May your life be as smooth as Silicon-Bronze TIG brazing.

A tale of how I learned to weld

welding meme
A succinct summary of how learning to weld affects your ability to think outside the box. Forgive the language please, it spices the point.


I frequently describe learning to weld as one of the most empowering breakthroughs in my growth as a designer.    All new fabrication skills open new opportunities to dream a little (or a lot) bigger,  and welding suddenly let me see much more of the sorts of things around me as achievable by my own hand.

In general, I like to work on a principle that if I can find a way to enjoy the practice,   the result will be both better and more authentic.  (This is key not only to welding,  but any skill).  So I set out to find fun little excercises to practice welding on.

One of these excercises was making rings from square and round tubing.    If you have a saw that can cut accurate angles repeatably,  it’s easy to turn out a set of parts that will fit into a nice ring,  with lots of seams to practice welding together.  Below are the first such rings I undertook,  when practicing TIG-brazing mild steel rings with silicon bronze filler metal.   Along the way,  I realized with delight that here was a great excuse to destructively test something, too.   Thus,  the video at the bottom,   which shows one frame per hydraulic-pump-stroke,   as I crushed the first ring and observed its failure modes.


Small heptagon with square tubing at 45 degrees from flat, as tacked together, showing fit-up.
Tacked at ID and OD. The fit of the bevel cuts is sublime! not a sheet of paper could be inserted at ID or OD of any joint. Spot on 64.3 degree (=90-(180/7)) bevel!