and pullovers for days, and a few long sleeve shirts. I imagine I’ll be ok, even if it’s just some regular shirt fabric.


I’m not an expert on welding but my wife does goldsmithing and blacksmithing and for those things you must wear 100% cotton, no cotton blends or fully synthetic fiber clothing. I can’t imagine that welding is any different, so be careful with hoodies and pullovers, many are blends.


As Panfried says, cotton only. No blends, no artificial fibers. The ONLY exception is if it’s an artificial fiber rated for flame resistance, IE, Kevlar - but kevlar gear is a long way off for you yet. But other than that, yeah, long-sleeve shirts work in a pinch. If you don’t have anything that’s fully cotton, you should be able to get some cotton drill workwear pretty cheap from the local industry(like, any industry, not just welding) supply place, and a lot of hardware stores. If you can’t, let me know, I have an inside track, I’ll put you in touch with a supplier.

If you wear a hoodie, though, obviously it’s gonna get wicked hot, so remember to hydrate and take breaks. Your welder isn’t the only thing with a duty cycle.

Hey, back when I was welding regularly, I was pretty tanned and cut, I’m not ashamed to say that in just Gloves, helmet, and apron, the burning metal wasn’t the only reason I looked hot as hell.


Duly noted, though I’m guessing that some of the long sleeve shirts I’ve got in mind are in fact 100% cotton. Either way I’m glad I’m now gonna check that.

As to keeping myself hydrated I’m generally on that, though it reminds me of a dumb thing I did that I forgot to mention during the making of the sword, specifically the electrolysis.

I was all set up in my garage which, while not air conditioned, is directly above the concrete foundation and proper indoors and so is quite cool and set to work setting up the saline solution and the electrodes. Once I had the process going I popped on my phone to read more about it.

About halfway through my study I learned that in my case, the gas produced was a mixture of hydrogen and chlorine gas (with the sodium bonding with the metal being pulled out of the sword).

I flipped the fuck out and opened the garage and got the hell out of that room. I initially thought the only gas would be hydrogen. I began the process again a while later outside and in the blazing heat. All of a sudden hydration became a priority and somewhere on my tiny bench there was a cold beverage condensating all over something or another that I didn’t want water on. Had to make a few beverage runs back into the house.


I am finishing that damn sword today, mark my words. If I don’t my shame will be here.

Edit: I made things today. Namely sanded, cut, drilled, pinned and epoxied the handle of the sword from earlier. It’s curing now.