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This picture posted by reader tmib Seattle is cool on several levels. First there’s the front loader — then you see it’s a front loader with a welding table chained to the front of the bucket. Read a little further and you find out tmib built that table himself for a bunch of Boy Scouts to learn how to weld on. We give — that’s awesome personified.

Great job and great image. We hope to see a steady stream of the next generation welder and ironworker pics learning the craft in the great outdoors again this year. It’s a great thing you are doing and I’m sure it’s a blast to be a part of. Our hat is off and (root) beer raised to you and your scouts, sir.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


7 Responses to From The Flickr Pool: Portable Welding Table

  1. Jerry says:

    Kudos to all those who work with the scouts. Been there, done that. Very challenging but more fun than most people ever get to know – kids are so enthusiastic! These days, I could never keep up.

  2. dm says:

    I just wish I had exposure to that kind of cool stuff when I was a member of the BSA in Seattle in the early 90s…

    We had a great troop leader but between the lack of cool (institutionally speaking) education within the BSA itself and a lack of gung-ho scouts when it came time to do a real weeklong hike my experience was less than stellar.

    I would love to see (it may have already happened) a major overhaul of the merit badge literature. When I was involved, it seemed that the books hadn’t been updated since the 50’s. I was also kinda creeped out by the heavy religious overtones at every step.

    Good on tmib_seattle; there’s gotta be guys like him for BSA to be good and not suck.

  3. tmib_seattle says:

    Camp starts again this year right after the Independence Day holiday. We’ve doubled the size of our smithy this year and made some program improvements as well. I’ll make sure and post a slew of pictures again this year as I did last year. 🙂

    The table pictured above was made out of donated materials. One of our volunteers is this incredible “go to” guy for all kinds of odds and ends. He came up with the piece of steel for the table lid through one of his contacts.

    You know when you walk down the gangway to get on a plane? The big slab of steel was previously used as the anchor pivot for one of those. I welded the 9″ pipe legs on using 6011 rod (good penetration, not much prep needed) then went over it using 7018 rod.

    We’ve had a vise donated that’s almost as big as my 165 lb anvil. We’ll be mounting it on the steel table through one of the existing holes. Should work fine for the scouts.

    To clarify though, we won’t be having scouts weld on the table; the only welding we’ll do are demonstrations of forge welding. However, the table will make an excellent workstation for scouts to use for blacksmithing. I figure I can have 6 or 7 scouts working around this table at once- no need for an anvil for most of the projects, just a flat steel surface with edges they can work over. This is in addition to the several anvils we made from railroad rail.

    Basically, the smithy was very popular last year and it got kind of crowded at times, so we decided to scale up a bit. We’ll have a larger area, more workstations, and more staff in the smithy to assist me.

    We’ve also decided not to use the gas forge this year; it worked well, but we were using over 100lbs of propane a week, and the cost was adding up. Last year we experimented with making our own charcoal to run coal forges and had good luck, so we’re going to try and step up production a bit this year, and run completely on the charcoal we make ourselves. We’ve had to clear several trees to increase the size of our rifle range, and the wood from that will become charcoal for the smithy.

  4. hmburgers says:

    Very cool stuff you’re doing for the BSA kids…

    Personally I never joined but in hind sight wish I had… I remember seeing those “Be Prepared” commercials… don’t see those or any BSA advertising much anymore?

    I think everyone needs a hands-on, can-do, influence in their lives. My dad is great, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything, but he’s not a hands on or outdoors kind of guy… lucky for me his dad (my grandfather) was in my life until about age 9-10 when he passed away, I spent every minute at my grandparents house down in their garage with him, he’d always have a project that he would say he needed my help with 🙂

    A good friend of mine at work was a scout leader for 10+ years, his son ended up as an eagle scout I think, nicest kid you’d ever meet and very practical.

  5. BigEdJr says:

    Well done sir!

    I am a former scout and a current Cub Scout leader, Webelos. I am sometimes a little saddened at the lack of knowledge and experience that some of the boys have in working with tools etc. I guess I just grew up lucky out in my dad’s well stocked garage.

    To all of you toolmongers out there, you do not have to be a full time leader to be involved with scouting. You can check with your local Scout council and volunteer with whatever “special” knowledge you might have and become a merit badge counselor. It is a great way to be involved in the community and help continue the love of all good activities.

    dm* Yes, they have updated much of the material since you were young. There is even a video game merit badge I believe.

    Thanks toolmonger guys for the great site!

  6. Toolhearty says:

    Wow. I was in Scouts for many years a loooong time ago and we never did anything this cool. I doff my (hard)hat in your general direction, good sir.

    (come to think of it… is there any hard and fast upper age limit for being a Scout?)

  7. Mike47 says:

    You are never too old to be involved in Scouting. Shop skills are incredibly valuable in teaching Scouts to be self-sufficient and prepared. Don’t let history stop you. I was the top Cub Scout in California one year, and kicked out of Boy Scouts another year because my Dad didn’t attend committee meetings. My son became an Eagle Scout, partly due to my encouragement and participation.

    dm: We are a Nation under God. The Scouts take that seriously.

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