New Hobby


  #1  
Old 03-18-21, 03:22 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
New Hobby

I would like to pickup a new hobby: Welding

There is a lot different type of weldings which this is all new to me.

I watched a YouTube video that gave me a high level understanding to ask more questions.

I am not sure what I will be welding in the future but researching what are out there.

What I do know that I don't want to play around with anything that is gas related or storing gas canisters in my garage. This would probably rule out MIG and TIG welding right?

As for safety, please share things that I should not be doing. Since it uses electricity, I am sure there are some danger that needs to be discussed.

I am sure that I will need the following right?
  • Welding Jacket
  • Welding Gloves
  • Welding Helmet
Thanks
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 03-18-21 at 03:58 AM. Reason: Removed YouTube link.
  #2  
Old 03-18-21, 05:00 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,393
Received 720 Likes on 631 Posts
The lower cost wire welders use flux coated wire instead of a gas shield. A welding hood is a must have! the others are nice but optional.
 
  #3  
Old 03-18-21, 05:03 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
Thanks Mark.

Is a hood the same as a helmet?

Also is there any other danger I should keep in mind? Like, can I get electrocuted?
 
  #4  
Old 03-18-21, 05:58 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 28,567
Received 1,702 Likes on 1,521 Posts
You do want a face shield/helmet to protect your eyes. I would get an auto darkening helmet so you don't have to learn with the hassle of flipping the face shield down at the last minute which can screw-up your aim/positioning. For small jobs I only use the helmet and a pair of thin pigskin work gloves. For bigger jobs I'll put on an old leather jacket. When welding only wear natural fibers like cotton or wool and AVOID synthetics as they can burn and melt to your skin which can give you a mild boo boo.

MIG and TIG welding are good for thinner metals and MIG is very easy to learn and get good welds so it's the most popular these days. Stick welding is old school and great for heavy/thick metal but produces a lot of smoke. Also, with stick welding rods it's best to store them in a refrigerator to keep them dry after opening the package. If you are a farmer and need to fix equipment in the field I'd go for stick. For home & hobby use I'd get a MIG.

I would not shy away from compressed gas in your garage. The cylinder and gas is an extra expense but the gasses are noble or inert so they are not flammable and actually can be used to put out a fire. And, when using the correct shield gas there is much less smoke and sparking.

Flux core MIG welding doesn't use a shield gas and instead relies on a chemical in the center of the wire to burn and push oxygen away from the weld. It's cheaper to buy up front and it's easier to transport without a cylinder of gas. Unfortunately the burning flux also creates a good bit of smoke so you'll want good ventilation.

Electrocution is a pretty minor concern though you don't want to be stupid. The voltage is low but the amperage is high. You can safely weld under salt water, so electrocution isn't a great concern. One sneaky hazard I've seen hurt people is the coil of wire can pick up a charge like a capacitor. If you inadvertently let the tip of the gun touch your skin immediately after welding that stored charge can give you a nasty "pop". It doesn't electrocute you but it can instantly vaporize the flesh. Because it vaporizes the flesh away it cauterizes the wound so there usually isn't much bleeding but it hurts like a mother and looks really weird.

Probably the biggest hazard of welding is your lung health. NEVER weld galvanized steel. If you want to weld something that's been galvanized you should first grind away all the zinc coating as it produces a toxic smoke when burned. You really shouldn't weld any plated metal but zinc/galvanizing is one of the worst. Good ventilation is important but you can't have a fan blowing on the weld as it will blow away the shield gas. I like to have a fan blowing above me so my head is in the flow of air but the weld is in calm air.
 
The following 2 users liked this post by Pilot Dane:
  #5  
Old 03-18-21, 06:06 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
Dane, your reply is so detailed and remarkably awesome! I was about to ask you about when and the use of the applications which you also covered that too.

Thank you so much for helping me to get started with this hobby.
 
  #6  
Old 03-18-21, 05:08 PM
W
Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,320
Received 35 Likes on 33 Posts
Just from the voice of experience. Not hard to figure out but easy to forget that the metal pieces you put together are going to be HOT, and it won't take a very large item to burn you bad enough to make a trip to the emergency room, where you hope the ice you put on it at home doesn't melt before they can see you at the care center! Then you get a tetanus shot, and not much else besides a prescription for some white burn cream. (I still keep that close by just in case) Wear your gloves, and douse your work in a water bath before you do anything else!
 
The following users liked this post:
  #7  
Old 03-18-21, 05:15 PM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
WML13, advices like yours are what I am seeking for.

Just like when you change out a receptacle, one would have to know and turn off the circuit breaker. Although common sense to the experience folks but valuable to the beginners. I am a beginner in Welding. Thank you!
 
