JeepForum.com

JeepForum.com (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/)
-   Fabrication Shop (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f37/)
-   -   Welding Information Thread ... links, Scans, etc. MUST READ! (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f37/welding-information-thread-links-scans-etc-must-read-645747/)

j0nesy 12-07-2008 09:21 PM

Welding Information Thread ... links, Scans, etc. MUST READ!
 
This thread will consist of links to information, forums, and scans that i will put together. its aimed at beginners and it should give a good starting place and hopefully answer the mroe technically oriented questions i see asked. ill break stuff into sections and by process (at least ill try to). i hope this helps.

if you want something posted that isnt in here .. Pm me and ill do my best ... remember this is a work in progress so ill be adding stuff every week.

and im going to reserve a few spots for future additions.

Basic Welding Position Terminology w/ graphics:
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...Positions1.JPG
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...Positions2.JPG

1=Flat 2=Horizontal 3=Vertical 4=Overhead

F = Fillet (pronunciation - Fill-it ... not Fi-lay) - a weld of approximately triangular cross section used to join 2 pieces, especially perpendicular. I.E. 3F = Vertical Fillet Weld

G = Groove - kind of self explanitory ... a weld laid in a groove joint between two plates or bases. I.E. 2G = Horizontal Groove Weld

Know these positions. if you re serious about welding or thinking about a career or part time in welding or around welding, know them. they are common and widely used. This is the absolute base knowledge needed for welding.


SMAW "F Group" Descriptions and Information:

http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/1345/F1Group.JPG
More Commonly referred to as "idiot rods" .. a drunk monkey can run these and make it look easy.

http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/1345/F2Group.JPG
F2 rods are commonly used for sheet work, easy rods to use and beautiful results

http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/1345/F3Group.JPG
I have heard these called every name in the book ... my favorites: 'whistle sticks' (they tend to whistle while fillet welding), 'dig sticks' (deep penetration and low/med deposit rate), and more often then not "@#$%% @#$#*% @##$^()^* little pieces of #$%$% *#&%" These are a very versatile electrode but they are not the easiest to learn with. Used widely for root passes on pipe and plate of all thicknesses and diameters. They work well with a 'whipping' technique.

http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...5/F4Group1.JPG
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...5/F4Group2.JPG
And my favorite rod of all time .. the Low-Hy. Great electrodes. They are all position and they make beautiful beads when run properly. Store them in air tight containers, preferable a rod oven at 300*. Water is 2 parts hydrogen ... and there is a lot of water vapor in the air ... low-hy and atmospheric water vapor dont mix. it will cause hydrogen cracking.

SMAW Electrode Numbering System:
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...ringSystem.jpg

Know these numbering systems. they tell you everything about a specific electrode from the positions they can be used in, the needed polarity, and the general characteristics. not to mention the tensile strength. it would be unfortunate to make a weld with 7018 that needed to withstand 80,000 PSI.


SMAW Electrode Characteristics
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...ctrodeChar.jpg


Root Pass Troubleshooting Cures and Causes:
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...RootPassTS.jpg


Typical GMAW Welding Parameters: (good starting point for beginners)
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...Parameters.jpg


Wire Fed Trouble Shooting:
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/1345/GMAWTS1.jpg
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/1345/GMAWTS2.jpg
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/1345/GMAWTS3.jpg
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/1345/GMAWTS4.jpg


Modes of GMAW Transfer; Short Circuit, Globular, Spray Transfer:
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...ModesGMAW1.jpg
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...ModesGMAW2.jpg
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...ModesGMAW3.jpg
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...ModesGMAW4.jpg


FCAW Electrode Specification and Information:
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...trodeSpec1.JPG
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...trodeSpec2.JPG
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/fil...trodeSpec3.JPG


Information on Gases for Gas Shielded Processes
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/1345/Gases1.JPG
http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/1345/Gases2.JPG

j0nesy 12-07-2008 09:22 PM

reserved for future additions.

j0nesy 12-07-2008 09:23 PM

reserved x2.

