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Old 12-16-02, 09:09 AM
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Rank Newbie Questions

I will be starting a construction project soon and will need to build jigs and fixtures. So I bought a Lincoln 225 AC stick welder the other day and have a few questions.

1) I've never welded a thing in my life. I've read a few articles about technique. Given that none of my welds will be structural, and the failure of these welds will not result in loss of property or life, can I reasonably teach myself to weld with just practice?

2) If I did want to get some instruction on welding, where could I find that? I don't want a 2 year associate degree in welding. I want a few hours (probably) in how to use a stick welder. I'm in the Dallas, Texas area.

3) Is it safe to change the stick when the welder is powered on? I couldn't find the answer to that anywhere. Since I didn't read WARNING: TURN OFF THE WELDER BEFORE CHANGING THE ELECTRODE, I'm kinda assuming this is okay.

4) Reading another thread, I'm wondering if I should have gotten an AC/DC welder. Given a $100 price difference, is it worth it to the amateur? Currently I'm only planning on welding steel tools and jigs and fixtures, but have no idea what future projects might crop up. Is it worth the extra $100 for the Craftsman (looks like a Century) 230/140 welder?
 
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Old 12-16-02, 10:37 AM
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Personally I think the AC/DC is well worth the 100$. The selection of rods is far superior and learning to weld out of position is worth its weight in gold. Now,, as far as learning,,, you might be able to figure out how to stick a couple things together but the odds of getting very good at it are slim. Learning the right way from the start has its advantages as you can keep getting almost endlessly better. You can take short evening classes at a comm college and you dont need a degree. If you really want to learn go to Lincoln in Cleveland for 3 months,, chances are if you can see and have enough manual dexterity to use a pencil you can be pretty fair welder by the time you are done,, even employable depending on your general shop ability. I have taught some welding here and there to friends,, some got it in short order,, some wanna do it they way they want. A couple of college classes will give enough practice continously for a few weeks to get the hang of it and enough tech info to recognize one rod and technique from another.
 
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Old 12-16-02, 10:45 AM
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Yes, you can change electrodes with machine on,, use gloves. We use DC for everything except nickle although they do make several good electrodes for AC,,, better all the time as a matter of fact. 6011 and 7018AC by Hobart,,, which is what I recommend for amateur welders,,, get the 7018AC in 3/32 and run at about 85 A ,, those rods will work on DC even better. 6010 and regular 7018 are strictly DC rods. Shock hazards are less on DC also especially in wet environments.
 
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Old 12-17-02, 04:06 PM
scrapiron
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Another option would be to check out the Lincoln Electric website. Lots of information available and I think they may have some vidieos with basic instruction but nothing beats hands on and lots of it. Miller and Hobart both have good sites too.
 
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Old 01-15-03, 03:21 PM
sdodd
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welding

I learned to arc weld a loooong time ago from an old machinist. The time I spent with him was better than all the books, videos, etc. If you're handy, you can pick up the basics fairly quickly. But nothing beats some hands-on instruction. Good luck, Steve
 
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Old 01-15-03, 05:25 PM
NutAndBoltKing
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Unhappy Late answer, sorry ....

.... I missed seeing this post last month so I'm a day late and a dollar shy. You're probably up and running by now, but here's a link with good welding info - and it's got good links on it too:

http://www.metalwebnews.com/wc.html
 
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Old 02-01-03, 08:47 PM
captbuck
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The hardest thing for a new welder to do is NOT to watch the rod tip, it is only a guide for your welding. WATCH THE MOLTEN POOL OF METAL! Watch it as it burns in and you'll soon get the hang of it.

Buck
 
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