So you want to be a welder?

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So you want to be a welder?

Postby G-force » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:59 pm

So you want to be a welder? Follow along as I explain the finer points of welding in terms the average do-it yourselfer can understand. I have been a professional welder and fabricator for over 15 years. Certified in structural steel welding in light and heavy gauge, manual and semi automatic processes. Also over a decade of MIG and TIG welding for the aerospace, ultra high vaccume, and motorsports industrys. I've welded bridges, buildings, race cars, aircraft and spacecraft parts, vaccume chambers, trailers and loads of misc. "stuff" over the years. Follow along as I present alot of information, hopefully in a way a beginner can understand.

Learning to weld can be both fun and rewarding. Let’s dive into what the newbie hobbyist welder needs to know to produce strong, safe, preferably good looking welds. In its most basic form, welding is the act of melting two pieces of metal and a filler material, joining them together, all the while protecting the molten metal from contamination from the air. This can be accomplished through several processes available to the hobbyist.

SMAW: Shielded Metal Arc Welding, aka arc welding or stick welding. A hand held clamp, sometimes called a stinger, is used to hold flux coated welding rods. As you weld, the rod burns away melting the base metals and the rod together. The flux coating on the rod is melted and it flows over the molten weld pool, protecting it from the air. The flux hardens over the weld and must be chipped off and wire brushed to remove it.

Pros: Different size and type of rods allows welding many different materials, material thicknesses, and positions. Easy to get good penetration. Can be used outdoors in windy conditions. Machines are relatively cheap and simple, no moving parts. Can weld dirty or rusty material.
Cons: Smokey, some weld splatter, requires chipping and cleaning of flux from welds.

GMAW: Gas Metal Arc Welding, aka MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding or wire fed welding. With this process, a spool of solid wire is fed through the welding gun by rollers, where it melts on contact with the base metal, fusing them together. A separate bottle of an inert gas, typically a carbon dioxide and argon mix, is piped through the welding gun and covers the molten weld pool, shielding it from the air.

Pros: Easy to learn, no flux to chip and clean, easy to fill gaps in joints with poor fit up.
Cons: Cannot weld in windy conditions, typically only indoors. Moving parts occasionally get jammed; gun liners and tips need to be replaced occasionally. Easy to make a good looking, but weak weld with insufficient penetration. Must have inert gas bottle refilled by a welding shop.

FCAW: Flux Core Arc Welding aka flux core. A combination of MIG and SMAW. The mechanics are the same as a MIG: A spool of wire fed through the gun by rollers. However, instead of a shielding gas from a tank, the welding wire is hollow and flux is inside. Basically, an inside out SMAW rod. Like SMAW, the melted flux provides the shielding action for the molten weld puddle. Most MIG machines can be set up to weld with flux core wire.

Pros: Can be used in windy conditions, easy to get good penetration.
Cons: Smokey, some weld splatter, requires chipping and cleaning of flux from welds.

GTAW: Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, aka TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) or Heliarc welding. This process uses a torch that a replaceable tungsten electrode is inserted after being sharpened to a point. The diameter of the tungsten is typically 1/16” to 1/8” of an inch. Unlike the other processes we have talked about, the tungsten electrode is not consumed while TIG welding. If additional filler metal is required to be added to the molten weld pool, it must be done by hand with a welding rod, similar to gas welding. Like MIG, a bottle of compressed inert gas is used to shield the weld pool. Argon is the typical inert gas of choice for TIG welding steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Pros: Clean, splatter free welds. Ability to weld exotic metals such as stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, and magnesium.
Cons: Requires great skill, coordination, and dexterity. You are simultaneously using one foot on a foot petal to control the heat output, one hand to hold the torch to control the electrode angle, arc length, and travel speed, and the other hand to feed in welding rod to the weld pool. Cannot be used in windy conditions, indoors only. Requires material to be extremely clean. Inert gas tanks have to be refilled periodically. Tungsten needs to be sharpened occasionally, or every time you contaminate by dipping it in the weld pool.