Unlimited04 12-07-2008 09:47 PM

Picking a welder:
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us...rs-detail.aspx

MIG vs Flux-Core:
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us...ed-detail.aspx

Educational Info from Lincoln Electric:
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us...on-center.aspx

rustywrangler 12-07-2008 10:29 PM

Thread is a sticky now (as long as the section mods do not mind ) Don't worry about posts clogging up your thread, if it gets to cluttered I can clean them out.

j0nesy 12-08-2008 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rustywrangler (Post 6135970)
Thread is a sticky now (as long as the section mods do not mind ) Don't worry about posts clogging up your thread, if it gets to cluttered I can clean them out.

thanks ... i dont mind posts in here as long they are on topic with either questions or additional info.

thanks for the sticky. im trying to get more scans / links together for an update later this week.


EDIT: made some updates / comments on some of the information i provided.

jgorm 04-21-2009 12:40 PM

Here are some notes i've collected over time (I think a lot of this was from a miller publication)

Tig


Quote:

A negative direct current from the electrode causes a stream of electrons to collide with the surface, generating large amounts of heat at the weld region. This creates a deep, narrow weld (needs to be EXTRA super clean). In the opposite process where the electrode is connected to the positive power supply terminal, positively charged ions flow from the tip of the electrode instead, so the heating action of the electrons is mostly on the electrode. This mode also helps to remove oxide layers from the surface of the region to be welded, which is good for metals such as Aluminium or Magnesium. A shallow, wide weld is produced from this mode, with minimum heat input. Alternating current gives a combination of negative and positive modes, giving a cleaning effect and imparts a lot of heat as well.

If the amount of current used exceeds the capability of the electrode, tungsten inclusions in the weld may result. Known as tungsten spitting, it can be identified with radiography and prevented by changing the type of electrode or increasing the electrode diameter. In addition, if the electrode is not well protected by the gas shield or the operator accidentally allows it to contact the molten metal, it can become dirty or contaminated. This often causes the welding arc to become unstable, requiring that electrode be ground with a diamond abrasive to remove the impurity.[14]

he preferred polarity of the GTAW system depends largely on the type of metal being welded. Direct current with a negatively charged electrode (DCEN) is often employed when welding steels, nickel, titanium, and other metals. It can also be used in automatic GTA welding of aluminum or magnesium when helium is used as a shielding gas. The negatively charged electrode generates heat by emitting electrons which travel across the arc, causing thermal ionization of the shielding gas and increasing the temperature of the base material. The ionized shielding gas flows toward the electrode, not the base material. Direct current with a positively charged electrode (DCEP) is less common, and is used primarily for shallow welds since less heat is generated in the base material. Instead of flowing from the electrode to the base material, as in DCEN, electrons go the other direction, causing the electrode to reach very high temperatures. To help it maintain its shape and prevent softening, a larger electrode is often used. As the electrons flow toward the electrode, ionized shielding gas flows back toward the base material, cleaning the weld by removing oxides and other impurities and thereby improving its quality and appearance.
Alternating current, commonly used when welding aluminum and magnesium manually or semi-automatically, combines the two direct currents by making the electrode and base material alternate between positive and negative charge. This causes the electron flow to switch directions constantly, preventing the tungsten electrode from overheating while maintaining the heat in the base material. Surface oxides are still removed during the electrode-positive portion of the cycle and the base metal is heated more deeply during the electrode-negative portion of the cycle. Some power supplies enable operators to use an unbalanced alternating current wave by modifying the exact percentage of time that the current spends in each state of polarity, giving them more control over the amount of heat and cleaning action supplied by the power source. In addition, operators must be wary of rectification, in which the arc fails to reignite as it passes from straight polarity (negative electrode) to reverse polarity (positive electrode). To remedy the problem, a square wave power supply can be used, as can high-frequency voltage to encourage ignition.[17]
Pure tungsten electrodes (classified as WP or EWP) are general purpose and low cost electrodes. Cerium oxide (or ceria) as an alloying element improves arc stability and ease of starting while decreasing burn-off. Using an alloy of lanthanum oxide (or lanthana) has a similar effect. Thorium oxide (or thoria) alloy electrodes were designed for DC applications and can withstand somewhat higher temperatures while providing many of the benefits of other alloys. However, it is somewhat radioactive. Inhalation of the thorium grinding dust during preparation of the electrode is hazardous to one's health. As a replacement to thoriated electrodes, electrodes with larger concentrations of lanthanum oxide can be used. Electrodes containing zirconium oxide (or zirconia) increase the current capacity while improving arc stability and starting and increasing electrode life. In addition, electrode manufacturers may create alternative tungsten alloys with specified metal additions, and these are designated with the classification EWG under the AWS system.
Filler metals are also used in nearly all applications of GTAW, the major exception being the welding of thin materials. Filler metals are available with different diameters and are made of a variety of materials. In most cases, the filler metal in the form of a rod is added to the weld pool manually, but some applications call for an automatically fed filler metal, which often is stored on spools or coils.[19]

