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Welding Shop

Welding


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  #1  
Old 10-07-2003, 02:26:20 PM
Matt Fretwell
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Default Welding

Hello all,

I know this thread is somewhat off topic, but working on the assumption that most of you chaps will have done some metalwork repairs at some point with your units, which type of welding, MIG or ARC, would you suggest gives the best finish and strength of joint when doing welding work on some of the older generators, and can also cover the various types of metals.

Thanks in advance,

Matt
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2003, 03:20:02 PM
Howard Yoshida
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Default Re: Welding

Aloha,

I would say the best would be TIG welding for cast iron. You could also use an arc welder with a nickel rod, or Oxy/Acet with a cast iron rod or even with a bronze rod. This is like opening a can of worms but these are my choices for cast iron. Most restorers have TIG, arc, oxy/acet, so it helps. I could go on and on but lets hear what the others have to say.

Mahalo, Howard
  #3  
Old 10-08-2003, 02:11:30 PM
SIMON THOMSON
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Default Re: Welding

Try posting this on the stack it might get a greater response.

I think there are already several threads over there so try an archive search.

I'll be keeping an eye on responses myself as my 19KVA Dale has a badly frost damaged engine.

Simon.
  #4  
Old 10-08-2003, 07:54:13 PM
Matt Fretwell
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Default Welding

Hello all,

I know this thread is somewhat off topic, but working on the assumption that most of you chaps will have done some metalwork repairs at some point with your units, which type of welding, MIG or ARC, would you suggest gives the best finish and strength of joint when doing welding work on some of the older units, and can also cover the various types of metals, especially aluminium and cast iron.

Thanks in advance,

Matt
  #5  
Old 10-08-2003, 08:56:16 PM
Kevin Beitz
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Default Re: Welding

To big of a question... It depends on the welder... the thickness of the metal etcetera... Both machines can do wonders in the right hands...
  #6  
Old 10-08-2003, 09:45:56 PM
Matt Fretwell
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Default Re: Welding

Kevin,

Thanks for the quick reply. Literally, whichever system I go for, I personally will have to learn the method completely from scratch. I will admit that I am more inclined towards the arc welder, completely due to the fact that I would prefer to work with a rod of known length, than have to keep pace with something which is feeding automatically. The unit that I have my eye on is a 40-210 amp unit, as I assume this would cover most general pieces I would encounter. But, due to never having used an electric welder before, if I did go for this option, would I be limited, within reason, as to the scope of repairs, after extensive practice:-), that I would be able to achieve?

Thanks again in advance,

Matt
  #7  
Old 10-08-2003, 09:56:47 PM
Matt Fretwell
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Default Re: Welding

Thanks for the responses chaps.

I am currently trying to convince the wife that I really DO need a welder, so I want to be able to disappear and get one as soon as she gives in just to shut me up:-)

Thanks again,

Matt
  #8  
Old 10-08-2003, 10:16:57 PM
Patrick Marsh
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Default Re: Welding

If I were looking to learn to weld from scratch I would recommend a local tech school, maybe night classes. As for a machine for a small home shop I would recomend a Lincoln AC/DC 200amp electric welder.
  #9  
Old 10-09-2003, 07:43:40 AM
Marty
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Default Re: Welding

I just gotta throw in my 2 cents worth. Matt, BASED ON MY EXPERIENCES, I've been welding for more than 35 years and learned on a homemade arc welder. About 14 yrs. ago I invested in a Lincoln 110 V wire welder ( mig ) using Co2 gas. I have welded everything from near aluminum foil thickness to soon starting on 12,000 lb. capacity tandem axle trailer # four with it. I have NEVER had a weld break nor crack and mig is much easier to weld with than a stick welder. On the stick welders, to keep from burning holes through the material your trying to weld, you must lower the amperage... when that is done, the rod tends to "weld" itself to the work and you have to give it a slight tug/wiggle to break it loose, often messing parts that have been clamped together for the purpose of welding them. Another disadvantage with the larger arc welders is that they operate off of 220 V current and if you don't have 220 out to your work area, you have to take the time & expense of installing or having it installed. Learning to weld with mig is so simple that you can teach yourself in an hour or less by reading the instructions and weld some practice pieces. You will be pleasently surprised at the ease and cosmetics of the mig weld especially when welding cast iron and it has much less spatter than an arc welder. As Kevin stated, your query is quite broad but for general overall applications, I highly recommend a mig rather than arc. I'm not really sure why so many folks are uncomfortable with the idea of using mig as maybe they seem a bit high tech when really they're not. I have also found the wire and gas to be cheaper than rods and don't have to stop the weld every 45 seconds to put a new rod in the handle. Mig welders have a duty cycle so you can't simply start welding and weld for an hour straight... components inside the machine can get pretty warm so it needs intermittent breaks to cool down. That at the same time gives the operator a break also. The initial investment on a mig is rather costly but worth every penny as the quality machines ( Lincoln, Century, etc. ) will give excellent service for a life time. When welding aluminum, one needs to convert to Argon gas and that is more costly than the plain ol' Co2 but not out of reach for the wokin' stiff. G'day
  #10  
Old 10-09-2003, 09:01:21 AM
dave haning
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Default Re: Welding

