First, I'll give some background info on design and materials for the frames. I chose to build steel frames for the windows for three reasons. 1) to give them a nice visual profile: 2) to create a solid frame for installing windows rather than installing into the corrugated steel of the container; and 3) to add structural rigidity to the container. The 2" square tubing worked nicely since the depth of the corrugation is 1.5". Ultimately, 11 gauge wall thickness was selected because it is robust and also readily available at the local steel supply.
The patio door frame was built using 1/4" thick 3" x 4" angle. The patio door I selected sits 4.5" deep and I wanted it to be supported once installed. Given that I don't have any welding experience, I enlisted the help of my friend's father, Wayne, to build my window frames.
The steel was delivered to Wayne's shop on Friday and he and his friend, Larry, had all the window frame segments cut by Friday night. I went out to help them work on the frames on Saturday morning but they were just finishing up as I arrived. They did an amazing job on the frames!
Single Hung Window Frames
Picture Window Frames Patio Door Frame
Since I showed up a little late to the show and it was starting to rain, Wayne gave me some welding lessons. We started with the MIG welder and some of the 2" square tubing scraps from the frames. Below is a picture of my practice welds. The weld in the middle was my first attempt and after some practice I managed the welds on the left side in the photo - not too bad.
MIG Weld Practice
He gave me an introductory lesson on the TIG welder as well. It was already set up for aluminum so I attempted to weld an aluminum bead but it was pretty rough. The picture shows Wayne's practice bead on the left and my attempt on the right - note that it was pretty bad before but I smoothed it out with some 'dry washing.' I'd like to get some more practice with the TIG welder but for the remainder of my project I'll stick with MIG since it is better for beginners.
TIG Weld Practice
By the time we finished our 30 minute introductory welding lesson, the yard was largely under water. This was by far the heaviest rain I've experienced in Houston to date. I thought I'd throw in a picture of how the Halloween storm affected the area. I wasn't going anywhere until the water receded since the road and driveway were both under water. I can't complain as I had a nice time hanging out and waiting out the storm with friends!
My name is Ashley. I want to minimize my footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle. I'm an engineer with a love for simplistic industrial design and fabrication.