Argon is the most commonly used shielding gas for GTAW, since it helps prevent defects due to a varying arc length. When used with alternating current, the use of argon results in high weld quality and good appearance. Another common shielding gas, helium, is most often used to increase the weld penetration in a joint, to increase the welding speed, and to weld metals with high heat conductivity, such as copper and aluminum. A significant disadvantage is the difficulty of striking an arc with helium gas, and the decreased weld quality associated with a varying arc length.
Argon-helium mixtures are also frequently utilized in GTAW, since they can increase control of the heat input while maintaining the benefits of using argon. Normally, the mixtures are made with primarily helium (often about 75% or higher) and a balance of argon. These mixtures increase the speed and quality of the AC welding of aluminum, and also make it easier to strike an arc. Another shielding gas mixture, argon-hydrogen, is used in the mechanized welding of light gauge stainless steel, but because hydrogen can cause porosity, its uses are limited.[20] Similarly, nitrogen can sometimes be added to argon to help stabilize the austenite in austentitic stainless steels and increase penetration when welding copper. Due to porosity problems in ferritic steels and limited benefits, however, it is not a popular shielding gas additive.[21]
Gas tungsten arc welding is most commonly used to weld stainless steel and nonferrous materials, such as aluminum and magnesium, but it can be applied to nearly all metals, with notable exceptions being lead and zinc. Its applications involving carbon steels are limited not because of process restrictions, but because of the existence of more economical steel welding techniques, such as gas metal arc welding and shielded metal arc welding. Furthermore, GTAW can be performed in a variety of other-than-flat positions, depending on the skill of the welder and the materials being welded.[22]

Aluminum and magnesium are most often welded using alternating current, but the use of direct current is also possible, depending on the properties desired. Before welding, the work area should be cleaned and may be preheated to 175 to 200 C (350 to 400 F) for aluminum or to a maximum of 150 C (300 F) for thick magnesium workpieces to improve penetration and increase travel speed. AC current can provide a self-cleaning effect, removing the thin, refractory aluminium oxide (sapphire) layer that forms on aluminium metal within minutes of exposure to air. This oxide layer must be removed for welding to occur. When alternating current is used, pure tungsten electrodes or zirconiated tungsten electrodes are preferred over thoriated electrodes, as the latter are more likely to "spit" electrode particles across the welding arc into the weld. Blunt electrode tips are preferred, and pure argon shielding gas should be employed for thin workpieces. Introducing helium allows for greater penetration in thicker workpieces, but can make arc starting difficult.
Direct current of either polarity, positive or negative, can be used to weld aluminum and magnesium as well. Direct current with a positively charged electrode (DCEP) allows for high penetration, Short arc length (generally less than 2 mm or 0.07 in) gives the best results, making the process better suited for automatic operation than manual operation. Shielding gases with high helium contents are most commonly used with DCEN, and thoriated electrodes are suitable. Direct current with a negatively charged electrode (DCEN) is used primarily for shallow welds, especially those with a joint thickness of less than 1.6 millimeters (0.06 in). A thoriated tungsten electrode is commonly used, along with a pure argon shielding gas.[23]
Steels
For GTA welding of carbon and stainless steels, the selection of a filler material is important to prevent excessive porosity. Oxides on the filler material and workpieces must be removed before welding to prevent contamination, and immediately prior to welding, alcohol or acetone should be used to clean the surface. Preheating is generally not necessary for mild steels less than one inch thick, but low alloy steels may require preheating to slow the cooling process and prevent the formation of martensite in the heat-affected zone. Tool steels should also be preheated to prevent cracking in the heat-affected zone. Austenitic stainless steels do not require preheating, but martensitic and ferritic chromium stainless steels do. A DCEN power source is normally used, and thoriated electrodes, tapered to a sharp point, are recommended. Pure argon is used for thin workpieces, but helium can be introduced as thickness increases.[24]
7. Install Tungsten
Place the tungsten into the collet. Leave about 1/8 to 1/4 in. sticking out of the collet (not more than the diameter of the cup). Tighten the back cap.


