SHDesigns: Scott Henion's Welding pages. Page hits: Hit Counter by Digits

Picked up a 5x8 foot enclosed trailer a few months back. It has one of those old, bolt-style hitches: (bolt removed.)

  These stopped being used in the mid '80s. Real pain to crank down the knob, takes forever and you need to pull up on it to keep the knob grabbing the nut. Then drive 1/4 mile, get out and tighten it again as it probably did not push the ball to the front of the socket completely. So, time to replace.

 Old was fabbed out of 3/16" steel. Decided to get a wider stamped hitch and weld on. Can't fit in garage, so MIG is difficult. So, will be done with stick, 6013 rods probably 2.5mm. First step cut off old

Half done with angle grinder and 1.6mm cutoff wheels; rest with 3" cutoff wheels on die grinder as I ran out of 4" wheels.

Yes, the end is cut crooked. I cut the welds, the existing socket was welded on at an angle. Was never straight.

   New tongue is 1/4" wider: So, used some 1.5"x1/8" angle iron as spacers. Also will make it easier to weld (my overhead arc needs work.)
   First weld the spacers in: Took a bit of fiddling to get going. I had added 40' of extension to my welding leads to reach out to the middle of the driveway. So, had to use a bit higher setting that I'm used to:
   Second side went better:

 Welded on the new tongue. No wire brush yet, just a few taps of slag hammer; came off easily.

Bit of slag inclusion in the left vertical. At that point, the angle iron stops and there is a 1/8" slot Had hard time managing the sudden change.

   Other side. Did not do vertical on back as did not want to melt the wires.
    Almost finished, safety chains added, wire brushed:
   This was tricky: By the time you get a good bead on the link, it basically vaporzes. Came out fine.

Will get out the plasma cutter and cut the flanges off the sides flush with the welds. There is some more welds underneath. I ran a few beads between the bottom of the angle and the frame, some vertical welds where the angle iron ends in the front.

Overall, came out well considering it is one of my few arc jobs done away from the bench. Should be plenty strong. Just in case I just picked up some bolts to go through the side holes. I have seen these holes used exclusively for mounting. I just consider them a fallback.

My stick welding is coming along. I'm getting a better feel especially when things don't go right. Had blob of slag run ahead of weld. Getting comfortable how long it takes to burn through the blob and to increase the arc a bit to "burn it off." Still need work on verticals. These were difficult as the fitment is not good. Overheads were sloppy. It is hard to get pictures of the underside. The bottom is rounded where it meets the angle iron. So you have a gap to fill that has a poor angle. I managed some good big spot welds underneath. The beads were a bit ugly, but seemed to fuse ok. Hard to see as the weld is hard to get a hammer in.

 All done. Flanges cut off and painted up.