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How to learn how to weld

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Ps3udonymous, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. Apr 7, 2020 at 2:43 PM
    #1
    Ps3udonymous

    Ps3udonymous [OP] Who is the smart ass that changed the title?

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    As the title says, I want to learn how to weld.

    Basically, a weekend warrior kind of thing. Maybe a bbq smoker build or something of the likes. I'm looking for pointers on a welder, budget is around 1k. Lower is better since I can get other tools and such.

    Mig, tig, stick, i don't really know the difference, but I do want something that is suitable for around the shop kind of things.

    Any info is appreciated. You tube channels, forums, other online resource, books, what ever...
     
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  2. Apr 7, 2020 at 2:47 PM
    #2
    TundraBlack

    TundraBlack New Member

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    Interested as well
     
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  3. Apr 7, 2020 at 2:54 PM
    #3
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ O'Keefe Music Foundation Staff Member

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    Check out “the fabrication series” on YouTube.

    Start with stick or MIG welding. TIG is a lot more technical.

    ESAB has a kick ass setup you can buy, but is over the budget. I’ve seen plenty of great work with Hobart machines from HF. You’re a weekend warrior, not building nuclear submarines. Keep it simple. Hell, I have an old Miller Millermatic 175 transformer welder that still does very well as long as I do my part.
     
  4. Apr 7, 2020 at 2:55 PM
    #4
    Trooper2

    Trooper2 Premium Lone Star Member / SSEM #13

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  5. Apr 7, 2020 at 3:07 PM
    #5
    Hammerdog

    Hammerdog YCMTSUP

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  6. Apr 7, 2020 at 3:13 PM
    #6
    TundraBlack

    TundraBlack New Member

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    Thanks for the info
     
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  7. Apr 7, 2020 at 3:25 PM
    #7
    JMB

    JMB Not new, just a little old.

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    I don't know if you have the budget or time, but a class or two at a local community college would be a great start. Not only will you get hands on instruction, but you'll get the metallurgical basics behind filler and process selection.

    And by the way, I do build nuclear submarines. But I found management pays better and is easier on the body over the long run. Probably not for the sanity though.
     
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  8. Apr 7, 2020 at 3:30 PM
    #8
    Hondoman

    Hondoman New Member

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    I'm sure you can learn to weld from youtube, but I'd suggest this little machine to get started. I bought one on bf for $150 and have been extremely happy with it. Since then I've made one broadcast deer feeder, one free choice protein feeder, one 5x7 box blind, rock sliders for my utv plus a bed extender for it. Super easy to use and runs on 110v. I wouldn't weld anything heavy duty with it, but you can weld alot of things with it including thin wall material (barrels, tubing etc...). Its inexpensive enough that if it breaks toss it and buy another one.

    Only negative I have it that the leads for the wire gun and ground are short, like 6' ea. It is about the size of a mailbox so it's easy enough to move around as needed.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/Titanium-Easy-Flux-125-Amp-Welder-56355.html
     
  9. Apr 7, 2020 at 3:37 PM
    #9
    Outbound

    Outbound SSEM #2.5, Token AmeriCanadian

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    - ESAB Rebel multi-process machine is a solid home jobber choice. Miller and Lincoln make great options too. I'd wander into a local welding store, tell them what you plan to build and see what they suggest from those three brands that's within your budget.

    - Stick with solid wire MIG for anything under 1/8" while you learn, use stick for thicker stuff. Flux core is good for thicker materials requiring high strength. Alot of home hobbyists use self shielding flux core wire, but it sucks to weld with. Make sure if you use flux core to use shielding gas.

    - For really thin stuff, you'll need TIG but that's a whole different learning curve. Start with MIG and stick.

    - For rods, I like 6010 for penetration and welding on crappy material that I can't clean up well, 7018 for good material and ease of use. Rod sizes of 3/32" and 1/8" will do pretty much all you need at home.

    No matter what process you use, welding is all about puddle control. This is done primarily through heat and travel speed. Rod or tip angle is also important. You'll spend hours screwing around with scrap in order to learn your machine's settings and what works. One day though, it'll click and you'll have 'er dialed in.

    Welding Tips and Tricks on youtube is a great resource for beginners. I used it for reference when I was doing my apprenticeship training and even now as a journeyman welder, I'll look stuff up there if I'm trying something new or want to tweak my technique.
     
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  10. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:02 PM
    #10
    Ps3udonymous

    Ps3udonymous [OP] Who is the smart ass that changed the title?

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    I'll check that out, thank you.
     
  11. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:04 PM
    #11
    Ps3udonymous

    Ps3udonymous [OP] Who is the smart ass that changed the title?

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  12. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:04 PM
    #12
    Ps3udonymous

    Ps3udonymous [OP] Who is the smart ass that changed the title?

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    I'll look into this one
     
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  13. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:06 PM
    #13
    Ps3udonymous

    Ps3udonymous [OP] Who is the smart ass that changed the title?

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    This is good, thanks a lot!
     
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  14. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:14 PM
    #14
    Mountun Goat

    Mountun Goat It’s grazing season

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    I’m so glad I was able to take a couple semesters of stick and mig in high school.

    After high school I didn’t look at at welder for 5 years.

    Then, I bought a cheap peavymart buzz box.

