The paper templates for the fishmouth cuts seemed promising. Despite my mistakes, I’m still convinced this is a good technique.
Everything seemed okay after I’d finished.
However, this piece is basically impossible to clamp with my current equipment. A couple tack welds in, I knew I was in a bit of trouble. Heat distortion is a thing, especially when you’re just holding it by hand trying not to get burned.
I carefully laid multiple layers until I could bridge the gap. Thank goodness for wide filler material. I’ve been using 1/16 and .045 filler recently, so the 3/32 I grabbed felt super fat. But it works great for filling in spaces!
The ugly weld isn’t the snafu. It isn’t pretty, but I’m positive that it’s very strong. The snafu? That FSA logo is supposed to be right side up. That’s right – I spent a bunch of time gobbing on tons of metal, only to discover that I’d welded it on upside down. FML.
After a bit of swearing and talking myself away from the ledge, I grabbed my grinder and started hacking away. It was awful. That weld was thick and strong. I didn’t want to take the time and energy to grind it completely clean to start over – perhaps I should have – so I did what I needed to make it fit. Sort of.
In the picture above, you can clearly see two things. First, you can see the several weld bridges I made between the two pieces. Not the best design, obviously. Second, you can see just how much ground I need to cover to make this thing solid. Here is another shot with my average sized fingers for reference:
I still have a bunch of metal to melt in order to call this step finished. However, it’s currently strong enough to hold weight, so I gave myself a little morale boost by putting a few pieces together. Below is the result:
If you only judged based on the picture above, it actually looks like I know what I’m doing. 😆 My wife told me not to be so hard on myself. “You’re still learning,” she said. “It’s not going to be perfect.” That’s good advice. Hopefully I keep improving.