Burnin' Down the House: Lessons in Welding…

Welding the XS650

Yesterday, for the first time, I got a chance to try out welding.  I had been itching to learn, and the opportunity came up when my friend Danny decided he was going to finish up welding some braces for his custom seat pan.  He has a Yamaha XS 650 build going on, and the thing is looking beautiful.  The bike will be a looker when he is finished, so I offered to help in any way I could, to help make the final steps go faster….

Welding is something that I have been interested in for quite some time, but never had the chance to try out before now.  Danny owns a MIG welder, and although this is considered the “hot glue gun” of metal (seems derogatory), there are plenty of projects on these bikes that can be accomplished with this type of weld.  I watched Danny do some tack welds, and then finish up the seams that attach the braces to the frame.

The next day, he set us up with some practice strips of steel, and allowed me to run lines of weld down the seams of adjoining pieces.  Can’t say they looked good, but they were held together sturdy enough.  The next step will be to practice a bit more, when we have a welder at the garage.  Seems like this is one of those things you practice for years to get right, and hopefully one day, the weld become both functional AND esthetically pleasing.  That day seems a long way off at this point….

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