    Re-learnt in my garage on scrap steel. YouTube for sure. Like with anything else.

    Since, I’ve built a bagged c10 and multiple custom pieces on the goat. I don’t even have a brand name welder, you don’t have to spend much. Though, I do recommend shielding gas over flux core wire at minimum.

    Practice. Practice makes perfect for sure.

    I love every minute of it. Don’t hesitate- GO LEARN NOW!
     
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  15. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:15 PM
    #15
    Azblue

    Azblue Beer is Good

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    Agreed, some of the newer lines at H.F. are not bad at all, especially for home use. I'd recommend bumping up to this one, gives you more ability as your skills increase. I have been happy with it and it can also be had on sale/coupon at times.

    Correction, linked the wrong welder, this is even cheaper:
    https://www.harborfreight.com/mig-170-professional-welder-with-120240-volt-input-64805.html
     
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  16. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:16 PM
    #16
    Jim LE 1301

    Jim LE 1301 Camaro Lover, SSEM # 11

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    So when I come and visit John do I get free lessons?:D
     
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  17. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:30 PM
    #17
    TruckyTruck

    TruckyTruck Dumbest Username

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    I spent two years in night school learning to weld. At the time I was a financial advisor and just wanted to know how to make and fix my own things. I think it ran me a total of somewhere around 2k. I actually said to hell with the financial industry and went to work welding. That led to other jobs within the company I'm at now. So not a bad investment for 2k.

    However.... I look back and realize I could have learned most everything I know now by watching all of the videos by weldingtipsandtricks.com . Seriously, if you just want instruction, they have a great YouTube channel.

    Now... As for all of the practice metal I used at the college, I probably came out ahead with my 2k. Lol

    My favorite course was layout and fabrication. Really scratched that ocd itch.
     
  18. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:40 PM
    #18
    JMB

    JMB Not new, just a little old.

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    If you want an old fat guy that has other people do his welding for years, then yeah you're in. :)
     
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  19. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:47 PM
    #19
    Outbound

    Outbound SSEM #2.5, Token AmeriCanadian

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    This is the big one. Any monkey with half a brain cell can learn to run a nice bead. It takes skill to become good at layout, fit up and fabrication. A truly good welder can design, plan, layout cut, cope, run circular saws, operate drill presses and band saws, makes plasma cutters and oxy-acetyleene torches dance, understands basic machining and mechanics and on a good day runs a nice bead. :D
     
  20. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:48 PM
    #20
    TruckyTruck

    TruckyTruck Dumbest Username

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    That's the lesson, right? Get to where you tell other people what to weld! :laugh:
     
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  21. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:49 PM
    #21
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    @Outbound mentioned it but this channel has a lot of good content and I like how this guy instructs. No bs involved, hes pretty direct. I've been watching and waiting to buy a welder, probably will after this Summer.


    I like this channel too but it's more than just welding
     
  22. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:50 PM
    #22
    TruckyTruck

    TruckyTruck Dumbest Username

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    Absolutely I make all kinds of crap. Sometimes I make up problems just so I can make things. :rolleyes:
     
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  23. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:53 PM
    #23
    Jim LE 1301

    Jim LE 1301 Camaro Lover, SSEM # 11

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    :thumbsup:
     
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  24. Apr 7, 2020 at 5:03 PM
    #24
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    Mig with solid core wire and shielding gas. Another essential tool will be a good angle grinder...you're going to make some really ugly welds starting out. Some of the ugly ones might still be serviceable (and a little purtier) if you grind off all the bubbles, slag inclusions, and other irregularity. I depend heavily on my grinder. :D
     
  25. Apr 7, 2020 at 5:14 PM
    #25
    chugs

    chugs New Member

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    Lots of content on youtube and stick welding is easiest to learn the technique.
     
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  26. Apr 7, 2020 at 5:15 PM
    #26
    Mountun Goat

    Mountun Goat It’s grazing season

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    This major. I have to give thanks for my planning, drafting and math skills to my Carpentry schooling and experience.
     
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  27. Apr 7, 2020 at 5:17 PM
    #27
    Mountun Goat

    Mountun Goat It’s grazing season

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    Lots of weld your own kits available too. If all your wanting to learn is how to weld. There are prefabbed bumpers, bbqs, fire pits and pretty much anything else you can dream of. As another option.
     
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  28. Apr 7, 2020 at 5:32 PM
    #28
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ O'Keefe Music Foundation Staff Member

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    I have a feeling I’m gonna regret posting this...


    Penetration and quality of weld is more important than looks.
     
  29. Apr 7, 2020 at 5:35 PM
    #29
    Azblue

    Azblue Beer is Good

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    Also, I think that beginning with gas welding (like they did back in the day when high schools still taught trades) is a great way to go. It's slower and maybe more methodical, but gives a great understanding to how the metal reacts, melts, flows, etc. That does bring an added cost of a torch setup, but that is always a great tool to have.
     
  30. Apr 7, 2020 at 5:39 PM
    #30
    Ps3udonymous

    Ps3udonymous [OP] Who is the smart ass that changed the title?

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    I understand that! I'm a plumber by trade and some of the guys I work with have never used any power tools, let alone most hand tools....makes my day really fun when you have to explain how to use a ratchet.
     
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