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How to Weld a Right Angle Without Warping the Joint

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you doing?

Kevin Caron: I'm making a 90-degree angle on this piece of metal art I'm working on in the studio. Do you know how to keep it from warping when you weld it?

The Voice: No, I don't.

Kevin Caron: No: OK. You know what a square is, right? Check your work and make sure you're square; make sure it?s coming up straight. That's one way to do it.

Do you ever play with magnets? These are welding magnets. You can pick them up at that freight place or at any of the welding stores. You simply put that magnet right down in there; true it up, and you've got a nice 90-degree angle. Don't forget to come back and check it. Put your square back in there and make sure it's 90 degrees.

Now, get your welder, come in here and just run all the way around. . . No! That's not going to work - it's going to warp. Get your welder and come in on one corner and then the opposite corner.

The Voice: Show me!

Kevin Caron: Just a little. Get it on the opposite corner. That'll stop it from warping.

The Voice: Can you show me?

Kevin Caron: Boy, you're getting awfully demanding. Hang on. Let me get my welding helmet.

The Voice: So, why do you do it on different corners?

Kevin Caron: Well, to keep it from warping. Let's just get a little tack on each corner. . .(welding)

Now that I've got all four corners tacked, that will keep them from warping out of shape. Now I can come back, get the magnet out of the way so the field from the magnet doesn't screw with the weld, and I can go ahead and weld one side, then weld the other side. We'll let it cool off, and then we'll come back and weld this side, then the other side and let it cool off once again.

It'll stay straight and square. If you get in a big hurry and try to weld one side or weld three sides real quickly, it'll warp all out of shape.

Another way to hold it till you're ready to weld is with a corner clamp. These are from a company called Bessey out of Germany. They're big, heavy steel welding clamps. And you can put them in here while you go ahead with your weld on that side. Then weld the other side, get all your corners, and you're ready to go.

That's how to keep a square when you're welding.

See you next time.

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