Torch Placement
Hold the TIG torch in your hand at a 70 or 80 angle. Raise the torch so that the tungsten is off of the work piece no more than 1/8 to 1/4 in. Don't let the tungsten touch the work piece or it will contaminate your material and you will need to regrind your tungsten.
4. Filler Metal
Pick up your filler metal in your other hand so it rests horizontally at a 15 angle from the work piece - not pointed down. Heat up the base metal and gently dab the filler into the puddle. Dab rather quickly so you don't leave large deposits.
What can I do to improve arc starting?

• Use the smallest diameter tungsten possible for the amperage you are using. Match the tungsten electrode size with the collet size.
• Purchase the highest quality tungsten available - ask your distributor for Miller-branded tungsten.
• Use a premium quality torch and work leads.
• Keep the torch and work leads as short as possible and move the power source as close as possible to the work.
• Make sure the Stick electrode holder is detached from the machine before TIG welding.
• Check and tighten all connections.
• Keep the torch cable from contacting any grounded metal.
• Use 100% argon shielding gas.
• When welding aluminum, use AC current and a ceriated (orange identifying band) or 1.5% lanthanated (gold identifying band) tungsten.
• When welding steel and stainless steel, use DC-Straight Polarity (DCEN) and a 2% thoriated (red identifying band) tungsten . Prepare a pointed-end.
• Always use a push technique with the TIG torch.
• When welding a fillet, the leg of the weld should be equal to the thickness of the parts welded.
Why would I use Ceriated or Thoriated tungsten instead of Pure?

With the introduction of new power source technologies, the use of pure tungsten is decreasing.
Pure tungsten melts at a lower temperature causing it to easily form a rounded ball at the tip. When the ball grows too large, it interferes with your ability to see the weld puddle and causes the arc to become unstable.
Ceriated tungsten can withstand higher temperatures and works very well with the new squarewave and inverter machines for the following reasons:
• Holds a point longer and starts well at low amperages.
• Can be used on both AC and DC polarities. When welding aluminum, it has become very acceptable to grind a point on ceriated tungsten (especially when welding on thinner materials).
• Allows welding amperages to be increased by 25-30% compared to Pure tungsten of the same diameter.

Types of Tungsten Electrodes
Type of Tungsten (Alloy) Color Code Remarks
Pure Green

Provides good arc stability for AC welding. Reasonably good resistance to contamination. Lowest current carrying capacity. Least expensive. Maintains a balled end.
Ceriated
CeO2
1.8% to 2.2% Orange

Similar performance to thoriated tungsten. Easy arc starting, good arc stability, long life. Possible replacement for thoriated.
Thoriated
ThO2
1.7% to 2.2% Red

Easier arc starting. Higher current capacity. Greater arc stability. High resistance to weld pool contamination. Difficult to maintain balled end on AC.
Lanthanated
La2O3
1.3% to 1.7% Gold

Similar performance to thoriated tungsten. Easy arc starting, good arc stability, long life, high current capacity. Possible replacement for thoriated.
Zirconiated
ZrO2
0.15% to 0.40% Brown

Excellent for AC welding due to favorable retention of balled end, high resistance to contamination, and good arc starting. Preferred when tungsten contamination of weld is intolerable.


Typical Current Ranges for Tungsten Electrodes
Tungsten Diameter Gas Cup (Inside Dia.) Typical Current Range (Amps)
Direct Current, DC Alternating Current,
AC
DCEN 70% Penetration (50/50) Balanced Wave AC

