I got a question a week ago asking if I had any ideas for a cheap welding project for welding schools with budget constraints. A project that would produce something useful that the student could remember years down the road.
Welding Projects on the cheap you ask?
How about a bronze faced Hammer?
Step 1...I rummaged thru the scrap bin and found a few drops of round stock and started scratching my head as to how I could make a hammer that would be an interesting project, be useful, and also make good use of materials.
What I found was a short piece of 2" round stock and a longer piece of 1" that would make a good handle.
But after thinking about it , as far as a project for a student, it might be better to let the welder start with a piece of 1" round stock for the hammer head, then build it up with welding beads until it was more like 2" in diameter. I mean why not? why make it easy when the end goal is to teach welding with minimal expense.
But I went with the 2" diameter round.
I ground a but off 2 sides of the 1" round to get more penetration depth and then tack welded the head to the handle.
Using all 160 amps and some 3/32" 309 stainless filler rod, I only put 2 tacks on it and then just welded away. Two passes. One to wash into the groove that I ground and then one cover pass for added reinforcement and cosmetics.
When that was done, I decided to pad one side of the hammer head with silicon bronze so that I would have a heavy hammer that has a soft face that wont ding up machined surfaces or anything that I dont want to dent.
It works great too because when I came back a few days after I welded the silicon bronze face...to weld the handle ...I couldnt find the hammer welding project anywhere.
After 10 minutes of thinking I misplaced it, I decided to wander over to the machine shop area of the shop to ask if anyone had seen my hammer.
The machinist said " man that thing is perfect. i needed to bump this turret around and its perfect for that" ....Mission Accomplished.
So I got the hammer and welded a crazy number of beads using 7018 rods ( lincoln exalibur 3/32"). I even welded a few extra beads near the base of the handle for kicks.
if I had more time, I would have welded another layer of 7018 on the handle to make this little welding project even more memorable but I really needed to get back to work and make some money.
Bottom Line? This would make good welding project for anyone. Especially students. But the ideas here will probably spur more and better ideas for welding projects that provide something useful that don't cost a lot, are simple, and teach something.
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