A while back we reviewed Industrial Press’ great book Welding Essentials: Questions and Answers. The focus of today’s review, Welding Fabrication and Repair: Questions and Answers is essentially a “sequel” to that book, covering more fabrication techniques than welding processes. There’s some overlap between the two books, but not much.
Fabrication and Repair picks up where Welding Essentials left off, beginning with an overview of the most common fabrication hand tools and their applications, including various measuring tools, power tools, clamps, pliers, and jigs. This will be handy for anyone who’s just getting started, though even seasoned pros may have seen others using a tool and wondered what it was and how it works. From there the book moves on to common materials and finishes, some of which we’ve seen and used and some that we haven’t. For example, a huge section on pipe and tubing explains how sizing works, common practices, and many, many ideas on how to create joints as needed.
Fabrication and Repair‘s “basic building blocks” chapter truly shines with explanations of many common techniques, such as how to miter or notch material for rectangular frames. As an example of how intuitive this book can be, it not only offers a wide variety of suggestions in terms of steps you can follow to improve the chances of a frame being welded square, it explains (with pictures!) how to use adjustable wrenches to bend the frame back into square if you have trouble.
Later chapters also cover all kinds of practical design and repair techniques such as: how to layout part cuts to waste the least material, how to use your welder to remove a frozen bolt, and even how to build a small stand for your handheld torch.
It’s hard to explain in a short post how incredibly valuable this book can be as a reference. Since we’ve had one around the shop we’ve picked it up to reference fastener types, to find an easy method to weld wire mesh to a frame, to determine how to weld up a cracked beam, and to figure out the strongest design for a horizontal bracket.
Trust us: If you’re fabricating — either professionally or just for fun in your home shop — this is a book that should grace your shelf. We found it available from a variety of sources starting at around $30.
Marlow, Frank. Welding Fabrication & Repair: Questions and Answers. New York, NY: Industrial Press, Inc., 2002. ISBN: 0-8311-3155-1
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