Oxy-Fuel welding aka gas welding. Uses a tank of a fuel, typically acetylene, and a tank of compressed oxygen. The fuel and oxidizer are mixed in the tip of the torch and lit on fire, producing a very hot flame. The flame is used to melt the base metals, and additional filler rod can be added by hand if necessary. Special tips can be installed for cutting steel or heating steel red hot for bending.

Pros: requires no electricity. Ability to cut relatively thick (around ½” for a basic setup) steel. Ability to heat, cut, and weld with one setup.
Cons: Very slow process. Requires skill and coordination similar, but a little easier than TIG welding. Tanks have to be filled periodically. Most hobbyists sets not suitable for welding thick material.

Your typical stick welder. Note it is very simple, a ground clamp, the electrode holder clamp, and a large knob to set the amperage.
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Your typical MIG welder. Note the ground clamp and welding gun that the shielding gas and wire are fed through. Knobs set the amperage and wire speed.
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Your typical gas welding setup. Note different tips for welding, cutting, or heating.
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Last edited by G-force on Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby G-force » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:00 pm

That’s great Mike, I understand the different machines and processes, but what one is best for me?!?! Well, as with all things in life, it’s always a tradeoff. For the hobbyist, let’s first look at what is available.
A gas welding setup requires no electricity so it can be performed anywhere. Its greatest asset to a hobbyist is its ability to heat and cut steel. Home shops typically do not have the saws capable of cutting thick structural members such as angles, channels or tubes. Thinner wall, say under 1/8” can be cut on a chop saw, but heavier members require a horizontal band saw or cold saw. If you foresee fabricating a lot of ¼” or thicker steel, an Oxy-acetylene setup is a good investment. As a welder, your time is probably better spent elsewhere unless you have no electricity, have extreme patience, and want to learn to TIG weld later as the skills are similar.
SMAW welders are cheap, versatile, reliable and one can learn to lay down a strong weld in a relatively short amount of time. The simplest, most basic arc welders are AC current only machines, often called “buzz boxes” from the distinctive 60 cycle hum they put off. AC, or Alternating Current is the type of electricity the all of us find coming out of the wall socket in our homes. The polarity alternates, or switches back and forth from positive to negative 60 times a second. Back and forth, back and forth 60 times every second. This is relevant to arc welding because we are welding with an arc formed when electricity jumps from the electrode to the metal, or vice versa. When welding with AC, the arc actually shuts off, reversed direction, and relights 60 times a second. This constant on-off-on-off effects the stability of the weld arc, the penetration, and gives off its distinct sound. The next step up in arc welders is ones that also have a DC circuit in addition to the AC. DC is the preferred current for stick welding, it welds smoother and you have the option to select the polarity, or direction of the flow of electrons. DC or Direct Current is the type of current a battery gives off, electrons flow in one direction. There is a positive and a negative terminal on the welder, you can select if you want the electrode holder plugged into the positive or negative terminal. Electrons always flow from the negative to the positive. An easy way to remember that is the positive is full of electrons because that is where the party is at, and everybody wants to be there. The negative is minus electrons because everybody left and went to the positive. The direction of the flow of electrons is important to arc welding because it affects the amount of penetration you get. Most DC stick welding is done DCEP aka DC Electrode Positive aka reverse polarity. This gives you the greatest penetration. For shallower penetration, such as when welding thin sheet metal, use DCEN aka DC Electrode Negative aka straight polarity. Arc welders come in 110volt and 220volt versions, the 220volt machines naturally have more heat output and can weld thicker material. If you have 220volt wired in your home (your air conditioner and electric dryer are typically 220 volts), take advantage of this and go with the larger machine whenever possible. If I could only own one welder, it would be a 220volt AC/DC stick welder. You can weld 20 gauge sheet steel and with the flip of a switch and rod change, weld a 3 inch thick I beam together.
MIG welders, especial the small hobbyist ones, have become popular the last 10 years or so. They are easy to use, relatively easy to learn to weld with, and forgiving to beginners. But their nasty secret is its ability to lay down a great looking weld that has little to no penetration, producing a very weak weld. All MIG welders can do this, but the small, underpowered 110volt machines are particularly susceptible to this in beginner hands. Learning to be a good MIG welder means learning proper joint preparation and learning what good weld penetration looks like during the weld. One important factor when choosing a MIG welder is it rated capacity. Typical 110volt machines are usually rated up to 1/8” or 3/16” thick material. I find this very optimistic. Perhaps in very skilled hands, in perfect conditions the machines are capable of their rating. For general use, I would de-rate a MIG machine by one thickness. If it’s rated for 3/16”, I would suggest welding 1/8” max. One other issue when looking at MIG welder ratings is many will give rating for both solid MIG wire and flux core. Flux core tends to run hotter, so they like to tout this higher number. If you’re planning on using the machine as a MIG, make sure you know its rating as a MIG machine. With all that said, if you’re in the market for a 110volt machine, a 135 or 140 amp machine is recommended. The smaller 100amp machines just are not rated for anything you would want to build a trailer out of. Preferable is a 220volt machine if you can afford it and have 220volt power. 175-180 amp machines can weld up to ¼ or 5/16” and the larger 250 machines are good up to 3/8.” All MIG machines will require buying or renting a cylinder of shielding gas so factor this into your costs. Typical tanks hold between 80 and 230 cubic feet of gas. Typical regulator setting for gas flow is aprox. 20 cubic feet an hour so you can calculate the amount of welding you can do based on tank size you choose. Most MIG machines can be converted to FCAW. Typically this only requires changing the spool of wire and the drive rollers to ones designed for flux core wire. No shielding gas is required with FCAW so a separate bottle is not necessary. If you have to weld outside or in the wind, or your material is less than clean, FCAW is a good choice.
TIG welding would be my last choice for the new welder. It not only requires the most equipment, but requires the greatest skill. It can be frustrating for a new welder, especially without an experienced teacher. It is relatively slow, and typically not suitable for thicker material. If you are interested in TIG welding, I would recommend learning to gas weld first. The torch manipulation and feeding rod to the weld pool are very similar.
Last edited by G-force on Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby G-force » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:00 pm

