Tappin’ It.

Greetings. Since I got back from my wedding, I’ve been working on making mounting brackets for the rails and the leveling feet. First I had to learn how to tap a hole. I’d never cut threads for bolts before.


Success! First test hole tapped!

The tap package should tell you what size drill bit to use. If not, check out this wikipedia article. Once the hole is drilled, put the tap in the tap wrench. I found it helps to put a little cutting oil on the tap before starting to cut the threads. On my first try, I found it was difficult to make sure the threads ended up perpendicular to the surface. I was using a 3/8″ tap on 5/16″ holes. I eventually decided to try drilling 3/8″ hole in a piece of bar stock to use as a guide to help keep the tap perpendicular. This worked great.


Got this because the giant mill in the hangar is placed in the corner, precluding drilling holes along the length of the 9 foot rails. Happy with it so far.


Drilling another 5/16″ test hole to be tapped for a 3/8″ bolt.


Drilling guide holes in bar stock.


Using the bar stock as a tap guide on my second test tap. The oil helps a lot. Also learned to back up every quarter turn or so to reduce friction and prevent breaking taps.

Then it was time to start making mounting plates for the rail. This process had a lot of steps since I wanted to use the plates as drilling and tapping guides for the threaded holes in the rails. First, I measured and drilled 5/16″ holes in the bar stock plates. Then I used those holes as guides to drill the rails. After that, I drilled out the holes in the bar stock to 3/8″ to use them as tapping guides. Once the holes were tapped, I finally drilled the plates on out to 5/8″ so there will be room for adjusting the rails for level and parallelism.


This shows my plan for attaching the rails to the uprights. The 3/8″ bolts are threaded into the rails through 5/8″ holes in the bar stock which will be welded to the uprights. This allows the rail to be shimmed to level and tweaked laterally to ensure exact parallelism with the other rail.


Using the mounting plates as drilling guides for the rail.


Using the plates as a tapping guide this time.


Finally drilling the mounting plates out to 5/8″.


Final configuration.


Ready to tack on the mounting plates.

Next I needed to cut off my ill-conceived corner wheel brackets and cut and tap some bar stock to accommodate the new leveling feet. Removing the brackets was a pain. First I tried to just use the die grinder with a grinding bit. This was painfully slow. Same held true with a cutting wheel on the die grinder. Finally I borrowed a reciprocating saw. This made it easy to cut off the two ends and then I could get at the welds with my full size angle grinder. This went a lot quicker.


Removing the wheel brackets.

Then I cut 2 inch squares of bar stock and tapped those to accept the leveling feet.


Ready to weld on the end caps for the leveling feet.




Leveling foot mounted.

After I had the leveling feet mounted, I tacked on the rail mounting plates and finish welded the risers. I’ll try to put up some pics of this in the next post. I’ll also be un-boxing and starting to mount the gear racks and v-rail. I’m pretty excited and nervous to start this phase of the project. Stay tuned!

Major Visual Progress

Greetings. I’ve finally had some time off to spend in the hangar lately so here’s a rundown on what I’ve been up to…

The base of the table is all welded. This was no small task, especially considering my still underdeveloped skill in out of position welding. I was having all kinds of problems with vertical and overhead welds.  I think it boils down to my trying to do overheads too cool and getting a bunch of spatter in the torch.  I’d think I had it all cleaned out and then run a vertical bead and get a bunch of porosity due to spatter deep in the torch obscuring the flow of gas.  The really distressing part of all of this was that the problem welds tended to be unreachable by my angle grinder, so I didn’t have any way of grinding them out and trying again.

Then I learned about the die grinder. It’s basically like an industrial strength Dremel Tool. I got a pneumatic model for about $30. There are electric versions that would be handy if you didn’t have a high capacity air compressor, but they’re a bit more expensive.


Vertical down gone awry. Was really stressed about some of these bad out of position welds in hard to reach places until I learned about the die grinder.



Die grinder saves the day.

Looking ahead to trying to level out the table, I was confronted with how I was going to mount leveling feet. The brackets I built for the corners were made for castering wheels, and I didn’t have anyplace to mount the feet. Eventually, I decided to scrap the corner wheels in favor of two giant non-castering wheels in the middle of the table. I’d put the leveling feet in the corners and they could be retracted when I needed to move the table. I’m going to use the die grinder to remove the wheel brackets and replace them with tapped leg end caps so the feet can just screw into the bottom of the legs.


