Started welding!

I used the welder in anger for the first time today.  This is not really about the Jeepster but since rust repair is about to become my focus it is at least a little interesting.  What we are looking at here is the brake band for my 1967 Simplicity lawn tractor.  I bought this almost 30 years ago for $50.  I then put about $150 in bearings and parts into it and have been mowing and plowing with it ever since.

About a week ago I was mowing and realized I had no brake.  It is not a big deal on my flat yard but I figured I should take a look.  What I found was that the brake band had broken right where the lining is riveted on.  This is one of the parts I replaced back in they day so my first thought was that I would just buy a new one.  Well now they sell for $40.  For that kind of money I will give the welder a shot.

I cleaned up the metal with the angle grinder and clamped everything together.

Do we have gas?  Yes!

Uh…OK.  I have no idea where to set this stuff.  Maybe some practice is in order.

I found some scrap sheet metal of similar thickness and hit it with the welder.  The right side was my first attempt.  I blew right through the metal.  Too hot I supposed.  I turned the power down and tried again on the left.  That went much better.  This is actually the back side so I am getting penetration without punching a hole.

Well crap.  Not only did this not work at all but I almost set my garage on fire.  Don’t leave rags next to where you are welding.  I think this is not hot enough but that is just a guess.  I turned the heat up a notch.

Well THAT is better.  This time I got an actual weld going.  It is ugly and might not hold but it IS a weld.

I cleaned the “weld” up with the grinder.  There are cavities in the weld and the actual welded area of the metal is not as big as I thought but it seems intact.  I will run it and see what happens.

Here is the brake band installed on the transaxle of the mower.  It seems to be holding so far.  Time will tell!

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