bending stainless

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this is going to open a whole new can of worms, but is welding all that difficult??  i know it is an art....just like any other craft, but is it hard to learn how to do beginner stuff???
You can stick electrode weld SS as well, just isn't always as pretty no matter how good you are.  Like what was mentioned before, choose the right fill metal.  Best bet is to contact the manufacturer of the steel.  If, like I suspect, it is an austentetic 304 SS you should be able to use any arc welding method.  Stick electrode is the simplest and cheapest but also would take the most post weld work.  If it's hidden though then the con is pretty much null.  The biggest advantage is no shielding gas is required.

By the way, I have welded, but I am not a welder so am by no means an expert.  I'm a nerd Materials Engineer
 though.  So always contact the manufacturer of the steel to be welded!
thanks man, you are really helping me out!!!  so when you say "stick weld" do you mean a mig welder???
would a mig be ok???  or would an arc welder be a complete dumbass on welding right now
mig would be good but a tig is the best for stainless steel.  mig is kinda like running a caulking gun, once you get the setting set correctly..  welding is an art for sure but some of it can be simple. 

You can get a cheap mig welder for around $650, get some stainless wire, tank of gas, and some scrap metal and start practicing.
I agree that going the welded route is an animal in it self.

Not that its out of the question or not doable.

I could be wrong here but I believe that the stainless can be welded with filler material for mild steel but it will rust in time. Kinda defeats the purpose.

But stainless filler isn't to much more expensive.

A stick welder/arc welder uses a power source, a ground cable, a work cable and electrode holder. Which holds the welding rods of various sizes and materials. Clamp the rod in the holder and strike your arc on the joint and your welding.

A mig/wire welder uses a power source, a roll of wire in or near the power source, a ground cable and a cord with a gun at the end. The wire feeds from the main unit thru the cord/cable to the gun where its feeds into the puddle of the weld. Depending on the wire type you may use an argon/co2 mix or not. Note!! with mig when you change types of wire you also change gas type.

A tig welder again has the power source, ground cable, a tungsten torch and cable which also has a gas line to the torch.  This type of welding is rather slow but very exact, also unless welding thick aluminum you can use straight argon. Here you must strike the arc with the torch in one hand and feed filler rod with the other hand, also with most tig welders you will have a foot or finger control to vary amperage. Very similar to oxy/acetylene welding. This is the best of the best for thin stuff and also for the stainless but its probably not the best choice starting out.

I would have to say that option number one is the best overall choice.

Harborfreight has a little inverter arc welder for nearly pennys, its not big and its not name brand but it will more then do what you are wanting to do along with a little extra. After the machine purchase, all you have to buy is welding rod of choice. No tanks, regulators, of gasses.

I weld for a heavy duty hobby so if I have missed something guys, pls correct me.

Here is a couple pics of some stainless counter-top I made into a shelf for my UDS.



It wasnt much welding, just two tabs to mount the shelf with and also a 1/4" round bar edge to keep stuff from falling off the tray. Stick welded, with 3/32 stainless rod.

With the Internet, its no problem at all to read and learn to hobby weld for non-critical welds.

I would still vote for bending and rivets tho, much lower learning curve, and with the experience you have, a much better chance to build a professional looking rig.
i was going to bend the box sides, and then weld on the back panel......that is my plan anyway.  thanks again for the info, please add as much as anybody can!!!!!  i just need to jump in and start learning how to weld on some practice pieces.
Here's the nerd coming out in me, but all three are techniclly arc welding. 

For what you're doing, tig and mig may be overkill.  The price and complexity is usually the sticking point with most.  Then there's the gas and determining the correct mix.  You aren't applying much stress the the welds so you don't need a ton of strength. 

You could just rivet it and use a high temp silicon sealant.  Actually, maybe bolting it would be just as good.  Then if you have to replace something it's as easy as getting the replacement parts and taking out some bolts. 
i want to stay away from silicon.....i use it everyday and it will get NASTY inside a smoker, it gets gross enough around undermount sinks in countertops.  i really want to do a bend/weld combo to fabricate this thing.
Find a siding guy.  They have breaks and there are more of them around in the neighborhoods.  Check craigslist for siding work and give them a call or drive around in a new neighborhood and ask a worker on a job if they know of a siding guy that would help.   They will give you a number.  Find a close local one.  Have the cabinet already insulated and have one come over for some refreshments after work and they will have it all bent in less than one hour as you are installing it.  I used to do construction and know that siding guys will be easier to find to help you.  Start with the bottom pan, then sides and then the top.  You can also rent them at the bigger rental stores. 
Not sure, but I think most Siding brakes can bend up to about 28 gage steel, so your 18 Ga should be no problem.

nice...i just want to get this thing built.  my buddies and i butchered 4 pigs....i got lots of fresh pork for some sausage!!!  need my smoker, gonna make some bacon, a ham, and lots of sausage!!
When dealing with gauge numbers.  The higher the number the smaller or thinner the material.  So if a break is good for 28 gauge it WILL NOT bend 18 gauge.  Find a HVAC shop to bend it up for you
When dealing with gauge numbers.  The higher the number the smaller or thinner the material.  So if a break is good for 28 gauge it WILL NOT bend 18 gauge.  Find a HVAC shop to bend it up for you
OOOOPS, sorry----That's what I get for being a woodworker all my life.

The reason I looked up what a siding brake would handle was I thought that kind of metal would be too thick for a siding brake, but then I ran into the trick metal-working number system  
, and thought I was wrong in the first place---LOL. Oh well---Thanks for the correction Sparky.


found out i got a hook up!!  my cousin's shop has a metal shop in the same he is getting it done for me!!
Sweet Deal........If they give ya a good deal or even do it for free, make sure to take them some eats. That way next time they will remember and help ya out again.

See the deal is, there will always be a time when you want to go bigger and better. So it pays off to share the goodness.

Good luck and pls share progress pics. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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