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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2001, 12:59 PM
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Hi Bob,

Do you know of any good instructional books or videos available for a novice mig welder? I've had a small 110vac unit for about 5 years and would lke to learn how to use it.

Thanks,
Rich Lambert
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2001, 01:51 PM
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Rich,
I just finished reading "Performance Welding" by Richard Finch which is published by MotorBooks. I found it at Barnes & Noble in the automotive section. A lot of good info for Mig,Tig & gas welding.


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Old 03-27-2001, 01:59 PM
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Rich


Just grab some junk metal preferably the gauge of what you potentially want to weld.
Just go at it if you practice enough you can keep getting better and better. Its all in the feel and sound. If it sounds like bacon sizzling you're on the right track. THe key is the power and speed combination. Too much speed and the wire will push too little and it pops. The power lever controls the burn. Too much power you cut too little and it just piles up. You'll know when you got it right it looks pretty. You'll know when you have the right combo of speed and power it just feels right. Alway remember its an electric contact clean is required. Taught myself on a sears 110v unit. Argon/co2 gas.


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luck

Lloyd

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Old 03-27-2001, 03:31 PM
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Rich, practice is good. Lots of experience is better. I've seen guys come out of welding schools and think they had it down. Trouble is, in the real world, everything isn't clean, perfectly fit, and in the easiest to get at position. Welding in less than ideal conditions is much more difficult. Something really important for anyone learning to weld is that doing a pretty weld is really pretty easy, particularly MIG. "BUT"... a pretty weld doesn't mean a good weld. I've seen people run a perfect bead that was weak enough to be broken with bare hands. Point is, test your welds by putting your practice pieces in a vise, take a hammer to them, and try to break your weld. See how much penetration the weld has when it does break. When breaking stops and turns into bending(a good weld is as strong-if not stronger than the material), then you've done good. When you can past that test, than you can start welding with confidence. Even then you should still leave crucial welds to the experts. Bill
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Old 12-18-2001, 09:59 AM
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My best buddy is a former welder on nuke subs, in the navy. My brother is a passable hobby welder also. From everything I have seen, professional TIG welding is the only type I would really trust with my life, if I was given the choice. A real pro can make the wire feed and MIG welders work well, but most hobby or shade tree guys are not much better than me at welding, which is to say, LOUSY

One of the nice things about my West Coast cobra is the TIG welded spaceframe, it was one of the major attractions to this manufacture, for me.
Hope to meet you this summer, Bill.
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Old 12-18-2001, 10:41 AM
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I've done TIG welding, and yes, it's nice.
But you're not going to do a good job of it with a 110V unit.

It is definitely the best for welding aluminum, and I use to love using it for stainless.

MIG is the way to go though for home hobbyists...it's cheaper and easier.

The most important thing to remember when welding, is clean joints...wire brush the edges bright-clean and don't be in a hurry.
Safety is also important...get the right lenses, wear leather (I got many a 'sunburn' in the open-V area where my shirt didn't cover).

Practice, practice, practice...
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Old 11-17-2003, 06:46 PM
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Howdy back in black,

You sure don't know much about welding, dude. Get your buddy to teach you alittle.

I'm a shade tree welder and I do a pretty good job at it.

Stick/arc welding is alot stronger than tig. Tig is better for stuff like thin wall 4130 tubing like on a Nascar chassis or custom airplane frame. But for thicker material like 3/8" or thicker mild steel, stick is the only way to get enough penetration. Plus with a stick/arc welder you can weld aluminum, stainless steel and cast iron. You just need the right rod.

Paul

P.S. do you know what a buddy in the Navy is? A buddy is a guy that goes to town and gets 2 BJ's and brings you back 1.
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Old 11-17-2003, 06:55 PM
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Practice is the key. I got scraps from different metal yards, and most all pros will tell you to start with thick stuff and work your way to thinner guage. I am nowhere near a pro. The other thing I did (I happen to have Miller unit), was hit the Miller website and for something like $25 you can get a BOX of student material that included like 7 or 8 different books, reference guages, etc. This material is what I would say is non-brand specific for the most part. Best money I ever spent.
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Old 02-01-2004, 09:21 AM
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Careful Guys:

Some of you are telling some glaring NON-truths.

