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Trying to learn Welding by myself at home. I am more book smart than instruction so school is not an option for me. Although I have been soldering for more than 20yrs and had many Air Force specialized schools I know nothing about welding on other metals. I have many skills but welding has always held me back from doing more and feel I need that skill to mesh with my other skills. I bought a book already that I just started reading to get familiar before I buy a welding machine(think I will mess with mild steel and Aluminum mostly) but thought I would look at what any you welders out there say. I have many tools already that can cut, clean, and smooth out metal, but don’t won’t to spend a lot for my first welding machine…just want to practice and make some projects first. Any advice will be appreciated…thanks…:thumbsup:
 

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I know there are some of us who can help you out, but there are so many different options out there, we need a little more info before we can help. Are you after a m.i.g., t.i.g., s.m.a.w. (stick welder), o.a.. If you help us out we can probably help you out.
 

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vorderma said:
I know there are some of us who can help you out, but there are so many different options out there, we need a little more info before we can help. Are you after a m.i.g., t.i.g., s.m.a.w. (stick welder), o.a.. If you help us out we can probably help you out.
I am thinking Mig is best for me right now or the most versatal method to mess with most metals. I am not going to build race cars soon but just little projects and move up from there.

BD...if you changed the Title from "Weldor" to "Welder" the book I am reading the Author preferes to be called "Weldor"...I know you were trying to help if this is so but would like to become a "Weldor" one day..not a "Welder":eyecrazy:
 

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blue d., Im a welding inspector, and certified aws 6gr, 3g, 4g and 1g, flux core, inspector #05050314. If you even think for one second to take a stick electrode to your bike, DO NOT. Tig, its all aluminum minus some engine parts and your front and rear sprocket (stock). What do you need to weld? soldering is a completely diff. animal. Let me know what you want welded. As a 1st welding machine, i would highly recommend a Miller bobcat 600, or Lincoln, Ranger 8. Gasoline powered, generator included, mig, tig, stick all in one w/ reverse polarity.
 

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bluedevil said:
I am thinking Mig is best for me right now or the most versatal method to mess with most metals. I am not going to build race cars soon but just little projects and move up from there.

BD...if you changed the Title from "Weldor" to "Welder" the book I am reading the Author preferes to be called "Weldor"...I know you were trying to help if this is so but would like to become a "Weldor" one day..not a "Welder":eyecrazy:
So the welder is the machine and the Weldor is the person huh, did not know that.

I believe if you get the right gas mig welder, you can upgrade it to a Tig welder pretty easily in the future. I want a plasma cutter but have no justification as of yet.
 

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ninja2k5 said:
blue d., Im a welding inspector, and certified aws 6gr, 3g, 4g and 1g, flux core, inspector #05050314. If you even think for one second to take a stick electrode to your bike, DO NOT. Tig, its all aluminum minus some engine parts and your front and rear sprocket (stock). What do you need to weld? soldering is a completely diff. animal. Let me know what you want welded. As a 1st welding machine, i would highly recommend a Miller bobcat 600, or Lincoln, Ranger 8. Gasoline powered, generator included, mig, tig, stick all in one w/ reverse polarity.
Thanks ninja2k5...the only thing that has ever been welded on my bike is the Kick stand and believe that's steel...I hated paying for that for something I thought I could learn myself but don't know...are you saying only TIG will work on a modern bike? I am not looking to weld on my bike mainly, but many things, like brackets for my bike to be mounted. Or a security arms to mount to the roof of my house for a better picture/location to view on my security camera's, or make a go-cart for my son...see there are many reasons to weld...I just want to get started. Thanks for the suggestions on the models. The front cover of my book is using a Lincoln.:thumbsup:
 

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ZX10Miami said:
So the welder is the machine and the Weldor is the person huh, did not know that.

I believe if you get the right gas mig welder, you can upgrade it to a Tig welder pretty easily in the future. I want a plasma cutter but have no justification as of yet.
yeah, Miami...the guy that wrote the book said he preferes to be the Weldor as the person, but Welder is also associated as the person as well as the machine.
 

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bluedevil said:
yeah, Miami...the guy that wrote the book said he preferes to be the Weldor as the person, but Welder is also associated as the person as well as the machine.
hence the reason i changed it but i can see by the rant it didn't sit well so i'll gladly change the title back so as not to upset the weldor! or is it welder? :eyecrazy: :spit:

BD
 

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I've heard that weldoing(sorry, had to) a cast alum. piece is real tricky if not impossible. Kind of like when they weld cast to extruded pieces robotically underwater. Big deal when honda acheived it for NSX then 900rr.

