We didn't get all that much snow Monday night/Tuesday morning - maybe 1-1/2" to 2". The wind died down down over night and it was right at 32 degrees so the snow was heavy and wet. I shoveled the porch and walk and didn't have to fire up the tractor. It made for a lovely winter scene around the farm.
I got a call from my neighbor yesterday morning. He dropped the winch he was mounting on his trailer and broke the end bell. And he did a right fine job of it, I might add. The view from the inside only tells part of the story. There were a bunch of spider cracks visible from the outside.
He had sorta prepped it for me by sand blasting and grinding some of the cracks but he made the vee groove wider than it needed to be. The casting had a lot of zinc in it, some remaining oil and sand in the cracks along with oil that seeped out of the casting. It was an absolute bitch to weld. The zinc bubbles up out of the weld puddle and creates a lot of porosity. You have to run the arc along the crack, watch it turn all black, clean it, then attempt to weld it, grind it a little with the die grinder, and then run another bead over the top of it at a slow pace allowing the zinc to bubble out and be replaced by the aluminum filler, and maybe repeat the process once more. And when you get all done it still looks crappy.
On a good grade of aluminum, as long as it's clean and your amperage is correct, the weld bead will look nice and shiny. With the stuff laden with zinc, as you move along, the edge of the puddle will melt the base metal and cause more zinc to bubble out and leave a hole next to the edge of the bead. Not fun at all. However, this was the first time I tried welding with the new bionic eyes. I wore my new reading glasses under my helmet and at least I could see what I was doing. Quite clearly in fact.
I was on my way to drop it off at the neighbors and I stopped to get the mail. He was just heading home and stopped at the end of the lane and we made the exchange and then shot the bull for a while - long enough that my feet got cold so I didn't go back into the shop and work on the jitney. I made a big pot of minestrone soup instead. Definitely soup weather.