I purchased the Harbor Freight 90 Amp MIG Welder and attempted a weld with it. I joined two pieces of 3/16ths x 2inch flat bar together to make a 4 inch tall piece. In theory this type of plate would serve as the side wall on my draft box. The results.... A beautiful Jackson Pollock representation using steel as a medium
It isn't a pretty bead by any stretch of the imagination, but suprisingly strong.
I learned a couple things:
1. Welding is harder than it looks, of course.
2. Welding is fun!
I found a few potential issues/mistakes with what I was doing that I need to test and practise with:
1. The garage circuit I was plugged into was 15 amp so I don't think I was getting enough heat out of the unit to really melt and fuse the wire. Running an extension cord to the spare 220 outlet in the next room (2nd living room used to be a kitchen) and using only one leg of it would get my welder on a 110V 50 Amp breaker. If I'm still not getting the heat with an extra 5 amps, then I think I'll return the unit and get the next size up or maybe something that runs on 220V.
2. Get a spot light on the piece so I can see what I'm doing with the visor down. It was too dim to see where I was aiming.
I posted a few pictures of the process. My planned design thus far is to bend a piece of 1/8th sheet metal to the curve of the stove. This will serve as a mounting flange. In the outside corners of the flange I will drill 4 bolt holes and bolt the flange to the stove, using some thin stove gasket between the flange and stove wall. Then to this curved plate I will weld some side walls, bottom, top to form a box. You can see the white line where the sides box would be cut at an angle for the flapper door. I'm not sure yet what the correct hole size should be for draft, relative to all the uncertainties about the weight of the flapper door, the tension of the spring coil, the amount of travel in the spring coil, etc. So, I'm planning to either start small and work up to a larger hole as needed, or come up with a spinner style adjustment.