Good neighbor Con came over with a welding job for me. It was thinwall stainless steel tubing, 3/4" or so dia, bent into a circle of maybe 4' dia, one of three concentric circles that comprised a gas burner for an outdoor campfire. The outer ring had fractured. Gas burner for an outdoor campfire, in Minnesota? Hey, I'm just the weldor around here, rich folks like what they like. The rich guy who owns this rather absurd contrivance hired Con to fix it so he could sell his $mil+ house. Could I do this? Hell yeah, I said confidently! Hey, I've been TIG'ing for at least two weeks now! Con had done a very nice job of cleaning up the weld zone. He's not a weldor but he is a craftsman. We work well together. We jigged up the job with bungee cords, visegrips and a couple of vises. Then I had Con help me don my welding raiment: the conductive cloth serape that would be the Faraday shield so the HF from the TIG wouldn't trip my Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator. That was almost comical, like one guy dressing another to go into battle or space or something. The serape wouldn't stay put as draped until Con nicked an alligator clip from my plating cart to use as a clasp. That worked. I opened the valve on the argon cylinder. Gage said lotsa plenty gas. I changed tungstens, choosing a sharply-pointed 1/16" lanthanated tungsten for this job. I changed machine settings from AC (for ally) to DC, start rather than continuous on the HF, set the current on low range that I thought would work best for this thin-wall stainless tubing. I cut some .023" stainless wire from a MIG spool to use as filler rod. Out of excuses, I went for it. It was awful. Ughly. Horrible. Unacceptable. Ohshitohdear, had I totally forgotten how to TIG stainless? Ungh! It's been a while. I'd forgotten to trip the red lever, the ball valve downstream from the argon regulator. I was trying to TIG with no gas! I ground the ugly barf off the small region I'd screwed up. I snapped the contaminated part off of the tungsten and reground it to a nice sharp point. I reset Mr. Miller to low-range. Once again, mit gaz! Oh, my, what a difference. I do love it when things work, and there is joy in TIG welding! The puddle was about the size of this o , just right for the tube thinness as I dabbed the little puddle with .023" filler wire to make a stack of pinheads rather than dimes. I'd compare my weld to any of the factory welds on that contrivance. Neighbor Con is delighted: he'll soak the hell out of the dingbat rich guy who insisted on restoration. He asked me what he might owe me for the job. He knew the answer, the question was a courtesy. Good neighbor Con takes very good care of this old fart and I do appreciate it. His wife Janna will be using my laundry appliances for another while until Sears eventually gets theirs fixed. No problemo, she know where the secret key is hidden.
Good neighbors take good care of good neighbors.