I need (welding) advice

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Old 11-28-04, 11:05 AM
DLuna
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I need (welding) advice

First let me say I am not a welder but I have a project in mind that would require welding 3/8" and 1/2" smooth rod to 3/16" thick strap. I would also need to weld steel mesh (hog panel type) to the strap.
I'd like to know what type of welder would be best for me. Also, is it possible to learn welding without attending classes? I know being trained by a professional would be best but my job just does not allow me enough time to go to the local trade school.
Thanks for any input.
 
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Old 11-28-04, 05:10 PM
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It depends

The answer depends on how strong these welds need to be and what kind of loads must be anticipated. Cost will also be an issue.

As far as training goes, yes, you will need access to someone who DOES know how to weld in order to correct your mistakes. That's not a full semester course, but it will require some practice welds with subsequent evaluation.

It is entirely possible to melt some welding electrode onto two pieces of metal that come apart later due to poor joint design or insufficient penetration. Just because it LOOKS good does not mean that it will stay together.

Welding is a skill acquired more by practice than by reading a book or watching someone else do it.

BTW, what ARE you building?
 
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Old 12-13-04, 06:39 PM
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Welding advice

I dont pretend to be an expert but I taught myself to weld first with oxy-acetelene rig (brazing mostly) and then bought a Lincoln stick welder. I had a lot of trouble with that as the small stuff I normally was repairing I was spending a lot of time trying not to burn thru the metal My last welder purchase is a Century Mig welder with gas shielding. I pretty much do everything I have to do with that welder now, including some aluminum work. Its fast, easy to handle and works well on smaller gauges of metal. You can buy small ones without the gas shielding pretty cheap. I like the gas shielding myself. Im going to go to one of the trade schools when I retire.
 
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Old 12-14-04, 09:57 AM
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MIG welding will be the easiest to learn. I would start out with flux core. Practice a lot. Before you weld anything you plan on keeping. You can learn with out school but it will require A lot of practice. Also having some one look at your work and tell you what you are doing wrong will be a big help. If you can not find any one to check it out you can do two things to see how you are doing. First you can compare your welds looks with the looks of other welds in a text book or a welding manual. Then you can destroy your welds. After you weld two pieces together clamp it to something then see how easy it is to break with a sledge hammer, and also see how much weight the weld will support. If you are doing a good weld the pieces you welded to gather will break at places other then weld bead first.
 
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Old 12-14-04, 04:35 PM
DLuna
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Thanks alot. This is all good input. I was told the samething about the mig welder and a lot of practice by a few other people. So I've decided to go that route. Now, does anyone have a recomendation as to what mig welder would be good to start off with?
 
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Old 12-14-04, 11:06 PM
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I would recommend a Miller, Hobart, or Lincoln welder. I would make sure that it comes capable of welding true MIG. It is also a good idea to make sure you have a circuit to handle the welder. Most good welders, even the small ones will need at least a 20 amp circuit.
 
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Old 12-15-04, 04:59 AM
oldudbob
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You have been given some good advise. However, which welder to purchase is a very difficult question to answer. It depends on a number of issues such as:

1. Available current?
2. What type and size of materials are you going to be welding?
3. How much you can afford to spend?
4. Are you going to have on-going welding needs, if so, what are they?
5. How much time do you have to learn and perfect your welding skills?
6. How much room do you have for your equipment and what is the environment you will be welding in?

If you can supply answers to these questions I am sure that someone can give you specific recommendations regarding what would be the best welder to fit your needs.
 
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