Wasn't being sarcastic in my other post BTW. I found that piece of triva interesting. As Trey said, I need to get out more.:sad: :badteeth:
 

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Big Daddy said:
hence the reason i changed it but i can see by the rant it didn't sit well so i'll gladly change the title back so as not to upset the weldor! or is it welder? :eyecrazy: :spit:

BD
No, BD...you always watch out for me...especially my spelling..lol...I do appreciate it...thanks.:eek:ccasion1
 

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welder = machine. weldor = proficient, qualified human operating a machine. No blue d, im not saying tig is the only way to go. Its just cleaner, more precise, less splatter, virtually no splatter w/ tig. The only 2 I would use for even a bracket is gtaw, or gmaw. Bar none, unless your really good w/ a grinder, then id choose fcaw for brackets, but what type of strength are you trying to maintain? 70000 per foot? On a bracket, no, thats not realistic for anything sub tonnage. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, or Gas Metal Arc Welding. You can obtain the same tensile strength w/ less work, go Tig. JVS classes are cheap to go to, and will teach you, possibly even certify you to weld tig. Never been to one personally though. Good luck.
 

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ninja2k5 said:
welder = machine. weldor = proficient, qualified human operating a machine. No blue d, im not saying tig is the only way to go. Its just cleaner, more precise, less splatter, virtually no splatter w/ tig. The only 2 I would use for even a bracket is gtaw, or gmaw. Bar none, unless your really good w/ a grinder, then id choose fcaw for brackets, but what type of strength are you trying to maintain? 70000 per foot? On a bracket, no, thats not realistic for anything sub tonnage. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, or Gas Metal Arc Welding. You can obtain the same tensile strength w/ less work, go Tig. JVS classes are cheap to go to, and will teach you, possibly even certify you to weld tig. Never been to one personally though. Good luck.
Not looking for High tensile strength welding like you are use to inspecting right now...just simple projects(like making a Welding Cart). I think I am going to finish my book and do some testing by doing a project after I buy a welding unit. If I fail miserably then I might take classes but feel I got the background to at least get some projects done. Just hopeing to get any hints before I tackle it.:thumbsup:
 

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ninja2k5 said:
Im pretty sure i completely misspelled a few words in my last paragraph:beer: :beer:
I think you did because I didn't understand this:.."bracket is gtaw, or gmaw."



no prob. guy...thanks for all the info. so far. :eek:ccasion1:
 

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A couple of years ago I was in exactly the same position that you're in now.

I wanted to learn how to weld, I was okay with starting off welding mild steel (easiest to learn on), so I went to a local welding supply place (there are lots of them out there) - this is the shops that sell welding supplies (gas, MIG wire, etc) to industrial shops, and I asked them if they had any used welding machines for hobby use. For 500 bucks Canadian he set me up with a simple flux-core wire-feed welder (used but still working), helmet, gloves, masks (you do NOT want to breathe welding fumes!! wear a filter!), couple spools of flux-core MIG wire to get me going, and threw in a few tools, and showed me the basics of how to use it (5 minutes of instruction). From then I was on my own, and I practiced on chunks of steel found lying around the shop.

It takes some experimenting to get the right wire feed rate and power settings for whatever it is that you are doing, and more experimenting in how fast and in what pattern to move the welding gun to get the right penetration without burning through, but it comes with experience.

I built a set of headers for my race bike (welding tube is tough!!), I built a workbench for my shop (1/8" mild steel stuff), I fixed a broken muffler hanger for my race bike, I welded up new fairing brackets for my race bike, I built my own fixture for disassembling/reassembling cartridge forks because I didn't feel like buying one, I fixed a locating pin for a brake caliper on my car when I busted the darn thing on a Sunday when the shops were closed, I fixed the exhaust system on my car, and last winter's project was reworking the suspension on my trailer. My welding is still ugly (takes longer to grind smooth than to weld!) - that's the hardest part to get right. But the small investment has paid for itself. If I had to pay someone else to do those projects the cost would have been through the roof. I never look at tools and equipment as "costs", they are "assets"!

If I were to do it again, I'd spend a bit more money and get a proper wire-feed MIG welder with the gas supply, rather than relying on flux-core. It's too hard to control spattering with flux-core. If you can get a machine with a power supply for MIG or TIG that's a bonus.

If you want to weld aluminum or stainless or really thin sheet metal then you need TIG to do it properly. I've never tried it, but it looks like more going on than with MIG, you have to control power to the arc with a foot pedal while holding the electrode in one hand and the stick in the other hand.

One other thing - POWER. My little setup is a 110-volt unit that plugs into a wall socket, but there had better not be anything else going on that circuit, it maxes out the 15-amp circuits in my house. It will pop the circuit breaker if I try to do something big. If you get any machine bigger than the little one I have, it will require 220 volts single phase. If you need it, make sure you have that in your house in a place you can get to it.
 

