A little update:
this is why I started welding: i had my wrought iron fence powder coated. The powdercoat guy lost my gate. Instead of buying a new gate, or have someone make one I thought, since i always want to learn how to weld, why not give it a shot? I have a bunch of hand me down OA stuff laying around, so I just went at it. Here's the gate i built, the picture was taken a week ago, the gate now has hinge and first coat of primer. I'll take more pictures tomorrow.

3/4" x 1.5" rectangular tubing on outside. inner "sticks" are 1/2" square tubing. The frame is OA welded, the inner sticks are mig welded (borrowed a mig welder from a friend of a friend)

Yes, sandals. I'll put my welding shirt on for photo-op, but I refuse to put my boots on for the picture.

these are my first few welds from a month or so ago (try not to laugh too hard, i know some of you made snotty welds on your first try ) :