The leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest since 1979, Village Theatre, was based in Issaquah with operations in Everett, WA. Village Theatre is nationally known for its involvement in creating new musicals, with over 145 already produced. They also provide children’s education with programs such as KIDSTAGE, teaching over 55,000 youth annually.
The most monumental part in fabricating the Village Theatre awning was welding ½” thick 6061 T6 Aluminum. One of our lead fabricators, Matt McMahon, did a single beveled butt weld, which is a weld between two pieces of abutted ends of metal. He used 4043 3/64″ diameter filler wire with our Miller 350P MIG welder. Straight MIG was used for the butt weld while pulsed MIG was used for the fillet weld. A 1/8″ back gouge was done to achieve full weld penetration into the joint. Matt also used a strongback which is two beams perpendicular to the welding and tacked down to keep it from distorting.
To keep the 80-foot weld consistent, Matt used a tactic called back-stepping where the weld progression is in the opposite direction of the direction you’re welding to reduce distortion. Keeping the weld consistent was impressive since the welds were done in long segments. Once the welding process was established, Matt had to repeat his exact steps about 80 more times. Another challenge was avoiding porosity and surface defects so that the material would appear completely flat and smooth after powder coating. As you can see, he did a fantastic job at doing so!