Advice requested - make or buy? Or?

I've been lurking this group for a few weeks in hope of answering my
own questions from your experience, but I'm a little to dense to solve
this apparently.
I need patio brackets.
I hired a guy to make plans for several additions to the house, one
being a tile covered patio. This patio looks simple enough on paper.
it has 6 posts, with 4 being at 45 degree angles. The framing is 6x6
lumber, and there are 2 large trusses made with these large beams that
span the 20 foot width.
The problem is no one seems to make 45 degree brackets to hold the
wood up.
My carpenter found a local blacksmith who can make the brackets, but
his schedule is such that I'm probably not going to get the thing done
this year. My wife is upset and that, believe me, is not a good
Anyone have any suggestions?
I did some welding about 30 years ago. I suppose I could buy an arc
welder and plasma cutter, then just do the job myself. (To tell the
truth this is appealing.) The problem is I'm not in the least
artistic. How can I make a simple, yet decorative set of brackets?
I looks at though a fairly simple jig could be made of the decorative
cuts in some sort of (ceramic?) guide, then the shape could be cut out
with a plasma cutter. This would leave straight welds, which I could
probably handle.
Am I way off base?
Thanks for any help.
It's ok to make fun. I deserve it by now. Anyone that would pour
concrete in 45 degree corners and not research the entire patio parts
list ahead of time should be made fun of. :-)
From this group, I've sort of settled on the Miller 625 plasma cutter
and the Miller 210 welder. The cost is still considerable less than
having the brackets made. What do ya think?
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Larry Here is another idea that you may not have thought of. That is to post your location and ask if there is anyone on this NG who would be interested in building them for you.
I've also posted this on the rec.crafts.metalworking newsgroup which is another very helpful NG. Both of these NG's have some very capable people.
Good luck.
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Where are you located Larry?
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Thanks for the help! This is great!
Regards, Larry
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From 1980 to 1993, I did ornamental metal and then progressed into steel erection. I sold my business in 1993, and went and did some stints in the Gulf of Mexico and overseas.
Fast forward to 2003. New wife. New situation. Wife says she wants to get some security doors made for our new add on. 96" wide and 79" high. Two doors. Some decorative castings. She said she paid $1600 each for the other two already on the house.
I said, hell, I could buy a welder, and do them, and then own the welder for all sorts of other ornamental metal projects, and just do them for material costs.
So, I now have another shop with welding equipment, and I have made two double security doors, one 28' wide by 7' high double gate for our motorhome, about 30' of 7' high fencing with backing, and countless other small projects that would have cost quite a bit.
If you are going to do much work, get the equipment, and do it yourself. You get it when you want it. You get it how you want it. If you don't like it, you buy some more material and do it again. The price is always right. Many benefits from doing it yourself, price being the biggest. I have not spent as much on tooling up as I would have spent on getting those things built, and I still own all that equipment. If I wanted to, I could sell it, and that would be another plus.
Don't overthink the thing. Most metalwork is Gawd awful strong compared to what is needed, and if you have any engineering smarts at all, there is no problem in building things that will hold the weight and last.
Problem is, when people find out you do it, they bug you to do work for them. Practice your welding, and take some refresher courses to build up your skill level.
People bitch about the price of steel, but compared to what a contractor wants for a project, that steel cost starts looking REALLY cheap. But, then, I think you are already seeing that.
Plus, if you can build this stuff and save lots of money, your wife treats you better, and the dogs even like you more.
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This whole project would be no big deal with just a little help and guidance from someone with experience. Can you hook up with someone who could look over your shoulder??
Miller 210 is overkill. Lincoln tombstone or Miller thunderbolt would be sufficient for a lot less $$
ldg wrote:
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Buy quality and cry only once. I always overbuy, because I know I might outgrow the model that only meets my needs NOW. Having a machine that will do more than you know how to do can stimulate growth and skill. And, it allows you to do that occasional job that requires a little bigger machine, which allows you to charge more..............
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if the brackets tough any acq (pressure treated) wood they should be stainless, around here they would be speced before the city would approve the plans for a permit....tony
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