So this morning, after I got out of the shower, I sat down on the foot of my bed to dry myself off. As I usually do.
Then suddenly, I got a peculiar sinking feeling.
Hmm, my bed is not supposed to be shaped like that.
Ah, there's the problem.
Yes, the central beam holding up my bed seems to have had enough of keeping my butt off the ground. This is very unfortunate. It appears as though the metal just tore itself asunder.
For context, this is what it's supposed to look like.
Woe be upon those poor souls who are ill equipped to deal with such calamities. I, however, have a fully stocked workshop with at least a reasonable collection of metalworking tools.
The first order of business is to flatten the torn metal back down, and scuff off the zinc coating. I made sure to heat the metal with my plumbing torch as I bent it, so that it wouldn't fatigue and crack further.
Yes, that's looking better already. Now I just need to pull out the welder and lay a bead on this crack to bond it together once more.
I set up the welder to a nice low 50A, DCEP, and loaded up a 3/32 6013 rod which is ideal for welding thin material.
Alright, so, good news first: there's no longer a crack on this side.
Something tells me that there's more than one definition of "thin material", and perhaps the 1mm galvanized steel this is made of is a wee bit on the "too thin" side.
But, I've come this far, and it's already broken, so let's try again. I switched to DCEN for less penetration (as it seems that sufficient weld penetration wasn't going to be a problem for this job), clamped a piece of aluminum flat bar to the backside of the weld to draw away extra heat, and gave it another go.
Ok, well, that's better but not great. I was still fighting with the base metal burning back too quickly, and trying to fill in the eroded edges just ended up eating more metal than it deposited. It's possible that a 1/16 6013 rod might be able to do the job here, but that's getting into pretty specialized supplies.
Really, this just wasn't a great use case for stick welding. What I really needed was to get a bottle of argon, some filler rod, and some lanthanated tungsten electrodes to TIG weld this together. So, I hopped in my van and made a little supply run.
... to Ikea, for a new center support. It's $15; I ain't gonna waste any more of my time trying to rescue the old one. Knowing when to spend time, and when to spend money, is the key to enjoying one's hobbies.
I also picked up some new pillows while I was there, since my current batch has been in service since 2017 and 6 years is long enough.
So now the bed is back together and better than ever, and I'm looking forward to a restful night's sleep tonight.