"Ok Mike, I read all that, but still don't know what welder to get!"

I'll make some suggestions. If you have 220volts:

1) MIG welder in the 175-180 amp range. The Lincoln version sold through Home Depot works fine, but it does lack control with the heat selection. The Home Depot machines are a cheaper version with fewer features. For example, the heat selector knob is 4 or 5 fixed positions whereas the same machine purchased through a welding store, the heat control is infinitely adjustable.
2) AC/DC stick welder. A 220volt machine is capable of welding any thickness of steel. Keep an eye on your local classifieds or Craigslist, excellent welders from the 1960’s-1980’s pop up all the time for great prices. These older machines are typically a better welder than the newer ones because the windings inside are a lot of real copper. Sears and Montgomery Wards sold a lot of welders private labeled under their own name and most of these machines are excellent.
3) AC buzz box. The Lincoln 225 “Tombstone” welder is available new for under $250, and can be picked up used for less.

If you only have 115volt:

1) 135 or 140 amp mig welder such as the Miller Millermatic 135 or 140, the Hobart Handler 140, or the Lincoln SP-140. For a 1/8” thick trailer frame, I would run flux core wire for better penetration. It can be used as a MIG on 1/8”, the machines limit, with very good joint preparation but only for flat butt welds. These welders will need a 20 amp circuit to run at full power, most typical garage receptacles are 15 amp. If you want to get the full power out of one of the machines, you may need to have an electrician wire you up a 20 amp, 115 volt receptacle. Also, never use extension cords, they will lower the machines output.
2) 115 volt stick welder. Truthfully, I have never stick welded with a 115volt machine. It appears they put out 70-100 amps which should be capable of welding 1/8” steel without difficulty.

