Brother-in-law, Dave, was in town over the weekend and filmed Tom welding up a few metal posts for Summit Structures out of Laramie WY. Summit will use these posts to help support structural beams for a house they are building.
The metal posts are designed to rest on the top of a concrete footer. The bottom plate fastens into the cement footer using concrete anchors.
The top part of the metal post is adjustable using a nut and threaded rod that has been welded to the top plate. The top plate attaches to structural beams using lag bolts if a glue-lam. If a steel beam is used the top plate is welded or attached by bolting. The adjustable top plate adapts to the varying height associated with footings and supporting beam depth.
Dave was curious about the need for accuracy when measuring the steel poles for the final product. Tom explained that it wasn’t as crucial on this project since the top would adjust to the needed position once the beams were in place.
It is also very important not to watch someone weld directly. The ultra violet rays can cause sever damage to a retina.
In this video, Tom first welds on the bottom plate using a jig that positions the metal bottom plate squarely with the support post. Vice grips are used to clamp the bottom plate to the jig. The plate is tack welded on all four corners. Then the opposite edges are welded. Dave also captured Tom using the welding boom that supports the wire feeder he built for his welder. The boom allows for an additional ten foot of reach with out having to move the welder. This idea came from Marshal Bulle, owner of Shop Outfitters.
Tom uses a mig welder, also known as a wire feed welder, for the project. The wire is fed out and arcs close to the contact tip. Inert gas flows from holes in the tip and it sheilds the weld puddle while welding.
Tom used a Miller CP300 MIG welder with an independent wire feeder.