Sunday, March 10, 2013

Prep for Chassis Welding

Hello, over the break our goal is to get the chassis more or less up and put together based off Kyle's awesome CAD of the design. To get the chassis together we have to weld it but unfortunately most metal from home depot, although cheap comes with a coat of zinc, or galvanization on it. To keep with the kind of do-it-yourself mantra of open source I tried to find the easiest and cheapest way to get that coating off. On the internet various sources have suggested "muriatic acid" which is used in cleaning pool. This maybe okay for some people and it definitely gets the job done, but it's a bit pricy and you have to be a lot of it. Also pool supply stores and few and far between especially for someone like me who has to get to places by bus. What i did was get some good old toilet bowl cleaner. Like this one I found for 4$ at my nearest walmart.

This stuff is amazing for it's price and I would highly suggest it. I also bought some baking pans to soak the metal int seeing as I would want to throw these away after, or at least not use something more expensive. the next thing I did was get 2 large containers, one filled with water to quickly remove any that got on my hands and dilute the acid too (I know baking soda would also work, but a whole thing of it was unnecessary for small stuff), and the other to pour the used acid into (you can't just put it down the drain). Then I got a box to put it in if it spilled and filled it with lint to absorb if anything went wrong. I soaked the area for about 2-2.5 hours and got this result...

This is more than ample space for welding. Just a bit of things i ran into, make sure you take off the price sticker on the metal because the acid will not go though it. Also do it in an open area, and wear safety glasses. I also would suggest to make a cheap funnel by cutting the top of a water bottle, because it comes in handing getting it from the pans to back into a container. If things all go as planned we could have a chassis in no time!

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