I dont want to point fingers, and hurt egos, but there is some real "horse-$****" contained in this thread.

its good to try and be helpful, but intentions are worthless if your spreading completely BOGUS info.
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Old 02-01-2004, 10:47 AM
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Lincoln Electric has a lot of good info on their website (including student packs and the like) as well. If you really want to learn, look around at your local community colleges/trade schools and sign up for a class. They will have them from absolute beginner to pros looking for certification and what not. I signed up at a local community college a few years ago, and have gone back 3 times since as I added tools (MIG and TIG) and it's nice to learn the RIGHT way the FIRST time, rather than thru 'experience'!
I just finished a class in art welding ( ) where I told the insructor all I was really interested in was aluminum welding techniques, so he let me work on that the whole time. Dan (the teacher) is a mega-certified welder who builds airframes and the like, and he taught me a TON of stuff that I dont know if I would EVER have picked up on my own. In this area, the cost was 150 bucks for the class, and about 75 in materials for the six weeks. Now I can start my aluminum car, with confidence!
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Old 02-01-2004, 02:01 PM
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Howdy,

Quote:
Originally posted by DemonSpeeding


Careful Guys:

Some of you are telling some glaring NON-truths.

I dont want to point fingers, and hurt egos, but there is some real "horse-$****" contained in this thread.

its good to try and be helpful, but intentions are worthless if your spreading completely BOGUS info.
Ok, Demon, point fingers. Who's telling glaring NON-truths? I've been welding for years. I work as a multi-craft industrial maintenance tech where you do all types of work, electrical, machinist, welder/fab., mech. Except for what back in black said most was true and helpful.

So, point fingers, what/who are you talking about?

Paul
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Old 02-01-2004, 03:35 PM
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If you want to get near my butt, quit using the pretext of "kicking it".

Just buy me a few drinks, maybe take me to a movie...........

Listen, I'm not here to MAKE anyone look bad, but if you insist: I'm more than happy to oblige you. Just ask.
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Old 02-01-2004, 05:57 PM
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Howdy Demon,

I already asked. Where's the NON-truth?

Paul
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Old 02-01-2004, 06:37 PM
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Edit.

nah......your right, SMAW welding is stronger than GTAW.

I guess all those stoopid companies like NASA, BOEING, and the Nuclear regulatory commision must have their heads up their butts.

You should contact them, get yourself A nice fat consulting fee.

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Old 02-01-2004, 07:28 PM
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Howdy Demon,

I sure hope you got permission to use the copyrighted material in your post.

Sure, TIG is better in some cases, like on thin Ti and Al, like in the shuttles.

For stuff like thermonuclear reactor they stick weld the parts. I work in a steel mill in the lates '80 that made the caseing for Westinghouse. The U.S. Navy uses Westinghouse reactors. Most subs use S5W (stands for S-sub, 5- 5th model, W-Westinghouse), and the USS Nimitz CVN-68 uses 4 S5W reactors. I served on the Nimitz during the '80 in the Engineering Dept. The only person on board that was quailified to weld on the reactor components was HT2 Fluke. I was friends w/ him and he only welded on the reactor w/ a stick welder. A TIG just doesn't have the power to weld very thick materails.

Sure a TIG is the only wat to go for welding thin 4130, Ti thin Al and most thin steel. It really works great in a welding sho or at welding school. It doen't work very good on a job site when you have to do emergecy repairs, its 2am, 15` f,raining/snowing/sleeting and the wind is blowing at over 30mph. You might as well stick the TIG up you butt because you ain't welding **** w/ it. Break out the stick, do your thing,and get out of the bad freaking weather. Yep, been there done that.

The wind and rain will blow away your gas and that makes it impossible to weld.

Most industrial maintenance dept. have several types of welding machine. We have 5 sticks, 4 TIGs, and 3 wire feed. Plus 4 gas welders/torches and a plasma cutter. They all have its use/purpose.

Ok, back to my orginial question...."where's the NON-truth?".

Paul
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Old 02-01-2004, 08:50 PM
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I think the point here is that there are several different welding technologies out there and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

I agree with Stengun on the stick welder for heavier stuff. The penitration you get on heavier materials with a good stick welder is peerless. Getting a Tig torch that will run cool enough for long enough to weld heavier stuff is a problem. With a Tig you are also in very close proximity to the weld pool and this can become uncomfortable with higher current.

Tig is better than stick for lighter materials because there is far more control of the weld pool, less heat into the material surrounding the weld and less chance of impurities in the weld. Both of these processes are fairly slow though with the need to constantly change electrodes with the stick and the slow progress the weld pool makes with a Tig.

