it’s the first of july… where has 2007 gone anyway?

next week, at this time, i will be going to “art on the ave” in tacoma, with my art car. i have recently got the brakes and the left front CV axle replaced, with money given to me by moe who was given it by ann a couple weeks ago when she went to portland after her mother had a stroke. it turned out to cost about half of what i was fearing, which means that, potentially, i can get the muffler fixed soon as well. it’s probably not going to get fixed until after oregon country fair, but that’s a lot sooner than i thought a week ago when i first learned how serious it really was. it all started when i got a flat tire, and ended up getting four new tires, but at the same time, learning that i had no brakes in either the front or the back, and that the ominous clicking sound that i was hearing when i went around a corner was the CV axle trying to work it’s way loose. i had about a week of worrying about that when the muffler started making a lot of noise. now the only thing left to fix is the muffler, which (i learned yesterday), is due to a broken weld just before the exhaust pipe enters the muffler, which can be fixed very easily if i knew how to weld…

when i was in fourth grade i took a career aptitude test that said i was most suited to be a welder. at the time, i was absolutely convinced that i was going to be a musician, and completely rejected the idea of becoming a welder. i have had several opportunities to learn how to weld since then, including in high school and in the tech school, and, while i admit that i didn’t completely reject the idea, at the same time, i also didn’t learn how to weld. i have been noticing, more and more frequently, how desirable knowing how to weld would be, and i’ve been wishing that i would have done things differently when i was in fourth grade. i can’t imagine that welding is an awful lot different than soldering, and i know several different techniques for soldering, so i get the impression that welding would not be that great a stretch for me at this time… it’s just a matter of finding someone who wants to teach an old dog new tricks… and then buying a whole bunch of new, expensive tools that i don’t have room for…

and then, two weeks from today will already be the last official day of the oregon country fair, which is what i was talking about when i said “where has 2007 gone” earlier… this is the first year in the (now) 5 years that i have been going to OCF that moe is going with me, although she’s going with me on thursday and coming back on saturday because she has to teach classes on sunday and she took off sunday a couple of weeks ago to go to portland when her mother had a stroke, so she can’t skip another week. it also means that i’ve got to find another way to get home, but considering that we’re going down as part of a large group of performers, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and if it is, i’ll be stuck in eugene with my tuba and all the camping gear, so i’ll probably be able to come up with some ideas for ways to get home — after all, i am a hippie… 8) it will be fun to have moe along. she’s not obligated to do anything, so she can hang out and check out the fair, and help out with our theatre stuff if she wants to… and she’ll get to see all kinds of performances, such as the fremont philharmonic at the ritz, and BBWP, which will probably perform at the friday night fire show again this year. also, this year is the first year since i started going to OCF that my physical birthday will not happen while i am at the fair. ready for this? i’m going to be 47 in a couple weeks… even if you were ready for it, i wasn’t… it feels like i haven’t gotten that much older since i was 30, which, if i recall correctly, is very much like what my grandparents said when i asked them when i was in fourth grade…

where has 2007 gone, anyway?

10 thoughts on “1039”

  1. We use it for cutting, straightening warped decks, and silverbrazing… as far as I know, there is no way to weld with oxygen and acetylene (actually, we don’t use acetylene anymore since it’s too expensive, we use… something else that has a name I can’t remember.)

    Then again, my knowledge of welding techniques is rather limited at any rate.

  2. get connected with the phil or the fremont players… they go every year, and it’s how i get in… 8)

  3. terminology for technology is weird… so what you do with oxygen and acetylene is not welding?

  4. Steve’s turning 47 in a few weeks too. I agree that at 30 I felt like I’d suddenly gotten “character lines” and creaky knees, but that mostly went away over the years, actually. 30-50 is pretty much one age, that or my friends are freaky immortals.

  5. I think we use the term “brazing” to differentiate the process with the kind that uses the soldering iron (I call brazing mostly because it’s the official terminology where I work.)

    Solder is kind of like a really high temperature glue, if you look at it the right way; it flows into the crevices and makes two pieces of metal adhere to one another. Welding takes an electric arc that melts both pieces of metal and fuses them together, the rod is a filler metal (since it is usually an alloy that is stronger than the base metal and makes a stronger joint.) If your welding machine is too hot, you can cut through the metal if you aren’t careful. The trick is to melt everything just right so that it all flows back together.

    There are two basic ways of welding that I’m familiar with. Stick welding is the one that everybody thinks of when somebody mentions welding. With stick welding, the rod is put into the electrode and the arc goes from the rod to the base metal (melting both.) The welding rod has a flux coating, to keep oxygen away from the weld to keep the joint from oxidizing (I’ve noticed that if there isn’t flux on the rod it tends to stick like crazy.)

    The other way uses an inert gas (we use argon) instead of flux to keep the weld free from oxygen. The arc comes from the tungsten electrode and the welder hand feeds the rod into the arc to create the joint. Most people that I know that are experienced with soldering with a torch find this kind of welding easier than stick welding.

    I haven’t priced a welding rig, so I don’t know what they cost. I think that the rigs that I’m familiar with run off of at least 440V, which would require rewiring the average workshop or they’re diesel powered with the difficuties that entails (there might be some that run on 220V, but I don’t think I’ve seen any.)

    That’s why if I need something welded, I just bite the bullet and find someone with a shop.

  6. Re: OCF — I’m jealous. Every year I either a) can’t manage to get in or b) like this year, get so busy with crap that I forget to even try until it’s too late.

    I just turned 49 a couple weeks ago. Odd, isn’t it?


  7. it’s the first of july… where has 2007 gone anyway?

    I was thinking the same thing here these last few days… I wish I had an answer to the question.

  8. i’m most familiar with what you call “siverbrazing” which is what i would call “silver soldering” (joining two pieces of metal with a medium-hot flame, flux, and a silverish rod that is actually made out of nickel and lead and is significantly harder than “lead solder” which is made of tin and lead) because it is the way musical instruments are assembled. yeah, if you’ve got to pay attention to how the base metal breaks down, then it is a lot hotter than silver soldering gets, and is probably more like cutting than soldering, although cutting actually obtains the opposite result from welding…

    i’m not sure what the difference is between gas welding or stick welding (arc welding?), but that’s mainly because the only contact with oxygen and acetylene i’ve had has been for soldering.

  9. In soldering you don’t have to watch for the way that the base metal breaks down like you do with soldering.

    That should read, “like you do with welding.

  10. can’t imagine that welding is an awful lot different than soldering, and i know several different techniques for soldering, so i get the impression that welding would not be that great a stretch for me at this time…

    It isn’t and it is.

    In soldering you don’t have to watch for the way that the base metal breaks down like you do with soldering.

    Another issue is what type of welding… I’m guessing that for a muffler, the easiest way to weld it would be gas tungsten arc welding instead of stick welding (at least I’m not used to seeing stick used on anything that thin, but then again I’m not much of a welder.) Welding using gas is a different (and more costly IIRC) set-up than stick welding but it seems to give better results on stuff like that. Plus it was easier for me to learn than using stick.

    I got “lucky” and I had to learn to weld as part of my pipefitting apprenticeship. I wasn’t particularly good at it, but I also didn’t get much practice since we used full-time welders mostly where I worked. It was a somewhat different skill set than the silverbrazing that I did most of the time, but I haven’t done regular soldering since I was in high-school, so I don’t know how different it would be learning welding after soldering.

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