Video Discussion: Why Do Good Welders Get This Wrong? (Inspector Fabricator) - Questions & Comments Thread

(Why did this thread start 2 weeks ago even though the video just came out on YouTube? Well we put it on the Fireball Exclusive Videos page early for our fans! Check back to see what other videos we release there first!)

Welcome to the discussion about our newest video where Jason went undercover again to uncover the mystery of the steel frame mishaps!

This is the design sheet that was given to the fabricators:

Jason brought up a lot of questions to both the fabricators and the audience. Some of the questions are:

What’s causing these frames to fail? Are speed squares & tape measures to blame?

What tools do you think the fabricators may need to build and QC their parts?

How much does your plate steel table influence what you build on it?

Is weld distortion something we should pay more attention to?

Do you have any other questions or comments? We’d love to read them here:

(and in case you haven’t watched it yet, here you go)


I really like your videos and your way of thinking and approaching problems. You demonstrate the importance of a job well done and the importance of using the right tools. I use several of your squares and have greatly improved the precision of my work. I would like to have more but the delivery costs for Canada are much too high. My biggest wish would be to have a table with the fixtures but as I am retired, it is too expensive. I do the best I can with what I have while respecting your philosophy of a job well done. THANKS! Claude


Don’t know….video won’t play…! Wednesday 22nd at 8:30 MTN

What an excellent video. I am a super new fabricator and learning to weld, primarily mig. My question is, even with a fixture table how WOULD you handle the warpage from attaching the legs (lets assume the mig process)? Is the prebend the best way?

In the previous video you used a fixture table to make a very flat frame, which makes sense, but in this video you showed that even with heavy clamping at the ends the t-joints still bent.

Does the fixture table solve that by sheer number of clamps? The fireball squares do have a much larger surface area to hold onto so I would hope/imagine that has a positive effect on preventing bending but I dont know myself.


I have been trying to watch this latest video and it freezes up non stop. Tried different browsers. It appears there is not enough capacity available to deliver the videos.

Been trying for several hours.

Love these videos! I have built many small frames for myself and others, and I have been satisfied with zero of them. They have all been “good enough” but I really want to achieve accuracy which is why I will be getting a dragon wagon soon. I really do think it matters to be able to have tight tolerances as it makes everything else go together so much more smoothly and a better finished product. Glad to know I’m not the only one who notices this things. I only run this as a side gig/hobby but the army made me a machinist and welder so it’s hard not to try and achieve perfection in everything I fabricate.

1 Like

The quality of the video production is excellent, the team did a great job with the editing as they always do.
Jason, it seems that you have a point to prove in this video. Which you do, the parts you paid for are not within the specified tolerance per the customer provided drawing. Honestly your tone and the ending of the video surprised me. You’re frustrated the parts are not within tolerance and likely frustrated why fabricators don’t understand the quality and increased productivity they can achieve when using a fixture table. The answer you’re looking for is obvious when viewing from this side of the screen. Yet the service provider just can’t quite articulate the words (or pride) to say “I really need a fixture table to hold those tolerances.”

Except one guy! One guy in the video mentioned fixture table! Bring him out of the darkness and show him the light Jason. Give him the opportunity to build these same frames on a fixture table. He doesn’t need to be filmed while doing so, just a few action shots and interview him at the end. Let the story tell itself.

I know your intensions are good and I’m looking forward to what your solution is this time. My father and I watch these videos. He is a 35 year fabricator on a plate steel table.


@NickJ I use my steel table as a workbench, I don’t feel guilty hitting, tack welding, or damaging the surface. Therefore i don’t do fabrication on it that actually matters. The top isn’t flat, it’s to hard to maintain tolerance on it. So I just use it as a workbench.
The fixture table is for assembly only. I treat it as a precision tool. The table can take some serious abuse but I don’t use it that way.


Jason & group,

Just got video to play. And as I guessed the results were the same…!! I’m honestly not surprised…!! Since I’ve gotten my fixture table from y’all I’ve seen a huge increase in accuracy and speed of fabrication. It’s not even an argument. I think it would a good test to send to shops with fixture tables and see how they compare to the ones without…!!


you need to NAME or explicitly LINK this video, right now based on comments I can only assume it has been removed to debug

The video is on the Fireball Tool home page. Or in the video tab. There’s also a link in the first post.

Not so. The link goes to a page, “exclusive-video-content” and not to a video. That page then tells me that the most recent video is “Office Build Episode 4”

The link took me here.
Exclusive Video Content (

And the top video is the latest release from Fireball team regarding the Inspector Fabricator series. Seems to be working for me. I’m using Microsoft Edge browser.

I’ve been a fabricator for more than 30 years and never fortunate enough to have a fixture table- but always wanted one. That said, it’s impossible to make something truly flat without one. It’s also impossible to build truly square, as the table is the foundation. So, I have honed techniques to compensate for distortion, such as planning the placement and direction of my welds, backstepping, etc… Still, it’s a struggle, and never true flat/square. I’ve built tables and then blanchard ground the tops, but how do you clamp to the table? Jigs and fixtures machined to perfection are the only way without a fixture table.


What do you think I should test next to discover the problem?


Arizona Metal Works……that is the whole point of the video. I recently moved to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and got me some shop space. I moved a lot of equipment with me but, like you, always wanted a fixture table so I bought the Fireball table. It is absolutely as good as he says it is. It is a costly investment but makes jobs like the ones he shows honestly easy. Without the table as you mentioned perfection, even when you know you are going to be graded, is very difficult at best and unobtainable in some cases. As far as grounding clamps go, I like to ground straight to my work if possible, if not then I just clamp to one of the clamps I’m holding stuff down with. Grounding to the table is not the best practice in my opinion.


This is wonderful. Just exactly what I want to see.

The longer something is, the more exacerbated the problem of flatness, out of square, etc…right? Perhaps a longer weldment, but I don’t think a longer weldment would do more than a short one to prove the importance of a fixture table. You have tolerances on your drawing but from the looks of it, they didn’t make it a priority. I know that I could have done better-we all could have because we know we’re fighting “flat” on our plate benches. It takes more time to make flat and square when you have a plate bench. You’ve already discovered the plate bench is the problem. The solution is a machined surface- anyone with a plate bench knows they have to work harder to come close to what a novice can do easily on a fixture table. There isn’t a better test than the one you’ve done- now it’s a matter of education, availability and affordability.

A meme that didn’t make it into the video, but I wanted to share it anyway. IYKYK.


The thing that bothers me the most is that you gave a 1/16 tolerance on your drawing so the first thing a production fabricator should do is make the part the fastest possible while being into the right specs. So dah you get parts 1/16 off you just told them you didn’t care. I’ve always been told to spend time where it need to be spent on. you did not went to an aerospace welding shop so you don’t get an aerospace shop finish. Most of the time in small shops the clients want their parts as fast as possible so it remains cheap.