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smslavin
04-15-2013, 06:54 PM
I'd like to learn how to weld. Looking for suggestions on where to go for a class (preferably on the north side of town or in the Boulder area) or anyone here that might be willing to teach.


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bh4rnnr
04-15-2013, 08:14 PM
Emily Griffith has a realy good welding program. Made it all the way to TIG and Overhead ARC (PIA) before my time ran out. They work with you. Nights, days whenever.

:beer:

Lars
04-15-2013, 08:31 PM
Warren tech out in lakewood/golden also has a good set of classes.

timmbuck2
04-15-2013, 08:49 PM
I am in North Golden, would love to join!

smslavin
04-15-2013, 09:14 PM
cool. thanks for the pointers. traveling the rest of the week for work (flying tomorrow should be extra special fun) but i'll look into them when i get back.

timmbuck2, the more the merrier! :beer:

J Kimmel
04-15-2013, 09:29 PM
also airgas on 8th and Zuni offers 4 hour classes on Saturdays might be pretty good for beginners and there are also advanced classes too :)

Rezarf
04-15-2013, 10:14 PM
Start welding and post up pics, I was coached along well by some of the more seasoned welders here.

Beater
04-16-2013, 06:20 AM
whatever you do, learn how to run an oxy fuel set up, and learn it well. That will serve you very, very well. oh, and buy a journeyman level set up. I have 3 machines and a torch set up. I grab the oxy fuel more than the several thousand dollars worth of electronics almost every time.

RedCreeper
04-16-2013, 04:13 PM
I had a teacher go to warren tech. But after going to school i would say for someone who just wants to do as a hobby buy a welder and lots of scrap and start making stuff. you tube is a good source to. all gets better with practice. i stated making stuff for the shop like this stool. the more time under the hood the better you get. I'm not the best and I'm up north but if you want to learn a few tricks come on up.

smslavin
04-16-2013, 08:03 PM
buy a welder and lots of scrap and start making stuff.

you make that sound too easy. what do i buy? where do i buy it? do i have to change any electrical?

I'm not the best and I'm up north but if you want to learn a few tricks come on up.

thanks for the offer. i'll probably take you up on it.

RedCreeper
04-17-2013, 05:04 AM
Sorry about that. There are a few metal yards around. I go to K&K for scrap stuff. Good prices. Im headed to work now but wanted to post up so you did not think I forgot ya. I will post up some stuff later today.

AxleIke
04-17-2013, 10:47 AM
My personal experience:

I took a class, learned the basics, but not enough to be good.

I'm still learning, but I've learned more from practicing, and posting welds up online, and getting feedback from folks who know what they are doing.

I'm considering taking a class to get certified at some point, but for just doing your own stuff, I would recommend spending the money on some nice equipment rather than a class.

Aside from the welder, a nice, quality (not HF) auto darkening helmet is well worth the coin if you plan to weld a lot. I had an HF one for a while, and while building my various rigs, I began to notice spots and issues with my eyes. Turns out, the reaction time on those HF helmets is slow, and the Eye Doctor said I was starting to damage my eye balls.

Got the new helmet, and problem has gone away.

Alternatively, the cheap option is to get a good shade regular helmet, and learn to do it that way. I hate those, but some folks swear by em, and they are more than adequate to protect your eyes.

And, John, I'm curious why you recommend the gas set up? We learned it in my course, but I've never been a fan, as it requires way too much heat to go into things, and warps the hell outta everything I've every tried to weld that way. I've only ever used a torch regularly to heat and bend stuff. Welding with it always took too long, and made a mess.

By the way, I'm not arguing with you, but rather, I want to hear your reasoning, since you actually do this for a living.

J Kimmel
04-17-2013, 10:52 AM
I took a class years ago, I never weld with gas and have no plans to get a setup. One thing I would say its helpful is learning how to make, watch, and work a puddle. If you can do that its pretty much the basic for any other type of welding...but I'd love to hear more input from a pro :)

Beater
04-17-2013, 02:01 PM
well, with gas, it's not set it and forget it. You need several tips, different gas pressures, etc etc etc. My main point is that with one unit, and a third of the cost of a multi-process machine, you can use it for more than anything else.

welding with gas is just like tig. tig gets way hot too ya know...

j

RedCreeper
04-17-2013, 05:36 PM
Well I am no pro and have tons of knowledge from school but the only way to be good at it is practice. So take what i say with a grain of salt cuz i know there are better welders on here then me.

