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Old December 5th, 2009, 10:04 AM   #1
kj kyle
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any tips for a new welder?

I just picked up my christmas gift this week, a miller 211 welder. problem is I have no experience welding... so I'm not really sure where to start. any tips?
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Old December 5th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #2
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just get some scrap steel and start practicing... try closer, try a little farther see how the bead is different. nothing really to do but practice. I am no pro, but thats how i learned.

GOOD LUCK!!!
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Old December 5th, 2009, 10:13 AM   #3
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get some scrap and start practicing...set it up in different angles, lay under it and weld, etc...remember, not everything you need to weld is going to be sitting flat and horizontal on a bench, though you should practice that way until you gut the hang of it, then start moving your work piece around...also try welding different thickness

it probably also isnt a bad idea to force some mistakes, that way you see what mistakes cause what problems and know what to look for later when you see similar problems

buy some welding how-to books and read them...talk to old timers...listen to advice that comes from those that do know what they are doing...

wait...that just ruled me out...I aint no welder...
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Old December 5th, 2009, 10:15 AM   #4
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one thing too. try and stay out of the wind if your outside. the gas blows away easy and it will cause your welds to crap out. they'll look all bubbly because the air washed out your shield gas before they cooled.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #5
kj kyle
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what other tools do I need for basic fabricating?
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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Grinder, cut off wheels, sawzall helps here and there, a hammer and time
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:20 PM   #7
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got those. I'm thinking more along the lines of angle finders and jigs and what not
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:34 PM   #8
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got those. I'm thinking more along the lines of angle finders and jigs and what not
good set of magnets/angle magnets you can get them at harbor freight cheap


vise grip body clamps
a good chop saw
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:43 PM   #9
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good chop saw
Torch's
A good vise
Make a welding table. All steel so you can ground the table and weld small objects without having to ground right to it. Also it gives you a nice flat level surface. Make the surface with at least 1/4"-3/16" steel to help prevent warping. Practice lots and lots of practice. Also check out a local comm college most of them offer some type of welding classes. Good luck and happy welding.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 01:06 PM   #10
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what other tools do I need for basic fabricating?
that really depends on what type of stuff you want to do...there are lots of tools that you can make yourself, and others that are handy to have, but you may not have much of a use for...

use an old c-clamp and cut off the fixed end, weld a small section of heavy plate to the cut end, tack weld it where you want to clamp a piece

take a piece of angle, whatever size you have laying around, with a heavy wall, and cut off two sections about 4-6 inches long...clamp them to another piece of angle to hold them parallel to each other, spaced about 1-2 inches apart, and weld some strong pieces of scrap between them to hold them in place...now you have a simple jig that two pieces of round or square stock can be clamp into to hold the butt ends togthor and aligned while you tack them togethor at opposing sides, and have access almost every where around the seam to tack

cut two pieces of lighter angle about 24-36 inches long, drill a hole at one end of each, and bolt them togthor using a wing nut...use a smaller angle finder or protractor to set the angle, and lock them in place to have a larger angle guage


honestly, there is an endless number of fabrication tools you can make yourself, and its common to make your own jigs, fixtures, tools, etc as your using them...thats part of fabricating
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Old December 6th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #11
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Start out walking the cup. Once you master this you can get a job as a welder anywhere.

have to have a tig though
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Old December 6th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #12
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I'll have to dig them up, but I have a TIG and a MIG book here from miller or lincoln for welding excercises and tips and what not, that I got from the welding program at the Allegan County Votech. I will look for them and if you are interested you can have them.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 08:28 AM   #13
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My dad was a backyard fabricator. He bought himself a brand new miller welder. He couldn't weld with it to save his life. .....even after I showed him the best I could. What I have realized is that some people can weld and some people can't. I did get a new welder out it though Thanks dad
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Old December 6th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #14
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like others have suggest, get some scrap steel, clean the rust off, and have fun.

Weld some end to end, chamfer the edges and weld, etc. Also if you can get round tubing practice on that. Its very different doing round vs flat.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 11:03 AM   #15
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Go to miller.com and check out improving your skills. I found some useful stuff, with video
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Old December 6th, 2009, 11:13 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Immortal View Post
My dad was a backyard fabricator. He bought himself a brand new miller welder. He couldn't weld with it to save his life. .....even after I showed him the best I could. What I have realized is that some people can weld and some people can't. I did get a new welder out it though Thanks dad
i tried this. My plan failed miserably and my father is now aws certified in 3/8 plate 3g 7018 stick welding. and he is a mason of all things!

hey kyle once you get started post some pictures of your welds. im sure alot of us can help you more if we see what is going on. good luck with it.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 12:39 PM   #17
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spend a few $$ and get a nice self darkening helmet
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Old December 6th, 2009, 12:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immortal View Post
My dad was a backyard fabricator. He bought himself a brand new miller welder. He couldn't weld with it to save his life. .....even after I showed him the best I could. What I have realized is that some people can weld and some people can't. I did get a new welder out it though Thanks dad
I had tried for years to have people teach me to weld without any luck. About 2 years ago I went into my barn and picked up the arc welder and could not find the welding gloves. I just started to weld (practicing) next thing I knew I was spreading weld like crazy. My dad and my father inlaw could not beleave it, they said I had a friend do it for me. I picked up the welder and showed them. All these years and it was the gloves holding me back. I guess I am saying you have to feel comfortable at it. (a few burt hands later but well I guess you take the ok looking welds with the bad)
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Old December 6th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #19
kj kyle
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hey kyle once you get started post some pictures of your welds. im sure alot of us can help you more if we see what is going on. good luck with it.
I'm sure I'll have pictures up december 26th.

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spend a few $$ and get a nice self darkening helmet
allready taken care of.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #20
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x2 for Millerwelds.com

Great website.
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