beginner information

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  #1  
Old 09-22-02, 03:26 PM
aikanae
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Question beginner information

i'm looking for some basic information on welding and materials - i don't have any equipment yet because i'm not sure of what i need.

i'm looking for metals that don't rust? esp. with dishwasher use - is stainless steel the only way to go? how difficult is that to work with? what type of welding, etc.

how expensive is it and where do you find it?

any other sources for more information?

thanks
 
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Old 09-22-02, 03:44 PM
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That is a pretty broad question. Now days wire feed machines are very popular as they are the easiest t use. You need to change wire and shielding gas for different materials. Stainless can be welded by stick, wire feed (mig) or heli-arc (tig) Sticks are the easiest to change electrode types with and are very versatile but require more skill ot operate. Tig gives the nicest finish. There are other metals that do not rust,, aluminum although it does corrode and copper as well as some more exotic alloys. Stainless is cut with saw, grinder or plasma cutter as it will not burn with a torch. If you have specefic uses for projects it will influence the equipment you would want. Steel is still the most common with repairs and fabrication,,, it really is a steel world. I am a farmer and probably do hundreds of steel repairs or fabrications to every alloy one. If you were in specialized equipment this might not be true,, such as commercial kitchens. We disscussed wirefeed machine choices in an earlier post
 
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Old 09-23-02, 11:31 AM
aikanae
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Question more questions

steel that doesn't rust and isn't high in zinc (galvanized) - that's what i need. is aluminum more expensive? steel is an alloy (i have learned something) how do you tell what's in it and/or if it'll work?

what i am looking to do is build a bird cage. sounds simple? most are made of cast iron and then powder coated. it doesn't last without a lot of rust forming. there are some made out of stainless steel (they advertise medical grade - but i don't think that's necessary) that more than triples the price and they aren't made to my likeing anyway. i want one that breaks down and i can put it in the dishwasher weekly. then it would be worth it to me.

am i nutty for not wanting to haul an 100# cage outside to hose off weekly? probably - but i'm hopeing not. i've been thinking about this every week for years ....

any ideas on where i could get some info? what type of metal would work for that?

i like the idea of mig welding, it's more compact and cheaper to get going - i'm actually more familar with gas, as far as knowing people who use it. but that's secondary to what i find that will work well...

ideas?
 
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Old 09-23-02, 06:49 PM
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This seems like quite a deal to get a bird cage. You need some help, and maybe an example to use as a pattern. Stainless would be the material to use and the cost will be minimal for that type of project. You might take a class at a community college,, can get some use of the equipment. its going to be hard to find small amounts of materials unless you know someone in the business,, especially stainless. You might go to a salvage yard and scrounge. Mig usually uses a shielding gas such as argon. A sheet metal man would be of great help,, I am trying to think who else. The college is a good place as instructors can be of help for refferals.
 
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Old 09-24-02, 01:12 AM
aikanae
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Lightbulb ah-ha!

stainless is minimal cost??? really....they sell the smallest cage starting at $1,000! i don't even want to know what a medium is. i've got cages up the gazoo for patterns and i don't like a one of them. that's the whole point of my little project...

does stainless come in hallow rods - say apx 1/4" dimensions? (if it doesn't rust, it won't matter if it's hallow right?) what is the material content? (still includes iron? and what? nickel?)

what would i be looking for in a mig welder - i know lincoln is a good brand. (copied the post, haven't read it yet) i've done some benchwork with jewlery and have a hunch i'd pick up pretty fast. sorry for the million questions.

thx


 
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Old 09-24-02, 04:41 AM
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I think what sberry is talking about is raw material cost, which would be minimal relatively speaking. A finished product will always be more........ Yes you can buy 1/4" S.S. tubing if you desire to, but for what you are talking about here I would think that a box of TIG wire, say around 1/8" or so should work nicely. But I would recommend the TIG process for the control aspect of it. Yes, the MIG would work but getting decent welds would be a bear.For content of metal, thats getting pretty technical and really beyond what you need to know.But basically there are 3 types of S.S.-Martensitic and Ferritic-400 series which is used to make knives and cutlery, and pots and pans, etc.respectively and the Austenitic- the 300 series which is what we use at work, mainly for piping......As far as welders, Lincoln is good, but there are others, Hobart,Miller,L-Tec. With company consolidations its hard to stay on top of them all.....Good luck in your endeavors whatever way you go. Hope this helps clarify things some.Post back if we can be of more help.
 
