I’ve been working too much lately, which is totally screwing up my shop time. Between meetings this weekend I’m running the CNC to make parts for a customer. I wanted to start on my saw benches, but didn’t feel like I was clear headed enough to do something that complex (and that’s just sad!)
I while I was feeding the CNC I poked around my shop looking for inspiration. I found an old hunk of heavy industrial electrical conduit, steel plate, and some copper scraps — and decided I’d make a glue pot. I sawed off a length of the conduit and sanded it to remove the zinc coating. Zinc screws up the welding, and it’s toxic to breathe the zinc fumes. I also cut out a disk of steel plate about the same thickness as the tube.
I welded the disc to the tube, mostly that went OK. I’ve been welding so much cast aluminum for the past few years that I’m out of practice on steel (and everything else). I had a little contamination from the zinc, and I had the weld too hot. But mostly I was doing this on auto-pilot, trying not to think about work, so it’s not my best work. But I kept the mill fed (every 18 minutes and 30 seconds I have to take out a finished part and put in a fresh piece of material) and I didn’t think about work at all.
I laid out and drilled two holes for the handle pivots. I bent the handle out of some 1/4″ x 1/2″ flat steel bar from the scrap pile.
I pressed in two steel pins for the pivots and welded the end on the inside of the pot to hold them in place.
Then I started on the copper liner. The round tube is a 3″ copper pipe coupler. The layout on the flat sheet is for the top, a hole for the tube, the OD of the steel jacket, and a small allowance for a turned lip to hold it in place.
I welded a copper disc on the bottom of the copper tube. The steel block is just a weight to hold it in place. Copper is funny to weld. It conducts heat like crazy, the hole part gets hot before the weld will start. It doesn’t really change color when it’s ready to puddle either.
I ground the weld smooth after it cooled off.
I used a 3.25″ hole saw to cut a hole in the middle of the top sheet, then used a beverly shear to trim the part to the outside layout line.
After welding on the top flange and grinding the weld smooth I hammered the edge over so it would register on the steel jacket. The work isn’t perfect, but, again, I didn’t think about work at all so I’m pretty happy with it.
I gave the steel jacket a couple of coats of high-heat semi-gloss black engine paint. I’ll let that dry for a day or so, but otherwise it’s ready to put to work. I need a wood project now so I can try it out. I’ll probably make a lid some day, but I’m done for today. It’s a heavy glue pot, it should hold heat really well, I can’t wait to try it!