“OK Mike, I got a welder…now what?”

Now the fun begins! First, let’s get you outfitted correctly. If you bought:

MIG:
1) Spool of wire, ER70S-6 for mild steel, .023” diameter for a 115volt machine, .030 or .035” for a 220volt machine.
2) Half a dozen extra contact tips in the correct size for the wire you are using.
3) Pair of mig welding pliers
4) Can of MIG anti-spatter spray, in a 14oz spray can.
5) Leather gloves
6) Welding helmet with #10 or #11 shade lens

FCAW:
1) Spool of Flux core wire in a diameter suitable for your welder, .030”, .035 or .045”
2) Half a dozen extra contact tips in the correct size for the wire you are using.
3) Leather gloves
4) Welding helmet with #10 or #11 shade lens
5) Chipping hammer and wire brush

SMAW
1) Welding electrodes: E6013 and E6011 in 3/32” diameter. 115volt machines use 1/16” or 5/64” diameter.
2) Chipping hammer and wire brush
3) Welding helmet with #10 or #11 shade lens
4) Heavy leather welding gloves.

Now, go download and print out (40-50 pages each) this "stick elecctrode welding guide" from Lincoln Electric: http://content.lincolnelectric.com/pdfs/products/literature/c2410.pdf And this "Stick Electrode product catalog": http://content.lincolnelectric.com/pdfs/products/literature/c210.pdf
Both of these are loaded with great information about stick welding. Familarize youself with the terms, positions, and most importantly, note the "Opperating Procedures" listed for the rod you will be using, it gives a good startimg point for what amps to use. For example, Lincolns Fleetweld 37 is probaly the most common E6013 rod you will come across. For 3/32 diameter, it list 70-95 amps as the DC range for this rod. I would suggest you typicaly start in the middle or 3/4 of the way between the published amps as a safe starting point. For this example, I would suggest 80-85 amps as a good all around starting point.
Last edited by G-force on Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:44 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby G-force » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:00 pm

“Mike, I’m all geared up…what now!?!?”

Start welding! Like learning to play a musical instrument, or build up your muscles in the gym, there is no substitution for practice and repetition. I’m finding this portion of the tutorial difficult to write, I mean teaching someone to weld through words is like an artist trying to teach a student how to paint over the phone. Sometimes you just have to be in the same room together to view the student so you can see what they are doing wrong and offer solutions. Since I can’t be in the same room as all you, my hope is to describe the mechanics of the process so you can have good positions and preparations in your favor as you try it out. As an art teacher could suggest what type of brush to use, what direction to stroke in, and how much paint to put on the bristles, I will hopefully give you the same info about what rod to use, what angle to hold it, what direction to weld in, etc. I would suggest you read through this whole section before starting your weld practice. You may not understand, or get the gist of most of what I am saying, but later as your welding, and encountering problems, you will remember what I talked abut for that issue and can refer back here for a solution. A lot of this information won’t make sense until you come across it yourself. First, let’s talk about protection. Welding exposes you to several hazards, in particular fumes, heat, and ultraviolet rays.

Fumes:
SMAW and FCAW produce a lot of smoke that you don’t want to breathe. Adequate ventilation is mandatory. Keep the garage door open, weld outside, or have fans supplying cross ventilation. Even MIG welding produces fumes from the welding process and burning of contaminates on the surface of the steel. KEEP YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE FUMES!

Heat:
SMAW, FCAW and MIG all produce hot sparks the can ignite any flammable material they contact. Do not weld around paper, trash, cardboard, dry grass, or anything else that can catch on fire. Weld over dirt or concrete, or wet the area down if you must weld near dry foliage. Always have a fire extinguisher handy. NEVER wear any clothing other than cotton or leather. Synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester, rayon, gortex, etc are great fabrics, but they are all synthetic, basically plastic. When they burn, they melt into super hot liquid plastic that will cause a much more severe burn the just cotton burning off you into a light ash.