Base is pretty much welded. New wheel arrangement works great!



Once the table’s functional, I’ll make some top brackets for these. For now the U bolts work fine.



Temporary arrangement of leveling feet.

Once I had the landing gear all figured out, it was time to think about the risers. This was my first time doing 45 degree beveled joints. I started by tacking opposite corners. I clamped them onto the edge of the table so I had access to 3 of the 4 corners of the joint. This way I only had to flip and re-clamp once.

When I first started running beads, I blew out a couple of the outside corners because I was running too hot again and not traveling fast enough.  Did my usual penance of grinding and came back and had some success.


Getting ready to tack up a couple of risers.



This was just terrible. I was way too hot and blew a giant hole in the outside corner. Had to build it back up and do a bunch of grinding, but at least it was accessible.



Amazing what a good night’s sleep and a clean torch nozzle can do for your beads.

When it came time to tack on the risers, I used a couple of strong 90 degree magnets and a bar magnet to get it close and tweaked it with a good digital level.


Used a few good strong magnets to line up the risers before tacking them onto the frame.



Couldn’t help laying the rail on once I’d tacked up a couple of the risers. Starting to get a sense of the scale of this beast…



Using the rail as an alignment guide for the middle riser before tacking it on.



All 6 risers tacked on. Looks very close. Still lots of work to do.

It’s pretty cool to have the frame pretty much completed! I’m excited for the upcoming challenge of mounting the gear racks and v rail. In the next post I’ll show how I drilled and tapped mounting holes in the top horizontal beams and brackets.

Fab Week

I was off work last week, so I tried to get as much welding done as possible. I had the sides and ends of the table’s base done, so all I had to do was cut some mitered gussets, prep the joints, clamp everything together and start tacking… How hard could it be?


Sides, ends, and spans ready to be fit up.

First of all, there are a LOT of joints that needed prepped. I spent the better part of one afternoon just getting all the bevels ground and removing the oily coating that comes on the tubing from the areas to be welded. I could see how if you were doing this sort of thing all the time, it’d actually be worth it to get another angle grinder so you wouldn’t have to spend so much time switching back and forth between the grinding wheel and the wire cup brush. It’s only a minute each time, but it adds up and gets tedious.

My initial thought was to try to get everything squared up and clamped together before I did any tacks.  I used the long pipe clamps to hold the ends on and tried to use C clamps with scrap tubing to hold the rest of the joints square. As square as I thought I’d made the side and end assemblies, I couldn’t get it all to match up at the same time. I felt like I was playing whack-a-mole with a rubber mallet. I’d get one end squared up and the other end would come undone. I even got some 90 degree clamps from Home Depot. They looked a little light duty, but I thought it was worth a shot. It wasn’t. One broke as soon as tried to clamp it on, and another stripped out its threads as I tried to tighten it up.  Happily, HD gave me my money back with zero hassle.


Early attempt to get everything clamped together at once.




This Jorgens 90 degree clamp from Home Depot might be useful if you’re building a balsa wood birdhouse.


Pipe clamp in place trying to help square things up.

I wasted way too much time before I realized that I could square up one end, get it tacked together and do one corner at a time on the other end. This left all the warping and twisting to be corrected on the last joint. I got it pretty close, but I was about an inch out of square when measuring the whole table diagonally both directions. I used a ratchet strap from corner to corner to bring it back into square before securing the spans with pipe clamps and tacking those into place.


Ratchet strap holds everything square while pipe clamps hold the spans in place for tack welding.

Then it was time to start making some gussets. The saw’s manual recommends cutting square tubing tilted up on one edge so the blade’s going through a minimal amount of material. I realized that it wasn’t possible to get the cut I needed without laying the material flat in the miter clamp. I’m sure this reduced the life of my blade, but there was no way around it. I just took it slow when cutting through the flats.

Another issue I had when cutting the gussets was that they were too short for the clamp. That is to say that the short side of the gusset wasn’t long enough to extend beyond the pivot of the clamp. I wish I could say I was smart enough to see this coming, but I did end up shooting a gusset across the room before I wised up and added another clamp.

Also, don’t assume that just because the last number on the scale is 45 that if you rotate the clamp to its stop that you’re at 45 degrees. I made this mistake on my first cut and the piece didn’t fit right in the corner because it was more like a 50 degree cut.


Cutting shorter mitered gussets requires supplemental clamping to prevent the possibility of projectiles.

And then more grinding and clamping…


Gusset ready to be tacked.


Measure, Measure, Cut, Grind, Grind, Clamp, Repeat.

Once all 8 gussets were tacked into place I moved on to the surface. While not part of my original drawings, I decided to put some braces made of scrap 3/16″ x 2″ x 2″ angle on diagonals across the surface. This should help support the water table since I reduced the number of ribs on the frame from 3 to 2. I decided to do that after looking at some other similar sized tables that only had 1 rib and deciding 3 was overkill. The angle braces will also help keep the frame square. I left the ratchet strap in place till after I tacked them in place.

When cutting the first one, I cut the angle iron to length and then laid it in place on the table and marked the apparent angle of the cut.  This turned out not to be nearly accurate enough, so I had to resort to trigonometry despite it being after 10 pm. I figured out what angle I needed and used my trusty metal protractor to mark the angle.


High school trig saves the day.

Once I had cut the correct angles, I realized my usual clamping strategy wasn’t going to work to hold this in place.  There may be a more elegant solution, but this is what I came up with after some head scratching.


Had to get a little creative clamping the angle braces.



Must have been a productive day with all that saw dust!

The next day I cut the other two angle braces and tacked them into place. On both of them, I had one tack that looked as if it had no shielding gas at all. It’s taken me a while to figure this out, but that day was sunny and I had the big hangar door open. I’m thinking a breeze came through and blew away the gas?


It was as if there was no gas, but the valve was open.


Tacking on the second angle brace.

Before I tacked the third angle brace into position, I checked the squareness again. It took me way too long to figure out to use a welding magnet to hold the tape measure in place when checking the diagonals.


Functional fixedness would be a detriment to progress while working alone.

After it was tacked in, I finally removed the ratchet strap and checked squareness again. It was within 1/16″.


Look Ma! No clamps!


I’d really hoped to be further along than this after my week off, but I’m happy to be taking my time and making sure everything is done as well as I know how (which may not be saying much…).  I got a little bit of the actual welding done, but there’s still a lot to do. I’ve gotten some good hints on out of position welding after my last post. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Also, all the electronics have arrived and I have Ubuntu and LinuxCNC installed on the PC I’ll be using, so expect some progress there over the next couple weeks. Don’t forget you can enter your email in the box to the right to get updates as they happen. Thanks for reading!

Vertical and Horizontal Welding Practice Project

Before I started tacking the base of the table together, I decided I should organize a pile of scrap on the floor by using some of it to build a rack. In the process I’d have a chance to practice some out of position welding. All of the parts I’d made up to that point could be clamped flat onto the workbench. Once I got it tacked together, I’d have to start doing welds however they happened to be oriented.

Welding in the vertical and horizontal (not to be confused with flat…) positions is challenging because gravity is always trying to take the puddle of molten metal in directions you don’t want it to go. In the photo below, you can see how gravity caused the bead to sag to the bottom of the joint. That bead was done with a wire feed rate of 290 inches per minute. Once I slowed the feed down to 200 ipm, it got a lot easier to control the puddle. I still got some sagging on my last try. I think I was moving too slowly and therefore depositing too much metal.


I’m still too young to sag like this.



Got the Miller 250MP dialed down a bit to 200 ipm.



The smaller upper beads were at 200 inches/minute. Not pretty, but much easier to manage the puddle.



Ready to take another crack at the horizontal.



Started on the right. Thought I had it dialed in. Did the left and decided maybe not…

For the vertical up, I was practicing the technique described at welding tips and tricks which is basically an upside down V pattern. It took me a while to get the pace right on this one too.


Vertical up came together after a few tries. Think I got the gas off it too soon at the end causing the porosity.



Regular ol’ flat fillet.



Goal posts for our new hangar football league.



My first “completed” welding project.



Scrap holding scrap.

All in all, it was an afternoon well spent. I didn’t want my first experiments with out of position welding to be on my cnc table. I’m sure I’ll still have some beads on the table that I wish looked better, but now I know I should at least be in the ball park. Plus the workshop is a bit tidier now!

Frame Assembly, Wheel Mounts, and Carriages!

Hello! Lots of progress lately. Here goes:

I welded up one side of the base of the table.