My suggestion is like many on here is start with good gear. Good helmet and PPE so you don't kill your self learning is the best start. Miller, Speedglas, Jackson and Lincoln make good hoods. I have a Jackson and a Speedglas. Love my Speedglas. Large viewing area and light. Oh and don't forget the safety glasses. I where them all the time when in the shop. Even when welding.

Not sure why John like the gas. Good to cut stuff but i was never a fan or trying to weld with it. I have both MIG and TIG and prefer TIG. More control. But for fabrication I tend to MIG more because of its speed. Not a cheap hobby but a fun one. At my work we TIG stainless. If you want to use this metal just make sure your well vented. Bad stuff to breathe. On that note be aware of certain metals that can be toxic. Like galvanize and Stainless. Bad stuff and can get sick quick.

Get yourself a good little MIG welder and just start burning stuff. If you can use a 220 machine I would go that route. I recommend using a shielding gas. Cleaner. A teacher in school always said "Just keep burnin rod brother!". Was a ironworker his whole career. There are a few techniques as far as the gun movement and I am sure everyone here does it different. Whip and pause, circles, z pattern and a few others I cant think of at the moment. I do whip and pause or circles. works best for me.

As far as settings all machines come with the basics so you can have a starting point. One thing I do know is EVERYBODY welds different. Whats works for me may not for you. Just listen for bacon sizzling and your in there. I used to look at YouTube videos during school to see how others are doing it. WeldingTipsandTricks.com is a good one. You will hear a lot of welding jargon but if you adapt these lessons to a method that works for you its a good start. I am sure once you get set up and post up picks there are lots on here that could give suggestions to help you out.

Like is said take what i say with a grain of salt. Don't want to sound like a know it all you know what. Everyone is going to have a different opinion on what is best. Like Miller or Lincoln. Soak it all in and go from there. Hope this helps.

RedCreeper
04-17-2013, 05:37 PM
Oh almost forgot metal is forgiving. If it is a bad weld grind it out and do it again. It is almost always fixable. Almost.....

AxleIke
04-17-2013, 05:55 PM
well, with gas, it's not set it and forget it. You need several tips, different gas pressures, etc etc etc. My main point is that with one unit, and a third of the cost of a multi-process machine, you can use it for more than anything else.

welding with gas is just like tig. tig gets way hot too ya know...

j

I haven't done much tig welding, but the difference I noticed was that the TIG torch was WAY hotter than the gas, so the melting occurred immediately, and did not require any form of pre-heating.

When I've welded gas, I've had to go up and down the joint a bunch with the torch, heating to near red hot, and then weld, for any decent penetration to happen. Not only does the weld itself take about 10 times longer to do, but that excess heating seems to cause far more warping.

I have no doubt I'm doing it wrong, but I never had the patience to learn it, since MIG is so much faster.

For my needs, the speed and ease of using the MIG was far more important than the "weld anywhere" portability that a gas set up affords an experienced welder.

Now, perhaps there is a good way to do sheet metal with a gas setup, and that I would be VERY happy to learn, because MIGs seem to suck at sheet metal work.

RedCreeper
04-17-2013, 06:01 PM
TIG you need to ease into the pedal until you see the puddle form. And hold the handle of the torch not the TORCH itself.... lmao.

Beater
04-17-2013, 06:04 PM
isaac - you're missing the point - my point is to learn gas, then you can do any process better. Gas is all about puddle control, and even the gas flow comes into play with the puddle. it's very tricky stuff. but, when you can learn to control the heat with gas, you can do way more on stick/Tig when you switch over.

most people use way too much gas pressure on oxy/fuel, and the wrong size tip. Plus, you really have to pay attention to prep, just like on tig/stick.

mig is wayyyy too easy imho.. it takes work to learn how to get-r-done on gas, and it only benefits you on the other processes.

as for sheet with mig, go 110 with low voltage, or go to a really big 220v machine, that has the capability to go real low. a 110v hobby welder with gas and .023 will do wonders on sheet, but you do have to move really quick and increase your gaps.

