Last week we left off with running out of shielding gas. Off to the local cylinder exchange!
Day 1: Bought a replacement cylinder (well, exchanged it). Asked -
just like every other time - about upgrading, they answered that they can't
do that anymore.|
Day 2: The new cylinder is empty.
Day 3: They have no other cylinders of my size. Manager is willing to upgrade me from a #2 to a #3. Sends me home with a #3 cylinder, just pay the difference in the exchange price (ten bucks!)
Day 4. This is a carbon dioxide cylinder, fittings are different. Back to the store.
|Day 4, cont'd: No C25, but they have a #3 of pure Argon. That'd
work! The connector looks like it's the same.|
Nope. I can't MIG with pure argon - zero penetration. It's like welding teflon.
Call up there, they don't know when they get new cylinders in.
Day 5. Call in the morning, he says they have some #3 C25 cylinders.
Head up after work, they do, they're in the wrong cabinet (in with the acetylene).
Net result: Five trips to the store (not named as I think he wasn't supposed to upgrade me like that), $45 total expenditure, but now I have a #3 C25 cylinder.
This is not the answer.
|The argon gave some really crappy welds. When I go after the underside I'll have to go over this again from there.|
|Measure once, cut twice-or-more with the plasma method of fitment on the driver's side.|
|Leads to having to make a lot of bead to fill gaps. Towards the very end dropped back and changed welder settings, from voltage D and speed 6 down to B and 3 1/2 - seems to have helped quite a bit.|
|Time to work on closing out the back of the transmission hole - since
the remainder of the tunnel doesn't have to be raised, I can just slope down
Unfortunately, my first cut was actually halfway through the brace. I'll have to have a more abrupt cap.
|Better view of where the brace is.|
|So I started to measure and make a pattern, but decided instead to fake it with a chunk of plate and the plasma (I'm enjoying it too much)|
|Welded up the mis-cut, weld-and-hammer-and-weld-and-cut-and hammer, it's ugly but the tunnel is closed. Still need to grind the welds, need to get more flap disks.|
|Passenger side. The new welder settings are helping.|
|Oh hell, that looks like progress.|
|Yep, that's real nice.|
|Next task: fix the rust hole across the back of the cab.|
You know what's good at cutting out rust?|
Tacked a bit of angle iron to use as a guide and cut along it.
|Little bit of cleanup and it looks like a nice clean spot for some weldery.|
|Near side, where the big rust was.|
|Plasma again, cut some 16ga of the correct width to weld in place. With the new welder settings it's just working out.|
|Ended up being three pieces of metal. Still needs cleanup but I really like it.|
|Here's what it looks like from the bed. Not quite sure how I'll handle this side - maybe try to use the TIG to smooth it? It's flush, at least, if not smooth. Didn't *see* any pinholes but some may become apparent once I grind both sides.|
|Started to cut for the replacement of the bed hatch cover - what I had was this abomination of JC Whitney bed patch panels lap welded poorly. Here you can see there was no penetration between these two|
|I do not know what the front of the bed floor hatch cover is supposed to look like - is this part of the old cover left behind, or is that the mount?|
Go back to the previous day (3 Feb 19)