So you want to be a welder?

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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby MtnDon » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:15 am

What he said about clean metal. Oil, paint, coatings, etc all make it hard to get a good weld. Start with same thickness to same thickness. A butt weld of two side by side strips will make it easy to see penetration. Practice on something horizontal and where you move the torch/handle in a straight line. Curves, vertical and even upside down can come later. But IMO the BIG thing is clean metal. Thinking that the arc will cut through and melt away the crud leads to bad welds and disappointment.
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby working on it » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:28 pm

working on it wrote:... so here is a pic of the un-chipped, un-cleaned, un-ground welds on my experimental pushbar:
20140111_185722.jpg
20140111_185722.jpg (80.16 KiB) Viewed 2122 times
I'll clean it up and grind it down next weekend, to see if it can be usable. Gonna be a long learning curve.
The saga continues: I had some time left today (after I converted my Craftsman generator's mobile cart-leftover after I mounted the genny in my trailer- to a cart for the Northern 125 Flux Welder), so I got my newly bought 80 grit flapper disc and attached it to my angle grinder, and set to work at the mis-welded experimental pushbar project, again. First note: I love the flapper disc! Never used one before, and I like it better than the grinding disc for removing and smoothing metal (grinder disc jumps around and hard to handle). I took out my BFHagain, and really whacked the assembly hard, in several locations, harder than last weeks test. One weld did break loose, the collar holding the hitch ball in the pipe. So I started grinding (flapping?) the slag and flux and spatter from the piece, then using a wire wheel in my drill to get as much of the rest as clean as I could. I exposed some cracks and seams in the welds (especially around the seat of the chrome ball and the cast iron collar). The chrome/ galvanized /cast iron mix is not an easy weld to make on a first attempt! I had not prepped the various metals correctly, nor had properly beveled the edges, nor gotten the heat and wire feed speeds correct last try. After todays clean-up, I tried less wire feed speed, more heat, less distance, more time on weld. Since I had already burnt off the zinc coating last week, I could get closer to the piece, and could actually see what I was doing. I could gauge the lead of the wire needed (1/2" worked best), the wire feed speed to keep it there (6.5 on my dial), the right heat (on high, and kept in one spot until it glowed red, then moved on). I see that rounded surfaces may be a bit more challenging than straight and flat ones, especially for a novice, but I pressed onward. I re-smoothed the new welds, that were much better than my first attempts, with less spatter and less globs/air pockets to grind away. I also drilled out the screwhole that secured the collar to the pipe previously (in addition to a poor spot weld), and drilled thru into the core of the hitch ball's stem. At this point, after I saw only a couple of points to reweld, I did a deep plugweld into the drilled hole, feeding much wire into the glowing abyss, for a long time. After a break, to let things cool a bit, I used the flapper and wire wheel for the third time today. Not a professional result, nor even a good amateur's, but for a complete noob at this...I was satisfied for an hour+ work. And the BFH didn't dislodge anything this time.
20140111_185722a.jpg
20140111_185722a.jpg (97.67 KiB) Viewed 2122 times
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby jseyfert3 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:18 am

I'd like to say thanks in advance to G-force for the write up, I'll be using it to learn to weld. A couple months ago I got this for the grand price of free from my mom's husband who didn't want it anymore.
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Welder and Wires by jseyfert3, on Flickr

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Welder Face Plate by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Only thing I have to do is install a NEMA 6-30 outlet in my garage using an existing but unused 30 A circuit breaker that used to supply the water heater (it's gas now), then change the plug on the welder to match. It currently has a NEMA 10-50, the NEMA 10 plugs are for devices that need two hot wires and a neutral (for 120 and 240 V at the same time), used on old ranges and dryers until 1996 when it was required that new installs include a ground wire as well (4 prong connector). The NEMA 6 outlets have two hot wires and a ground wire (240 V only), no neutral. But that should not cost very much, and the breaker panel is in my garage so it makes for a short wiring run to the outlet.

Oh, and I need another one of these connectors. He was using a screwdriver in the hole and clamping the wire to the screwdriver.
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Missing Connector by jseyfert3, on Flickr
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby Redneck Teepee » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:33 am

Get your self some good twist lock connectors and make sure all of your other connections are good and solid, loose connections produce heat and eratic welding temps which is the last thing you need while learning to weld. Your stinger appears to be missing one of the insolators on the jaw so be sure and replace it too. :thumbsup:
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby KCStudly » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:53 am

Nice old buzz box. Should last you a lifetime.