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Old 09-24-02, 10:19 AM
aikanae
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Q?

mig really is that much tougher? guess i'll have to go back to the drawing board on that part. can you guess what a min. set up runs for gas? does steel also harden after it's been heated?

out of those 3 grades, which is the medical and why? i can't figure out why people are advertising the medical grade of ss? unless there's zinc in the others. doesn't aluminum work also or is it cost prohibitive?

isn't there some websites with more info on them?

thx - you've been a big help. i've got some more to do searches on.

might be a lot of work, but i've got resources, time and motivation to do it now - i'm also betting i might not be the only one that's frustrated. that seems to be the way it works.

i needed the hollow core for plastic inserts - like leggos or knex or whatever - still working on that too. long way to go yet. but your right, looking at my smallest cage - the bars are just under 1/8".
 
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Old 09-24-02, 12:37 PM
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I am not very up on stainless,, as some others are,, but as toni said,,, none of that will reall matter to build a bird cage. There is no zinc in any of it. Iron and chromium and nickel I think,, I reall dont remember right now. The reason toni suggested tig was for the finish as mig might be difficult with small parts. In either event you will need a gas bottle and regulater. Look in the yellow pages for welding supplys and machines,, go right down to the store and talk to the man. They have bare rods you can use for wires and might suggest where to find stain pipe or tubings. You wouldnt need a very large machine for this type of work and you will want a mini tig,, very small torch maybe even down to 1/16 tungstuns. Some steels do harden but again that won't be of much concern at this point. You will need to invest in a small bench grinder and a pair or 2 of Number 9 side cutters for cutting and bending wire. Buy good pliers, Klein or Diamond. You can get Klein at Home Depot. They are called linemans pliers too and sometimes called high leverage. Probably 20$ a pair but are well worth it. You will need a vise too. Metalurgy is a vast science just like computers and such with thousands of applications and it is difficult to know them all. There are people that specialize a lot and there are welding engineers,,, which I believe Steve from U.S. Alloys that posts here is. I study what I use or need and am very practical and general, mostly in steel fabrication, erection, welding and rigging. Toni that post earlier said something about stainless piping. I guess my point is that you will learn as you go and you will never be able to answer all of your questions at once but deal with things as they come up. As Toni implied, some things wont be relevent at times and you might not need to know everything about it to use it. One of the great things about metals is that the salvage potential is very high. We use parts from everything, everywhere to build anything. What it once was often has little resemblance to what it turns out to be. I needed a grill for an engine the other day and found a rack for an oven that turned out to be perfect. Only your imagination is the limit here,, stretch to think out of the box as they say. I was just trying to give some examples and a bit of insight into this. Here is Linclon's site map. http://www.lincolnelectric.com/sitemap.asp
 
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Old 09-24-02, 05:40 PM
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No,MIG isn't that much tougher its just that in the application that you spoke of I felt that TIG would be the best way to go. In all honesty the only thing I've found the MIG useful on was flat out welding-like when doing alot of the same type material and not needing to "grab another rod".I use it some for building pipe railings and guards made of steel. It worked O.K. on aluminum but really only on thick sections where alot of filler metal was needed. And on stainless it seemed to
spatter alot. I much prefer a flux coated rod or TIG on that, where S.S. is so fluid..... I'm not sure what you mean on "min.set up" but if your conservative with your argon a tank will last quite a while......As far as steel hardening, yes depending on the steel. Generally speaking the amount a given steel hardens is determined by the amount of carbon in the steel. A mild steel say 1018 generally won't harden much unless you case harden it. ON the other end say a 1095 steel will get so hard it will be brittle. Really the metallurgy is a field in itself, they write books 2" thick on it.... As far as the medical I would guess it would be a 400 series. One way to tell is to do a magnet test. If its 300 series a magnet won't stick.I doubt there is any zinc in the S.S. you referred to and as for aluminum it would not have the strength of the stainless.....It will be hard to answer all the inevitable questions your going to have. I think what you need to do is enroll in a technical college. Thats where I got my start. I did most of mine at night.You seem to have a desire to learn the trades and these trade schools are a great way to go.Check them out.
 
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