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Angle iron miter mig welding

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Angle iron miter mig welding

Postby Josh MacD » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:30 pm

I'm a new welder but I have a project I'm working towards. I want to use angle iron and steel mesh to create some gabion structures. I plan to use 1.5 x 1.5 x 1/8th inch angle iron with 3" steel mesh.

When creating 90 degree corners I've seen the miter versus cope debate on this and other forums. With smaller angle iron the coping might be more work than is necessary. But... I'm not sure I can weld the outer 'knife edge' of the miter without either creating a ton of extra grinding work or burning through the edges and making it look like poo. Any suggestions on welding that miter (assuming that's the better joint option)? Oh, and I'll be making an x-y-z joint with a third piece that I plan to weld to the interior of the miter so I don't want a bead crowding my space on the inside of the miter.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Angle iron miter mig welding

Postby Louie1961 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:26 pm

I have coped all of my recent projects. Coping is a LOT easier if you use a vertical bandsaw: either a portaband in a stand or something like a Harbor Freight 4x6 in the vertical position. Here's some pics of a cart I made for my welder and a small welding table I put together using coped joints. Coping worked out OK for me.

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Re: Angle iron miter mig welding

Postby Josh MacD » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:48 pm

The only bandsaw I have is a table top woodworking version. I'm not sure if I can put in a metal blade and use it for this purpose. I'm cutting with either a grinder (7 or 4.5") or chop saw (not exactly an accuracy tool). I've seen someone cope with a hand held jig saw but I can see that costing a fortune in blades with as many cuts as I need to make.
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Re: Angle iron miter mig welding

Postby exnailpounder » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:53 pm

Josh MacD wrote:The only bandsaw I have is a table top woodworking version. I'm not sure if I can put in a metal blade and use it for this purpose. I'm cutting with either a grinder (7 or 4.5") or chop saw (not exactly an accuracy tool). I've seen someone cope with a hand held jig saw but I can see that costing a fortune in blades with as many cuts as I need to make.

I cope every corner. The more weld you can get on something, the stronger it is. If you have a grinder, get a cut-off wheel for it to cope with or you can free hand cope with a chopsaw ...just wear safety glasses and stay off to the side of the wheel. Mitering looks amateurish.
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Re: Angle iron miter mig welding

Postby Josh MacD » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:58 pm

exnailpounder wrote: Mitering looks amateurish.

As a lifelong woodworker that runs against everything I know, but I'm still learning the rules around here.
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Re: Angle iron miter mig welding

Postby exnailpounder » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:22 pm

Josh MacD wrote:
exnailpounder wrote: Mitering looks amateurish.

As a lifelong woodworker that runs against everything I know, but I'm still learning the rules around here.

I used to woodwork some myself (and carpenter work..hence my screen name) and mitering is customary in that profession but in metal, the idea is usually to make something as strong as possible. You can get much more weld bead on a coped angle or box tubing than you can mitering. Strength might not be a priority for your project but IMO every project should be as strong as it can be made. I also happen to think coped looks better.
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Re: Angle iron miter mig welding

Postby PeteM » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:07 pm

Just hit the outside corner with a hot and quick down pass and weld the joint all around.

That'll give you some practice reaching in and around to get all of the nooks and crannies.
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Re: Angle iron miter mig welding

Postby Louie1961 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:22 pm

You should consider buying a portable band saw. They are really indispensable for cutting stock to be welded. You can easily build or buy a stand to use them in the vertical position. I even saw one guy who bought soft vise jaws and just chucked his portaband up in the vise. The best ones are Milwaukee, but I couldn't resist picking up the harbor freight portaband when it was on sale for $99. You can also find good used Milwaukee and Dewalt portabands on Craig's List for around $100 sometimes.
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Re: Angle iron miter mig welding

Postby Josh MacD » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:02 am

I've heard the harbor freight version is one of the few redeeming tools there and worth the $. But I've already sunk a bit more than expected into this process. The Long Haired General may balk at another $100.
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Re: Angle iron miter mig welding

Postby Louie1961 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:05 pm

Well you can cut copes with just about anything. I have done it with angle grinders and cutting disks, reciprocating saw (not easy to keep it straight), even a hack saw. The portaband will just save you a lot of time. It is one of those "how did I ever live without this" kind of tools.
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