Bear Paw Prints

(Snohomish, WA)

Here’s a photo of my first completed welding project … ever. It’s kind of a steel, stone, and glass project – with a finished wooden cabinet thrown in for good measure.

I’m new to welding. I picked up my first tig torch a month ago. On Jody’s well regarded review and recommendation, I gave a hard look at the Everlast PowerPro 256 Multi-Process tig welder. It occurred to me before I purchased, that a prudent move for a complete neophyte might be to buy equipment with a known resource for top notch instruction. As everyone here realizes – that instruction can be found on this website.

The project began with the sandblasted glass. I have sort of an artsy-fartsy background – I’ve completed glass projects before now. The challenge has been to come up with an effective way to edge-light small pieces for display. The glass here measures 14” wide, by 16” tall.

The stone – which is also sandblasted – weighs in at about 20 pounds. I needed a display strong enough to support the weight – and offer a means for illumination.

The cabinet contains a battery powered led light strip. The cabinet top is made up from 1/8” plate. I cut a slot in the panel, and welded 1 ½” x 1/8” bar stock around the opening to create a channel into which the glass can rest.

I discovered that a hand-held plasma torch in the hands of a rookie is an exercise that could be described as being somewhat analogous to building furniture with a chainsaw. I also discovered a certain truth to the adage: never weld up more weld bead than you can’t grind off in a day. I’m still learning. So far, I’m happy with my progress.

The bracket that holds the stone in place was easy; more 1/8” bar stock. The “tree limb” in front of the stone is made from 24 gauge sheet stock. Indeed – I was looking for a more “organic” appearance for this attachment. I would like to boast a well thought-out method to the outcome. In truth - what you see here is burn-through run amuck. I just kept gobbing weld metal on, to patch the holes I was making. Thank goodness it doesn’t have to actually support weight.

A recipe of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and salt will produce a nice bloom of rust to complete the look I was after.

I’d like to offer a word of gratitude to Jody – for the exhaustive effort put into creation and maintenance of this website. I’ve spent endless hours here - watching videos, and reading articles … over and over. The purchase of a handful of Tig Fingers hardly seems like a fair payback.

Thank you Jody.

Warmest Regards,
Jerry Bloch

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