Titanium is great stuff, but welding it can be a real pain. For starters it has to be done in an inert atmosphere (argon) and the parts have to be allowed to cool to room temperature within this enveloping gas. To make this possible I had to build a glove box, complete with access ports for torch, hands and ground clamp and the top had to be removable so that parts could be admitted and assemblies withdrawn. The one shown in the photos below was put together in a single day and cost me less than $100.
|Photo #1: Here a 2-piece titanium assembly, that forms the active wedge portion of my middleweight battlebot T 34, is being welded in the glove box. The box started life as a terrarium; cheaper and thinner than an aquarium, but perfectly adequate to the task. 4in. holes were cut in one side of the plexiglas and kitchen-style rubber gloves were affixed with small clamps. On the right size are argon inlet plumbing and a ground clamp connection which is fastened to a steel plate on the bottom, inside the box. to The size of the contraption was chosen so that it would just fit on a large shelf in his workshop...|
|Photo #2: Close-up of welded components. Note metal floor in box: this is a piece of thin steel sheared to fit the space. One corner was snipped and bent up. so that a ground clamp would have something to grab. Note weld is about 3/4 complete: I ran out of room and had to turn the part over to complete the weld. Next time I make a glove box I'll make it bigger!|
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