Those welding who know what they are doing usually support the hand holding the electrode at the wrist with the other hand whenever possible. But, what can you do when there is no available support surface? I modified a telescoping tripod shop light stand to serve as a support for my elbow as needed. It is very portable and very adjustable. It makes my welding better, too.
- Telescoping tripod shop light stand
- Garden fence post (Or, substitute a block of 2 x 4)
- Angle iron
- Scrap wood
- Angle grinder and cutting disc
- Welder (If a welder is not available, a 1 1/4 inch holesaw and an electric drill could be used. a piece of 2 x 4 would replace the garden fencepost.)
- Magnetic corner for welding
- Spring clamps
- Measuring tools
- Drill and bit
Step 1: Cut and Weld Pieces of Fencepost
I am trying to use up a couple of garden fence posts my wife stopped using back in the 1990s. The tripod shoplight stand has some screws around the top and an irregular or larger shape is needed to fit over those screws. I cut two four inch pieces of fence post and welded them together in a vise as shown. (If welding is not an option, but use a holesaw to make a hole 1 1/4 inches in diameter in the center of a squared section of 2 x 4.)
Step 2: Angle Iron Feet
The first photo shows cutting a piece of 3/4 inch angle iron to serve as a mount for the welded fence post assembly. I have pieces of old angle iron with holes at each end. I cut of the ends and utilized the existing holes.
The second photo shows the fence post assembly held at a right angle to a piece of angle iron for welding the ends with the holes to the fence post assembly to serve as mounting feet. Note the magnetic welding corner for holding parts vertical. I tack welded the upper corners of the angle iron feet.
See the third photo. Complete the welds.
See the fourth photo. I used three mounting feet for added stability. I used short screws and washer to attach the fence post assembly to a piece of scrap wood. You can see the screws around the top of the center post on the shoplight stand. (If welding is not an option, nail or glue a piece of scrap wood over the 1 1/4 inch hole in the block of 2 x 4 and slip it over the top of the light stand.)
Step 3: When Finished
When finished you have a support for your forearm or elbow while welding. It simply slips over the top of a telescoping tripod shoplight stand. When finished welding, you can easily lift this little elbow support and off and bolt the halogen shoplight to the stand again.
The second photo shows my right hand holding the electrode. The telescoping light stand is set about the height of the work, or just a little higher. Do whatever is comfortable for you. In the past I was all cramped trying to get an elbow somewhere onto the same vise that was holding what was to be welded. Adapting a shoplight stand like this means the stand can be any distance from the work that is comfortable for me, even if that is two feet or more.
The third photo shows some welds I made with this improvised support for the hand I use to hold the electrode. As you can see from the other photos, I was stick welding (SMAW). Although these welds are not perfect (slag hole, dimpled end not filled and subject to cracking), this shoplight stand elbow support enables me to "stack dimes" far better than I could freehand.