Need welding advice


Old 08-01-04, 11:02 AM
Michael Dahl
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Need welding advice

I am a successful inventor who occasionally needs to build prototypes by welding together 1", 1/2", and 3/4" square and round steel tubes. 16 gauge wall thickness. I want to learn how to do simple welding . What welding equipment and supplies would be best for this purpose?
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Old 08-01-04, 08:52 PM
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My thoughts:
First, read a book, take a class, or watch a video about arc welding, specifically mig welding.You can become fairly proficient in a day.
Next the fun part, go shopping. I would start with a name brand mig welder(120 volt is OK, 220 if I can afford it). You'll need a supply of argon/Co2 gas, you can buy or lease a cylinder. A small band saw or chop saw will make fast work out of cutting the steel and a small 4 1/2" grinder is good to have. A half-dozen welding clamps of some sort( I like the vice-grip C clamps),welding helmet, gloves, and eye and ear protection. The new instant darkening welding helmets are really nice and they make learning to weld easier but if you go this route spend the money and get the best you can.
Old 08-03-04, 06:55 AM
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Morning M.D.,
Scrapiron's list of perfect for doing light as well as heavy projects for small projects.
Miller,Hobart and probably Lincoln have 120 vac mig units for short duty cycles and for light material do well, w/gas or not, I would consider a 220v unit for subsequent heavy projects. My local Welding store "s"(purchase)
size welding, burning gases which will eliminate rent on the bottles, even
though they are a bit smaller that the nominal rent bottles it is still more
economical. I have a Hobart 170 which does well on light material(auto
body) as well as heavier material projects, course requires changing the
liner and wire size.
The auto darkening shade:
Is the greatest thing since sliced bread, especially on light sheet metal such
as auto body, less burn through, and some are only for mig or stick and not for tig, which I discovered recently after purchasing a replacement unit from
my local welding store.
chop(abrasive) saw:
Look over good especially the hinge, borrowed one from a friend which
was the nominal import which the hinge was so bad, the thing never
made a square cut, of course I didn't notice till tackin began,recommend
Makita or Milwaukee brand, have had a 14" Makita for a no. of yrs. and has
done well.
As dear ole dad said "it only cost a bit more to go first class"grin
Good luck
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