Today was the second to last session of After School Welding, and for many of the Tinkerers, this meant refining their projects, and doing some metal skills leveling up.
Last week, a few folks suddenly became interested in the possibility of bending metal. We set up a vise on the deck, and got some really long wrenches out to demonstrate how levers can assist in multiplying human strength to bend steel. This week, I promised that we would make the task even easier.
We brought out the propane torch! Hot metal bends easier.
With a steady hand and some patience, we experimented with how hot the metal could get with our tiny propane torch. We watched as the steel changed color and produced what Ava described as "delayed shadows" from the flame moving around. Once the metal went from blue to black to almost red, we worked quickly to manipulate the pieces.
With the help of the deck, some wrenches, and a few vise clamps, we set up some complicated situations, heated strategically, and bent with confidence.
We were also able to use the vice as a squishing tool for Ava's tree climbing spikes. With the help of a metal pole, we used even more leverage to crush the steel into place.
Welding level up!
Next week, we introduce the grinder!