RedCreeper
04-17-2013, 06:28 PM
John I understand what your saying about gas but think for this instance he would be better to start with mig or stick. Yes gas is tricky and would teach someone some control but as i said everyone welds different. I would start with Stick and learn how to control the heat and puddle with it and then move to MIG. But everyone has a different technique and learning curve. Gas is more of an art and is real tuff for someone who has never been under a hood before. Especially getting a correct neautral, Oxyidized or Carbonized (don't quote my spelling) flame and understanding what is looks like and does before you ever apply it to your surface. For someone who just wants to learn the basics and how to lay a quality and strong weld MIG is the way to go. Easy learning curve. Once they can do that maybe get brave and try the gas. Just my .02.

wesintl
04-17-2013, 07:02 PM
I'd be happy to teach you how to booger weld :dunno:

John welded up my unobtanium ps line input with gas which seemed to work better than tig

nakman
04-17-2013, 09:18 PM
Hey Slavin this Sunday am I'm likely going to be doing a little welding- adding a couple tie-down points to my trailer, maybe rigging up a new spare tire carrier underneath it? All I have is a stick welder, but if you find the sweet spot of power/stick size/material thickness you can actually dial up some nice welds. I'm a total hack, but you're welcome to come over and zap a little if you want, PM me. Bring some old control arms we'll make a sculpture. :weld:

OilHammer
04-17-2013, 09:31 PM
I'll chime in here with my experience. I learned to weld watching a guy in Atlanta that was a bad-azz stick welder. His stick welds were nicer looking than just about any TIG I've seen. His deal with me was, I do all the prep and all the finish, but he would burn the stuff in. So I grabbed a second helmet and I would watch exactly how he moved and when. 99% of the time, the only finish work I ever did was hammer and wire brush, but never much "grinding" of extra material. When you see the various techniques for puddle manipulation first hand, it sinks in your brain quicker I think.

From there, it's all about spending time with the bacon. :)

Get a good helmet, no a really good auto helmet.

Get a welding jacket. Don't under estimate a welder's ability to sunburn the snot out of you. Like blisters on exposed skin kind of burns.

Set up a bright lamp pointed away from your helmet but illuminating what you are going to weld. Sounds silly, but it makes a difference.

I started with a 110 MIG on flux core, but the 220 Miller on Argon/CO2 is WAY better.

Don't try learning to weld on rusty metal! Grind it clean if you need to.

Start with easy stuff...lay the material horizontal so the puddle won't run away from you and where you can brace your arm/hand better. Welding UNDER a truck is difficult, don't start there!

Then just practice practice practice. Each time you are done, try to beat the snot out of the scrap to break your weld. When you do, and you will, post up pics of the break so we can see the weld properties.

Oh, and don't breathe the smoke! :)

rover67
04-18-2013, 08:59 AM
I am working on the 40 more and more lately which means I am in the garage some nights/evenings. If you want to pick a project to try first (like a stool or something as mentioned above) you could come by and weld while I wrench. I could give you some pointers to get you going. I bet in a night you could have it figured out.

It'd be good to wait till it warms up a bit so we can do it with the doors open though. Next few weeks is out for me though (moab, work, ect.)

AxleIke
04-18-2013, 01:02 PM
isaac - you're missing the point - my point is to learn gas, then you can do any process better. Gas is all about puddle control, and even the gas flow comes into play with the puddle. it's very tricky stuff. but, when you can learn to control the heat with gas, you can do way more on stick/Tig when you switch over.

most people use way too much gas pressure on oxy/fuel, and the wrong size tip. Plus, you really have to pay attention to prep, just like on tig/stick.

mig is wayyyy too easy imho.. it takes work to learn how to get-r-done on gas, and it only benefits you on the other processes.

as for sheet with mig, go 110 with low voltage, or go to a really big 220v machine, that has the capability to go real low. a 110v hobby welder with gas and .023 will do wonders on sheet, but you do have to move really quick and increase your gaps.

