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Friday, October 30, 2009

Shop tour

It all begins at the shear. I've used many different means of cutting but a shear is by far the quickest, and most precise cut available to me right now. I will be using this until I have a million dollars to buy a laser table. My legs will be getting a workout.

New machinery always looks so crisp.

The back gauge is nice,but with the thin metal its not usable. So I have to hand measure every piece.

I love this new shear. The cuts are very precise.

On to the brake. This is a pretty versitile machine.

Double checking with the trusty tri square.

AND bend.

Notching is next. I have a jig made up so now there's less guess work, more consistancy.

Tig welding is the best way to make these pans. Soldering seems to give more problems down the road.

A good sharp tungsten

A needle point is a must to have good TIG welds

My favorite part of the whole process is welding it all together.

Wegner Metal Works, LLC

Today my wife and I signed the papers, WEGNER METAL WORKS, LLC is now officially up and running. As I posted earlier this week, a good friend of mine Mark Hawkins (Mark Hawkins Photography) came over and took some shots of me doing some work in the shop. They turned out great. Thanks Mark!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2x4 pan pics

2'x4'x10" flat pan with 1/2" drain. I will upgrade to 3/4" after I run out of stock on the fittings I have

Today's progress

I sold a 2x4 pan with 10" walls a few days ago and finished it today. I sheared up 7 pans worth of metal yesterday, so today I set up a jig for notching the corners(big time saver), formed up the big pan and cut/formed the caps. This pan turned out great. I hope Scott enjoys it. I bought a polisher today, and used this pan as a trial run for it. I polished all the visible seams and turned out pretty good. Im sure it will get better with practice. I'll probably end up buying a stationary buffer on a stand to do my seams,but this will work for now. So I boxed up the pan and shipped another that I received payment yesterday. Tomorrow's plan: forming all the metal I sheared yesterday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2x2 Pan sold today/Progress

I received payment today from a customer here in Wisconsin. That pan I had made already so that wil ship tomorrow. My friend Mark came over this morning and gave me a hand adjusting the blades on the new shear. He took some pretty sweet photos that I will post on here soon. I sheared up 7 pans this afternoon, so tomorrow I will start form them and maybe start welding. I have one 2x4 pan that needs to leave on Friday so my focus will be on getting that one made.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New shear

I was in serious need of a good method of cutting my sheetmetal without taking my metal to work. I tried a few things on some scrap pieces,but knew that a shear was the only way to go. I ended up getting a Tennsmith 56" 16 ga. shear. I looked at a few other brands, and didnt want a cheap one made in China. A few good friends of mine helped me unload this 900 lb. beast off the trailer tonight,and I can't wait to use it. Tomorrow should be a long day of shearing,and forming.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Trip to Roth Sugarbush

Today I took a 340 mile trip to Roth Sugarbush in Cadott. I talked to Pat Roth, and her daughter Dawn about evaporators. Pat has been making maple syrup for 56 years and had more information than I knew what to do with. She was VERY helpful. They let me take a few pictures and measure things up for building my own evaporator. Thank you!! I started pricing materials and we'll see where that leads. I should probably pick up some material tomorrow while I have time, and get some pans built. I have 2 sold and a third on the way so I need to get busy!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pan sold 10/20/09

Sold this 2x2 pan on eBay to customer in NY.

Building an evaporator

I've had a few requests for complete evaporators. I will begin building completes this month. I will start with a 2x6 evaporator with either a drop or raised flue in back, and a constant flow finish in front. This is what I am modeling it after. I figure I will have it ready by the end of November.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

testing my folder

Test piece for folded dividers, and some smaller projects

Tacking pans

Pan tacked up ready to be welded

New Pan

Got some more work done today. I have a pan on eBay that I needed to get made before I leave for the weekend. This new metal takes some patience. I'm still waiting for my new tungstens and filler rod. Right now I'm working with a 3/32" tungsten, and 1/16" filler rod. I have on order some .040" tungsten, and .040" filler rod. I'm thinking this will speed the process along a little. I really like the finish of this 316 2b vs. the 304 4p I was previously making my pans out of. Hopefully my customers will also.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Contact info

If you would have any questions about my pans, you can contact me @

Getting started

So I'm starting a blog. A couple good friends of mine have encouraged me to start one, and put some of my work on here. Well last year a good friend of mine(Mark Hawkins) got the notion to start maple syruping(sugaring). We were in the middle of a huge all stainless job at work, and he approached me to make his pans for him. So I made a set. One flat pan, a cross flow pan, preboiler, and finishing pan. He built his own forced air arch and used my pans. They worked great. He told me I should start making them. So I built a few at work, and to not burn any bridges I stuck my neck out and bought $4,500 worth of equipment and started making them at my own shop. It was the last few weeks of the season and I got a few orders. This year I bought some better stainless, some more equipment, and am going to get a head start on the season. So here are a few pictures of my pans so far.

Mark's setup. This is a 3x4 cross flow pan with preboiler, Mark's handbuilt arch and equipment.
I snapped this minutes before I passed it off to the new owner. I included a brass valve along with this pan as a gift. I also have a startup sheet that I send with all my pans. It explains how to care for and get started with your pan. These stainless pans will last a lifetime if you take care of them correctly, and always keep liquid them while over the fire.

Like I said I got some new metal this season. This is 22 ga. 316 stainless instead of the 304 I was using. This is a 2x2 pan with 7 inch walls. I sold this one before I was finished. This was a prototype. Welding this 22 ga. is much more tedious, and time consuming than the thicker ones I was doing last season, but the final product will be more efficient, and has a better finish.

I made these for an Ebay customer that wanted to boil over his double burner camp stove. He was very happy with this.

Flat pan, pre boiler, and finishing pan set, 18 ga. #4 finish

Close up of drain on preboiler

2x3 with preboiler 18 ga. #4 finish

Leak testing the 4x8 pan

16x16 finishin pan 18 ga. #4 finish

2x4 pan (side view) 18 ga. #4 finish

2x4 flat pan 18 ga. #4 finish