Rays: welding gives off an incredible amount of ultraviolet rays. Bare skin will get sunburned in a matter of minutes. All exposed flesh must be covered. Eyes must be protected with a proper shade lens and welding helmet or you will burn your corneas. It only takes one or two good arc flashed to sunburn your eyes, it will feel like you got sand in your eyes, but there is nothing you can do about it. Mild cases will heal themselves after a few days of misery. Extreme cases can cause permanent eye damage or blindness. Not something to mess around with. Always use eye protection. Squinting doesn’t count! For the type of welding we are doing, a #10 shade lens is adequate. If you find that too bright, go to#11.



Welding with SMAW


Our first project is going to be a simple flat plate that we are going to start welding on.
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Get yourself a square steel plate; 4”x 4” with a 3/8” thickness is good. The first side we are going to cover with E6013 overlapping stringer beads in the flat position. A stringer bead is a weld bead that is a smooth, straight line, no side to side movement. Just drag the rod across in a straight, smooth, consistent line. The goal is to produce a smooth, straight weld with a consistent height and width. To establish the arc, to strike an arc as is commonly said, you give the tip of the rod a quick scratch on the surface of you joint and quickaly pull away about 1/8" of an inch. If you dont pull away, the rod will stick. If you pull away too far, the arc will extinguish. New rods have the flux coating taper down on the end, exposing the metal rod to allow for striking the arc. If you stop and need to restart with a half burned rod, you will have to break off some of the flux off the end to expose the rod inside. You need a metal on metal contact to strike an arc. Just give the edge of the flux a push with your thumb, it will chip off enough to get an arc established. Arc length should be about 1/16" to 1/8" of an inch, too close and you will extinguish the arc and stick the rod. Too long and you get alot of splatter and a poor weld. After you have laid the first bead down along the top of the plate, we are going to lay another on down next to it, overlapping the first bead by exactly half. Chip and wire brush each weld before starting the next one, never weld over flux. The key points to work on here is learning to lay a straight bead, learning how travel speed affects bead shape and size, and combining all that knowledge to produce a quality weld. Typical beginner mistakes are stringer beads that are curved, blotchy, and inconsistent size. Practice makes perfect: keep your travel speed smooth and consistent, watch the size and shape of the weld puddle and correct if is not what you want. What to watch while stick welding can be tricky. The flux is flowing over and hiding most of the weld. The rod is hiding the direction you are going. All you can see is the weld puddle and the general area above and below it. So that’s what you watch. You need to use your peripheral vision to watch several areas at once. Watch the top and bottom of the puddle to make sure you are traveling in a straight line and that you are getting proper overlap. Watch the overall size of the puddle and keep it consistent by adjusting your travel speed. As you weld, the joint is heating up, the rod start welding hotter as it gets shorter, both contribute to your weld puddle getting hotter and bigger as you go. You have to ALWAYS be correcting your travel speed as the conditions change. Typically you have to speed up slightly as you go. That’s a key point to welding; you don’t lock into a position and speed and hold it there. You constantly change and adapt as the weld demands it. By the time you got the whole side of the plate covered in overlapping stringer beads, you ought to have a feel for what you are trying to accomplish. If not, keep burning rod until you do.

