Learning to weld

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Learning to weld

Postby Niacin » Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:19 am

Hiyas.

Later on today, I'm going to go pick up a welder's handbook, and if it still seems interesting after that, I'll probably go buy a lower-priced welder and tinker around with it.

Of course, this is a pretty complicated skill, with the good possibility of injury or death, but is there anything I should be careful for or should know?

Thanks,
Max
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Postby Don Muerto » Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:20 am

Buy material, don't practice on the walls of the acetylene tank.
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Postby precipitate » Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:30 am

Oxyacetylene? Stick? MIG?
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Postby Niacin » Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:32 am

Probably stick, for now. Maybe MIG later if I do allright with stick.
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Postby stuart » Fri Nov 07, 2003 10:39 am

actually, in the 8th grade, I did not find it all that difficult.
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Postby Last Real Burner » Fri Nov 07, 2003 10:42 am

Have you thought of buying used. Since you're just starting.

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Postby jbelson » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:37 am

Try taking a class at a local community college. They give you the basics for around $60. And they might show you how to not melt your fingers.
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Postby precipitate » Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:41 am

> Probably stick, for now. Maybe MIG later if I do allright with stick.

IME, MIG's easier, but you're better off learning stick or gas first for the
basics. It's a pain in the ass but teaches you the skills you need. If
you've done gas, stick will probably be easier to learn.

> Try taking a class at a local community college

Yeah, until they discontinue their Automotive Technologies department
due to budget cuts. Grumble grumble grumble.

See if you can check out instructional videos from a local library
(university/community college/public). Seeing it in action helps a lot.
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Postby Angry Butterfly » Fri Nov 07, 2003 2:09 pm

its pretty easy. I hate it when people make a huge deal out of being able to weld. Just be sure you are nice and rested, the only time I have trouble is when I'm tired.
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Postby J » Fri Nov 07, 2003 3:01 pm

I've been toying with the idea of learning, just to create some poorly made giger-esque furniture.

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Postby KellY » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:41 pm

Goggle goggles goggles. A mask if you're getting close to your flame. If your using the sticks, then definitelt heavy clothes, preferably leather. It's not too dangerous if you're well-protected.

It's tons o' fun, though sometimes frustrating. I'm hoping for a plasma cutter for Christmas.
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Postby antron » Fri Nov 07, 2003 7:17 pm

wear really good goggles, and a face shield, ugly as it is, is better for your skin. loads of uv generated by the arc.

wear shoes without top seams, as they collect sparks that will burn through the leather.

invest in leathers to keep your clothing from having countless pin holes.

a welders cap -- they give them away at welding supply stores will keep your head from burning. baseball caps work for a while, but have these really neat seams that catch and hold sparks.

mig is much easier than stick welding

i would suggest that you rent rather than buy gear, and rent the highest amp/volt gear you can get. it will blow the home/hobby stuff away.
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Re: Learning to weld

Postby Tiahaar » Sat Nov 08, 2003 9:25 pm

Niacin wrote:Hiyas.

Later on today, I'm going to go pick up a welder's handbook, and if it still seems interesting after that, I'll probably go buy a lower-priced welder and tinker around with it.

Thanks,
Max


An excellent book to get is "Welding Skills" by Giachino and Weeks, an American Technical Publishers publication, was the class text in my welding class and covers all types of welding while still being easily readable and quick to look up any particular topic.

For all-around basic stick welding its hard to beat an old Lincoln 250 AC arc welder. You can find used ones listed in want ads for @ $100 or less as experienced welders move up to the very much more expensive AC/DC machines or MIG/TIG units. For general mild steel work AC works great, get some 6011 1/8" rod that's great for clean or rusty steel, set the unit for 90-120 amps and practice practice practice on some scrap angle iron or whatnot till you get a feel for it. Seconded: all suggestions above for a good helmut/gloves/hat plus get a chip hammer and wire brush and clean the slag off your welds. That's the only way to get a good visual on whether or not you've run a good bead. Have fun! (oh and wear pure cotton or leather everything...dang sparks love to melt holes in synthetics and if the stuff catches fire it will stick to your skin too! owww)


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Postby robotland » Mon Nov 10, 2003 11:05 am

Let me just play advocate for oxyacetylene welding for a second...a gas setup can be used anywhere and doubles as a jiffymelter for metal casting as it will puddle ANYTHING....and, once you've learned how to control it you can go directly to any other type of welder. Helpful if you've worked at jewelry scale and are working up to Yard Monstrosities.....

A great book:

Welder's Handbook: A Complete Guide to Mig, Tig, Arc & Oxyacetylene Welding
by Richard Finch
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Postby Jane Eric » Mon Nov 10, 2003 5:16 pm

Remember to puddle when you penetrate!
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Postby Jane Eric » Mon Nov 10, 2003 5:16 pm

I just like saying that.
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Postby Flux » Mon Nov 10, 2003 5:19 pm

Jane Eric wrote:Remember to puddle when you penetrate!

It's so embarassing to puddle before penetrating, but that usually only happens to the young and inexperienced.
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Postby Kinetic II » Mon Nov 10, 2003 6:07 pm

Give me a TIG first, MIG second, then Oxy-Acetylene. I use stick only for cutting through stuff since I don't have a plasma cutter yet. Stick is sloppy with all that slag. As for books, I have to agree with Robotland:
robotland wrote:A great book:

Welder's Handbook: A Complete Guide to Mig, Tig, Arc & Oxyacetylene Welding
by Richard Finch


I hadn't picked up any kind of welder in 14 years. This book helped remind me of some things and got me up to speed quickly. I rent the TIG, own a MIG, and borrow the stick. Notice which one I own?
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Postby Badger » Mon Nov 10, 2003 7:56 pm

Bar none the greatest artistry I know of as far as skills and such things fall into the court of nuclear welders. I once was assigned to a guy who'd been flown to Scotland from California to weld on a primary coolant pipe inside a submarine reactor that had, um, problems. The space he was working in was so fucking tight that he had to hang upside down from a trapeze type rig. He welded a PERFECT 'round' around the replaced section of pipe. It was flawless. It was beautiful.
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Postby Tiahaar » Mon Nov 10, 2003 8:58 pm

robotland wrote:Let me just play advocate for oxyacetylene welding for a second...


true, very useful, plus using a filler rod is good practice for TIG...and the cutting torch attachment is a must have for steel.

TIG/MIG does beautiful work on clean metal but so will stick with the right electrode with the advantage of no process gasses...hard to beat TIG on thin or special stuff where close control is needed though. One of those little 120 volt Hobart MIG portables for field work is on my wish list so I can weld with my bus genset if needed.

The fire and sparks of good old torch cutting and stick welding are part of the fun, and it's great bang for the buck (remember 6011 for deep good welds through rusty stuff). Oh, and it does depend on what you're working on...BTW, whatcha making Niacin? I'd hate to be recommending trying stick when you're doing a lot of sheet metal work...or aluminum : )
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Postby Kinetic II » Mon Nov 10, 2003 9:29 pm

I have two Miller MIG's but my favorite is the 120 volt portable. That's what I used for attaching my "Jungo Road" skid plates and trailer reinforcements.
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