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  1. #1

    Default need some info on welding

    i would really like get some info on welding, but dont know where to start. what would be a good welder to buy for "home" use, on stainless steel, aluminum, and mild steal. i really dont want to deal with any type of gass, so im thinking an ARC welder would be a good safe thing to buy?

    any welding tips you guys could give me. ive never done it and have no one to teach me, so i have to learn on my own.

  2. #2

    Default

    I would also like to know some basic welding tips. I am kind ain the same boat as Lagos.

  3. #3

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    Conrad this is your show buddy!!
    2000 Absolute Red Celica GTS 6-Spd
    1991 Crimson Red MR2 Turbo


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    - Shadow's Army - Commander In Chief


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    Originally Posted by surfergravity
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    This thread is gayer than Richard Simmons singing a duet with Elton John in a bath house.

  4. #4

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    My best advice to you is take a welding class at a local tech school. They have the traininig and equipment.

    I started with stick, did wire feed for a living, built and airplane with oxy fuel, and took a tig class last year.

    The type of welding you learn is based upon what you want to do with it. Wire feed is usually the most comprehensive but cant be used on small tube. Since that is about all I weld at home, I have a gas setup and have free access to a tig machine.

    Tig is sweet for fabrication but the metal has to be clean and free of rust. Its also the most difficult to learn.

    Hope that gets you started. Really, take a class. They are cheap.
    Jeff


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  5. #5

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    but what about just giving it a shot on my own. ive seen arc welders at home depo for about 300$ or so, and i basically just want to mess around with welding my IC piping, making intakes, exhaust, etc...then consider taking a class to learn more about it...but i want to get my feet wet 1st, ya know?

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagos
    but what about just giving it a shot on my own. ive seen arc welders at home depo for about 300$ or so, and i basically just want to mess around with welding my IC piping, making intakes, exhaust, etc...then consider taking a class to learn more about it...but i want to get my feet wet 1st, ya know?
    Well, the best bet is to find a wirefeed machine that can be used with flux core wire or gas. That should cover you for most of the stuff.

    If were building ic piping out of metal, I would tig it because it leaves the least restrictive weld (to the airflow). But then again, I would make them out of fiberglass anyhow.

    Don't waste your money on a stick machine! I have one of the $100 ones and it sucks.

    Get your welder, set it up with a flux core wire. Get a good book on welding like this one, Performance Welding by Richard Finch and go to town
    Last edited by Schmleff; 12-03-2004 at 03:07 AM.
    Jeff


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  7. #7

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    Definitly go with Wirefed welder to start out with.

    My friend has a lift and his dad has all the tools in the world. he gave us all a short lessons for 20$. Well, the lesson included him welding on my upper radiator reinforcement. After that he let us and showed us how to do it properly on the car too.

    if you are getting into welding, i suggest a GOOD helmet.

    He had a few, and the one that he used himself was the best, you could see through it but when you started welding it would tint right up but you could see the stuff clear enough. others stay tinted and are somewhat harder to see through.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Luni
    Conrad this is your show buddy!!
    Wooooot!

    You basically have 4 choices, but it can easily be narrowed down to 1. For most automotive uses I'd recommend either MIG or TIG welding. MIG has the capability of doing thin gauge and thicker gauge metal as well. MIG welding is easy to learn, easy to position the gun and can basically do any automotive work you want (exhuasts, bodywork, custom fabbing parts etc...).

    MIG is really good at welding mild steel, you can also do aluminum and stainless steel as well...but the welds aren't going to be as pretty as TIG. TIG welding takes more skill (use both hands, one to dip the filler rod and the other to hold the TIG torch), the machine is more expensive and doing weld work in tight areas can be a major pain.

    Personally for 95% of DIY'ers out there, MIG (not the flux core crap) is the way to go. The other 5% would be the people that do a lot of aluminum or stainless steel work and want their welds to look cosmetically "better". So thats 2 of the 4 options right there, MIG or TIG, in your case I'd recommend MIG.