Laying out a side of the table base to be welded.




Spacers clamped into place to counteract warping. When I do the other side, I’ll do this BEFORE I weld.

After I welded this, I noticed both ends were bowed inward. I put the vertical members for the other side in the ends as spacers during cooling. I think I’m going to have to jam them in when it’s time to tack together the sides and ends to ensure squareness.




Would like to know why my fillets get gouged out like this from time to time.

Also made some wheel mounts out of some salvaged heavy duty U channel. No pics of this, but when I cut this U channel with the chop saw, I did it in two cuts. The first was through the two uprights. Then I turned it 90 degrees and cut through the bottom. The saw cuts much easier this way.


Cool old Bridgeport mill in the hangar serves as drill press for my wheel mount plates.

Drilled through the wheels’ mounting holes and attached one bolt at a time to ensure proper hole alignment to my mounting plates. The plan is to clean these up with the angle grinder and a wire cup brush and weld them to the bottom of the table’s legs.


Salvaged some heavy duty U channel for my wheel mounting plates.

Got a few shipments of hardware for the ShopDroids mounting brackets. I was really pleased by McMaster-Carr’s service as well as that of VXB Bearings and Modern Linear. All of the items from McMaster-Carr came in numbered bags that corresponded with the packing list, making it really easy to match up with the bill of materials supplied by Shopdroids.

Assembly of the brackets was fairly intuitive after consulting photos on Shopdroids’ Facebook page. One discrepancy I noticed was the omission on the supplied bill of materials of a washer that seems to go between the red tensioning spring and the motor mount.


Misc. Hardware has arrived!



Assembly order of bearing hardware.



The eccentric bushing installed in the V-bearing.



The Z axis gets mounted to this carriage. There should be a washer between the left spring and the motor mount. Also, I don’t have the anti-backlash spring installed yet on the left side.



X Axis carriage and motor mount.



Note the eccentric bushing on the bottom has flat edges so you can turn it with a wrench to tighten the carriage onto the V-rail.


Water Table Design and Checking Squareness

Hello! I got a message this morning that the rest of the steel I need for the frame is waiting for me to pick it up next time I’m in Seattle.  I’m trying to think of things I can work ahead on. Finally got around to adding the water table and gantry (with my own digital versions of the shopdroid brackets) to my design in Blender. I was happy to see the gantry (shown in white) fit up nicely.

Latest Blender Render

Latest Blender Render. Purple in honor of my Kansas State Wildcats!

I really haven’t decided if I’m going to do the water table right away or not. I did this mostly to make sure it could be retrofitted if I decided not to put it in initially.  As I understand it, the argument for is that the water traps the vaporized metal and greatly reduces dust in the shop and in your lungs.  Since I’m in borrowed shop space, I’m leaning toward installing water from the start so I don’t coat my benefactor’s airplanes with metal dust. In either case, it’ll work. I’ll just have to alter the design of the slats (a grid of vertical strips of metal that supports the work piece during cutting) a little based on which way I decide to go.

If I go with the water table, it’d be 50″ x 98″ and could sit on top of the frame, unattached. On my list of things to do is looking into sheet metal sizes to figure out if I could make this out of one piece.  I actually haven’t even determined what material and thickness would be best for this.  I’ve heard of some folks using spray on truck bed liner for their water tables. Any thoughts?

Hip to be Square

I went to the hangar this morning to check the squareness of the one end of the frame I’ve fabricated. Pythagorean Theorem said it should be 59.1 inches diagonally across this section. Both diagonals were just over 59 inches. That should  mean it’s  pretty square. I’m planning on using this section as a jig for the other side and keeping them clamped together till the new one cools. Thanks to John (aka zappafan1 on cnczone.com) for the tips!




Stay tuned!

MIG Welding the First Table End

Had an interesting day welding up the first end of my CNC table with the Millermatic 250 MIG welder the other day. I had this section all tacked together, so I just had to run beads along the seams in such a way as not to warp the heck out of everything. I got to the shop and clamped my work down flat on the table. I checked the settings on the welding machine and got to it. I ran about an inch of bead before I realized I’d forgotten to listen for the gas… AGAIN. This time instead of turning on the wrong bottle, I’d forgotten to turn the gas on at all. Shame. I need a checklist for this apparently.

