Friday, February 15, 2013

Pot stand repair

A while back, I constructed a pot stand for cooking in a fire pit.  I utilized the legs from a bed frame and some aluminum angle pieces.  When we used it for the first time, I threw it in the fire before we started cooking in hopes of burning off some of the paint.  I pulled it out, and to my surprise, one of the aluminum pieces was partially melted and deformed.  So here we go again, another repair for something that aluminum did not suffice.
The legs and one of the original angle pieces
Of course, I wanted to use steel for the new and improved design, however, the only suitable material I could find was one of my practice weld pieces from class.  I would have preferred angle iron, but I used all of which I had to build the fortress, plus that wouldn't be fun to cut with a hack saw or drill.
It is advisable to never cut or drill through a weld because of the likeliness that it was hardened, but this is scrap attack and we don't care.  Welded material like this tends to launch little pieces of scale when bent or cut, so I made extra certain to wear safety glasses.
Cutting with the aviation snips
Here's the scale I mentioned, all over the carpet, good thing it's magnetic!
Bending the metal
Center punching the hole locations
After marking and center punching the hole locations, I started drilling the holes with a #3 center drill.  This makes the holes much easier to start, and since the large diameter on the bit is 1/4" (6.3mm) I could drill all the way through since it is for a 1/4" bolt.  I highly recommend anyone who does this kind of work to get a center drill, it makes drilling 10x faster, I use #2 and #3 sizes.

Unfortunately, my De-walt pistol switched into "60 second battery life" mode and died half way though the first hole.  I need to look up how to hard wire it so the battery isn't needed.
 Rest assured, the old fashioned way always works
 Amazingly I was able to drill all 6 holes before the battery recharged. 
 Here I am de burring the holes with a countersink, another highly recommended tool bit.

The new pieces along side the old one
Bolted down and ready!
So the lesson learned is: use a center drill, put down a piece of wood when working over the carpet, and don't build anything out of aluminum

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