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bluedevil said:
I think you did because I didn't understand this:.."bracket is gtaw, or gmaw."



no prob. guy...thanks for all the info. so far. :eek:ccasion1:
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding and Gas Metal Arc Welding
 

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Discussion Starter #19
GoFaster said:
A couple of years ago I was in exactly the same position that you're in now.

I wanted to learn how to weld, I was okay with starting off welding mild steel (easiest to learn on), so I went to a local welding supply place (there are lots of them out there) - this is the shops that sell welding supplies (gas, MIG wire, etc) to industrial shops, and I asked them if they had any used welding machines for hobby use. For 500 bucks Canadian he set me up with a simple flux-core wire-feed welder (used but still working), helmet, gloves, masks (you do NOT want to breathe welding fumes!! wear a filter!), couple spools of flux-core MIG wire to get me going, and threw in a few tools, and showed me the basics of how to use it (5 minutes of instruction). From then I was on my own, and I practiced on chunks of steel found lying around the shop.

It takes some experimenting to get the right wire feed rate and power settings for whatever it is that you are doing, and more experimenting in how fast and in what pattern to move the welding gun to get the right penetration without burning through, but it comes with experience.

I built a set of headers for my race bike (welding tube is tough!!), I built a workbench for my shop (1/8" mild steel stuff), I fixed a broken muffler hanger for my race bike, I welded up new fairing brackets for my race bike, I built my own fixture for disassembling/reassembling cartridge forks because I didn't feel like buying one, I fixed a locating pin for a brake caliper on my car when I busted the darn thing on a Sunday when the shops were closed, I fixed the exhaust system on my car, and last winter's project was reworking the suspension on my trailer. My welding is still ugly (takes longer to grind smooth than to weld!) - that's the hardest part to get right. But the small investment has paid for itself. If I had to pay someone else to do those projects the cost would have been through the roof. I never look at tools and equipment as "costs", they are "assets"!

If I were to do it again, I'd spend a bit more money and get a proper wire-feed MIG welder with the gas supply, rather than relying on flux-core. It's too hard to control spattering with flux-core. If you can get a machine with a power supply for MIG or TIG that's a bonus.

If you want to weld aluminum or stainless or really thin sheet metal then you need TIG to do it properly. I've never tried it, but it looks like more going on than with MIG, you have to control power to the arc with a foot pedal while holding the electrode in one hand and the stick in the other hand.

One other thing - POWER. My little setup is a 110-volt unit that plugs into a wall socket, but there had better not be anything else going on that circuit, it maxes out the 15-amp circuits in my house. It will pop the circuit breaker if I try to do something big. If you get any machine bigger than the little one I have, it will require 220 volts single phase. If you need it, make sure you have that in your house in a place you can get to it.

Thanks GoFaster..you described exactly what I think I am going to go through ...at least I hope to go that far...very good info. and thanks again.:thumbsup:

As far as the home circuit for 220 volts, I plan if need be to use my washer and dryer circuit that is 30amps/220v circuit in my garage. I think that should be safety enough to get me started on a small unit.

Unfortunately, knowing myself I will go all out and get me a TIG setup as well..more dollar...but this info. like I said is good.:thumbsup:
 

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Go TIG

HI:

I am an AP mechanic and used to work on welding before. I learned by doing most than anything in a factory and we use to weld stainless steel and aluminum. As some others have said before,if you plan to do different projects with only one equipment go tig. The tig welder can be used for a number of alloys and some of them allows to be used as stick welder also. Stick welding can not be used for most of the thinnest metals , its used mostly for iron gates and the like and places where the weld is going to be thicker. With tig welding you have an enormous amount of heat concentrated in the little tip of the gun, so you can make more accurate weldings. You can also add metal in tig welding with metal rods or sticks should you need to fill a gap or make multiple pass welding.With tig welding you can change just the tip of the gun and the metal rod you are adding(if any) so you can work quicker. In mig you have to change the wire feed roll. Both migs and tigs use some gas like argon or an argon /hydrogen /helium mixture to achieve a better ,cleaner welding.ALso you have to know what welder to buy because they work with ac or dc(or both ac/dc),current. You have to choose what type of current to use (AC or DC) according to the type of metal and weld that you are going to do.Miller have the Econotig which is a good package for starters and can do a lot of things. Be aware that tig welding is more expensive both in equipment needs and in weld by inch than just a regular stick or mig welding . But it is the most versatile machine in terms of applications.I suggest that you go to school also because there are a lot things to welding than just fire the machine up. The techniques shown at a good school can save you a lot of time and even your life. Remember that we are dealing here with high amperage. (just 1 amp can kill you).
You seem like a little bit of a tinkerer and mad scientist like me so check this site for books on anything that have to do with metals. I think you will like it.

http://www.lindsaybks.com/
http://www.millerwelds.com/products/tig/econotig/

Hope has helped....
 
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