I did my penance of grinding out the porous weld, turned on the gas and sat down to try again. This time I didn’t make it an inch.  As soon as I struck an arc, I flashed myself in the eyes. Another item on the checklist needs to be to switch the auto-darkening welding mask setting from “grind” back to “weld.”

After rubbing my eyes and blinking for a minute, I finally ran my first bead of the day. I think it turned out more or less decently. The only issue was I had my mask set too dark this time and I couldn’t see where the end of the joint was. As a result I kept going till the arc went out because there was no material underneath it. This left an arc mark as I finally pulled it away.


I welded this originally in the flat position. Note the arc mark to the right resulting from my inability to see I was at the end of the joint. I turned down the darkness setting on my mask to improve visibility.

After the early hiccups, I finally settled down into a bit of a groove. I had the work piece clamped down flat at first, welding flat and moving around to different areas of the piece to keep too much heat from building up in one area and to give plenty of time for cooling. This should help prevent warping. Then I flipped it and did the other sides before turning it on its various ends for the fillet welds.


Got a little skinny in the middle of this one and forgot to leave the gas on the end of the weld for a moment at the end. Think that’s the cause of the dimple.


Not sure how I ended up with this porosity. Had to grind that out. remembered to switch back to the “weld” mask setting this time…

At one point I was feeling cocky and tried to do a vertical weld. I should have waited and reviewed the technique on that as I ended up with a pretty ugly weld with a big droop at the bottom.


Less than stellar results of my first attempt at vertical welding. After this I reoriented my work so I could weld flat until I do some more research and practice with the vertical position. Also note nice cut quality from the Rage II cold chop saw.







I’m not sure what the brown precipitate is on some of these welds. I think I probably need to clean the joints better before welding. I’ll try that next time. Seems to come off easily enough but it leaves indentations in the weld.

So to recap, today I learned:

1. (Again) Double check the gas bottle is turned on before welding.

2. Double check welding mask reset from “grind” to “weld” after grinding.

3. Don’t forget to hover over the end of the bead with the gas for a moment to keep the puddle shielded as it cools.

4. Don’t set the mask so dark that you can’t see where the end of the weld should be.

5. Going to try cleaning the joints with a wire cup brush on the angle grinder next time to see if that gets rid of the brown precipitate.

6. I wasn’t satisfied with how the corners blended together. Next time I’m going to try to weld around the corners and mate the beads up on the flat sides.

While there are lots of ways I hope to improve, I’m pretty happy with how this is turning out so far. It’s cool to be learning and practicing welding on something that’s useful but not critical for life and limb. I’m going to pop in for a minute tomorrow after it’s all cooled off and measure the piece on both diagonals to see how I did at keeping it square. I’ll try to post some pics of that.  I’ve got a call in to my steel supplier in Seattle and hopefully next week I’ll get the rest of the tubing I need.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget you can subscribe and get email updates as they happen.


Let the Build Begin!

I finally got my Chop Saw! So far I’m reasonably happy with it. There were a few chips in the paint when I pulled it out of the box. I was annoyed by this, but not enough to delay my project a month by sending it back. At about $280 plus shipping, it was a little more than half the cost of the comparable DeWalt I could buy locally. If it lasts through this project, it will have paid for itself. As far as cutting goes, it’s like butter so far. I’m glad I went with a cold cut saw versus the slow, hot, abrasive wheels.

Bar stock cut with the Rage saw.

Bar stock cut with the Rage saw.

So having the welding more or less figured out and the ability to cut steel, the only thing left was to get some steel.  In Juneau, steel is about 75% more expensive than in Seattle because it has to be shipped up on a barge.  I have access to discounted shipping so it makes sense to source my steel from Seattle. However, since I’m new at this and I didn’t want to order 140 feet of steel from a supplier in Seattle only to discover that the fabrication was over my head, I went ahead and bought a 20′ length of 2″x2″x3/16″ steel from the local supplier. This, I figured, would be enough to build one end of the table frame. If I could keep that square and level, I’d go ahead and get the rest from Seattle.

Measure 3 times, Cut Once

First cut on 2X2 tubing. Clamped per the instruction manual.

First cut on 2X2 tubing. Clamped per the instruction manual.

I made two marks that the blade should go between. Then I remeasured and marked again. Sometimes even one or two more times, just to be sure. Steel is expensive.

I made two marks that the blade should go between. Then I remeasured and marked again. Sometimes even one or two more times, just to be sure. Steel is expensive.