    I am using a Lincoln SP-135T MIG welder that I bought from Sears when I went down to New Mexico last Christmas. It can do basically any automotive work you throw at it, I've done thin sheet metal to moderately thick metal plates. The welder is a 110V welder so it allows me to be a bit more versatile in where I can do my welding (220V extension cords are expensive and wiring in a 220v into your garage costs a bit of cash too).

    So that gives you another 2 options, 110V or 220V welder. Basically the 110v is more versatile, but limited to thinner metals. While as the 220v allows you to weld thicker metal, but for a lot of people it may be inconvenient or costly to setup the wiring to run the machine. For you I'd recommend a MIG welder that runs on either 110V or 220V.

    As for ARC...it's best left to the farmers. ARC is good for welding on dirty metal, out in the field welding (where it's windy) and really suited to heavy gauge metal. I wouldn't want to do ARC welding with a sheet metal panel...it'd be a bitch to do. So for automotive use, don't bother with the ARC welder.

    Edit: here are a few good links to poke around in.
    http://www.fab-forum.com/default.asp
    http://www.hobartwelders.com/mboard/
    Last edited by Conrad_Turbo; 12-03-2004 at 01:42 PM. Reason: added links

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  9. #9

    Default

    thanks for the break down, thats basically the type of info i wanted to know.

    now say i get the same mig welder you bought, conrad. what would i need to use it? i know it uses mig wire, but do i also need some type of gas? how does this type of welder work? sorry, but im totally new at this.

  10. #10

    Default

    There are other compareable welders to mine. A few more things you want to really pay attention to when purchasing a welder is it's amperage range, this will determine the thickness of metal you can weld, in particular mild steel (I do 99% welding of mild steel). The lower the amperage rating the thinner metal you can weld, the higher rating the thicker you can do. Wirespeed isn't necessarily important as that has the range according to the amperage rating of the welder.

    Duty cycle is another factor, since you are doing this for small project work...you don't have much to worry about. Duty cycle...if the welder is rated with a 20% duty cycle that means you can continuously weld for 2 minutes of every 10 minutes. Anything more and then the welder will shut off to protect the transformer from overheating and other internal components as well. I have yet to exceed the duty cycle on my welder so unless you work in a manufacturing plant as a welder then you'd want near 100% duty cycle...but since you don't, you don't have much to worry about.

    Here is the specs on my welder: http://www.mylincolnelectric.com/Catalog/equipmentdatasheet.asp?p=2515

    It comes with a regulator so you don't need to purchase one (so you can use a tank of gas isntead of fluxcore wire), purchasing one is around $80USD or so. Just another thing to consider.

    As for gas choice, it depends on what you will be welding. Personally what I use for welding mild steel is called Mig Mix Gold, it's a blend of argon and carbon dioxide. If you want to do aluminum then you'd want Argon but it would also come with a few other elements as well. That is the one drawback to any welder is that you need the proper gas for what you are welding, at times I will have to borrow a tank of Argon to weld up some aluminum pieces, TIG is ideal for aluminum but MIG will work in a pinch.

    Here's a good link on MIG welding: http://www.twi.co.uk/j32k/protected/band_3/jk4.html

    Basically a MIG welder is like ARC except the electrod (wire) is smaller and is on a spool instead of a rod. For shielding you have gas instead of the coating on an ARC rod, the coating is what causes welds to look messy and it makes visibility harder. Messy welds are no goood! Haha.

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  11. #11

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    And that Conrad is why youre my d4wg!!
    2000 Absolute Red Celica GTS 6-Spd
    1991 Crimson Red MR2 Turbo


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    - Shadow's Army - Commander In Chief


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    Originally Posted by surfergravity
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    This thread is gayer than Richard Simmons singing a duet with Elton John in a bath house.

  12. #12

    Default

    Is there any way you can take a class at a local college? This would be ideal. Next best might be a good to learn all the info you need on welding.

