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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 5:40 PM
    #31
    Ps3udonymous

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

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    Makes sense lol...penetration is always good
     
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  2. Apr 7, 2020 at 5:51 PM
    #32
    JMB

    JMB Not new, just a little old.

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    Ignoring the double entendre :D
    For the average home use gorilla welds, ugly but strong, would work. For more critical applications, shipbuilding, bridges, pipelines the cosmetic details can affect things like paint adhesion or fatigue life. It's both an art and a science. For the average hobbyist, if it doesn't fall apart when you pick it up, it's good.
     
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  3. Apr 7, 2020 at 5:52 PM
    #33
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    :rofl:Yeah, but if you can grind off the porosity to solid weld metal, a little "undercut" isn't going to hurt anything. :rofl:
     
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  4. Apr 7, 2020 at 6:04 PM
    #34
    Medic343

    Medic343 5+4+3=2

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    In it for all the advice going around...I, just like the OP, am wanting to learn welding 101
     
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  5. Apr 7, 2020 at 6:32 PM
    #35
    Vizsla

    Vizsla New Member

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    I’m a weld snob, only tig welds allowed on my truck:D @KyleGreenFabrication
    57176DA7-7688-4DA8-8F22-574D6363D833.jpg
    069E005B-B6AF-4257-8813-77AD54F3850A.jpg 6B76DE5F-EEA7-49E6-9368-1CED030E05B5.jpg A8327858-9141-4CF3-A3F9-CF7EBAB0644C.jpg BB3CF557-A563-4C6F-BCB8-B98A30D5794D.jpg 87275D67-065E-44BF-82DB-6BF2AF9C9BBC.jpg

    Santa Claus brought me this, only 120v MP I know of that has a foot pedal for tig. Not sure welding is my thing.:notsure:74A636EB-4543-4AED-A260-EF597EE56CAA.jpg
     
  6. Apr 7, 2020 at 8:30 PM
    #36
    Mountun Goat

    Mountun Goat It’s grazing season

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    Few things I’ve learnt :D

    -do a good sketch of your build, including dimensions. Then build a material list in advance to get what you need.
    -always good surface prep. Good clean steel is good steel.
    -always good to be in a comfortable position. Sometimes not possible, I understand, but at least try to have your hands in a comfortable position.
    -it’s just steel, they make more haha
    -two masks/gloves seem helpful to me. One scabby set for cutting and grinding. Then, an auto darkening helmet and gloves that stays clean for welding (imho).
    -a proper grounding cable clamp is nice. I swapped my crap oe one for a industrial weld ground clamp.


    :anonymous:

    Edit: Always close the bottle valve before you leave the welder. Always, in fact everytime you see a bottle, check the valve is closed. always... :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
  7. Apr 7, 2020 at 9:56 PM
    #37
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ So there I was.... Staff Member

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    Guess Santa didn’t catch you being naughty last year...lol

    Is that a green MiG machine?
     
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  8. Apr 7, 2020 at 10:43 PM
    #38
    snivilous

    snivilous New Member

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    Lots of good info in here, I'll throw in my $.02 since I was in the same boat as you a few years ago, self taught with mig and then bought a tig just for fun last year and haven't looked back.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Youtube is a huge asset, Weldmonger is my favorite guy to watch. You can watch and research stuff for months, but just looking up "basics of mig" or whatever is a good starting point and then just buy a bunch of steel or get scrap and go to town (on that note, do NOT buy from a hardware store if you can avoid it, go to a steel yard). I would start with a cheap mig, like a Harbor Freight welder which has great reviews, and that will get you by for a long time. You want solid wire (probably .030") with 75% Argon/25% CO2 (most common setup) and that will give you a good baseline to start from. Talking to people at the welding store always helps too, when I started with tig that was the first place I went and just asked questions about what they recommended. Mig welding is very forgiving and easy to get going on, especially for basic around the house type stuff where you could be welding anything from 0.5" plates to some mesh on a grille.