  #8  
Old 03-18-21, 05:22 PM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 9,935
Received 1,052 Likes on 954 Posts
So skip all discussions to date, the first and most important question YOU have to awnser is what type of welding/type of projects are you wanting to do.

Welding out in the field, like a farmer, vs auto body repar, vs home hobby all have different requirements and that is what will drive your welding equipment.

Here is a link from last year, Norm picked up a small welder and we had a lot of conversation on different types of welders.

MIG welder

I have TIG and MIG so can help, read and come back and tell us what you want to do, will be easier to narrow down the choices.
 
  #9  
Old 03-18-21, 05:32 PM
W
Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,320
Received 35 Likes on 33 Posts
Also, if you get an autodark helmet, they have settings, and you kind of don't want to forget that you changed from WELD to GRIND. and then expected the helmet to autodark when you strike the next arc. The Flash that fills up your brain will teach you not to do THAT again. (I ALWAYS test my autodark against a flourescent shop light to be sure it is ON before I light up my brain, as small as it is lol
 
  #10  
Old 03-18-21, 05:48 PM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
Marq, I have no idea what I will be welding and that is why I need to start some where. The article that you have provided is also another good source which I will read in more details tonight and will ask questions. You and many seems to have lots of experience in this area.

Basing off of Piolet Dane's reply, most likely I will try Flux Core first. MIG and TIG require gas canisters which right now, I am not sure if I want to spend that type of money and space in the garage just yet. I have a few hundred bucks to dish out initially before I go into the better quality stuffs. Thanks

WML13, I have no idea what you mean by WELD to GRIND. Are those like WELDING methods? I know how to use a grinder and have like 4 of those. So do you mean to grind away the slats or such?

Anyway, this is the HF helmet that I am planning to get. If you see something that you like more on Amazon, please let me know. Thanks

https://www.harborfreight.com/adjust...met-46092.html
 
  #11  
Old 03-18-21, 06:08 PM
W
Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,320
Received 35 Likes on 33 Posts
My Lincoln Welding Helmet has settings for the darkness shade level as well as a switch that changes the shade setting from WELD to GRIND. When you get done welding, often you have to grind away imperfections with a grinder, creating enough sparks that you need a shield for them as well. You change the setting to GRIND so the autodark doesn't go so dark (from the sparks) that you can't see what you are grinding away. You may be a candidate for a welding basic class at a local technical school. It could save you a lot of grief, and give you some hands on with different equipment without buying something you don't want, or will ever use.
 
  #12  
Old 03-18-21, 09:39 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 721
Received 64 Likes on 59 Posts
A buddy of mine has one like this and swears by it.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07M5WKCYX/

and douse your work in a water bath before you do anything else!
I thought this was a no no, using air to cool is ok but no on the water (However I am a novice so I could be incorrect).
 
  #13  
Old 03-18-21, 10:23 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 845
Likes: 0
Received 22 Likes on 19 Posts
Lots of excellent information in this thread! But i'd still like to add my 2 cents. As Pilot Dane mentioned, wire welding has the shortest learning curve. Flux core wire welding is a good starting point, but has its drawbacks: it's a hotter process and will burn through thinner metal. Depending on your budget you might get a machine that handles both flux core wire and solid wire MIG. Solid wire MIG requires shielding gas, but you can use 100% co2 as shielding gas. CO2 bottles are low pressure, and a 20 pound bottle is (comparitively) cheap to buy and cheap to refill. If the hobby becomes an obsession you might be glad you bought a dual MIG/flux core machine.

I'll also put in a good word for stick welding, aka arc welding. Despite its critics it will never die, fade away, or become irrelevant. Some MIG welders also support stick welding, and i've had several occasions when a quick bead using stick was just so much quicker than setting up the shielding gas, etc etc.

Also if you can: consider a dual 120v/240v machine.

Youtube is full of hacks that can neither weld nor teach. Skip to the front of the line and look for videos by Jody Collier at WeldingTipsAndTricks on youtube. He also has a website at that address. He has certified more than 500 welders and was recognized by American Welding Society. He has videos on flux core basics and MIG basics.

Have fun and good luck! Let us know how it goes!

Dave
 
  #14  
Old 03-19-21, 06:10 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 28,567
Received 1,702 Likes on 1,521 Posts
"Also, if you get an autodark helmet, they have settings, and you kind of don't want to forget that you changed from WELD to GRIND. and then expected the helmet to autodark when you strike the next arc. The Flash that fills up your brain will teach you not to do THAT again. (I ALWAYS test my autodark against a flourescent shop light to be sure it is ON before I light up my brain, as small as it is lol"

The good thing about auto darkening helmets is the UV protection is permanently in the lenses. The darkening is only to allow your eyes to be able to see the work area. So, if you accidentally strike an arc without turning the helmet on your eyes are still protected from damage. You may see stars for a while from the brightness but it's not harmful.
 