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Now, lets move on to the next exercise. Cool you plate down in a bucket of water, and flip it over. We are going to weld the other side with E6011 rod. E6011 is very different from the smooth flowing E6013. E6011 is a noisy, hot, violent rod. It runs very hot, gouges deep into the metal, and likes to throw spatter everywhere. But it’s a great rod when you need deep penetration, or need to weld dirty material such as wrought iron fencing, pipe corrals, plows and whatnot. It also strikes an arc pretty easy and leaves little flux behind; this makes it great for tacking joints together. E6010 rod is nearly identical to E6011 in performance and feel. E6010 is only suitable for welding with DC current; E6011 is DC or AC, that is why I recommended it as you can use it with any welder. If you are welding DC, feel free to use E6010 instead of E6011, its runs slightly smoother and the flux slightly easier to remove but the differences are slight. On to our project. We are again going to cover our plate with overlapping beads; however E6011 requires a very different technique. Unlike E6013 that we simply dragged in a straight line, E6011 rod has to oscillated. The entire time you are welding with E6011, you are moving the rod. There are several techniques and patters, I’ll recommend the two most common: the whip and circles.
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The whip is like cracking a whip you fling it forward, the pull it back and repeat. Circles are just that, you move the rod in a circular motion as you travel. Why do we have to keep the rod moving? E6011 is a fast freeze rod that means as soon as you pull the arc away from the weld puddle, it instantly freezes solid. The arc is so hot and violent the puddle won’t cool and freeze if you don’t remove the arc every second or so. So in the whip we hold the rod still in the puddle for a second or so to form a puddle of the size we want, then we quickly whip the rod forward about ¼ or ½” and inch, and immediately bring it back to the weld pool. While the arc was a way, the weld puddle cooled and solidifies. Now that we brought the arc back, again hold it for a second to form a new puddle, overlapping the old puddle by about 80%, and then whip it way again. Think of welding with E6011 as making a series of overlapping weld puddles. Circles achieves the same thing as the whip, you are removing the arc from most of the weld puddle so it can solidify. With circles you move the rod in a tight circular or slightly oval, pattern as you travel. Circles not only gives you the forward/back motion to freeze the puddle, but the up and down heights of your circles can control the width of your weld bead. With E6011 rod, you will get into a rhythm; basically your weld should look like a stack of dimes or poker chips pushed over on their side. As with the E6013, you goal is to lay down a straight, consistent width and height weld. Chip and wire brush each weld between passes, the flux on E6011 is short and difficult to remove, a wire wheel attachment on a small 4 or 4 ½” angle grinder is the hot ticket for removing slag of E6011 welds. Overlap each bead by 50% like the first side of your plate. By the time the plate if full, you should have a pretty good understanding of how E6011 rod runs. The keys to good welds with E6011 is watching the puddles, constant travel speed, and even spacing between your whips or circles.
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Comfortable with the flat position? Now go grab some scrap material and try the other positions. I would start with lap joints, then butt joints, then T joints. When your comfortable welding all these positions with plate, move up to square tube. The positions are the same.
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Last edited by G-force on Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:01 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Postby G-force » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:06 pm

Friends don't let friends weld like this!
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Example of a good looking MIG weld without penetration.
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Postby G-force » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:41 am

Last one
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Postby looped » Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:28 am

question on alternative power sources.

Would running a welder off a generator be a good idea? seeing that i will be working at a friends house and the city rules being what they are it costs 1500.00 plus to put a 220-240v plug in and the permits and all that jazz are a real pain, i dont want to do this if i can help it.

if a generator would be a good power source for a welder what would you reccomend for wattage and other features found on them?
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Postby teardrop_focus » Thu May 21, 2009 2:52 pm

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I don't know much about welding, but I have a friend that does. He calls the welding in the above-quoted pic, "Fresno welds".... meaning, "bunches of grapes".

:dancing

:lol:


Alllrrrightythen...

I still don't know much about welding, but hope to learn.

I was thinking of perhaps building my tear's chassis with 4130... until I started reading about what it takes to ensure quality welds with that material...

What's your take, sir, on using 4130 for a tear chassis in the interest of attaining the lowest possible material weight, yet still have a steel chassis?

Is it even worth it? I understand that the difference in weight between high tensile steel and cro mo in a bicyle frame can be worth 4 to 5 lbs.

When every ten pounds matters in the effort to build a strong, light teardrop trailer, that weight savings may be thought to be significant.

Thanks for your time and for your thoughts, G-Force.

:thumbsup:
.
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"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees...
The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away like autumn leaves..." - John Muir, 1898


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Postby G-force » Thu May 21, 2009 10:58 pm

I've been MIA for a while, I catch up on the couple of questions.

