My Dake arbor press has been sitting on the end of my bench for a while. I finally decided to make a stand for it. I have some pieces of steel I grabbed from a local scrap yard a while back and finally decided to put them to use. Both have been outside for a while and developed a coating of rust. The I beam is pretty tall but only about 3/16″ thick. The pipe has a bend in it and is about 1/4″ thick. First, I knocked the rust off with my grinder and proceeded to cut the I beam.
I didn’t have my power hacksaw at the time and instead had to cut it with a cutoff wheel. It didn’t make for very straight edges but they don’t have to be.
I needed to drill some holes to hold the press down and notch out the front of the I beam to match the press. To do this, I placed the press on the piece, centered it, and marked the areas to be removed.
Drilling the holes was pretty easy with the drill press but cutting the notch out required a bit more work. I made several cuts with grinder, ground out what I could, and then filed it to the final shape.
This is the pipe I’m using as the vertical member of my stand. It was cut off with a cutting torch and someone gouged a small hole in the middle of the area I wanted to use.
Luckily, that’s not a problem. I could have left the hole but decided to fix it since I could. I used the stick welder and went around the edge until I’d filled the hole. Once it had cooled some, I ground the area down with the angle grinder.
I put this project aside after I got the power hacksaw. Once I had it running, cutting the pipe was much easier than cutting the I beam was. The pipe still had a curve to it which I tried to compensate for by shimming the pipe in the hacksaw’s vise. In the end I had to do some grinding on the pipe and still didn’t get it perfectly straight.
With all the pieces cut out, I stood the pipe up on the bottom segment and preceded to make some ugly arc welds. With bottom welded on, I repositioned it and welded the top piece on. There’s an art to welding and welding pipe adds another step of difficulty to it. You’ve probably never thought about it, but with stick welding you need to hold the rod at two constant angles to the work while maintaining the arc length which requires feeding in the rod at a constant rate. Meanwhile the tip needs to move in a weave since we’re making a fillet. Then when you’re welding on pipe, you’re not longer on a flat surface. So, you need to make a precise spiraling in orbit with your hand. At this point I’m no where near producing quality welds in this position but its fun to try.
I mounted the vise on the stand and bounced the whole thing around a little bit. Nothing broke or cracked. So, I’ll call the welding a temporary success. I’m going to keep practicing with the welder and would like to replace the welds in the future. Until then it is going to remain unpainted. There’s some flex in the web of the bottom I beam piece and I may weld some gussets in to fix it.