Archive for September, 2009

Which one are you?

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Rudyard Kipling rocks.   Here’s a poem of his that is based on the biblical story of Lazarus’ sister Martha and her desire for order:

The Sons of Martha by Rudyard Kipling:

The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
Her Sons must wait upon Mary’s Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.

It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.

They say to mountains “Be ye removèd.” They say to the lesser floods “Be dry.”
Under their rods are the rocks reprovèd—they are not afraid of that which is high.
Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit—then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.

They finger Death at their gloves’ end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.

To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
They are concerned with matters hidden—under the earthline their altars are—
The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city’s drouth.

They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not preach that His Pity allows them to drop their job when they damn-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren’s ways may be long in the land.

Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat;
Lo, it is black already with the blood some Son of Martha spilled for that!
Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.

And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessèd—they know the Angels are on their side.
They know in them is the Grace confessèd, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
They sit at the feet—they hear the Word—they see how truly the Promise runs.
They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and—the Lord He lays it on Martha’s Sons!

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Tell me about the rabbits again, George.

September 21, 2009 3 comments

or…Large men and the persistence of the Lennie Small stereotype.

I’m a big man, and a strong one as well, so why do people who don’t know me refer to me as a gentle giant?  I’m just a regular guy.  It seems that every few weeks I get called a gentle giant; it really annoys me.

John Steinbeck, I hate you.

I once had a job where I was paired up with a man 18 inches shorter than I am.  We were called Mutt and Jeff by coworkers; thankfully it wasn’t Len and George.

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Another handy trick.

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

A good rule of thumb is that for a current setting that works for you when running 7018 will run the next larger size of 6010/11 nicely too. So, if you’re running 1/8″ 7018 then put a few 5/32″ 6010 in your bag and it might just save your tail in a pinch; it’s saved mine.

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A handy trick.

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

If I’m in the situation of having my welder on a different level than me, or outside, and I’m doing general work with no weld specification given then I’ll take a few sizes of 6010 with me rather than suffer a 5 minute interruption every time I want to adjust my current. Want it hotter? Switch to a smaller rod.

The properties of 6010 allow a fair bit of flexibility in how you  manipulate it and an electrode of a given size can be usable over a wider current range than 7018…in my experience…it makes this trick easier than you might think.

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A funny thing about electrode position codes.

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Here’s a snippet from a posting I made on in their blacksmiths’ forum.

In Canada, our welding standards are defined by the Canadian Standards Association(CSA) and the codes for our electrodes are basically the same as the American Welding Society(AWS ) system except the tensile strength is given in Megapascals…but most of us use KPSI like Americans.

System Internationale hasn’t caught on with welders up here yet; when you have American literature and suppliers dominating your industry, you tend to use the same units of measure that they do.

Anyway, the position code for 7018 , second to last digit, is 1.  According to the AWS it is good for all positions including vertical-downhand but the CSA up here says it’s good for all positions except vertical-downhand.

Sometimes you get an electrode with both CSA and AWS codes printed on it.  They both have the same position code, but two different meanings.

Do I have to be South of the 49th parallel to weld downhand?  …oh, I forgot about Alaska.

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My Welder

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment
Hobart welder.

Hobart welder.

This little beastie is fine machine.  It’s rated for 200 amps with a 100% duty cycle and generates 5 Kilowatts of single phase AC.  It runs 5/32″ electrodes nicely so it’s fine for the work I do; a bigger machine can be rented as needed.

What is notable for a welder of this vintage is how compact it is.  I’ve seen a couple of Hobart welders of a similar age and compact design but never with auxillary AC power like this one.

It has a Wisconsin THD series engine that appears to be original.  As far as I can tell, based on a serial number list found online, the engine was made between 1958 and 1960.   What I will say about the old engine is this:  I love old machinery and Wisconsin engines have a well deserved reputation of being reliable workhorses, but  a crank-start engine loses some of its charm when it’s you turning that starting handle.

I’ve been laughed at for welding with an antique machine but it produces a beautiful, smooth arc and I would have to spend about $4000 to buy a new engine driven welder that welds as nicely.  There seems to be a double standard:  Many welders will drool over a vintage Lincoln Pipeliner but raise an eyebrow over my Hobart.

Of course the dilemma that rears its ugly head when purchasing ancient equipment is the matter of buy-in versus operating costs.  My welder cost me a total of $400 for the purchase and repair parts, plus about 20 hours getting everything working properly while the new machine I was considering was about $4000 before taxes; that is quite a difference.

The downside of my cheap buy-in is the efficiency of that 50 year old engine when compared to this year’s model.  When an engine-driven welder is run all day, every day, the fuel efficiency is a serious matter.  With a new welder of 200-300 amps capacity, depending on utilization, the money spent on fuel can exceed the original purchase price in a matter of months.  As soon as I find myself running my little Hobart every day, I’ll go out and buy a newer machine.

Another thought related to fuel costs and welders comes to mind:  If you find yourself running your welder a lot just to power a few small loads like a grinder or work lights you shouldconsider getting a smaller generator. I once worked for a fellow who spent about $45/day to fuel a welder that was just used to power a couple of electric hand tools.  The payback on the purchase of a small generator would have taken a week in his case.   He didn’t seem to care; you can tell a welder anything, but you can’t tell him much.

As for my welder, I’ve considered coupling a compressor head and an air motor to the back end of the engine so I don’t have to haul a seperate air compressor with me and also have an easy way to start the engine but I’m just too busy.

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In the beginning, there was dorkness.

September 15, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m feeling a little pressure.  The inaugural post to a blog is a big deal, isn’t it?  It might just set the tone for all subsequent posts.  If I do a poor job now it will taint everything to come.

I’ve actually been blogging for a while; in a manner of speaking.  I’m fond of writing about a funny(I hope) observations which I would then email to people I know.  Now, instead of flooding my friends’ inboxes with my random thoughts, they can choose to come here to read it or just ignore it if they like

So, what to write about?

I recently learned that I’m too heavy to ride a Segway; my dreams of starting a Segway polo league in Ladysmith have been crushed.

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