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Old October 7th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #1
AZTEC
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Default want to learn

i really want to know how to weld, nothing too difficult like frame welding but just welding a bumper or two out of scrap. any suggestions on what to use like arc or torch and is it pretty hard and should i just pony up and go take a class?
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Old October 7th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #2
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Mig and Stick are good ones to start with. If i were you i would purchase some reading material on the topic. One of the best books you can buy is Lincolns Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding. You should be able to find it for around 20 dollars. Get some scrap and just start practicing laying beads. It's not something that is going to come to you in 5 mins either. It takes hours of dedication and practice to master all of the processes. Classes help but are not required. I currently posses 5.5 years of education in welding and have 1 year to complete before i have my BS in Welding Engineering Technology.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #3
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Torch welding is very difficult to learn once you learn how to weld with a torch and a lot of practice you can do a very nice job. I have done some weld with a torch that I would put up against a MIG or TIG weld any day. I personal prefer TIG as you have a lot of control over heat and filler material on the fly.

MIG is great and what I see most of the people are using, just you need to be very careful with MIG people make pretty looking surface welds that have no strength.

If you have no welding experience I would suggest taking a class if you can you will learn skills that you could never learn on your own.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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I'd suggest taking a class at your local community college. Take a TIG class first. If you can grasp the fundamentals of TIG welding then every other type of welding comes easier because you already understand what's going on and what's needed to produce the desired results. Dont buy a machine until you have used it, the best way is to take a class and pick the instructors brain at every opportunity you get.

For your first machine I would suggest a 150-200 amp MIG welder that uses gas, not flux core wire and is also run off 220v. That is the most user friendly setup there is and you arent likely to outgrow it.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 12:35 PM   #5
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I learned how to Tig before anything else. And basically how I learned was just practicing everyday and doing it everyday with some help from a previous employer.

Some people learn more from school, and others like myself learn more just from getting out there and doing it.

Just like Rubicon said, Tig is my favorite too just because you have full control all the time basically. Plus good Tig welds can look so damn pretty.

A lot of classes will teach you how to weld with a torch first since it is the hardest.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #6
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well ok so I don't really care if it looks "ugly" lol i just want it to be strong. im probably never going to use a torch cause I've heard what happens when you don't turn it off in the right order so I m pretty much scared. so which one would be good for a newbie to use TIG, MIG, or stick? also would i be able to go to home depot and get most of my supplies?
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Old October 8th, 2009, 10:19 AM   #7
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im probably never going to use a torch cause I've heard what happens when you don't turn it off in the right order so I m pretty much scared.
what, it goes "pop"? acetylene can be extremely dangerous if you dont take precautioins and use common sense when using it. My weldinginstructor told me that 15cu/ft-min (or whatever the gauge reads in) of acetylene gas can cut through 7" thick steel. That deserves respect in itself.



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so which one would be good for a newbie to use TIG, MIG, or stick? also would i be able to go to home depot and get most of my supplies?
Learn TIG, understand the practices and then buy a MIG for your own use. an ugly weld can be strong or weak, a good lookign weld can be strong or weak, it's about the right settings and getting the weld to be uniform and consistant, wheather it's ugly or not.

Time behind the hood is the only way you're going to learn how to weld.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #8
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I took classes at the community college and also did TIG at work. I agree that TIG teaches you how a weld works and what is really cool is that it's easier to watch what happens. Quite honestly, gas/brazing teaches you the same thing as TIG. You're just using a flame rather than an arc to melt your materials.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #9
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there is a lot good advise given on the subject in this thread, take heed, these guys know what they are talking about....I only want to stress the practice part. quality machines and instruction only get you so far, practice takes you the rest of the way.

MIG is by far the easiest, and is about middle of the road on price for equipment.
TIG is more complicated in the fact you have to have some decent hand/eye/foot cordination. Also TIG is more expensive to get into, the machines have a lot more going on than a MIG or SAW(stick) machine.
SAW (arc/stick) welders are inexpensive and Rod is fairly cheap, also more forgiving when welding rusty or crap mat'l.

