I recently built a small two wheeled cart to move a small generator around the garage and when camping. It has a 1" x1" x 3/16" steel angle frame with expanded metal on the inside for a platform. When building it, I mitered each of the four sides to a 45 deg. angle on each end and then welded the outside of where each of the two sides joined to form a 90 deg. corner. Welding on the outside was also necessary to correct some minor cutting errors that resulted in minor gaps between a couple of the frame pieces. Welds were strong and I couldn't flex them at all. I had a slight twist to the frame that took two of us to straighten using 2x4's as levers. But, you couldn't see a lot of penetration through the joint or discoloration on the off side of the frame. After the expanded metal was welded in position inside the frame, I welded the inside four corners of the frame. I then ground the weld on the outside corners smooth so it would look good after painting.
Question is - If welds seem to have penetrated the material and the joint between two surfaces seems strong, how much if any do you sacrifice by grinding welds smooth to match the exterior surface? Or, said another way, what is gained by having a bunch of weld piled up on the surface of the metal you are trying to weld? I'm a retired engineer and know this could get into a whole bunch of engineering talk and probably some high brow calculations but am more interested in generalities.
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