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  #11  
Old 04-17-2013, 05:04 AM
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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.
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2013, 10:47 AM
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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.
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  #13  
Old 04-17-2013, 10:52 AM
J Kimmel J Kimmel is offline
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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
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  #14  
Old 04-17-2013, 02:01 PM
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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
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  #15  
Old 04-17-2013, 05:36 PM
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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.
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  #16  
Old 04-17-2013, 05:37 PM
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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.....
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  #17  
Old 04-17-2013, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beater View Post
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.
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  #18  
Old 04-17-2013, 06:01 PM
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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.
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  #19  
Old 04-17-2013, 06:04 PM
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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.
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  #20  
Old 04-17-2013, 06:28 PM
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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.
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