Mig is a great compromise between the two. You have reasonably high current capabilities and can get good penitration on medium heavy materials. The shielding gass makes for a clean weld. If your Mig is well set up and with good technique you can make a very good weld with minimal heat into the surrounding material. This is one of the reasons they are popular for the thin sheet of car panels. Control of the weld pool is much better than stick and starting your arc and getting your weld pool going is easier than both stick and Tig. I would much rather do a vertical/up or over head weld with a Mig. The reel of filler wire means that Mig is a fairly fast process without need to change electrodes etc. Also by adjusting your voltage/feed rate and how fast you move the torch you can lay down a good strong weld quite quickly.

One thing about Mig though is that you can easily do a weld that looks good but has hardly any penitration. Cold lapping is where the molten metal from the weld pool laps up and over the cold metal you are welding. Ths can happen if you are pushing your weld pool to quickly and it doesn't get a chance to melt right into the root of the weld. You end up with a weld bead that looks OK on the outside but is just crap underneath. I did the Australian Depart of Labour certifiication for Mig welding and we would do different types of Mig welds in all positions and then break the welds with a 100 ton press to see what's going on inside. It was very interesting to see the results of a weld that you though was perfect turn out to be rubbish. It makes you realy concentrate on your setup and technique.

We are fortunate enough to have 240 single phase power in Australia so you can run a fairly decent machine in your home workshop. I have a 220A Mig and a 125A Tig in my workshop and they both get a regular work out. 250A is about the biggest machine we can run off a single phase but if I want to do anything heavier a friend has a 350A 3phase Mig and a stick plant about the same current. The Tig I find is great on jobs like exhaust tubing, headers etc or stainles steel and chrome molly. The Mig is great for general fabrication and bodywork. I've been trusting my life to my welds for years and will continue to do so.

If you are serious about welding in your home workshop the best advice I can give you with whatever welding technique you chose is to go to a trade school or night class. Learn the proper techniques from a pro and then practice, practice, practice.

Cheers
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Last edited by Aussie Mike; 02-02-2004 at 06:25 PM..
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Old 02-02-2004, 08:20 AM
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Arrg. I tire of this.



Go to Miller, Lincoln, Esab, websites, and ASK a tech.

Ultimately: the STRONGEST weld is created by the machine that can deliver the PUREST weld (free of contamination).

Show me that you can SMAW (stick weld) contamination free, and I'll partially concede.

Besides: you can weld up Aluminum engine blocks with a Tig Just fine. The heat doesnt bother the operator, because they wear proper equipment while welding. I wouldnt consider an engine block to be "thin material". Dont confuse "flexiblity of a welding system" as a "limitation in that system". You can weld .080 waspalloy with the same Rig.
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:39 PM
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Howdy Demon,

So, back to my question...."Where's the NON-truth?"

It very appearent you know very little about welding. Maybe text book stuff, but very little about real world welding.

The bad thing about talking to a tech is most of them aren't welders, just customer service techs. The last one I talked to said you can only MIG aluminum w/ a spool gun. You can not use the feeder inside the welder like you can w/ steel. Even after I showed him you can do it, he still would not admit that it could be done. This was AFTER I had welded several pieces of aluminum by running the Al wire through the liner like you normally use w/ steel wire. Gee, what a dumbass!! He kept saying "That's not what they told us in trianing!!"

Paul

P.S. Have you ever even used a welder before?
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Old 02-02-2004, 04:38 PM
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Just remember, NO-body is FORCING you to post what you are saying.
Having said that:


Real world welding?




who me?..................









"used" a welder before? Gee, I guess not.....

but I think someone just "owned" a Stengun................LMAO!



raise your hand if:
You've welded at depths exceeding 300fsw.
You've welded at depths of 45ft.........in a Nuclear facilities cooling tower.
You've got 4 pages of "experience" like that on your resume.

StenGun.......let it go......your only going to make things worse, and I'm not here to feed this vibe you've created. I originally posted, and said NOTHING about who was posting what. You were the one requesting what is turning into a pseudo-confrontation.

Let it go. I've done more Stick welding at depth that you've done topside, and that's the least amount of "welding experience" I have.
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Old 02-02-2004, 05:15 PM
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Now that looks pretty good!

Here in the U.S. you can run what is know as a "phase converter" to generate that 3rd. leg for running 3 phase power in a residential setting. phase converters

You should be able to do the same thing, if its legal.
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