Running a welder off a generator: Not a problem as long as it can put out enough power for your welder. Most 220volt welders need alot of amps (30-60)

Chrome Moly frame: I don't see why it couldnt be done, but unless your an engineer with the tools to do a structural analysis, I doubt the average joe is goint to be able to make it as strong at the same or lesser weight. Plus the more difficulty in making strong welds, most average joe welders dont have the skills or tools. Another issue, most CroMo is round tube...great for making boxed structures like aircraft frames or fully caged race cars, difficult to work with and lay out, especialy a relativly flat structure like a trailer. I think it would be one of those things that would take 10 times as long, cost 10 times as much, and most likely not give you much measurable improvement over a steel frame. Other than the "wow" factor...even I would pass. Trailer frames need to be simple, strong, and reliable.
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Postby teardrop_focus » Fri May 22, 2009 12:10 am

I doubt the average joe is goint to be able to make it as strong at the same or lesser weight.

Well, now that would depend entirely upon the design, considering the welding's up to par.

I see your point, though, about cost and the necessity for the welder to absolutely know what they're doing, because it's chr mo.

One last thing: Is it "mild" steel that's typically used for tear chassis frames? 'Cause I understand that to be easier to cold form, which is important to me as I'm striving for a certain "steampunk" detail in some of the chassis members and I think it'd be harder to do if not out of the question with chrome moly.


Thanks, Mike. :thumbsup:



EDIT:

Jebus... I just read the first three posts... That's some outstanding instruction, sir... and your resume is impressive indeed.

Thank you for sharing your excellent expertise with the novice!

:thumbsup:
.
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Postby asianflava » Fri May 22, 2009 1:21 am

Thanks Mike, for taking the time to write this up. :thumbsup:

I've been eyeballing a welder as the next machine to add to my arsenal of tools. It's down to a welder, a bandsaw, or a KitchenAid mixer (different arsenal). I am considering a 180 machine (220V MIG), the brand will probably be deternined by the price. Seems like some people are fans of red and some are fans of blue, it just depends on who you talk to.

I've had very limited welding experience and that was almost 20 years ago. We all had to take a welding class in A&P school but it was mostly gas welding and some TIG. TIG time was very limited because they only had 3 machines for a class of 24. Add to that, our first crack at the TIG torch was to weld aluminum.

I just have to save enough money...That's the hard part.
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Postby Larwyn » Fri May 22, 2009 6:07 am

Rocky,

There's no brand loyalty here as far as red and blue welding machines go. My most recently purchased welder is my blue MM 180 with auto set. To my surprise the auto set feature has actually proven to be useful. As a hobby welder often suffering from CRS remembering settings is right out, but without the auto set, you can always check the chart on the machine. The determining factor for me choosing Miller was availability of consumables, the only welding shop in town stocks everything for Miller and can order anything for Lincoln. Otherwise I would probably have gone with Red simply because that is what I have always used. But in the long run you should be happy with either one. I will not comment on the Horror Fright welder shaped door stops.
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Postby Doin' Work » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:42 pm

Hey guys, just wanted to throw my hat in. I've been a certified welder a long time and I'd be happy to help with any questions or actual fab work in the northeast someone might need help with. I have a full shop complete with MIG, TIG, Pulsed MIG and stick welding capabilities as well as plate rolling, press brake services, plasma and flame cutting, bridgeport and lathe options and also weird custom fab stuff. I secialize in stainless and carbon steels, but am also good at aluminum welding.
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TIG, MIG, Gas and Gus

Postby eamarquardt » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:05 pm

Hi,

I have a 310 amp TIG Machine, 210 amp Mig Machine, and gas. Can help in So. Cal.

Cheers, 73, K,

Gus
The opinions in this post are my own. My comments are directed to those that might like an alternative approach to those already espoused.There is the right way,the wrong way,the USMC way, your way, my way, and the highway.
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Postby chorizon » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:47 pm

I have gas too!
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