Don't buy a knock off machine, get name brand. Miller, Lincoln, Hobart(these are lowend Millers, but still good machines) Lincoln builds affordable MIG machine for hobbiest and home fabricators for around $800 for a 180 amp 220v machine. Just remember you need a gas bottle and other consumable depending on what you are gonna do.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:18 PM   #10
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jeff didnt you take welding in highschool thought u did
go to occ and sign up for it
practice makes perfect
you can go to ace by me they have some welding stuff arc rods mig wire filler rods for tig
id help you if you can find a machine i dont have one yet
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Old October 8th, 2009, 08:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by whiterhino View Post
I took classes at the community college and also did TIG at work. I agree that TIG teaches you how a weld works and what is really cool is that it's easier to watch what happens. Quite honestly, gas/brazing teaches you the same thing as TIG. You're just using a flame rather than an arc to melt your materials.
This is why most intro to welding classes teach gas welding first. If you don't know how to weld, i would take an into to welding class at your local CC first. They are probably going to require it for every other class anyway.

You can certainly learn how to weld by just picking up a welder and doing it. But learning some base fundamentals will make you a better welder that makes stronger welds.

Tig is hard. I think it's hardness will get in the way of learning fundamentals.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 08:40 PM   #12
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I can see both ways. I found TIG to be good for learning about heating and watching the puddle, but coordination of both hands and the foot pedal was a bit tricky.

Take a class, it'll teach tou the basics. Then weld stuff at home, section them, practice, practice, practice...
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Old October 8th, 2009, 10:38 PM   #13
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Save the money on the classes. Pick up a 185 Miller, nice helmet 10# spool of wire .030. Go the the steel supply & pick up some drops buy the pound. You will have it down in 1 hr. Get the 5' tall bottle it goes fast.

Learn while you burn...
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Old October 9th, 2009, 12:28 AM   #14
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Save the money on the classes. Pick up a 185 Miller, nice helmet 10# spool of wire .030. Go the the steel supply & pick up some drops buy the pound. You will have it down in 1 hr. Get the 5' tall bottle it goes fast.

Learn while you burn...
That is wrong, you cannot learn welding in one hour. If you could do you think there would be a 200,000+ welder shortage in the U.S.A. (source A.W.S.) Welding takes years and time to master every process. By you saying he'll get it down in 1 hour is crazy and, makes me scared to be on the road. I don't want to be driving on the road when people with 1hr's of welding in their life are building custom long arms and other items for their rigs. Their is a reason a good welder/fabricator makes 25-75 an hour. That is just plain bad advice.

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Old October 9th, 2009, 12:51 AM   #15
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I'm following this along, and I was wondering when someone will chime in with helpful tips in heat direction, good motion, rod selection for depth and material, and a good thickness for stock to use in the learning process? Also, what do the 4 number codes on the rod designate?
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Old October 9th, 2009, 12:54 AM   #16
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If you go to the Miller website, you can download manuals for free that will show you a lot of the basic stuff which will get you going in the right direction. I have a stick welder, when I first brought it home I just printed this off and started reading and burnin' scrap steel: http://www.millerwelds.com/pdf/guidelines_smaw.pdf


PS - I have a Lincoln 220 AC stick welder if you're interested

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Old October 9th, 2009, 01:03 AM   #17
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I'm following this along, and I was wondering when someone will chime in with helpful tips in heat direction, good motion, rod selection for depth and material, and a good thickness for stock to use in the learning process? Also, what do the 4 number codes on the rod designate?
Ok. In stick welding for ex. a E7018
E=Electrode
70 indicates tensile strength in KSI 70,000 lbs/in^2 tensile strength
the third number indicates electrode position
1=all
2=flat, horizontal
3=flat, horizontal, and vertical
4= ect. ect.,
the last digit inicates flux coating,
for example 8 inicates low hydrogen coating.
1,0 inicates a celulos coating
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Old October 9th, 2009, 01:06 AM   #18
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I say that .1875~.250 (7gauge-10gauge) stock is good for starting out with. It's thick enough to be welded in any position with almost any welding process.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 02:16 AM   #19
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Jeff, remember Bob with the green YJ last time at the Mounds? He's the para pro welding instructor at OCC Auburn Hills. I took the intro course there. Learned Gas, tig, arc and mig.
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Old October 9th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #20
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JB WELD WELDS BETTER THAN I DO! i dont weld!

some colleges will let you audit a claas and take it for cheap or free if you dont want a grade or credit. talk a few schools. you might get lucky if they have a class thats small. you will pay for your materials, offer to help out the instructor.

i wont tell you to sign up for a full boat of classes and apply for a pell grant to pay for them. then just show up for the welding class and stiff the state. that would be dishonest.
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