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Welding/theatrical welding



I hope you are well. I am a stage carpenter and would like to move to the next step of welding certain elements;flats, platforms, etc... And move away from some wooden matters. I have two question; 1. What is the best type of welding to use in a theatrical setting for a house that allows you to drill into the floor? 2. What materials are normally used?

There are schools here I can work with but would like to get a good direction going.

Thank you for any advice you can give.

Hampton Whatley

Not sure what "Drill Into The Floor" means...

I was a Stagehand Carpenter and Welder for 11 years.

Theatre is 99.99% MIG welding of light gauge steel.

Light Gauge means under 1/4" thick.

The best welding machines for theatre are small 220 volt MIG machines, and their little brothers, the 120 volt MIGs.

TIG is useful for special effects work when making small complicated machines, but isn't necessary.

The best training to get is welding very fast on thin wall steel tube.
Square Steel tube in the 1" x 1" to 2" x 2" range is very common, with wall thicknesses between 0.045" (18 gauge) to 0.125" (1/8").

Some high end theatre work is in Aluminum, so it is useful to learn about Spoolguns.  


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Ernie Leimkuhler


Questions about Oxy-Acetylene welding/cutting, MIG, TIG, Flux-core, Stick welding, brazing and soldering, bike frames, air frames, motorcycle frames, structural welding. Also questions about Welding Certifications and Inspections. All questions about fabrication of metals (stainless steel, steel , aluminum, brass, bronze, copper). Basic questions about underwater welding. TIG is my strongest subject.


Extensive background in most welding fields. 18 years fabrication of metal theatre scenery, 16 years structural steel, 2 years pipe welding, 9 years as a Welding Instructor at South Seattle Community College, and 5.5 years as a Welding Instructor at the Divers Institute of Technology. 16 years Industrial Welding Consultant for fabrication shops in the greater Seattle Area. 11 years Architectural Metal Fabrication. 8 years in Film/TV; SPFX/construction/set-deco/props/. 33 years Blacksmithing and Knifemaking. Currently a Field Welding Inspector for Otto Rosenau and Associates.

American Welding Society - Certified Welding Inspector Washington Assoc of Building Officials (WABO) - Special Inspector - Structural and Reinforcing Steel.

Do a search on google groups for "Ernie Leimkuhler" in the rec.crafts.metalworking and sci.engr.joining.welding groups. Blacksmith's Gazzette - Anvil Making

BA Theatre Technology - Purdue University.

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