T Bourke's blog

Moving to Las Vegas

The wife and I are embarking on a new adventure! We have been looking for a place to move to and a few months ago we went on a vacation to Las Vegas. We stayed with friends and got a chance to see the rest of the city. We liked it so much we decided to move there from Wisconsin.

Trying some thing new, vinegar soak


After a little reading I decided to see how vinegar worked for cleaning slag, rust, and other gak off of some pieces I just welded up. Just a room temp soak over night. I could see mill slag and the white gak from welding floating off pretty quick. If this works I really like the idea of a vinigar soak to clean stuff up before a final wash and finish. If it works I have several pieces to do it with.

It has been a while, new toys (umm tools)

Hello, I was just reading over my old posts here and realised it has been a while. I am in the process of building xmass presents for the family. Since I last posted here I have upgraded my shop a little bit. I still have the old AC stick welder. I dont use it becasue the rods tend to get old and damp in my garage. I may build a dehydrator for them. When I know I will need it for really thick stuff I can warm them up the day before and get them ready to use. I now have a Lincoln 140 wirefeed. I am glad I already knew stick welding.

I need to make sure this weld is strong.

I am working on a project where I need maximum strength.

I am making some stands for portable lighting. The bases are 1.5" thick plate steel. I need to weld a forged 1.5" socket to it. I have some similar to these ordered:

My latest project, tag alder.

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Here is a link to my latest project. It includes pictures from start to delivery!

getting ready for Halloween


Getting ready for Halloween this year. I have 2 of these by my walkway to greet the children.

My first commission.

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Here is my first commission. I had some of my work displayed at a garage sale My wife was having. It sparked some interest and two people asked me about making stuff for them. This one actually worked out and I made this steel cut out for her. She breeds Doberman Pinscher's. She is going to have a friend air brush it. It is then going to end up donated to an organization that helps Doberman's who need medical attention the owners can't afford.

Carbon rod arc heating


In my research for a cutting and heating rig I was reminded of carbon arc rods. My dad had a 2 rod torch but I don't ever remember it getting used. I read up on it years ago. In the last few days I thought about it again and started researching. I found some info about 2 rod and single rod heating. I am thinking I want to try single rod for heating. My local supply house has several sizes from 5/32" up to 1/4" At $20 bucks a box I think I am going to pick some up. However before I do I need to know what size? I have an AC only welder that can do 30,45,60,80,100 on up to 200+ amps. I plan on heating large nails up to 5/8 rebar for bending and maybe cutting.

Oxy-propane setup.

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I have been reading every post on torches here and spent some time on Google looking for the best way to do this. I am looking for confirmation that I am looking at the right way to go about this.


Made a dragon out of rebar and some other stuff. This is before I have it cleaned up.

A friend I sent the photos to says it needs more of a face. I think I need to get better at welding!

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