Great observations by Redneck. ^

You should be able to get a new bung for that lead at any dedicated welding supply (Maine Oxy, Airgas, etc.). Make sure you have all of the proper PPE, too; proper helmet, heavy gloves, a long sleeve heavy cotton shirt buttoned up at the neck and cuffs (minimum, a welding jacket is preferred), a slag chipping hammer, and safety glasses.

If you are welding inside your garage, be prepared for smoke (stick welding as very dirty) and you may want to put a thin sheet of steel down on the floor under your work; hot splatter will spawl your concrete.

6013 rod is good for less than perfect steel (rust). 7018 is stronger, and some say makes a nicer looking bead, but I have more trouble initiating an arc with it. YMMV. 3/32 diameter is probably a good starting point for most light trailer needs.
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby Redneck Teepee » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:33 am

KC is spot on with his post and welding rod choices, I would leave the 7018 alone until you are an accomplised welder. 7018 has what they call better "Ductility" simply put won't crack as easy, but you have to be able to lay it down properly and have a sharp or keen eye to tell the difference between the slag and the molten metal while consumming the sides of the piece's you are joining.
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby jseyfert3 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:04 pm

Redneck Teepee wrote:Get your self some good twist lock connectors and make sure all of your other connections are good and solid, loose connections produce heat and eratic welding temps which is the last thing you need while learning to weld. Your stinger appears to be missing one of the insolators on the jaw so be sure and replace it too. :thumbsup:

Is there a specific advantage to twist lock connectors over a straight pin push in connector? Like the NEMA 6-30 connector, middle one in this picture. I know twist lock connectors can't fall out, but it's not as if my dryer plug falls out all the time. Also I note the price at HD for a twist lock (NEMA L6-30) plug and socket is $40 vs $25 for the NEMA 6-30 plug and socket.
Image
NEMA 6-30 Plug (Middle One) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I didn't even notice the insulator missing until now, sure enough it is missing. Didn't even know what a stinger was until now. Do you mean replace the entire stinger or are spare insulator available?

KCStudly wrote:Nice old buzz box. Should last you a lifetime.

You should be able to get a new bung for that lead at any dedicated welding supply (Maine Oxy, Airgas, etc.). Make sure you have all of the proper PPE, too; proper helmet, heavy gloves, a long sleeve heavy cotton shirt buttoned up at the neck and cuffs (minimum, a welding jacket is preferred), a slag chipping hammer, and safety glasses.

If you are welding inside your garage, be prepared for smoke (stick welding as very dirty) and you may want to put a thin sheet of steel down on the floor under your work; hot splatter will spawl your concrete.

6013 rod is good for less than perfect steel (rust). 7018 is stronger, and some say makes a nicer looking bead, but I have more trouble initiating an arc with it. YMMV. 3/32 diameter is probably a good starting point for most light trailer needs.

Thanks. I wonder how old it is, the serial number list on Miller's website only goes back to '68 or so and does not include any serial numbers that do not have a preceding letter, which makes me think this is older then that.

There is a welding supply company near where I live, I bought a 20 lb CO2 tank for my planted aquarium from them (used to inject CO2 into the water for increased plant growth). I'll stop by and check them out. I'm big on PPE too, so I'll be sure to get those. I got one of the HF auto-darkening helmets a while ago when I attemped to make a DIY microwave oven transformer arc welder (no luck). Adjusts from #9-#13. I'll also use a fan so I'm not breathing the smoke, and keep a fire extingusher nearby. How thick does the steel to protect the concrete have to be? And how far do weld sparks usually travel?

I'm not planning on welding anything trailer related until I get a bunch of practice. I'll have to call around and see if I can get cutoffs or leftover steel from somewhere for around scrap prices, just something to practice welding on. There's three scrapyards here in Peoria too, I wonder if they'd let me buy some scrap for cheap to practice welding on. Any other ideas for getting scrap steel to practice welding?

Redneck Teepee wrote:KC is spot on with his post and welding rod choices, I would leave the 7018 alone until you are an accomplised welder. 7018 has what they call better "Ductility" simply put won't crack as easy, but you have to be able to lay it down properly and have a sharp or keen eye to tell the difference between the slag and the molten metal while consumming the sides of the piece's you are joining.

What about the 6011 G-force mentioned to practice with (in addition to the 6013 he also said to use)?
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby KCStudly » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:47 pm

The plug is less important. Some people like to use the same as a dryer plug because most people have one and it makes the welder "portable".

Not familiar with that rod.