Hi, I've had stick and accetylene for over 30 years and became fairly profficient with both. A couple of years ago I bought a Millermatic 210 which as a promotion came with a spool gun. Since that time I've not used the stick welder more than a half dozen times. The ease of opperation makes the mig nearly foolproof. (Notice, I said "nearly") They make a so-so welder look good and a good welder look fantastic. With the spool gun aluminum is much easier also. As to the 220V electric service, in stick OR MIG the heavier capacity machines are both going to need it. You can get 110V welders in both categories but you will be somewhat limited as to the size of the project. If you do go stick, you'd be well advised to go with an AC/DC reverse polarity model. That way you can do some aluminum stick work. All in all, my impression is that stick to MIG is pretty much the same as gearshift to automatic transmission in your car. They both work well but the latter was a BIG improvement! Dave--
  #11  
Old 10-09-2003, 09:03:17 AM
David M. Lyon
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Default Re: Welding

Gotta agree with you Marty!...MIG is the ONLY way to go in this "old iron" hobby...I have a 110 volt Miller "Cricket" Mig welder in my body shop that gets daily use of two to three hours, and has done so for the last 14 years with NO problems. It'll weld anything from fenders to truck frames!

David M.
  #12  
Old 10-09-2003, 10:40:07 AM
Benny Mckheean in NC
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Default Re: Welding

Well said Marty,Mig is the way to go. Benny in NC
  #13  
Old 10-09-2003, 12:21:54 PM
Patrick Marsh
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Default Re: Welding

My thinking on welding is first you learn to do it the right way then you can learn the easy way. I do mig also, but for the beginner it is way to easy to lay down a surface weld that looks pretty but has very little penetration and will not hold. Once you learn to stick weld and proper penetration then every thing else is easy.
  #14  
Old 10-09-2003, 11:38:31 PM
Franz
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Default Re: Welding

Well, I think I'll stirr up the puddle here, but the way I see it, if you don't already know how to stick weld, you should stay the hell away from MIG. In fact, unless you know how to weld, the best investment you can make is welding lessons at the local VoTec or Community College. I make the above statement as the owner and operator of 4 Lincoln DC rotarys, 1 Miller MIG, 1 Miller Bobcat, 3 P&H TIG machines, and plasma cutters. Anybody who thinks you can learn to weld with any machine in under an hour is NUTS. All you can learn in that time is how to hang birdcrap on top of metal. There are no less than 3 deposition processes on MIG, short circuit, globular and spray, and you better know what you're doing with any of them or somebody can wind up DEAD quick. I've seen trailers built with the dimestore MIG machines come unhooked from the truck towing them, and while the "weld" looked nice, Superglue would have provided better holding and more bonding. MIG machines are being overmarketed, and most of them will wind up becoming shelf decorations because the owners won't be able to weld anything with them. Welding is a skill that takes time to learn, and although I can teach somebody all they need to make a weld in under 15 minutes, it will take that person at least 2 years to learn to weld on their own. Equipment on the market today runs from the lo end crap from Century and Chinese prison manufacture up thru quality machines like Miller and Panaosnic. Salesmen push high end crap onto unknowing customers who want to believe the weld is in the machine. It AIN'T! The weld is in the man behind the mask, and it's a product of education and experience. There is No single process, Stick, MIG, or TIG that is appropriate to all welds, and there definitely isn't magic rod that will weld everything. Anybody who thinks they will learn to weld aluminum before they have completely mastered ferros metals is just asking for frustration. Buying any welding machine without knowing how to operate it is money down the toilet!
  #15  
Old 10-09-2003, 11:43:59 PM
Patrick Marsh
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Default Re: Welding

Well Said!!!
  #16  
Old 10-10-2003, 12:06:20 AM
Adam Cottrill
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Default Re: Welding

Franz,

you hit the "slag" right on the head!!! i think your right on the money 100%.

I learnt to weld when I was at school and came out in the top 3 in the class however now I only weld once if not twice a year and ive totally lost the feel for it and my welding is now crap!!!

So now I dont even bother I just get a mate of mine who works as a professional welder to do it for me.

To me its not worth the frustration, cost of gear etc if im only going to use it once or twice a year.