    MIG welding isn't that hard to learn but takes a lot of experience to perfect. After a 5 minute lesson on welding I was welding crap up for the formula car at the university and welded up the exhaust system for a beater race car last year:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...r/f88a8978.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...r/f88a8938.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...r/f88a8953.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...r/f88a895f.jpg

    VERY ugly welds but they held. I certainly am not skilled enough to weld up a proper roll cage at this point, but exhausts are cake.
    "The best nut you can tighten is the one behind the wheel."
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    (NOTE: Please send an E-mail if you want to get a hold of me in a timely fashion as I don't log into this message board often anymore. I still have the V6 Celica. Yes, I do drive it daily, and no I haven't made any changes to it in the last couple years.)

  13. #13

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    great info conrad!!

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    click
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    for the specs of my 5sfte

  14. #14

    Default

    Here are some pictures of some of the crap that I have welded. I have only really done a lot of welding work in the past year, before then I only had done some small bits here and there.

    The first one is with 1/8" thick steel using Mig Mix Gold with 0.030 welding wire.

    The 2nd, 3rd and 4th photos show the work I did with the fenders on the race Starlet. I cut and rolled back the inside fender, then fully welded it to the outside body panel.

    The last one shows some welds that I did just last week for a set of KP61 > 4age motor mounts.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails untitled.JPG‎   f70864af.jpg‎   untitled2.JPG‎   f70863a1.jpg‎   f60f5196.jpg‎  


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  15. #15

    Default

    wow great info guys and nice pics... this is what i was hoping to get out of celicatech.

    what about some safety tips on welding? anything i should know, besides "dont look at the light" ?

  16. #16

    Default

    Argh I just typed up a long post and my browser screwed up. Bleh.

    Well these are the things you want to look out for:

    -when tack welding make sure to shield your face or flip your mask down (a sunburnt face in the middle of winter looks funny haha)
    -make sure your welding area is clean and free of flamable items, also keep a fire extinguisher near by or attach it to your welding cart.
    -wear some long leather gloves (that go up to the middle of your arm), this will prevent sparks from rolling down inside your glove and burning your hand
    -try not to do any overhead welding...sometimes you don't have a choice, but you will get burned. Haha.

    Those are the major things I can think of. Welding is really safe, it's just the odd time you get burned but it's no big deal.

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  17. #17

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    Two awesome books i've used in my welding classes are:

    Welding Technology Fundamentals
    by William and Kevin Bowditch
    ISBN: 1-56637-314-X

    And

    The Pipe Fitters and Pipe Welders Handbook
    By Thomas Frankland
    ISBN: 0-02-802500-8

    They can give you a bit in depth on techniques and how to set your machine up no matter what you get.

  18. #18
    Blowing Stereotypes, ya heard? Snafu Vanilla Ice gets more respect.. Snafu's Avatar
    Snafu has donated to the forums! Snafu helped get Luni's MR2 back on the road!

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    Default

    Sorry to bring this up from the dead, but I had one question about MIG welders-

    What's the true difference between an MIG and an Flux Core MIG? Is the flux core really that bad?
    1988 CRX DX - Drag Car
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  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Snafu
    Sorry to bring this up from the dead, but I had one question about MIG welders-

    What's the true difference between an MIG and an Flux Core MIG? Is the flux core really that bad?
    MIG - wire feed but uses shielding gas from a tank
    Flux Core MIG - wire feed but the wire contains a flux that creates the shielding gas while the wire melts

    Flux core wire causes a lot of spatter, smoke (makes it hard to see the weld puddle), harder to lay down beads as compared to true MIG and the weld need to be cleaned off after. There are a few good thing about flux core:
    1. don't need to carry around a tank of welding gas
    2. ideal for breezier conditions than true mig (so better for outdoor welding)
    3. if you are having trouble with penetration on the highest heat setting of your welder (usually 110v welder) while using gas, you can go to flux core and it will penetrate further than just MIG with gas

    As for #3 I hear you can use gas at the same time as the flux core wire, the gas reduces the spatter while the flux core allows greater penetration. Never tried that method before, but if I ever run into a problem where I can't get enough penetration I just might try it.

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