Ceriated

Thoriated

Lanthanated
Pure
Ceriated

Thoriated

Lanthanated
Pure
Ceriated

Thoriated

Lanthanated
.040 #5 (3/8 in) 15–80 20–60 15–80 10–30 20–60
.060 (1/16 in) #5 (3/8 in) 70–150 50–100 70–150 30–80 60–120
.093 (3/32 in) #8 (1/2 in) 150–250 100–160 140–235 60–130 100–180
.125 (1/8 in) #8 (1/2 in) 250–400 150–200 225–325 100–180 160–250
All values are based on the use of Argon as a shielding gas. Other current values may be employed depending on the shielding gas, type of equipment, and application.
DCEN = Direct Current Electrode Negative (Straight Polarity).
________________________________________
Recommended Current Type, Tungsten and Gas for TIG Welding
Metal Thickness Type of Current Tungsten Shielding Gas
Aluminum All AC Pure
Ceriated
Thoriated
Lanthanated Argon
All AC Squarewave Ceriated
Thoriated
Lanthanated Argon
over 1/4" AC Ceriated
Thoriated
Lanthanated Argon
Copper, copper alloys All DCEN Ceriated
Thoriated
Argon
Magnesium alloys All AC Ceriated
Thoriated
Lanthanated Argon
Plain carbon, steels All DCEN Ceriated
Thoriated
Lanthanated Argon
Stainless steel All DCEN Ceriated
Thoriated
Lanthanated Argon
With GTAW, high frequency is used to stabilize the arc. During
the negative half of the AC cycle, electron flow is from the
relatively small tungsten electrode to the much wider area of
the pool on the workpiece. During the positive half cycle the
flow is from the pool to the electrode. Aluminum and magnesium
are poorer emitters of electrons when they are hot and
molten than the hot tungsten. Plus the area of current flow on
the molten weld pool is so much larger than the area on the
end of the tungsten. The arc has a tendency to wander and
become unstable. Because the high frequency provides an
ionized path for the current to follow, arc re-ignition is much
easier and the arc becomes more stable. Some power
sources use high frequency for starting the arc only and
some allow continuous high frequency to take advantage of
its stabilizing characteristics.
Primary
Current
(60 Hz)
DCEP +
DCEN – High Frequency
(over 16,000 Hz)
15
Control Setting
OFF
Continuous
Start only

High frequency for Al and Mg on AC. HF start for DCEN and DCEP. Off for stick welding.

Tig = constant current
Mig = constant voltage

The rate of coolant flow through the torch is important. Rates
that are too low may decrease cooling efficiency. Rates that
are too high damage the torch and service line. The direction
the coolant flows through the torch is critical. It should flow
from the coolant source directly through the water hose to
the torch head. The torch head is the hottest spot in the
coolant system and should be cooled first with the coolant at
its most efficient thermal transfer temperature. This coolant
upon leaving the torch head should cool the electrode power
cable on its return to the re-circulating system.
My notes on Tig

I am no expert by ANY means, but here are some of the things i've learned.

Grind both sides of the tungsten so you can flip it quick when you dip the tip. If you touch or dip the tip the spray will get wide and suck. I don't care if you just nicked it, it needs to be reground. At first it was tricky because i didn't know what the arc was supposed to look like, but after a bit you will know when its not right.

Use enough heat so you can move at a moderate pace. If you have to hold the torch for 5 seconds to get it to pool a the next bead, then you need more pedal or a higher amp setting.

DO NOT use steel gas (Ar /CO2). I figured what the hell, i'm welding on steel. WRONG, the electrode just burned up in seconds. Only use pure Ar.

Make sure the metal is SUPER CLEAN.


My Mig Tips


Still no expert by any means, but i have had a fair bit of practice.

1. Hold the torch 90degrees perpendicular to the weld joint and about 75 degrees parallel to the joint facing the direction of the weld.
2. The "stick out" should be about 1/8 to 1/4". If you stop welding and have over 1/2" of wire sticking out you probably had too much stick out.
3. If the wire "bottoms out" you have WAY too much wire speed or WAY too little voltage.
4. If the arc runs up towards the torch you have too much voltage, or too little wire speed.
5. Use enough gas flow. If you are welding outside and there is even a little breeze it will blow the gas out of the weld area and you get worm holes and volcanoes. I try and weld inside as much as possible, and shield the wind when outside.
6. I use the smallest wire gauge and it seems to work best for me. I like half circles, and a triangle pattern (pointed in the direction of the weld).
7. Get a good helmet with a BIG view. Autodark rules!! I went form a cheap autodark to a speedglass 9000x (view is about 2x bigger) and my welds started turning out WAY better because i could see what i was doing.
8. It should sound like bacon. If its popping too much there may be too much voltage. I follow the settings on my box, but sometimes i'll tweak the wire speed to make it sound better. Dialing by sound seems to work best for me. One hand on the speed knob, and the other burning some metal of the correct thickness.
9. Make sure to grind off all the paint / crap before you weld. If you try and weld over painted stuff it will look like junk with worm holes and volcanoes. (trust me i've tried because i'm lazy, and figured "the paint will burn off before i get there" WRONG!)


Hope this helps some. Most was learned from a few books and learning what NOT to do!

