DIY Welding Project: Jack Stand Storage Rack

It's time for another one of
my DIY projects in my garage. My project today is to
build myself a stand or a set of shelves to
hold my jack stands. jack stands are terrible because they take up a ton of floor space and you can't really stack them. So I'm trying to decide how
to get rid of these things. So what I've come up with is I'm actually gonna
build a vertical shelf, if you will, with four separate
shelves for the jack stands I decided to go vertical
instead of horizontal because I want to minimize the space that it takes up on my
wall, because I'm gonna try and put other things on there as well. So this way I can set them vertically and I'm not taking up a whole
lot of footprint on my wall. So I'm gonna make my shelves
nine and a half inches wide by seven and a half inches deep.

I'm also gonna make my shelves have a little gusset on the end. That's gonna be about
seven inches tall too. So my approximate width of the
shelf is gonna be about nine and a half by about seven
and a half inches there. So I said that my total height is gonna be about 13 inches per jack stand. So that means my total height
is gonna be about 52 inches. I'm gonna do the shelves
first and bend both ends. And then I'm gonna measure the outside dimensions of the shelves. And that's what I'm
gonna cut my actual size for the width of the back piece that they're gonna be welded to.

Now we have to talk about bend radiuses. So whenever you bend material you're gonna actually
gain some length on that. So if I'm measuring seven and a half or nine and a half inches wide, and I put two bends on it, it's
actually gonna end up wider than nine and a half inches. So you're gonna have to
calculate your bend radiuses. The 5052 aluminum is quite strong. If you find out that you're having a tough
time bending the 5052 aluminum you can anneal it, and that
will remove some of the hardness and make it easier for you to bend.

Okay, I've got my four shelves bent up. So if I measure these
out from the backside the backside I've measured them out. The outside dimensions actually ends up about an eighth inch strong. So all these shelves turned
out to be exactly the same. So I'm gonna cut that back piece just about nine and five eight wide. This is kind of my dry
layout of what it's gonna basically look like after I
get done welding it together. There's plenty of ways
you can cut this stuff. That's one of the reasons I
love working with aluminum. The other reason I like it is
it's light, it doesn't rust, I don't have to paint it, and it actually looks
good in its raw form. So I'm gonna take this over to the Multimatic 220 and
TIG weld these together.

But before I do so, I'm gonna peel that protective film off of these pieces. Now it looks really nice and clean underneath this protective film. The protective film
really is only there to keep these things from
getting scratched up, but you still have an oxide
layer on the aluminum. So the best way to clean that off is gonna be the wire brush it and then take some acetone and clean off that oxide dust
that you've just brushed off. For this project, I'm gonna be using the Multimatic 220 AC/DC. My material is that 5052
aluminum and it's .080 thick. So if I use my Auto-set,
I can set it anywhere between that 14 gauge and
the eighth inch setting. And both of those would probably work fine because I'm gonna be doing
some outside corner welds. I'm actually gonna take
it off of Auto-set. And I like to lower the
frequency a little bit. The pro set for this machine or the standard default
is 120 on the frequency but I'm gonna drop that down to about 100.

Automotive Body Parts

And what that's gonna do for me is, it's actually gonna widen the arc just a little bit when I'm working
on those outside corner edges that way I'm melting the full outside edge without having to put
too much throttle in it to actually get the arc to widen out. So this way I'm letting the machine work for me on the width of that arc. I'm still gonna turn my amperage down to about that same
thickness that I would be welding roughly eighth inch material. And I'm gonna be managing that
amperage with the foot pedal. When I'm not welding an outside corner, I'm gonna jump that frequency
back up a little bit.

And what that's gonna do is it's gonna concentrate the arc tighter
when I'm doing a fillet weld or a tee joint. That's gonna make it easier
for me to get down in that crack area of that fillet weld. So for those, I'm gonna jump it back up to 120 to 130, anywhere around there. It's gonna make that a little bit tighter. Remember, read and follow all
labels and the owner's manual. I've wire brushed and
cleaned all the joints that I'm gonna be welding.

I also installed a gas lens
on the end of my TIG torch. The gas lens is gonna give
me better gas coverage especially on these outside corners. The outside corners are always
falling away from the weld. So there's no way for the
argon to get balled up on the weld joint to keep it shielded. So I like using a gas lens and it gives me a much
better gas coverage zone. I'm gonna try tacking these together without any filler metal first. Sometimes it's a challenge
to get the base metal to fuse together, but I
think it's gonna work well. Now that I finished my
jack stand storage project I'm gonna bring it over
to the wall and mount it. I'm gonna measure between
the ribs on my steel siding and I'm gonna drill two holes and use sheet metal screws
to mount it to the wall. One thing I did have a
challenge with though, is when I was tacking
the shelf in the middle, I found that it was trying to pull away from the back piece a little bit.

So it would help if you
had another pair of hands when you're tacking these shelves together in the middle of the back wall
piece, if you had somebody or something put weight on
this shelf while you're tacking that to the back, so it
doesn't pull away or separate. Now that I've completed my
jack stands storage shelves, I'm well on the way of getting better organized in my garage..

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