7 trout find their tails

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Today was trout joining day. I brought together all but the 3 that will have steel posts. Those three will be tricky, and so I worked my technique on these first. (First there were days of prep labor:  all the parts needed sprews ground down, mold pin holes welded closed, and casting defects welded; then everything chased out. Once both sides were dolled up the facing halves were ground out and a bevel ground around the edge for a deeper weld- then it was time to fit them together.) They seamed up with supporting sandbags and wooden beams to align the halves, then tack welds along the inside turn of the fish, then coaxing the outside of the curve on the opposite side of the fish to close flush and true with a cinch-strap anchored from mouth to tail and ball pein hammering.

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Only one fish had an alignment issue, eating up 6 or 7 welding rods to span the gap.

IMG_0005 Each fish needed the underside of its jaw refit and welded in place, then chased out. Other defects were welded and chased before joining the halves, or welded after bringing the sides together. Once I arrived at a system, it all kept moving along nicely and I finished out 4 today, including chasing out the jaw welds and et cetera’s. Last weekend I projected finishing up the hoops today and the fish being next weeks project. It is a relief to have them joined so cleanly and ready for chasing. IMG_0009

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