When does the weld gap become to big to fill?

At what distance is the weld gap to big to fill. Or faster to just cut another piece to the correct size?

This gap is 3/16 on .120 wall tube. I’ve filled larger but I’m always torn between fill or cut a new one.
What would you do, fill or cut?

If I were in a hurry, running low on material, or wanted a challenge…I would fill it.

If however I had plenty of material and the time to cut another piece….I would cut and replace.

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Fill, let the table do the work and weld.

If you can step over it, you can weld it?


Way too much imperial talk going on here :slight_smile:

I agree with time and material restrictions. Ive filled some nasty gaps on some of our pieces at work, and its all 100% down to time restrictions. Alot of times its because the peices take to long to cut or had other work done to them prior to getting to me, so ill deal with it, but if its for personal projects, to me, it comes down to how much extra work do you want to do.

Also, in some situations, if the gap is really bad, ill stick a filler peice inside the joint to act as a bridge and just weld it into it. We build a few frames that have 6 legs, and sometimes our saw guy doesnt cut them all equally, so you might have 1 or 2 legs a bit shorter or longer then the rest, so you have to work with what you got and make the best of it.

When is the gap too big. When you have to tie a b
oard to your ass to prevent falling thru the gap. Also known as a butt weld Ric Frantz

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Assuming available replacement material, and that material is not really expensive, I feel that time matters, and simply cutting of a new piece is probably more productive than doing fill work.

It’s too big get yourself a new piece.
Or do what i did once and only once
Get a piece of 1/8x1/8 square slide it in the gap
And bridge it😬

It you might have a few elf’s rolling around inside the tube like in the fireball video
Of the first fab square shop quality test video.
My son is 10 and loves that part
And all the cartoon drawings done in the videos

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I always like to add stronger material to my fills. I have done 4 inches, in like 40 minutes. Which cutting a piece of metal and rooting it in is like 10 minutes of work, but three timez de work :slight_smile:

Maybe this should be asked in a new thread, but what’s most likely to cause cutting errors on angled joints like this? It seems to be a fairly common issue.

For me I have a stop set up on my saw and butt my piece to it. Once in awhile I will be watching and the piece will move away from the stop by maybe a 1/16-1/8" and sometimes is caused by the clamp not holding the work piece tight enough.

I mostly noticed this, when my blade is getting dull. Some times if there are a couple of teeth missing, it will cause a catch and move the piece and it will come up short.

I am not sure my clamp holds as well as it should as its the lever style and not a normal screw type like a vise would have.

And I probably don’t change my blade as often as I should because I am cheap :joy:

I figured that tool issues would be part of the picture. I’ve noticed for instance that bandsaw blades can wander a bit. Tolerance stackkng in measuring, markng, and cutting is probabky going to be tough to completely eliminate even when done with care, never mind the caliper, crayon, chainsaw thing. The pros who’ve responded in this thread have pointed out the value of time, and that cutting “close enough” can be the most efficient way to go when the operator has the skill to manage less-than-ideal fitup. It’s a little different for a guy in his garage with all the time in the world who just doesn’t want to make things more difficult for himself by creating a problem that he’ll then have to solve without a full bag of tricks.

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