by Jason Becker
One of our co-workers asked us if we could help out his son. He was in a bit of a bind. He works for a local grocer and the basket that they use to fry up their chicken broke at a major connection.
With the basket broke, they weren't able to use one of their friers, thats just bad for business. In exchange for the repair, he promised us whatever we wanted from the lunch menu. How could we turn it down? It sounded like a great deal to us.
We grabbed the basket which had been cleaned prior to delivery, and gave it an additional cleaning. We weren't 100% sure of the type of stainless but 316 food grade seemed like a good guess so that's what we used. I clamped the backing piece that broke off down to the table and then rested the basket on top in line with the previously broken spot welds. The original spot welds were extremely small for the amount of weight the basket was supposed to hold. Because there was a large bow in the center of basket, I secured it to the table with a ratchet strap to close up the gap. It worked like a charm. I put several tacks on the inside so that I could add some larger welds on the outside.
The outside proved to be a bit more challenging than I originally thought, and due to the residual frying oil imbedded in the wires along the basket, the weld puddle was giving me some issues. Due to the angle that I had to achieve, I had to switch over to a standard collet body because the gas lens was too wide to get in the groove. I now understood why they chose to do some resistance spot welds over fillet welds.
Well, we finally got the welds in and they didn't look too bad. We did a final cleanup and delivered it to the client. As a man of his word the grocer hooked us up with some sandwiches and a box of delicious wings. it was definitely worth the amount of work we had to put in.
One thing I recommend for new welders as well as owners of mobile welding shops is to check out your local grocers and restaurants, they always have equipment that needs repaired and welded. They usually pay pretty good and you can also get a nice meal. Let us know what kind of restaurant repairs you have done in the comments below and if it was worth your time. Until next time, Make Every Weld Better Than Your Last!