I signed up for the MIG welding class at the Tech Shop http://www.techshop.ws Frankly, welding frightened me. It was kind of like cake decorating, but with fire and electricity. I decided to suck it up, and go back the day after class to give it a whirl on my own and make something. (this tactic helps me to remember what I learn in the classes right away) What I discovered was that welding with this welder was not going to result in the project I had in mind. The wire was 18 gauge steel and the machine's chart showed steel down to 20 gauge, but the wire was too slender and the heat burned through some of the wires. Not one to toss away something that could still be useful. I opted to turn it into a recipe card holder.
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I cut about 18"pieces from a spool of 18 gauge steel wire. I made one of those pieces longer by several inches. I wrap another little piece around the bunch using small needle nose to make make a tight fit. I set up the welder - clipped the clamp to the metal table; set the bunch to rest on two magnets. All the while a helpful 'dream coach from http://www.techshop.com looked on to make sure I got it right. Mask down; "welding" I saw that I had burned through about 1/3 of the wires and the DC and I agreed that what I had in mind was not going to work.
Falling back to regroup. I took what I had. I took one of the wires and wrapped it around the bunch to hold them together, and bent the remaining 4 wires on top into loops.
I strung beads on all but that long wire and curled the ends to hold the beads in place and made these the 'legs' of the holder.
For the extra long wire I dug around the tool box until I found a heavy piece of oddment (for a shower?) I strung beads on the long wire added the oddment; then added a bead to hold it in place, and gave it a curl to insure it all held. I did this for ballast; so that the holder would not be so 'tippy'.
aha! I turned the failure into something useful.
I think I will take the soldering class - less frightening and will probably be just the thing for making the project I had in mind.