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  #1  
Old 08-20-2010
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Welding

Okay so I know I don't post much here anymore but had a question that I think could be answered here. OKay here goes

I am wondering how hard it would be to teach myself to weld. I have stick welded like 2 or 3 times before a few years back but just little things nothing major. I have look at some 'how to' sites online and got some good info that I am hoping is true. So really would it be hard to teach myself? I pick up on things quick if that makes a difference.

I am thinking of doing MIG to start since I have read/heard it is the easiest to learn. I only play on making some bumpers here and there nothing major.

Thanks
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Old 08-21-2010
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I started welding with a stick welder and I wasn't very impressed with my results (to say the least!). When I purchased a mig wire-feed welder, it only took about three minutes to start to get the feel of it and get reasonable results. I would recommend buying a 220 volt one over a 110v one because it will weld thicker metal. My second recommendation is to use a solid steel wire with a shielding gas (CO2 or mig gas). The flux core wire does a ok job with thicker steel, but the welds aren't as clean looking as solid steel wire.
...Terry
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Old 08-21-2010
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teaching yourself is hard cuz you dont have anyone telling you what your doing wrong on the spot.
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Old 08-21-2010
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I've been looking at a continuing education program that does welding but its too many days of the week and might not work with work.
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Old 08-21-2010
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I would reccomend taking a course. You are going to learn alot faster, and become a way better welder.

Do you have anyone around you that would be willing to help you out? Might make things easier.
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Old 08-21-2010
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I wish I had someone around. I moved out to San Diego like a year and a half ago and don't know anyone that welds out here. Back in NY I knew people and it would have been easier. I have to find more info out about the course too see how much it is and all that stuff and if it works with my work schedule. I'm not worried about the price because my company pays me 3K a year to go to school so thats taken care of pretty much.
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Old 08-21-2010
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Yea alot of community trade schools do quick 1 day a week programs. It will help.
But you can pick it up yourself, you just have to research and dial it in right. Even if the weld looks good, doesnt mean its properly done.
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Old 08-21-2010
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I thought a read something about the course being free but I don't think that is right. If that is the case I will read a ton on it buy a welder and do some welding then go to the class for a few days to see what I am doing wrong and how to fix it and make my welds better.
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Old 08-21-2010
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i would actually take the course before you buy... there is a good chance you may cover welders them selves and can help guide you to what you need.

as for welding its self, wire feed is easy and if your looking for good results shilded gas is were you will want to go. for bumpers and stuff you could easily go with the 110v just because the metal thikness isnt too bad.
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Old 08-21-2010
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I have read that wire feed is easy and that shielded gas is the best. I have heard mixed reviews on 110V vs 220V but I think it mostly depends on what they are used for like you said Dan. I am going to call about the course on Monday morning.
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Old 08-22-2010
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Just get a 220v IMO.There is no such thing a a welder that is too big. Normally with a 110v you can go up to 3/16th's. With 220 its normally around 3/8ths.

But definatly get sheilding gas, a 75/25 will work best for your application.
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Old 08-22-2010
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A really good little welder is the Millermatic212. You can run 110 or 220. my buddy has one and it works awesome. I am defiantly going to pick one up before the end of the summer.
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Old 08-22-2010
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you are exactly right about that welder,its pretty nice. if you dont have 220 wiered into the garage/shop or where ever your working from you can fall back on the 110.
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Old 08-22-2010
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I have been welding for over 20 years earned a living at it for a good 7-10 years of that time. Taught a few friends and co-workers to weld and it isn't that hard if you know a few simple rules. Doesn't matter what process you use be it stick, mig, tig or what ever. Three simple rules
1.) 1 amp for every .001" of dia. of rod (stick) or 1 amp for every .001" of material (mig and tig) to a point (thicker material you will need to back off a bit). I.e. 1/8" stick rod 125 amps to start obviously this will vary a little depending on position up, , overhead or fillet but it is a good starting point.
2.) Watch where you have been not so much where you are going you can see your weld solidify from when it is still molten and make a better weld.
3.) Practice, practice, practice. play around with different heat. Stick 80-120% of rule number (1). Mig listen for the sound of frying bacon. If the wire is pushing away from the material your welding slow the feed down or turn the power up (depending on material). If sputtering or spotty welds speed up the wire or turn power down. Listen for that crispy bacon sound. Tig is a little different because you vary the heat with the peddle, best thing is practice.
Hope this helps good luck!
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Old 08-22-2010
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Thanks for the info. Anything helps at this point and those are some good rules. I will defiantly keep those in mind.
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Old 08-23-2010
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Just called and the course is free! Woohoo But there is a wait list cause the course is full and the wait list is full also. lol So I have to wait longer. They told me quote 'All you have to do is buy some of the gear like helmet and some tools.'

Any idea what some of those tools might be? I know I will need the helmet, gloves, safety glasses, probably a jacket unless they provide it.
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Old 08-23-2010
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wire brush, pliers, wire cutter, maybe clamps and grinder. gloves and jacket maybe. I would think they would have lots of those but who knows...
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Old 08-23-2010
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Chipping hammer, and jacket. You dont have to go super fancy on a helmet. A fixed shade $30 one will protect the same as a $300 Miller.
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Old 08-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainfire View Post
Chipping hammer, and jacket. You dont have to go super fancy on a helmet. A fixed shade $30 one will protect the same as a $300 Miller.
haha This is the first one I looked at Miller - Welding Helmets & Welder Safety Equipment and Clothing - Pro-Hobby Series


badass design but I will probably get a cheap one for now.
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Old 08-23-2010
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I do alot of fabricating at work so my helmet is constantly getting bumped and dropped. The Miller is a shop helmet, it only lasted me about 2 months before it woudnt darken anymore. I just grabbed a 45 dollar Jackson fixed shade and that thing has been going strong for almost a year lol. Its had a hole melted through the top, been dropped from about 60 feet up to solid concret lol. Still good.
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  #21  
Old 08-23-2010
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Haha awesome! I will probably start off with a cheap one. No need for the expensive one right away. But that miller just looks badass with that design.
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