ScJeepaholic 05-27-2009 09:02 PM

If anyone needs literature my QC guy is a CWI (some kind of weld guru thingy) and I can more than likely get some good stuff.

KnacK 04-01-2010 01:20 PM

I recommend http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com
Jody tells it like it is, has great how to articles and videos, and a weekly mailer that you wait for.

His motto: Down and Dirty Welding Tips and Tricks..Warning! not suitable for PHD's

Jeremy93yj 08-19-2010 02:02 PM

Hi! This would be great if there was info for someone of 0 welding knowledge like me. For instance, what are the different kinds of welders, and what are the different types used for? I see some with sparkler looking things, others with wire, some have gas canisters. I don't know what any of that stuff is! What would be an effective, economical set-up for an extreme beginner who wants to, say, work on a Jeep? I want to learn this stuff, but I was never given the opportunity. I can turn a wrench all day, but this is all foreign to me. Thanks for the stuff you've put up so far (I just want to be able to understand it!)

wushaw 08-19-2010 11:28 PM

I would suggest taking a local class at college.

tda13 10-05-2010 06:16 AM

Hey Folks - I'm new to the site and I am in the process of restoring an old Orville Meyers top for my CJ. I also work in the welding field and have for the past 23 years. I am a District Sales Manager for a gas company and do a great deal of training and hands on work. If I can be any help to anyone in regards to welding, let me know. I would be more than happy to discuss process, procedure or equipment.

T

jtcnj 10-23-2010 06:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tda13 (Post 10232166)
Hey Folks - I'm new to the site and I am in the process of restoring an old Orville Meyers top for my CJ. I also work in the welding field and have for the past 23 years. I am a District Sales Manager for a gas company and do a great deal of training and hands on work. If I can be any help to anyone in regards to welding, let me know. I would be more than happy to discuss process, procedure or equipment.

T

I am also looking for guidance on a home / hobby / Jeep and maybe marine (reads s.s, aluminum) welder. I am familiar with the basics. The Lincoln and Miller sites are very helpful. They suggest defining what your needs will be, and match the process and machine to that. Makes sense. Cost is a very limiting factor. I'm so tempted to try one of the HF machines, but my spidey senses really act up when I'm standing in the store in front of them! I'm hoping I can get what is adequate for around $400, maybe used, or maybe Northern Tool, Eastwood or Everlast, but I'd rather stick with the well known 3.

My problem is I am not sure what I'm gonna run in to. I think my needs run from auto type sheet metal to rebar to maybe hitch type steel (is 3/16 heavy enough for rock sliders / bumpers, build a 1/4 ton or so utility trailer or will I need 1/4" capability)? Is it viable to figure on enough machine for the 3/16" scenario and figure on multiple passes for anything heavier?

It seems most people recommend a Mig/FluxCore combo. I'm leaning towards stick with both AC / DC capability due to simplicity, and I'm taking a basic welding course at the local Vo-Tech, which is all stick. So, I don't have the drawback of stick requiring relatively more skill; we are about half way through the course and I am just starting to really understand what I am seeing and how what I am doing affects the weld pool, but I still basically suck at it. Best $300 I ever spent though. I'm proud of my slag burns!! haha.

Then theres the power supply voltage. Can you realistically do the above on 115v? My gut tells me no, we need 230v power.

So, chime in and help clarify what to look for or expect, I see lots of us want to melt some metal! WoooHooooo!!!:wave::wave:

(note the spiffy spool gun in my new avatar, I think Stewies arc is a bit too long, and I think if you squint it makes up for not wearing a helmet. lol)

KnacK 10-23-2010 06:53 AM

You need to decide if you are going to want to weld stainless (or even aluminum).

In a nutshell if you want to weld stainless then time to think about tig. If you don't work with stainless or aluminum, then mig is an option.

If you have access to 220v, then get a 220v machine. You will not regret it.

tda13 10-23-2010 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtcnj (Post 10327937)
I am also looking for guidance on a home / hobby / Jeep and maybe marine (reads s.s, aluminum) welder. I am familiar with the basics. The Lincoln and Miller sites are very helpful. They suggest defining what your needs will be, and match the process and machine to that. Makes sense. Cost is a very limiting factor. I'm so tempted to try one of the HF machines, but my spidey senses really act up when I'm standing in the store in front of them! I'm hoping I can get what is adequate for around $400, maybe used, or maybe Northern Tool, Eastwood or Everlast, but I'd rather stick with the well known 3.

