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.
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.
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!