So I have been working my way around the stern – rewelding all the TC bolts. These are the hardest ones as they are virtually overhead. This is where the rudder post goes up through the hull. Only a few left to go in this area and then I can move back forward to the starboard side bow. I am looking forward to those easy ones as my arms, neck and back are very sore from holding the welding rod overhead all day.
Imagine standing on top of a 9 foot high scaffold, blindfolded (you cant see with the welding helmet glass down). Now take both hands and grasp them together so that they are at eye level. Now simulate the slow burning of the welding rod by slowly and exactly moving your hands directly overhead at a slow but constant rate. Move them exactly one foot from your starting position over the next minute. Go too fast and you will drive the tip of the welding rod into the hull and it will stick. Go too slow and you will lose the arc and have to start again. Don’t forget to breathe and don’t fall off the scaffolding! Also don’t forget to visualized the sparks of molten steel at 1370 deg C (or 2500 deg F) raining down on you! And don’t flinch if you get a spark through your glove, shoe or even down your pants! I wont show you those burn marks. You have now just completed welding one half of a TC bolt. Grind off the slag scab over the weld and repeat for the other side of the TC bolt. Then repeat and repeat and repeat, etc….