  #15  
Old 03-19-21, 09:31 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 9,935
Received 1,052 Likes on 954 Posts
Flux core wire welding is a good starting point, but has its drawbacks: it's a hotter process and will burn through thinner metal
It's not any "hotter" its just that the inconsistency of the flux burning off creating the shielding bubble is spotty so the welds are bad. Nothing you want for thin sheet metal applications.

Gas MIG is the only way to go, the little pocket MIG are cheap and efficient. I had a little Italian made 110V pocket mig that I used for 20 years and it worked fine.

I have TIG but use so seldom that I have to re-learn every time, the MIG gets used 95% of all welding!
 
  #16  
Old 03-19-21, 05:20 PM
A
Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 875
Likes: 0
Received 78 Likes on 68 Posts
would also suggest a mig welder the small gas cylinder really does not take up much space but will allow much cleaner welds compared to flux core and since the gas is usually just co2 or argon mixture really not sure what your concern is with storage.

 
  #17  
Old 03-22-21, 02:28 PM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
Thanks everyone🙏🙏 , this thread has so much good information. I will research into MIG although I was initially shy of using gas canisters.
 
  #18  
Old 03-22-21, 05:10 PM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 9,935
Received 1,052 Likes on 954 Posts
Dont sweat gas cylinders for safety, they are safe!
 
The following users liked this post:
  #19  
Old 03-22-21, 05:17 PM
W
Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,320
Received 35 Likes on 33 Posts
Make a note to yourself to CLOSE THE VALVE on top of the cylinder when you are done with the job. If you don't close it, there is a good chance you will be visiting the local welding supply shop a lot more often than you want to.
 
The following 2 users liked this post by WML13:
  #20  
Old 04-01-21, 10:17 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
Please provide your thoughts on these Flux-Cored Rods. This seems different from the flux core method that I have seen on YouTube. Thanks

https://enrrojx.com/products/solutio...41617293062268
 
  #21  
Old 04-01-21, 10:25 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
I think this is a review of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FhKvU20rzE


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKIKsDfRAcs
 

Last edited by WRDIY; 04-01-21 at 10:56 AM.
  #22  
Old 04-01-21, 11:22 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
I would like to get this to try out with those Aluminweld rods from Harbor Freight.

BernzOmatic TS8000
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahs17rWyoY8
https://www.amazon.com/Bernzomatic-T.../dp/B0019CQL60

I see it on Amazon but wonder why HomeDepot does not carry it?

Two more questions:
This maybe a preference, but which is safer to use? Mapp or Propane?

Also for storage, do I disconnect the trigger from the Mapp or Propane canister or once I install it, I have to leave it like that? Is there any safety concerns or storage I should keep in mind? Is it safe to store is in a hot summer garage?

Thanks
 
  #23  
Old 04-01-21, 11:42 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 28,567
Received 1,702 Likes on 1,521 Posts
"...wonder why HomeDepot does not carry it?"
Are you asking about the aluminum soldering rods or the torch.

Mapp burns hotter than propane. It's not a difference of safety.

I always remove the torch from a portable gas cylinder. That way if the valve on the torch has a slight leak it won't empty your tank. Also, when a torch head and gas cylinder are separate they are quite durable. When together it's big and heavy enough that it can be damaged if you knock it off the bench.

Storing store bought mapp or propane cylinders are quite safe. I've stored both in countless garages, shops, sheds and truck toolboxes parked in the hottest sun with no issues. The bottles are designed for that kind of use. And to add to the safety, mapp and propane are stored at medium pressures. Higher than the butane in a pocket lighter but much lower pressure than a full cylinder of oxygen or argon.
 
The following 2 users liked this post by Pilot Dane:
  #24  
Old 04-01-21, 11:48 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
Thank you so much for the safety and storage tips Pilot Dane! It is good to know and thanks for confirming that the trigger can be removed for storage. Your information on storage will give me a peace of mind. Before your reply, I was watching and researching on the safety of it too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBxOKHBTTI0

I didn't understand these. Can you help me understand why it blew up?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jNIlB9WrWA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzaKYfmfEqk
 
  #25  
Old 04-01-21, 12:02 PM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
Originally Posted by Pilot Dane
Are you asking about the aluminum soldering rods or the torch.
I was asking about the trigger.



 
  #26  
Old 07-18-21, 09:12 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
I am thinking of getting this stick welder machine to learn welding. Any thoughts?. Is this overkill?

https://www.amazon.com/YESWELDER-Dig.../dp/B086SNKTTK
 
  #27  
Old 07-18-21, 10:57 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 9,935
Received 1,052 Likes on 954 Posts
Weld what?