After being super diligent about measuring and marking, I was thrilled at the accuracy of the cuts. Parts lined up perfectly.

After being super diligent about measuring and marking, I was thrilled at the accuracy of the cuts. Parts lined up perfectly.

Then I beveled the edges as required with my angle grinder.

Then I beveled the edges as required with my angle grinder. I only had to do 2 edges per joint since the tubing is rounded and provides a gap for the weld to penetrate into.

Tacking It Up

More measuring and marking. The magnets were pretty helpful in squaring things up and holding them in place before using the C clamps.

More measuring and marking. The magnets were pretty helpful in squaring things up and holding them in place before using the C clamps.

This is what your tack welds will look like if you turn the gas on to the wrong welding machine. I could have sworn that was the right tank! Now I listen for the hiss of gas when I pull the trigger.

This is what your tack welds will look like if you turn the gas on to the wrong welding machine. I could have sworn that was the right tank! Ground those out with the angle grinder and re-tacked. Now I listen for the hiss of gas when I pull the trigger.

The right angle magnets are good for getting things set up, but Bill wisely suggested that I clamp stuff down to keep it secure.

The right angle magnets are good for getting things set up, but Bill wisely suggested that I clamp stuff down to keep it secure and prevent warping.

It stands! After tacking everything looked square and true.

It stands! After tacking everything looked square and true.

In the next post, I’ll see if my MIG welding skills are up to the task of finishing up this end of the table. Stay tuned!

Welding Practice


I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to teach myself how to weld. I purchased an EVERLAST PowerARC 140 a while back because I thought I’d use stick or TIG welding to build my table. I did some practice stick welding with this unit and discovered that on a regular household 120 V circuit, I was pretty limited on which rods I could use effectively without tripping the breaker. Starting out with 1/8″ 6011, I found I needed at least 85 amps to keep a good arc going.  At that setting, if I pulled the arc long at all I’d trip the breaker. Longer arc means higher voltage. The voltage coming out of the wall is constant, so if you ask for more watts it tries to draw more current. I wish I had found this chart sooner.


This is how I decided to try 3/32″ 6013, since it should work well at lower amperage settings. It did work a lot better. I turned out some beads that looked respectable to my untrained eyes, including a butt joint with 1/8″ bar stock. The fillet welds were not turning out though.

One of my first arc strikes with 1/8" 6011. Note scratch marks and divots from over-zealous slag hammering.

One of my first arc strikes with 1/8″ 6011. Note scratch marks and divots from over-zealous slag hammering. Shame.

First bead with 1/8" 6011. This was running up against the duty cycle limit of the machine.

First bead with 1/8″ 6011. This 2 inch bead was running up against the duty cycle limit of the machine.

3/32" 6013 @ 67 amps. Sorta looks like a weld at least...

3/32″ 6013 @ 67 amps. Sorta looks like a weld at least…

Butt Joint with 3/32" 6013.

Butt Joint with 3/32″ 6013.


Fillet of Junk.

Bill is another tenant of the hangar I’m using.  A few days ago, he was working on repairing his airplane which had been hit by a snow plow last winter. He saw me scratching my head over my junky fillet welds and came over. It turns out that in addition to being an Airframe and Power Plant Mechanic, he’s a pretty experienced welder. He offered to let me watch him run a few beads.  Right away he said, “this isn’t how you want to build your table! Why aren’t you using that MIG Machine?” I told him it wasn’t mine and I didn’t know how to use it.

He turned it on and found a preset that looked right for what we were welding on and ran a couple beads for me. He made it look easy, but I was pretty blown away by how easy it actually was when I tried it. I had a couple tries where the wire seemed to come out way too fast, but I figured out I wasn’t keeping the tip down close enough to the weld. Once I got a feel for it I even ran a couple of fillet welds that turned out way better than what I’d been doing with the stick welder.

More like it.

More like it, I think.

The shop I’m being allowed to squat in has 120, 220 and 250 volt service. It doesn’t have 240 though, which is the other option with the EVERLAST PowerARC 140. I think this would be a fine stick welder if you had 240 volt service or if you have light duty welding to do using smaller electrodes. I’m not sure why my fillet welds weren’t turning out. Pretty sure it was my technique. I still want to try it with some 7018  just to see how it does, but after about an hour practicing with the Millermatic I felt confident that I could start building my table.