    My biggest suggestion, which I was always lazy about until recently honestly, is prep work is HUGE and takes more time than the welding itself. The beauty/issue with mig is you can weld through a lot of shit without prepping it, tig requires being a lot more anal (and better) about prep work--but regardless that makes a better weld. For instance you should always flappy/wire brush surfaces, do a 45deg bevel to easily get full penetration on surfaces, have good fitment, etc. I would try to practice the prep work as much as the welding itself, because as ColoradoTJ said, a good weld and good penetration is better than a pretty weld (and usually form follows function). Especially at a beginner stage, where your welds wont be that good, but if you have a full depth bevel on your parts and they are nice and clean and you're running the recommended settings the welder says to use, you will end up with a strong weld and it'll probably look good after a few minutes of practice.

    Just a couple of my thoughts. I'm not a welder, just a guy who enjoys welding and learning it and sometimes makes things, so take that all with a grain of salt.
     
  9. Apr 8, 2020 at 5:20 AM
    #39
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    Yep. If this truth has to be learned the "hard way", it will never be forgotten.
     
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  10. Apr 8, 2020 at 6:48 AM
    #40
    Mountun Goat

    Mountun Goat It’s grazing season

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    You bet, I did that only once haha.
     
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  11. Apr 9, 2020 at 9:24 AM
    #41
    Ps3udonymous

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

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    Thank you, I've been reading a lot. Mig with .030 with 75/25 seems to be the common starting point. But I have noticed i need to learn a lot more about terminology and maybe dabble in metallurgy
     
  12. Apr 9, 2020 at 9:42 AM
    #42
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    The great thing about youTube, or any good training video, is you can hear the sound. When you are finally able to make and maintain an arc that sounds just like the best videos (observe the resulting weld), then you're in business. Not perfect yet, but probably tweakable to acceptable strength welds.
     
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  13. Apr 9, 2020 at 10:47 AM
    #43
    easleycrawler

    easleycrawler TOYOTA ADDICT- SSEM #78

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    I bought a Hobart mig welder, never welded before in my life. Took some good advice from a buddy of mine, and basically learned on my own. I can't do none that weld porn, stacking dimes, but it's not too bad. It gets better, the more you do it, just like anything else. Make sure you get a good helmet.
     
  14. Apr 9, 2020 at 11:26 AM
    #44
    Mountun Goat

    Mountun Goat It’s grazing season

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    X2
     
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  15. Apr 9, 2020 at 11:26 AM
    #45
    Ps3udonymous

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

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    What would be a "good" helmet?
     
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  16. Apr 9, 2020 at 11:30 AM
    #46
    easleycrawler

    easleycrawler TOYOTA ADDICT- SSEM #78

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    Auto darkening. I actually got a kobalt from Lowe's. Not the cheapest, but sure as hell not the most expensive.
     
  17. Apr 9, 2020 at 11:39 AM
    #47
    Ps3udonymous

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

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    How do you like that one? Do you use it often? If it broke would you buy it again?
     
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  18. Apr 9, 2020 at 12:08 PM
    #48
    easleycrawler

    easleycrawler TOYOTA ADDICT- SSEM #78

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    I don't use it alot, every now and then. With that being the case, yes I would buy it again. If I welded alot, like 3-4 times a week, I might buy a nicer/more expensive helmet. But occasional use, it's perfect.
     
  19. Apr 9, 2020 at 12:09 PM
    #49
    abomb60

    abomb60 Maker of things

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    Reminds me that I need to find a welding project soon so I can actually learn something. Have had MIG welder for a few years but haven't done much with it other than a couple quick repairs.
     
  20. Apr 9, 2020 at 12:12 PM
    #50
    easleycrawler

    easleycrawler TOYOTA ADDICT- SSEM #78

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    Be sure to pick you up a welding cart as well. You can thank me later.
     
  21. Apr 9, 2020 at 12:14 PM
    #51
    abomb60

    abomb60 Maker of things

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    I'll look into that thanks!
     
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  22. Apr 9, 2020 at 12:20 PM
    #52
    Warreng

    Warreng New Member

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    Pro tip:
    Dont burn down the garage.
     
  23. Apr 9, 2020 at 12:24 PM
    #53
    Outbound

    Outbound SSEM #2.5, Token AmeriCanadian

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    LOL! Don't worry about stacking dimes or laying beads like you see on Weld Porn. I do this for a living and I can tell you, very few guys weld that nicely in the real world. Weld Porn are people who live and breathe welding and spend hours and hours doing it, both on and off the job.