My problem is I am not sure what I'm gonna run in to. I think my needs run from auto type sheet metal to rebar to maybe hitch type steel (is 3/16 heavy enough for rock sliders / bumpers, build a 1/4 ton or so utility trailer or will I need 1/4" capability)? Is it viable to figure on enough machine for the 3/16" scenario and figure on multiple passes for anything heavier?

It seems most people recommend a Mig/FluxCore combo. I'm leaning towards stick with both AC / DC capability due to simplicity, and I'm taking a basic welding course at the local Vo-Tech, which is all stick. So, I don't have the drawback of stick requiring relatively more skill; we are about half way through the course and I am just starting to really understand what I am seeing and how what I am doing affects the weld pool, but I still basically suck at it. Best $300 I ever spent though. I'm proud of my slag burns!! haha.

Then theres the power supply voltage. Can you realistically do the above on 115v? My gut tells me no, we need 230v power.

So, chime in and help clarify what to look for or expect, I see lots of us want to melt some metal! WoooHooooo!!!:wave::wave:

(note the spiffy spool gun in my new avatar, I think Stewies arc is a bit too long, and I think if you squint it makes up for not wearing a helmet. lol)

Personally, I would stay away from anything but these 3, in this order. ESAB, Miller, and Lincoln. If it is a 220 machine and you can find a used one, Panasonic also make great machines.

The ESAB machines are great. They have just redesigned all their machines and they run better than the Miller and Lincoln machines. They are made in Europe, but the Europeans know how to make welders. Some of the older machine (pre 2009) were made in Florence South Carolina, but are not quite the quality of the new machines. I'm not positive if ESAB makes a 110V machine however. They have a 3 year warranty and outstanding customer service. They own the market oversees.

The Miller machines are good as well. The machines are all American made and like ESAB, you can set the machine based on material thickness and it will set the amps and wire speed for you (or get you decently close). I don't really like this, but every company is doing it. I guess if you have NEVER welded before, it could be an advantage. They have a 3 year warranty and they are made in America. Great customer service.

The small Lincoln machines (110V) are decent machines as are some of the 220V machines. Personally, I think Lincoln tries to over engineer their machines, but that is just me (not me the salesman lol. If someone wants to buy one, I'll sell them one). They have a 3 year warranty and are made in America. Customer service is their downfall (once again, in my opinoin. I deal with them several times a week).

As I said earlier, the Panasonic machines are great if you can find a used one. Mine is a mig/plasma cutter combo. Great machine.

As far as what process to use, if you are buyin a mig and you are going to be welding inside a shop or garage, use gas. Use 75/25 (argon/co2). Don't let them talk you into a tri mix blend. You do not need it. If you are welding outside (all the time) then use flux core. I personally hate flux core (self shielded) wire.

If you are going to do stainless and aluminum you will probably want a 220 machine. If it is detail work and you want it to look good (especially on the aluminum) you might want to consider a tig. Make sure if you buy a tig, it is an AC tig - not DC. You can not weld aluminum with DC. Also, tig takes a good hand. You really need to know what you are doing.

I can weld stainless with a mig and make it look great (as long as it is not real thin). You can also weld aluminum with a mig with a nylon liner for the gun (I do not like these) or a spool gun. I have a spool gun on my machine and it works great. Most of the 220 machines come spool gun ready and some come as a pakage which includes the spool gun.

Now, if price is not an issue, buy a pulse mig. Pulse helps with spatter, and material distorsion (warping). Some of them also do an outstanding job on aluminum and mean really outstanding. These machines also come as a pakage many times with a spool gun or better yet a push/pull gun for aluminum.

As far as price, ESAB is the cheapest by far. Usually a couple hundred cheaper on a 220 machine. It totally depends on the suppliers in your area. Usually the small independents are a bit cheaper on machines then the Praxairs or Airgas stores, but with that being said, most only make 8-15% profit on a machine. I sell the machine to get the gas and wire business. Thats where I make my money. Give em the razor to get the razor blade.

I would stay away from EBAY for machines. You need local support if you ever have an issue. Anymore questions, let me know.

By the way, just as a heads up, if you have an Airgas in your area, they will probably not be Airgas much longer. They are in the process of being bought out by Air Products (actually hostile takeover). I'm not saying that anything will change or wont change with your local stores, but no one (even Air Products or Airgas) knows.


The time now is 01:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.