Monday, June 11, 2012

Quicksilver Eyelid Movies

This past weekend, I welded aluminum. I spent 24 hours welding. That's three eight-hour days doing nothing but welding. Even now, when I close my eyes, I see a little quicksilver puddle of molten aluminum, some 3/16" that moves along a seam but stays stationary in within my field of vision.

Uh. I'm sick of it, and yet, I'm ready to do it again and again. My hands were all cramped up from holding the torch, and it's a good thing I'm left-handed, which meant I could switch hands every now and again. Weld with the left hand, then weld with the right hand. I can still smell the ozone in my nose.

Not Quite This Good, courtesy millerwelds
I figure I welded up about sixty feet worth of seams over the weekend. And, they weren't too shabby. Sometimes the weld looked like a roll of dimes. Other times not so, but my worst weld is probably better than your best.

This was all part of getting an outdoor aluminum sculpture ready for the Lincoln Park Sculpture Walk, to be installed this Tuesday.

Here are some pics of the sculpture in progress. It's about twenty by eight feet, is in four pieces to be bolted together, and in total it weighs about 235 lbs. If it were stainless, it would weigh about three times that. No way I could have manhandled these pieces around as I did, all on my lonesome.

Oh, right, forgot to mention. This is not my sculpture. I assisted the weekend sculpture guy.


  1. So that’s the reason of the title. That was some quality time with welds, John. No wonder the result was impressive. Precision and care are important in welding primarily because you have to ensure that each part has been strengthened and secured in place. Failure to do so may compromise the structural stability of a design. For what it’s worth, I think you did great assisting the weekend sculpture guy.

    -->Jeanette West

    1. Thanks, Ms. West! Since then, I've added 240 feet of aluminum welding to my hand-eye-muscle memory. Another 9,700 feet gets me into the expert class!