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Thread: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

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    Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Here in Michigan we legalized Marijuana recently. My customer previously was growing Marijuana for medical use and now he is expanding his operation for recreational use. There is currently a lot of profit in growing Marijuana. Somehow they wound up with a ten foot restaurant quality 304 stainless sink that was too long to get down the stairs to the nursery, so I cut it in half and welded it back together once it was moved back to basement.

    1. Ten foot sink
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    The first step was to fabricate an Aluminum back up bar to trap the Argon and to minimize oxidation (sugaring) on back side of the weld joint. The next three pictures show clamping pieces of Aluminum angle to the bottom surface at the rear of the sink and tack welding it together.

    2. Back up on rear of sink 1
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    3. Back up on rear of sink 2
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    4. Back up on rear of sink 3
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    The next pictures show clamping pieces of Aluminum angle to the bottom surface at the front of the sink and tack welding it together. I turned a bar of aluminum to fit into the round edge of the sink.

    5. Back up on front of sink
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Here is what the entire back up bar looks like.

    6. Entire back up bar
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    Here are two close up pictures of the welds, because this is after all a welding forum.

    7. Weld on back up on rear of sink
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    8. Welds on back up bar on front of sink
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    I used my Matabo 6" angle grinder with a super slicer plus abrasive cut off wheel to cut the sink in half.

    9. Sink Cut in half
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    Next we stuffed Aluminum foil in the cracks in an attempt to keep the Argon from leaking out.

    10. Stuffing Aluminum foil in cracks
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    We supported both ends of the sink on their legs and we supported both sides of the middle of the sink with two service jacks. Here is a picture of the sink tack welded back together

    11. Sink tack welded together
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    Here is a close up picture of two of the tack welds.

    12. Close up of two tacks
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    My customer asked me to continuously weld the halves together, but asked me to leave the weld as it was without dressing.

    13. Close up of continuous weld
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    Here is a picture of the sink back together.

    14. Sink welded back together
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    -Don
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Looks good!!! I'm gonna guess they pay in cash cause around here they have tons of it and they legally can't put it in the bank. In fact I was in my bank the other day and heard some people opening a business account and the banker gal specifically asked then at least 3 questions that had to do with ANY type of marijuana operation and if they answered yes at all then NO account for you!!!

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Looks good!!! I'm gonna guess they pay in cash cause around here they have tons of it and they legally can't put it in the bank. In fact I was in my bank the other day and heard some people opening a business account and the banker gal specifically asked then at least 3 questions that had to do with ANY type of marijuana operation and if they answered yes at all then NO account for you!!!
    You are correct, they had to pay in cash.

    -Don
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    looks good... why didn't ya just crease cardboard and tape it over the back side of seam to contail the argon? we do that all the time to back gas welds when building stainless cabinets some 20 feet long... cut 2" wide strips of cardboard then crease down the center leangth wise run strip of duct tape down each side place argon hose in one end and tape in place leave small gap in far end to push air out.... like when building stainless exchaust systems cap one end with cardboard poke a hole in it for argon hose to back gas the entire run of pipe..

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Quote Originally Posted by monsoon-mech View Post
    looks good... why didn't ya just crease cardboard and tape it over the back side of seam to contail the argon? we do that all the time to back gas welds when building stainless cabinets some 20 feet long... cut 2" wide strips of cardboard then crease down the center leangth wise run strip of duct tape down each side place argon hose in one end and tape in place leave small gap in far end to push air out.... like when building stainless exchaust systems cap one end with cardboard poke a hole in it for argon hose to back gas the entire run of pipe..
    I was hoping that the Aluminum frame would act as a heat sink to pull some heat out of the back side of the weld, to minimize the oxidation color in the weld. The cardboard solution would certainly be much easier to implement. Wouldn't the cardboard tend to catch on fire?

    -Don
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Crease it so there is a little tent. Might simply tape along the backup bar, might test. Looks good and sugar on the back might not hurt?

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Quote Originally Posted by Don52 View Post
    I was hoping that the Aluminum frame would act as a heat sink to pull some heat out of the back side of the weld, to minimize the oxidation color in the weld. The cardboard solution would certainly be much easier to implement. Wouldn't the cardboard tend to catch on fire?

    -Don
    as Sberry said, thats what the crease is for ya create a lil tent the length of the weld... I've never had any catch fire been doing it that way since 1991 when a friend who worked at Boeing in KC showed me how they did it....

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    May have just used Solar Flux on the back side. Looks Great !!
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    Looks good and sugar on the back might not hurt?
    The biggest problem with sugaring on the back side is it can create a site where bacteria can grow. Unlike a brewery the product will never touch it, so I don't think that it would be a problem. We also ordered a third set of legs to go in the center, so that there would be very little stress on the weld itself. My customer also told me that they would never fill more than two sinks, while washing the product.

    -Don
    Last edited by Don52; 01-11-2020 at 08:50 PM.
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Quote Originally Posted by monsoon-mech View Post
    as Sberry said, thats what the crease is for ya create a lil tent the length of the weld... I've never had any catch fire been doing it that way since 1991 when a friend who worked at Boeing in KC showed me how they did it....
    I will definitely consider this technique for future projects.