Scrap yard is a great place to get scraps and clean metal, too. They don't always have the size you want for a project, but for learning it is the perfect source. Get to know them, be friendly. Remember, even if the place looks like a dump (... or a gear head's playground) it is a business. Let them help you, check in at the desk and tell them what you are looking for.

Unlikely that you will still be able to get a part for that old stinger, but maybe. More likely you will have to replace it; shouldn't be a big deal.

On the sheet metal for floor: doesn't have to be thick, .040 - .060 would be plenty; and it doesn't have to be that big either 3 or 4 feet square. Big enough that you don't have to move it all the time, but small enough that you can move it easily when you need to. Once you get some practice you probably won't drop that much lava (unless you are trying something awkward like overhead), but while you are learning it will be good to have. If you do any cutting with an oxyacetylene torch, "don't leave home without it".

The little bb's aren't friendly. They'll melt your shoe laces, burn thru non-leather shoes and find a way to get to your skin. If you get in to any awkward positions, wearing foam ear plugs is a good idea, otherwise it is better to be able to hear the electrode.

Personally I'm not a fan of the auto-darkening hoods. Supposedly they have gotten better over the years, but I have been flashed by them before in a couple of situations. That and I still try to flip them down when they already are, so I just use a standard flip helmet. I guess that makes me old school... or just old.
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby MtnDon » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:26 pm

Must be very old... it's the only red Miller I recall seeing.

I love the auto darkening hoods. Check with a sparker before every session. I find that waving my hand rapidly when looking at bright light is enough to trigger mine.
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby Redneck Teepee » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:28 pm

The twist lock I am refering to is for you welding leads, tweeco makes very good products and should suit you well on these plus a stinger replacement, 250 amp rateing for all will do just fine. Stick with the 6011 and 6013 rods for learning and once you feel like you got it down pretty good the better rod's are 6010 (AKA P-5) and 7018 (AKA LH-70 or low hydrogen) LH-70 should only be used to fill and cap... AFTER...you have filled butted joints with the 60 series rods and or heli-arc process. I could go on all day but I don't think at this time it would make any sense to you. Practice, practice, practice along with maybe a night class at the JC will make you a better welder...did I mention pratice?
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby jseyfert3 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:16 pm

Redneck Teepee wrote:The twist lock I am refering to is for you welding leads, tweeco makes very good products and should suit you well on these plus a stinger replacement, 250 amp rateing for all will do just fine. Stick with the 6011 and 6013 rods for learning and once you feel like you got it down pretty good the better rod's are 6010 (AKA P-5) and 7018 (AKA LH-70 or low hydrogen) LH-70 should only be used to fill and cap... AFTER...you have filled butted joints with the 60 series rods and or heli-arc process. I could go on all day but I don't think at this time it would make any sense to you. Practice, practice, practice along with maybe a night class at the JC will make you a better welder...did I mention pratice?

Ah, you mean between the welding leads and the welder? That would be pricey, there are 15 female connectors on the welder because it does not have a switch to select voltage like most other welders I've seen, you have to move the weld lead from one plug to another.

And I'll practice a lot. Strike up a good relationship with the local scrap yard I suppose. Buy, practice, sell back once I'm done. Taking a class won't work at the moment, but I'll look into it.
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby Redneck Teepee » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:17 pm

jseyfert3 wrote:
Redneck Teepee wrote:The twist lock I am refering to is for you welding leads, tweeco makes very good products and should suit you well on these plus a stinger replacement, 250 amp rateing for all will do just fine. Stick with the 6011 and 6013 rods for learning and once you feel like you got it down pretty good the better rod's are 6010 (AKA P-5) and 7018 (AKA LH-70 or low hydrogen) LH-70 should only be used to fill and cap... AFTER...you have filled butted joints with the 60 series rods and or heli-arc process. I could go on all day but I don't think at this time it would make any sense to you. Practice, practice, practice along with maybe a night class at the JC will make you a better welder...did I mention pratice?

Ah, you mean between the welding leads and the welder? That would be pricey, there are 15 female connectors on the welder because it does not have a switch to select voltage like most other welders I've seen, you have to move the weld lead from one plug to another.

And I'll practice a lot. Strike up a good relationship with the local scrap yard I suppose. Buy, practice, sell back once I'm done. Taking a class won't work at the moment, but I'll look into it.

