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Thread: Mailbox Post

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Troy MI
    Posts
    400

    Mailbox Post

    Recently the county re-did the traffic lights and widened the road at several of the intersections in town. As a part of the retrofit, they dug up some of the existing posts and discarded them in a dumpster. My customer thought that post that used to have the street crossing button on it would make a nice mailbox post. The Aluminum post is 4-5/8” OD with a ¼” wall, so it is sturdy. I made a plug for hole where the button used to be and welded up a half a dozen tapped holes in the post. I welded two blocks to the horizontal tube, so that my customer can attach a piece of wood to mount the mailbox. I left the horizontal tube open, to be used for newspapers. Even though there is a cast cap on top of the post, I welded a cover over it to minimize moist air getting into the post and condensing. It was a challenge TIG welding on the post because my Dynasty 200 DX welder is a little wimpy for the ¼” wall thickness. The other challenge was that the Aluminum post was heavily oxidized because of the years of exposure to the elements. I cleaned up the area of the post to be welded with a 4-1/2”stainless Steel wire wheel. I used 75% Ar 25% He mixed gas and a little preheat to extend the capacity of my little 200-amp welder.

    -Don

    Pictures:
    1. Pieces all cut up
    2. Tee joint
    3. Block to mount mail box
    4. Mailbox all done
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Miller Thunderbolt
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport
    Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma Torch

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,886
    Quote Originally Posted by Don52 View Post
    Recently the county re-did the traffic lights and widened the road at several of the intersections in town. As a part of the retrofit, they dug up some of the existing posts and discarded them in a dumpster. My customer thought that post that used to have the street crossing button on it would make a nice mailbox post. The Aluminum post is 4-5/8” OD with a ¼” wall, so it is sturdy. I made a plug for hole where the button used to be and welded up a half a dozen tapped holes in the post. I welded two blocks to the horizontal tube, so that my customer can attach a piece of wood to mount the mailbox. I left the horizontal tube open, to be used for newspapers. Even though there is a cast cap on top of the post, I welded a cover over it to minimize moist air getting into the post and condensing. It was a challenge TIG welding on the post because my Dynasty 200 DX welder is a little wimpy for the ¼” wall thickness. The other challenge was that the Aluminum post was heavily oxidized because of the years of exposure to the elements. I cleaned up the area of the post to be welded with a 4-1/2”stainless Steel wire wheel. I used 75% Ar 25% He mixed gas and a little preheat to extend the capacity of my little 200-amp welder.

    -Don

    Pictures:
    1. Pieces all cut up
    2. Tee joint
    3. Block to mount mail box
    4. Mailbox all done
    Nice job, as usual, and the argon-helium mix appears to have worked. Do you think you got FJP?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Troy MI
    Posts
    400
    Quote Originally Posted by Northweldor View Post
    Nice job, as usual, and the argon-helium mix appears to have worked. Do you think you got FJP?
    I believe that both legs of the fillet weld penetrated into the parent metal. I did not bevel the tube or blocks, so I probably didn't get FJP (full joint penetration), But I think it is more than strong enough for the purpose. For liability purposes my customer may want to notch the tiedown bolts, or do something else to allow the mailbox to shear off of a car hits it.

    -Don

    Miller Thunderbolt
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport
    Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma Torch

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,886
    Quote Originally Posted by Don52 View Post
    I believe that both legs of the fillet weld penetrated into the parent metal. I did not bevel the tube or blocks, so I probably didn't get FJP (full joint penetration), But I think it is more than strong enough for the purpose. For liability purposes my customer may want to notch the tiedown bolts, or do something else to allow the mailbox to shear off of a car hits it.

    -Don
    I was not implying that FJP was required for this job, but was curious as to whether the Ar-He mix worked well enough to maintain another cylinder for aluminum weldors.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Troy MI
    Posts
    400
    Quote Originally Posted by Northweldor View Post
    I was not implying that FJP was required for this job, but was curious as to whether the Ar-He mix worked well enough to maintain another cylinder for aluminum weldors.
    Helium does improve penetration, but I don't think that it would penetrate the all the way through the 1/4" wall. I use it to help my little welder weld thicker metal. The bottle was 25% Ar 75% He, before I refilled it and it helped even more. The Helium also makes the puddle flow better, which I find helpful for thicker Aluminum.

    -Don
    Last edited by Don52; 08-19-2017 at 08:41 AM.

    Miller Thunderbolt
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport
    Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma Torch

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,886
    Quote Originally Posted by Don52 View Post
    Helium does improve penetration, but I don't think that it would penetrate the all the way through the 1/4" wall. I use it to help my little welder weld thicker metal. The bottle was 25% Ar 75% He, before I refilled it and it helped even more. The Helium also makes the puddle flow better, which I find helpful for thicker Aluminum.

    -Don
    So, worth the extra investment, if you have need?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Troy MI
    Posts
    400
    Quote Originally Posted by Northweldor View Post
    So, worth the extra investment, if you have need?
    I think so.

    -Don

    Miller Thunderbolt
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport
    Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma Torch

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