Plates and first welds

(89 days until the 2012 WHPSC) 

I read somewhere that mitered tubes could benefit from reinforcement plates. I think the purpose of the plates is to maintain the elliptical cross section, preventing distortion.

The first welds (yes, plural, as there are two root passes followed by a larger pass). 

A quick check of the angle tells me I'm right where I want to be. 

Getting ready for the second set of welds: 

Here's a closeup of the reinforcement plate before welding: