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Self-taught welding

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by ChrisTRDPro, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Apr 24, 2018 at 11:06 AM
    #1
    ChrisTRDPro

    ChrisTRDPro [OP] New Member

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    I would like to learn welding so I can build my own custom bed rack, as well as other mounts/accessories. Plus, it seems like a really useful skill to have when you're into 'stuff' with engines. Unfortunately my local community college doesn't offer classes at night or on the weekends, and I have a full time day job. I've watched a bunch of youtube videos on learning how to weld, and was thinking about picking up a GMAW MIG machine and just going at it. I was going to start on some 1/4 plate and just run beads until I feel comfortable and then move up to welding square tubing and then eventually move up to round tubing, which is what I want to make my bed rack out of.
    Just wondering if anyone had any tips and tricks or advice or anyone who has also taught themselves. I'm a very visual learner, so reading books isn't really for me. But I'd love any advice anyone has to give!
    Eventually I'd like a design like this that goes over the cab, but also has a few more customizations like being able to fit a toolbox in the bed with the rack and a shelf or two near the cab.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Apr 24, 2018 at 11:12 AM
    #2
    smslavin

    smslavin Behind a lens...

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    Some stuff
    me too
     
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  3. Apr 24, 2018 at 11:14 AM
    #3
    nk1794

    nk1794 Always torque to spec

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    Me three, on the learning part.
     
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  4. Apr 24, 2018 at 11:18 AM
    #4
    papasmurf

    papasmurf Savage Fabrication

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    honestly.. i would say get a good little mig welder, some scrap metal and tubing, and start practicing.. its pretty simple just watch some youtube vids on basics.. then go by feel look and sound, welding isnt a science and more art form. every machine is different, takes practice... just learn to control the machine and gas and you will figure it out, no need to take a class when there is so much fee information on the net
     
  5. Apr 24, 2018 at 7:26 PM
    #5
    Baja Mike

    Baja Mike Baja Aficionado

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    I took welding for 2.5 years at community college and another year of it during my apprenticeship. I can assure you, it is a science. There's tons of free information on the net. It's free because half of it is wrong.

    If you are going to take up welding I highly suggest you take a class at you local community college and learn it the correct way.

    This was one of the books we had to buy and read for the class.
    [​IMG]

    There's no youtube video that is going to tell you the knowledge that book contains.

    The other thing about going to a school to learn how to weld correctly is you are using their stuff. Their materials. Their welders. Their electricity. You will also learn the other types of welding i.e. SMAW, GTAW (TIG), oxy-acetylene, flux-core. SMAW is the most likely form that you'd need on a trail/emergency fix.

    Go to school. Learn the right way from certified welders.
     
  6. Apr 24, 2018 at 7:34 PM
    #6
    koditten

    koditten New Member

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    I've been running my own Fab shop for 20 years. I'm self taught. MIG welding is easy to learn using utube.

    I really like the Vulcan 220 from harbor freight. (Even tho I own nothing but Miller welders. Shhhh).

    I don't believe structured schooling is needed to do what you ask. Get a welder and practice. Post pics and except criticism.
     
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  7. Apr 24, 2018 at 8:22 PM
    #7
    Mountun Goat

    Mountun Goat It’s grazing season

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    Buy a mig. Read the manual. Start practicing! That’s how I did it and I built my entire bagged c10 myself.
     
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  8. Apr 24, 2018 at 8:26 PM
    #8
    nk1794

    nk1794 Always torque to spec

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    What type of equipment do you have?
     
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  9. Apr 24, 2018 at 8:32 PM
    #9
    saybng

    saybng Just a member.

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    Me 4, I recently purchased a Lincoln, and been practicing and watching utube, and reading , I actually enjoy it, hopefully I get better and build my own rack someday..
     
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  10. Apr 24, 2018 at 8:42 PM
    #10
    zcarpenter92

    zcarpenter92 Yotas, Coronas and 'Merica

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    I learned how to weld when my college internship extended into the winter, not a whole lot to do in the ag industry over the winter other than work on trailers and such. Luckily I worked with two good guys who knew how to teach me on a MIG, plus we had a lot of spare metal laying around with which to practice. Find someone who's pretty good at it, and ask if they'll give you some pointers.
     
  11. Apr 24, 2018 at 8:42 PM
    #11
    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been wanting to get into welding for a while. Added 220 to my garage as well. Then I never got a welder.
     
  12. Apr 24, 2018 at 8:43 PM
    #12
    Mountun Goat

    Mountun Goat It’s grazing season

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    Honestly I have a 120v farmer special. It’s a Hobart. Rigged up with shielding gas. Worked fine. Just have to take lots of breaks for the welder to cool off. I’ve done lots of 1/4” plate welds with it. Just on bigger material cut bevels into the joints for more fill (deeper welds). YouTube away!
     
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  13. Apr 24, 2018 at 9:03 PM
    #13
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ So there I was.... Staff Member

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    Since you cannot take a weekend or night school, there may be other options.

    Take out an ad on CL(or local paper) for some paid classes from a certified welder.
    Maybe go to some local fab shops and offer some money for training.
    There might be some members close to your location that wouldn’t mind showing you a thing or two.

    You’re doing some tinkering around bud, not building the next space shuttle, war ship, or super critical power plant.

    I’m not going to start an argument on here, it usually starts a shitstorm. Everyone has an opinion and their own experiences. If you have the willingness and drive to learn something, the possibilities are endless.

    Check out this guys YouTube channel.



    Just for shits and giggles, this was after we welded back together his DynaTrac ProRoc 60 that split the casing in two after a few Dyno tune runs. Just for reference, this is a healthy LS3 under the hood, 40” competition compound tires and a heavy foot. If we can do shit like this, so can you.

     
  14. Apr 24, 2018 at 9:23 PM
    #14
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ So there I was.... Staff Member

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    Also, the local steel supply or fab shop should have scrap mild steel. Buy it since they can only get scrap prices anyway.

    I built 80% of my TJ that way.
     
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  15. Apr 24, 2018 at 9:28 PM
    #15
    Mountun Goat

    Mountun Goat It’s grazing season

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    I did my squarebody exactly like this also:cheers:
     
  16. Apr 25, 2018 at 7:10 AM
    #16
    ChrisTRDPro

    ChrisTRDPro [OP] New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the tips guys! I appreciate it
     
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  17. Apr 25, 2018 at 7:11 AM
    #17
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ So there I was.... Staff Member

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    I see what you did there.....

    Clever mig welding joke.
     
  18. Apr 25, 2018 at 7:17 AM
    #18
    koditten

    koditten New Member

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    If you are going thru lots of tips, something needs to change...just saying.
     
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  19. Apr 25, 2018 at 7:18 AM
    #19
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ So there I was.... Staff Member

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    Nozzle cleaner for the win!!
     
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  20. Apr 25, 2018 at 8:18 AM
    #20
    Black Wolf

    Black Wolf Addicted to petrified wood apparently

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    I still have my book from high school. Seems like welding/metal shop, auto shop, and drafting shop aren't offered much in high schools any more. I went to HS from 70 to 74. Took all three shop classes all four years in HS. CC courses the way to go now. If that is something that would be hard to do then call General Air in Denver. The guys there know their shit and will go out of their way to help you. They have package deals on great welding setups. Great freaking deals. Not Harbor Freight bs. If any of you live in the Denver area they offer training. Free.. GA guys are on "Mike's Garage" KBPI at least one Saturday a month. They will be the first to say that welding is truly a science and and becomes an art. http://www.generalair.com/Denver/
     
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  21. Apr 25, 2018 at 6:17 PM
    #21
    Outbound

    Outbound SSEM #2.5, Token AmeriCanadian

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    Journeyman welder with Interprovincial Red Seal here.



    *slowly tries to sneak off without being seen....*
     
  22. Apr 25, 2018 at 7:07 PM
    #22
    tacomawv

    tacomawv New Member

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    I taught my self. YouTube is your friend. I got a Lincoln mig and went to work on a sidekick. After several years of hard off road use and only one weld broke. I made bumpers, sliders that are part of the sheet metal, 5 body mounts and a ton of sheet work on the sidekick. Just repaired the winch stand on my boat. My Jeep will be getting some love soon. I hate rust. Mig is easy. I also got a miller tig. It confuses me. I use it as a stick weld. I know what a waste. I have be working on it. I will have the Tig down someday.
     
  23. Apr 25, 2018 at 7:18 PM
    #23
    Atomic City Tundra

    Atomic City Tundra Cam Tower Leak Addict

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    I would also recommend a class where they teach you the practice or go hang with someone who knows what they are doing. I learned from a welder while I was working as a laborer at a gravel pit. He was a super cool guy that used to take a lot of time after work to show me how to do it. I then had a class in undergrad that covered the theory behind it. The more valuable info was from the person that actually did it for a living, IMO.
     
  24. Apr 25, 2018 at 7:35 PM
    #24
    Outbound

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  25. May 1, 2018 at 8:23 AM
    #25
    MacCTD

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    I am also one of many who would line to learn to weld, from what I am reading here it seems MIG is the way to go, a MIG only welder is cheaper than a multi purpose welder like the Vulcan 220 from Harbor Freight, any reason to get the multi purpose if you only plan on MIG welding?
     
  26. May 1, 2018 at 7:21 PM
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    koditten

    koditten New Member

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    I'm biased.

    For working on our vehicles, I can find no reason to need anything other than MIG.

    The only reason for TIG would be be if you needed to do some wild, aluminum intake manifold work.

    Mig will do 90 percent of the welding jobs on our Toyota trucks.
     
  27. May 1, 2018 at 9:08 PM
    #27
    aRabidLunatic

    aRabidLunatic Professional Hobo

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    Funny thing. I've been meaning to teach myself how to weld too. Local college didn't have any classes I could take. I bought a $90 MIG welding machine last weekend from Harbor Freights. I figure this would be enough for now while I learned the basics. I got some scrapped pieces from work to practice on. So far I gotta say that I like it. Now I need to buy some proper tools to make better welds and keep practicing.
     
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  28. Jun 29, 2019 at 6:52 PM
    #28
    koditten

    koditten New Member

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    Bump for updates from peeps that took the plunge.
     
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  29. Jun 29, 2019 at 7:22 PM
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    1BadTundra

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    I have one... I love it. Multi Process machines used to be garbage. They have come a long way. Welding is an art, I learned years ago, and spent the last 20 years learning tricks and trying to get better. I'll teach my boys how, I'm starting to now. this is a skill that will be in demand more and more in the future... Especially with this new generation of kids coming up. The IT field was in demand when I was growing up, now the field is flooded with computer nerds (no offense guys). Working with your hands is a skill that no one can take away, and will always be in demand.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  30. Jun 29, 2019 at 7:26 PM
    #30
    Notachickmagnet

    Notachickmagnet New Member

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    Always the oddball here...I prefer a stick. Own a mig but will pull the old Lincoln out anyday! I was state certified so my test was done with a stick :eek2:
     

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