Well now that you said 15 connectors I went back and studied the welder pictures you posted and you have different plug ins for different amperages (no fine tuning) you are stuck with what it puts out at that port. As far as the missing connector that you need they possibly could still make it but doubtful, I you have a lathe you can turn one out or any machine shop can for you.
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby jseyfert3 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:37 pm

Redneck Teepee"
Well now that you said 15 connectors I went back and studied the welder pictures you posted and you have different plug ins for different amperages (no fine tuning) you are stuck with what it puts out at that port. As far as the missing connector that you need they possibly could still make it but doubtful, I you have a lathe you can turn one out or any machine shop can for you.[/quote]
Since the other is good, I could put a new twist lock connector for the ground wire and use the good old connector for the stinger wire. :thinking: Otherwise I don't have a lathe, so I will look into a machine shop.

[quote="KCStudly wrote:
The plug is less important. Some people like to use the same as a dryer plug because most people have one and it makes the welder "portable".

Not familiar with that rod.

Scrap yard is a great place to get scraps and clean metal, too. They don't always have the size you want for a project, but for learning it is the perfect source. Get to know them, be friendly. Remember, even if the place looks like a dump (... or a gear head's playground) it is a business. Let them help you, check in at the desk and tell them what you are looking for.

Unlikely that you will still be able to get a part for that old stinger, but maybe. More likely you will have to replace it; shouldn't be a big deal.

On the sheet metal for floor: doesn't have to be thick, .040 - .060 would be plenty; and it doesn't have to be that big either 3 or 4 feet square. Big enough that you don't have to move it all the time, but small enough that you can move it easily when you need to. Once you get some practice you probably won't drop that much lava (unless you are trying something awkward like overhead), but while you are learning it will be good to have. If you do any cutting with an oxyacetylene torch, "don't leave home without it".

The little bb's aren't friendly. They'll melt your shoe laces, burn thru non-leather shoes and find a way to get to your skin. If you get in to any awkward positions, wearing foam ear plugs is a good idea, otherwise it is better to be able to hear the electrode.

Personally I'm not a fan of the auto-darkening hoods. Supposedly they have gotten better over the years, but I have been flashed by them before in a couple of situations. That and I still try to flip them down when they already are, so I just use a standard flip helmet. I guess that makes me old school... or just old.

Well, I won't be using a dryer connector since I'll be installing an outlet in my garage. While a dryer plug may be more universal, installing a dryer plug for a welder is against code unless the welder requires both 120 and 240 Volts at the same time.

Good to know scrap yards are places to get good metal and scraps. Hopefully the ones here are willing to sell to me. I'll try to go visit one of them in the near future and see if I can buy from them.

Are the foam earplugs for awkward positions to keep hot droppings from falling in your ear canal?

I'll give the auto-darkening hood a shot, if I don't like it I could always get a fixed shade. As I understand, with an auto-darkening helmet, it still filters out IR and UV even when it hasn't darkened (assuming it fails to darken for some reason like you mentioned happened to you). Messing around with my Harbor Freight one, it triggered with bright lights seemingly very easily.
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby KCStudly » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:16 pm

jseyfert3 wrote:Are the foam earplugs for awkward positions to keep hot droppings from falling in your ear canal?

Yes, and slag that you chip off.

The better you get with stick and out of position welding, the less likely you will be to have a bead roll out on you, and your slag will start coming off in nice big long pieces, but it is still a dirty process. MIG welding is a little better because there is no slag to speak of, but you can still get splatter.

TIG is my preference because it is so much cleaner and controlled; easy to see what the bead is doing and make it do what you want it to. Of course it is more expensive to get started with the equipment and is a little slower than MIG, but to me the advantages are worth it.
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Re: So you want to be a welder?

Postby jseyfert3 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:56 pm

KCStudly wrote:
jseyfert3 wrote:Are the foam earplugs for awkward positions to keep hot droppings from falling in your ear canal?

Yes, and slag that you chip off.

The better you get with stick and out of position welding, the less likely you will be to have a bead roll out on you, and your slag will start coming off in nice big long pieces, but it is still a dirty process. MIG welding is a little better because there is no slag to speak of, but you can still get splatter.

TIG is my preference because it is so much cleaner and controlled; easy to see what the bead is doing and make it do what you want it to. Of course it is more expensive to get started with the equipment and is a little slower than MIG, but to me the advantages are worth it.

Hopefully I can try out TIG welding this summer. I got an internship at a company my brother works for, and he does a lot of assembling there, including TIG welding. Not your usually assembling, either, although it's not life critical applications like airplane assembly (I don't think he has any welding certifications).

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to striking that first arc. :thumbsup:
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