That's the biggest fist decision.

Welding heavy steel, stick welder is the tool. Small thin automotive sheet metal, wont work.

 
The following 2 users liked this post by Marq1:
  #28  
Old 07-18-21, 03:05 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 28,567
Received 1,702 Likes on 1,521 Posts
Check your local high school and community college to see if they offer night or weekend welding classes. You could learn to weld and learn what type machine you want to buy.
 
  #29  
Old 07-18-21, 08:19 PM
A
Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 875
Likes: 0
Received 78 Likes on 68 Posts
its a basic stick welder suppose you can learn on it if you wanted to, would probably look into a flux core wire feed or some will even do both so you could try both but welding rods and flux core are similar the flux coating is on the outside of the rod on welding rods and they need to be stored in a dry place so they do not absorb moisture, where the flux core wire does not really have any special storage requirements, they both work and require a lot of clean up compared to mig with gas.

They are fine to learn on and may be all you ever need not really sure what you plan on welding but they are inexpensive and handy to have around light enough to be very mobile, would try to find one with a high percentage duty cycle as some of the cheap welders are very low and you wouldnt be able to weld very long.
 
  #30  
Old 07-18-21, 08:30 PM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,107
Received 40 Likes on 38 Posts
Thanks for the replies. Like I said, this is a new hobby to learn and I am not sure what I will be welding but need to learn the basic.

I do want to learn Stick welding before Flux, MIG or TIG.

OK, I will look into High School and Community Colleges but I doubt the High School will let me enter since I am way over the age.
 
  #31  
Old 07-19-21, 06:33 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 11,560
Received 645 Likes on 570 Posts
About a year ago I did the same thing and the crew of this forum were great in giving me lots of hints. However 'm not using it as much as I had anticipated. As a result I need lots of practice to get good welds.
 
  #32  
Old 07-19-21, 08:41 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 845
Likes: 0
Received 22 Likes on 19 Posts
Some thoughts...
~ It's a dual voltage 110/220 machine, which is very convenient, although it is looking for 20 amps on the 110v side. Most household wall outlets are 15 amps, which *will* work but not as well as 20 amps. You may want to keep extension cords out of the picture (to avoid voltage drop that will contribute to underpowering the machine).
~ I looked for a duty cycle rating but did not fine it: these machines typically have 20% duty cycle, which in practical terms means you can weld for two minutes before the machine needs a rest: machine on and running but sitting unused for 8 minutes before welding again. Running past the 2 minutes can cause the machine to overheat and shut down; just something to be aware of.
~ The amazon ad says it will run 6010 electrodes but historically these inverter based IGBT machines do not run 6010 electrodes. Yeswelder may have built this ability into their machine; other inverter welders have a special socket for 6010s. This may be a moot point if you don't have a preference for rods.

If your interest in welding persists and gets more expansive, and if your budget allows, you might consider buying a wire welder that also stick welds. That way you can move on from stick to MIG with one purchase, and have both processes in your inventory.

The idea about adult education at the high school or community college is a good one. (Our community college system allows retirees to attend for free.) Getting knowledgeable instruction under controlled conditions (i.e., machines maintained and known to be working, etc) would be a great step forward. If you check out instruction on Youtube, look for Jody Collier's channel, WeldingTipsAndTricks. He also runs a website with that same name, which features a newbie-friendly forum.




 
  #33  
Old 05-15-22, 01:39 PM
A
Member
Join Date: May 2022
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
First ... WHY do you want to avoid gas bottles in your garage? The welding gasses are NOT flammable. Well, Acetylene certainly IS flammable and explosive, and Hydrogen also.

But welding gasses used in the TIG and MIG processes are SHIELD gasses that are used to push AIR out of the way while the metal is in the liquid state. They will not ignite.

Get a nice Miller MIG machine. It will handle most of what you want to do. TIG is a more precise process that makes "purdy" welds, such as for steel ducting for show cars, and high dollar bicycle frames, and such.

One thing I think most of us can agree on ... your FIRST welding machine will not be your ONLY welding machine.

Where are you located?

A community college one-semester welding course is highly advised. you will learn the answers to most of your questions,

Joe

(Former) AWS Structural Steel Certified Welder/Fabricator
 
  #34  
Old 05-15-22, 04:08 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 71,620
Received 3,322 Likes on 2,983 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

One thing we try to do is not dig up old threads.

I hadn't replied previously but there is no way I'd buy a stick welder. A newer style MIG/TIG welder is vastly more useful in a home applications. I have both and haven't had anything large enough to require a stick in years.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: