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-   -   DIY - Learn how to Weld...Basic Steps and Equipment Needed (

XFi 02-11-2008 04:52 PM

DIY - Learn how to Weld...Basic Steps and Equipment Needed
Well, spring is fast approaching and I have many ecomodding suggestions and ideas floating around in my head. Many of these modifications include me either paying to have someone do the work, or learing how to do it myself. Being cheap and stubborn, I guess I need to learn how to do it myself.:p

Coyote X has inspired me to learn how to weld. After seeing his awesome build thread... have decided that I need to LEARN HOW TO WELD! :thumbup:. The UnNamed Wagon will be a perfect test subject!

Since I have no experience in regards to this, I thought I would start a thread and ask for some help! :o Hopefully we will learn a few things (and purchase the right equipment) that will help support our EcoModding habits!
My first step is to read up on the subject. I have this book coming from Amazon... 8-1
...I hope it is informative.

Please feel free to post in this thread if you have any cutting, welding, bending or other forms of metal fabrication experience/knowledge that you can share with the class.;) Hopefully the members with welding experience can give us some basic suggestions on equipment needed/preferred in regards to welding. What equipment are you using or would suggest to use? Point us in the right direction!

Daox 02-11-2008 05:14 PM

IMO the best way to learn welding would be to take a class at the local tech school. They'll teach you some metalurgy, and the actual techniques. I was taught by a welder at the place I worked at and then read up a lot on metalurgy after that. You can get by by just reading and practicing (a lot!), but having someone actually show you is quite valuable.

XFi 02-11-2008 07:00 PM

I agree! :) Although I haven't been able to locate an adult night class tech school program in my area...still looking. Only Career Oriented Schooling or High School Tech Classes.

On a side note: I am finding alot of good basic info on Mig welding here: GMAW vs. FCAW

Ryland 02-12-2008 12:07 AM

I have a cheap Century MIG welder, I think it cost about $300 new and an extra $70 for a tank of argon/co2 mix, altho I hear that straight argon is better, but costs a little more, and I think I spent another $30 for a 15 pound spool of wire and the adaptor (insted of 2 pound spools), set the whole thing in my little red wagon and I'm ready to weld any place that has a 20amp outlet (not 15amp), it takes a little time to get use to it with differnt metals and thickness, but after you get used to it and figure out how to adjust your weld when it's not doing what you want it to do.

MD2000 02-27-2008 05:54 PM

As a self thought welder, with 30 years experience, I would recommend that you start with a small MIG welder like the Lincoln SP100, with CO2 as the welding gas. As soon as you are making good welds, let your first project be a welder stand that fits the machine with wheels so you can move it easily. MIG welding when the equipment is working properly is about as easy as you can get.

Practice on some scrap, weld, then grind the weld to see how well it penetrated. after an hour of this weld then inspect practice, with wire feed and power adjustments in between, and you should be making some nice welds.
Practice makes perfect, and a night welding class will not hurt.

XFi 02-27-2008 07:15 PM

Thanks for the tips guys! I am still reading up and will be purchasing a MIG when Uncle Sam gives me back some of my Tax Money ;)

Coyote X 02-27-2008 08:57 PM

I have a Lincoln promig 135 that I am using to do most of the work on my car. It is fine for doing work to a car. Welding on a bulldozer or heavy stuff it just doesn't have the power to bite deep enough but for tubing it is fine.

Check the local high school vocational school they will have a evening class on how to weld. You will get to use high quality equipment of various types to learn good metalworking. Also check around and you might find a friend of a friend that is a certified welder that can get you started. If nothing else just get a welder and look online for help. I would say Youtube and places will probably have some decent welding tutorials. I learned on my own and the only book I had was the one that came with the stick welder I initially got. I learned by welding stuff together then beating it with a hammer and seeing how the weld broke. Then adjusting how I welded till it didn't break anymore.

some of the tools I am using to build my car

- chop saw, find one that has a decent amp rating. Lowes, Home Depot. Etc..

- 4 1/2 inch angle grinder. Same thing find one with decent amp ratings.

- bender. I use a harbor freight 16 ton bender, they are cheap but you have to shim the dies when bending tubing or it will crush it. No big deal just have to have some metal to to fill in the dies fit the tubing. Works good on pipe, tubing, and exhaust tubing once you get it figured out and is way cheaper than any other.

-Mig welder. I have a Lincoln promig 135. Good welder and is not that expensive

-Stick welder, not really useful for most car stuff but when you have really thick stuff to weld and don't want it to come apart a stick is great. You can also cut stuff with it by running it at full power and blowing through the metal instead of welding it.

-plasma cutter/oxy-acetylene torches. You have to be able to cut metal. I have a Hobart Airforce 250ci Plasma Cutter that comes with a built in air compressor. It is a good cutter and not having to hook it to an air source is pretty nice.

dremd 02-27-2008 09:36 PM

I'd recommend that you avoid Flux Core Welding wire.
I weld with a smallish 220 Miler Mig machine (mostly steel) but I also use it with aluminum occasionally.

Best advice I have is to get a mig welder, a pile of scrap (similar thickness to what you want to weld), and just Practice Practice Practice.

I've welded with a Harbor Freight mig and it wasn't bad, the torch was terrible, but the machine was decent.

Oh and don't forget the plasma cutter.

Johnny Mullet 05-12-2008 08:54 PM

A big thing about welding for me is usually not the equipment, but the welding helmet. If you get a regular helmet, you will hate welding with it. Get one of those self-darkening helmets to save lots of time and missed spots.

thinkmoto 06-06-2008 07:40 AM


Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet (Post 25312)
A big thing about welding for me is usually not the equipment, but the welding helmet. If you get a regular helmet, you will hate welding with it. Get one of those self-darkening helmets to save lots of time and missed spots.

Over time your eyes will pay for using the auto darkening helmets. You'll always get the first flash of the arc do that continually over time and oh oh.
I have a tendency to run a shade darker lense to save my eyes. I've been welding for around 20 years now(29 years old)I was taught how to ARC weld by my dad around 9-10 years old one afternoon. I was one of the top welders in the state my senior year in high school. I've taken 2 years of welding when I got my associates degree in Maintenance. I'm a journeymen Millwright with a ton of welding fabrication experience. Steer clear of the auto darkening helmets. Also get some good leathers to protect your skin.

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