I certainly don't claim to be an expert. But I have done my fair share of welding and fabrication and have some suggestions.
My first suggestion would be to make friends with someone who owns a welder. This can be a big asset on quite a few levels. I would happily drag out the welder for some homebrew. Or, if it's a big project like welding up a brew sculpture, I could use an extra $100 any day.
If that just doesn't cut it and you want to build this thing on your own with perforated angle, i think it CAN be done! Here are a few tips:
- Instead of the 1 1/4 x 3/64 material you mention, I would bump it up to the 2 1/4 x 5/64 size (item # 8968K29 on McMaster). That's 14 gauge. Or, as other have mentioned - look elsewhere for sources of thicker perforated angle.
- There is no reason that thinner material can't be made to easily hold up hundreds of pounds. However, you would need to be very thoughtful with your design - gussets, minimize long spans, etc. As an example, take a look at the main suspension components of today's cars... they are all stamped out of fairly thin sheetmetal. The strength is in the design - not the material.
- As others have mentioned, the galvanized coating may be an issue. According to Wikipedia (for whatever that's worth) galvanized steel can withstand temps of almost ~400F. So I would guess you'd be fine unless it was very close to a burner. If you are worried about it, you could always remove the galvy around the high-temp areas (or just let it burn off).
- I would splurge for stainless fasteners, especially for areas that will see any heat... but that's sort of a no-brainer.
I see absolutely no reason you can't make a beefy bolt together sculpture using 14g perforated angle as long as you remember that the strength will be in the design, not the material.
Toad Flake wrote:I had gathered bed frames to build a frame. I dont know how thick this is but maybe now will rethink that plan.
I would absolutely re-think that plan. For me, whether or not the material is strong enough (I'd say no) is irrelevant. Bed frames are made with an extremely high carbon content. That means a few things:
- The metal is EXTREMELY hard. I hope you don't have to drill it, it sucks.
- This also allows the frames to act more like a spring. When stressed lightly, it will spring back to its original shape instead of bending. Of course, you can bend them - but not too far, it will break. I tried notching and bending some bed frame and it simply broke when bending close to 90 degrees. Very frustrating.
- Additionally, when welding together, the metal has a propensity to crack on the edge of the heat affected zone. Pre/post heating can minimize this - but what a pain.
To say that it can't be done would be just ludicrous. I am sure there have been a LOT of people who have built brew sculpture (among other things - like me) with bed frames. My only point is that after having done one small project with bed frames, i will NEVER work with the stuff again. It's just too much trouble compared to conventional mild steel.
Sorry for the long post... I hope some of it was useful.