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I have discovered how easy it is to bump the wire speed knob while reaching for the power switch, and that changes the result the welder produces. I wanted a way to protect the wire speed knob from unintended movement, but keep settings visible and easy to change.

Materials

  • 2 inch finish nails
  • #8 flat washers
  • 1/8 inch Plexiglas
  • 1/2 inch wood dowel
  • #8 flathead screws

Tools

  • MIG welder (GMAW)
  • Spring clamps
  • Aluminum angle
  • Drill
  • Countersink
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Grinder

Step 1: Hardware

The top of my welder has two hex head screws to hold the outer skin of the welder in place. See the first photo. I will utilize those screws to suspend a Plexiglas cover over the wire speed adjustment knob. See the second photo. I welded a #8 flat washer to the head of a 2 inch finish nail and ground the weld reasonably flat. I also ground the point of each nail smooth and round. I removed the hex head screws and screwed the nail/washer pieces in place. I bent the ends of the nails upward in an arc with a pair of pliers.

Step 2: Cut Plexiglas and Drill

I cut a piece of scrap Plexiglas in the form of a rectangle to hang on the curved nails and cover the wire speed knob. I marked and drilled holes for the nails and for screws that will hold standoffs in place.

Step 3: Cut Dowel Standoffs and Drill

I used a stop on a table saw to cut uniform dowel standoffs. I drilled a hole in the end of each for a #8 screw.

Step 4: Mount the Standoffs

I screwed the wood standoffs to the Plexiglas and slipped the Plexiglas over the nail hooks. It hangs flat without resting on the wire feed adjustment knob.

I can easily slip a gloved finger under the Plexiglas and adjust the knob as needed. I can easily see the settings scale and knob position indicator. But, it is now nearly impossible to bump the setting on the wire speed knob unintentionally.

See the second photo. If need be, I can lift the Plexiglas and remove it.

If there had been no screws to suspend the Plexiglas, I could have used magnets to attach a fixture to support the Plexiglas from the top of the welder.

do you really need standoffs? it would look nicer eithout them
<p>It depends on the configuration of your welder's front. I used a scrap of Plexiglas already limited in size. It was probably a little short to reach between both sides of the raised front, so standoffs became attractive. I did not want the Plexiglas resting on the front face of the knob. Without the standoffs I could bump the Plexiglas and make the knob move just a little. I am also much more concerned about functionality than aesthetics. But, thank you for looking and for your comment.</p>
<p>That is a really good idea. Never have to worry about the dial getting bumped and messing up your weld.</p>
<p>Thank you.</p>

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Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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