That makes sense. I can certainly see the benefit in that.

nakman
04-18-2013, 10:05 PM
Ok as long as the peanut gallery is getting warmed up here, here's one. Tonight's project was adding 2 light tabs to a bike rack, for use either as tie downs for the bikes, or more likely straps to the bumper, to reduce side-to-side action.

Both materials are about .100" thick, which makes it easier. I struggle when I'm trying to stick a .250" plate to a .065" tube... keep blasting through the tube. But tonight's only real difficulty was I couldn't get an arc started until I sanded off the paint below both the clamp and near where I wanted to weld. I'm usually attaching stuff to things that have already been painted so I'm used to this.. ended up cranking up the welder a little more to get it going, and in hindsight probably could have backed off another 25 amps or so, since I had to go really fast.

nakman
04-18-2013, 10:08 PM
6011 sticks, welder on about 115 amps? My other favorite stick is the 6013, but I usually use those on thicker things.

smslavin
04-19-2013, 02:06 PM
nakman and marco, thanks for the offers. just got home from the airport so let me see how the weekend shakes out.

kurtnkegger
04-19-2013, 05:21 PM
I think 6011 is a pretty good all purpose stick. It burns pretty hot, and sets quick so all positions can get welded with 6011. We used to burn right through paint with that stick in another job, but an easy welding stick for sure. If you are grinding off all paint, and are welding horizontally, a 7018 lays down a real pretty bead in my opinion. A little tougher to strike, and sets slowly.

RedCreeper
04-19-2013, 09:55 PM
6011 and 6010 is a great cutting rod. Nakman from the look of the bead it looks like your just dragging it. try a whip and pause and your bead will start to stack. And your right your are hot. I think the max spec on that rod is 100 or so. just a thought.

RedCreeper
04-19-2013, 10:00 PM
7018 will weld in all positions. Same with 6010 and 6011. 1 meaning all positions and 8 is flux type. 70 meaning 70000 psi tensile strength. Just saying.

Beater
04-20-2013, 07:39 AM
here's my tip for you in all seriousness.
buy the little calculator cards. I still have them in the drawer with all my consumables and pull them out often. Miller has them for all processes. I don't have room in my 46 year old brain to remember all the different amperage and filler specs for all different metals, so it's nice to have a handy cheat sheet all the time.

Second tip. don't get lazy. clean everything. before, during and after. including your equipment.

J Kimmel
04-20-2013, 08:25 AM
here's my tip for you in all seriousness.
buy the little calculator cards. I still have them in the drawer with all my consumables and pull them out often. Miller has them for all processes. I don't have room in my 46 year old brain to remember all the different amperage and filler specs for all different metals, so it's nice to have a handy cheat sheet all the time.

Second tip. don't get lazy. clean everything. before, during and after. including your equipment.


is there some sort of process to clean my mig? Aside from wiping down the exterior, I don't know what to clean but if it helps its longevity and effectiveness I'm all for it

RockRunner
04-20-2013, 10:31 AM
I have a Mig welder but am in need of welding some stainless steel. If I understand it right I can but wire for the mig and change the gas from argon mix to ????

Question is how different is welding SS compared to normal steel?

RedCreeper
04-20-2013, 09:21 PM
You need to change to pure argon for stainless. There is a big difference in the metals. I have never done mig with stainless but if it is like tig you have to watch the heat. To much and it will sugar the backside. Not sure if you can set a post flow of gas or not. With tig i have it set for a post flow of at least 5 seconds to keep the weld shielded so it wont sugar. Sugar is basically a bunch of porosity that looks like black sugar. A fab shop i worked at used mig for stainless but on a bigger mig machine that had way more settings then i wanted to know about. Watch the fume plume or smoke. can be toxic. Also stainless takes a litter longer to heat up but not sure how this affects the mig process. Not sure if this helps any.