Welding a cube

by Stephen Hobley on August 24, 2010

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It finally got cool enough tonight to venture outside with my welding gear on.

First thing I thought I would tackle as a cube, so I cut 12 pieces of steel to the correct length and started to join them together. The first lesson I learnt is that these magnetic guides from Harbor Freight:

are *the* best thing to use when trying to get stuff perpendicular. I did try a right angle picture frame clamp, but I ended up with a distorted square, so rapidly abandoned it.

The steel was 16 gauge, so I set the welder for 4.5 feed, and E power setting. Worked really well.

When you are MIG welding you have to sure of two things:

1. You have the gas on before you start…
2. Clean all joins with a flap disc in an angle grinder – it really can’t be too clean.

Also *only* tack weld until everything is in place. I made a mistake early on, and I’d added some solid welds, and so I had to cut through them with a hacksaw to fix it.

If I can make about a dozen or so of these cubes, then I think I should be ready to tackle the Lotus Seven chassis.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

RobbieC September 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Nice job!

I bought a combination tig, stick and plasma torch off ebay and am dying to build some things. Most of the things will be rectangles, some of them 3d like your cube. I also bought the Harbor Freight magnets in a couple of sizes. Additionally, I bought a special mitre saw for cutting steel. Perhaps I got a cheap one because when I start to cut the blade gets displaced and I end up with a curved cut rather than a straight one.

The plasma torch is great for freehand shapes and I can use a guide to cut fairly straight lines. Precision cutting is a different story.

A friend suggested a horizontal band saw made for cutting steel. What would you suggest for cutting up for cutting angle iron up to 1/4″, expecially 45’s?

Stephen Hobley September 10, 2011 at 8:52 am

I bought a cutter from Harbor Freight – that was what I used to cut the 45s for the cube. It’s like a mini chop saw, but for metal.


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