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:
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:
More Commonly referred to as "idiot rods" .. a drunk monkey can run these and make it look easy.
F2 rods are commonly used for sheet work, easy rods to use and beautiful results
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.
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:
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
Root Pass Troubleshooting Cures and Causes:
Typical GMAW Welding Parameters: (good starting point for beginners)
Wire Fed Trouble Shooting:
Modes of GMAW Transfer; Short Circuit, Globular, Spray Transfer:
FCAW Electrode Specification and Information:
Information on Gases for Gas Shielded Processes
reserved for future additions.
Picking a welder:
MIG vs Flux-Core:
Educational Info from Lincoln Electric:
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 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.
Here are some notes i've collected over time (I think a lot of this was from a miller publication)
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!
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.
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
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!)
I would suggest taking a local class at college.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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