    -Don
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Quote Originally Posted by Rondo View Post
    May have just used Solar Flux on the back side. Looks Great !!
    That might have been the easiest way to protect the back side of the weld.
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    The question is how effective was my Aluminum back up bar method for protecting the back of the weld.

    The back up Aluminum frame had three purposes:

    1. Minimize oxidation of the back of the weld.
    2. Act as a heat sink to pull some heat from the weld to prevent the weld from getting too hot.
    3. Prevent the stainless steel from dropping out of the joint.

    1. Oxidation
    The front side of the weld was fine it was silver or straw colored.
    The back side had a more oxidation then I would like, because I wasn't able to properly seal the edges of the Aluminum angle.
    To seal the edges of the Aluminum angle it is necessary to reach up in a 1-1/2" space about 20 inches, which is very difficult.

    2. Heat Sink
    The Aluminum frame would have been a better heat sink if I could clamp the frame to the sink all the way across.
    Unfortunately this was difficult because of the reach necessary to clamp the frame in the middle of the weld joint.
    I think that it helped, but I was a little disappointed in its performance.

    3. Weld Dropping
    The frame was totally effective in preventing the weld from dropping through.

    I have been thinking about the method of adding a 2" wide piece of cardboard to the back of the weld. This method might not be the best for this application. The problem with this approach is that there is only 1-1/2" space for the cardboard between the sinks and it would be difficult to tape any width cardboard in that small space that is 20" deep. I believe that the geometry that we had to live with made it difficult to protect the back side of the weld. As much as I hate Solar Flux it might be the best method for the center section.

    -Don
    Last edited by Don52; 01-11-2020 at 08:51 PM.
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Don that looks like a fun project. Your OP said ” There is currently a lot of profit in growing Marijuana.”
    Get in on it while it lasts then get out. In WA state we’ve had legal Rec weed for about 5 years and medicinal for several years prior.
    I know a few growers, retailers, and investors, it is not a great or even good investment in an established market but in a new market sell all the fabrication you can for the most you can get. Prices drop with all the competition pretty quickly.
    Just my $.02, good luck!

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Grow Generation Corporation (GRWG) is a poster child for the pot craze. It's current P/E is 459.

    The growers here in OK are stumbling all over themselves trying to enter the business. This tells you that the competition is going to be fierce. The only differentiation in the biz, right now, is development of potent varieties, and quality of the merch. Kinda like cars..........a Vette goes for more than a KIA.

    The banks will take your money if you set up a holding company. But you dare not mix any operating costs with holding company accounts.

    I see eventual Federal legalization across the board. The States are so desperate for revenue, it's inevitable. This is what you get when you have a service economy..............the tax base goes straight to Hell.

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Quote Originally Posted by Don52 View Post
    The question is how effective was my Aluminum back up bar method for protecting the back of the weld.

    The back up Aluminum frame had three purposes:

    1. Minimize oxidation of the back of the weld.
    2. Act as a heat sink to pull some heat from the weld to prevent the weld from getting too hot.
    3. Prevent the stainless steel from dropping out of the joint.

    1. Oxidation
    The front side of the weld was fine it was silver or straw colored.
    The back side had a more oxidation then I would like, because I wasn't able to properly seal the edges of the Aluminum angle.
    To seal the edges of the Aluminum angle it is necessary to reach up in a 1-1/2" space about 20 inches, which is very difficult.

    2. Heat Sink
    The Aluminum frame would have been a better heat sink if I could clamp the frame to the sink all the way across.
    Unfortunately this was difficult because of the reach necessary to clamp the frame in the middle of the weld joint.
    I think that it helped, but I was a little disappointed in its performance.

    3. Weld Dropping
    The frame was totally effective in preventing the weld from dropping through.

    I have been thinking about the method of adding a 2" wide piece of cardboard to the back of the weld. This method might not be the best for this application. The problem with this approach is that there is only 1-1/2" space for the cardboard between the sinks and it would be difficult to tape any width cardboard in that small space that is 20" deep. I believe that the geometry that we had to live with made it difficult to protect the back side of the weld. As much as I hate Solar Flux it might be the best method for the center section.

    -Don
    Yes, this has been my go to method for many light gauge stainless sheet metal jobs. I have an outside corner fixture made from aluminum angle with a bevel in the corner, and a port for shielding gas welded on too. The next one I make wont have so much bevel.

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    I haven't made a fixture as elaborate as yours, but will definitely keep it in mind on upcoming projects.

    Thank you for sharing your pictures, and the accompanying narrative. It is really spot on , and adds so much to the subject.

    Great work !

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink Cut and Welded together for Marijuana Grower

    Quote Originally Posted by albrightree View Post
    Yes, this has been my go to method for many light gauge stainless sheet metal jobs. I have an outside corner fixture made from aluminum angle with a bevel in the corner, and a port for shielding gas welded on too. The next one I make wont have so much bevel.

    I haven't made a fixture as elaborate as yours, but will definitely keep it in mind on upcoming projects.

    Thank you for sharing your pictures, and the accompanying narrative. It is really spot on , and adds so much to the subject.

    Great work !

    Regards
    Thanks for your comments. I like your corner heat sink/purge block. I wish that I had asked my customer to hold a back purge line on the back side of the weld.

    -Don
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