    Go for good penetration, consistency and free of major faults like undercut and cold lap. Your welds will be better than most then. :)
     
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  24. Apr 9, 2020 at 1:18 PM
    #54
    smslavin

    smslavin Behind a lens...

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    Some stuff
    i did some youtubes stuffs. i found these helpful.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcxlBLmujrjTVSSUkzZ2Jlg/featured
    https://www.youtube.com/user/Welddotcom
    https://www.youtube.com/user/weldingtipsandtricks
    https://www.youtube.com/user/nielsmiller

    then i took a MIG class down at general air: https://generalair.asapconnected.com/?

    instructor was great and i learned a metric shit ton of information. their TIG class is next on my list.

    would love a machine here at the house but getting 220 installed was/is cost prohibitive. i thought about doing it myself but it makes me a little nervous since our place is 80+ years old.
     
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  25. Apr 9, 2020 at 1:24 PM
    #55
    easleycrawler

    easleycrawler TOYOTA ADDICT- SSEM #78

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    220 rigs are nice. But for the stuff I weld on and make, the 120 rig works just fine.
     
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  26. Apr 9, 2020 at 1:37 PM
    #56
    snivilous

    snivilous New Member

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    Harbor Freight makes decent auto darkening helmets for like $30, I used one for years. I have a WeldCote now which is immensely nicer and was like $130. Harbor Freight also has some good welding carts. Their cheapest one is better than nothing but kind of a POS, their mid grade cart is pretty sweet, I just got it for the tig and it has big wheels and lots of places to hang lines and stuff to move around.

    Also to note, your welder should come with everything besides personal gear (helmet, gloves, etc.), and gas/tank. So if you order a welder, you just need a helmet and tank and gloves and you're good to go (usually they come with a small roll of wire, though usually it's flux core which you'll want to swap out). When I bought my mig from the welding store they had a deal where they'd give you a small tank for free, and tanks are usually a couple hundred dollars by themselves. Which also on that note, if you ever want to upgrade tanks, welding store will heavily discount a new tank if you trade in any size other tank. All my tanks I've upgraded over time as I've ended up wanting a bigger tank, and it was like $40 to step up a size trading in the old tank versus like $300 for a new tank.
     
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  27. Apr 9, 2020 at 1:38 PM
    #57
    kevine0001

    kevine0001 New Member

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    i started with a flux welder (buzz box). 110, easy for smokers, fixing rod iron gates, etc. Ended up getting a Harbor Freight 220 mig welder. Been using it for 6 years now, no problems. I've used a Lincoln and Miller, both were very good and I would recommend them if you have the money. One thing I would not go cheap on is your mask. There's a zillion cheap ones (under $75). Get a good one, like $150 and up. My welds are good (not great) but they are strong. Did a double swing out bumper on my old Land Cruiser with a 33" spare. Did the washboards in Death Valley doing about 55 mph. Yes...I was nervous. But it held as has all my other stuff. I've added a 220 plasma cutter to the cart. And I picked put a killer oxy acetylene torch set up. It's definitely a fun hobby. You can run the HF welder if you're just doing small stuff. If you're gonna do welding on the side for money, get the Miller or Lincoln. I'd even get a dual set up, that can run mig/tig. I really want a tig welder now. If you get into it, you'll want one too...trust me on this
     
  28. Apr 9, 2020 at 1:39 PM
    #58
    kevine0001

    kevine0001 New Member

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    Build your own cart. I'd wait about 6 months before building one, once you figure out how much stuff it needs to hold.

    IMG_6896.jpg
     
  29. Apr 9, 2020 at 1:42 PM
    #59
    smslavin

    smslavin Behind a lens...

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    Some stuff
    yea, i need to look into a 110/120 machine but it's off the priority list for now.
     
  30. Apr 9, 2020 at 1:45 PM
    #60
    kevine0001

    kevine0001 New Member

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    FWIW, my first 110 flux welder i bought used off of CL, for $50. practiced on any scrap steel i could find. Cut up a lot of bed frames!

    And I'd invest in a few 4" grinders. I keep four on my welding cart, one for each disc (flap wheel, grinding wheel, cut-off wheel, and wire wheel). That way, i'm not changing wheels every time, i just keep all four plugged in and go to work
     
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