Have a good one,

Adam
  #17  
Old 10-10-2003, 12:51:17 AM
Matt Fretwell
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Default Re: Welding

Hello,

Thanks for all the input chaps. Franz, I assume that means that you would class arc as the preferable choice? With respect, I understand exactly what you mean, but one never said that I would not be seeking tutelage from someone with experience in this field. But neither does the fact of not being, as of yet, proficient with said equipment, mean that one should not purchase the equipment. Experience can never be gained unless one has made both successes and mistakes, and any tutor can only spend so much time teaching any one person. To express the idea of not practicing privately, both on ones own time, and, essentially, with the specific machine that they will eventually be spending a tolerable length of time with over the coming years, is folly within itself. Perfection is never instantaneous, but with enough effort can be achieved. Also, I do indeed have a good friend who is very proficient at welding, and who will do any welding for me that I require. But essentially, no one else will ever put as much care and attention into a piece of work as oneself will. Again, with respect, and I do value your opinion greatly, I would reply that tolerance is a virtue, and to class everyone as a bodger who expects to be able to achieve perfection within a short span of time is, in all honestly, arrogance. Granted, some of the gentlemen who have replied may be slightly optimistic with their evaluations, but to be so caustic in your reply, when they were just giving their personal, and helpful, opinions to a specific question that had been asked, is really not nice.

By the way, unless I can ever learn to do anything within a gnats fart of perfection, I don't do it. Good enough is not good enough.

Thanks for your help everyone, and no insult intended Franz.

All the best,

Matt
  #18  
Old 10-10-2003, 02:06:00 AM
Franz
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Default Re: Welding

Matt, caustic, I wasn't even approaching caustic. When you see the crap that's being sold to unsuspecting people as welding equipment, and the overall quality of what is being called a weld, it gets very frightening. I've been burning rods for over 40 years, and I'm still a complete dummy when it comes to what is the totality of processes and methods available in today's world of welding. The one thing I am absolutely sure of when it comes to welding is that there are jobs I walk away from rather than take a chance of making a bad weld. That comes from years of experience, and knowing what I can and cannot do. Fortunately, none of my experience has gotten anyone killed or hurt till now, and I'd hope to keep it that way. I have friends who can ______ weld iron with a level of skill I'll never accumulate, and others who can weld aluminum, and recognize alloys by the characteristics of the weld, another skill I lack completely. 40 years ago, we had O/A torches and stick machines, and the only wire process was subarc, witch was hardly usable outside steel fabrication yards. Today, we have a hundred different processes, and a thousand scumbags selling poor quality equipment to unsuspecting victims. For a person wanting to learn welding, I strongly suggest learning O/A torch welding first, then stick, then TIG, and finally MIG. Each of those steps will teach you valuable skills and insights to other techniques for the other processes and eventually make you a weldor. It ain't a craft anybody can or will learn by watching a video and buying a machine. There are boatloads of people who claim to be weldors cause they spent 8 hours a day in a factory making the same weld a million times. They ain't weldors, they are production workers who will and can be replaced by a robot in today's world. There are pipe weldors who can't weld structural or repair worth a damn, but they are damn fine pipe weldors who's ability I couldn't begin to match on pipe. If you really want to learn about the welding craft, comon over to www.hobartwelders.com, and hop onto the forums. We haven't eaten a newby yet over there, but we are often brutally honest.
  #19  
Old 10-10-2003, 02:27:53 AM
Matt Fretwell
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Default Re: Welding

Franz,

Thanks for your reply. I did not mean to be tardy earlier. With regards to welding, my father taught me basic oxy/acetylene welding as a teenager. It is just the electrical side of welding that I have never tried. Thanks for the pointer to the other forum, and you will indeed be seeing me over there.

Sincerely, thanks again for your advice. I have found it invaluable previously.

Matt
  #20  
Old 10-10-2003, 01:24:48 PM
Don C. Wiley
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Default Re: Welding

Well I really shouldn't, but here goes.

I have been playing a guitar for about 50 years and am just not very good at it. I don't think another 50 years would help me much, however I can stick weld pretty well.

My father-in-law taught me to weld 45 years ago. With a lot of practice and some really bad welds I have learned to do all my own repairs. If you don't learn by your mistakes, find a new hobby. You probably weren't intended to do that type thing.

I played guitar in a group of folks some time ago and there was a man in the group, his name was Al. He said he took guitar leasons for about a year and finally gave it up. One day his sister was playing a very popular song on the piano, so he went and got his guitar and started to play right along with her. I think most folks call that playing by ear. I say it is a God given talent. Al told me to just let my fingers do the playing. I said: Al my fingers aren't half as smart as yours are.

I think that if a person wants to try to weld he might be better advised to buy a cheaper welder and if he does well with it he might move to a better one. If after several months of practice he just can't get the hang of it then he won't be out too much money. Some folks have certain God given talents and some weren't. You won't know what yours are until you try it.

Hey! That's just my opinion.

"DELCO DON" Southern Illinois
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