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Old 12-31-2012, 05:45 PM   #15
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I started building equipment trailers in order to work my way through college in the mid 1970s. I still use stick welding (7018) for most of the horizonal welds on the trailers including the axles and the coupler. I have used MIG since the early 1980s. The MIG isn't as easy as you think. It is actually harder to pass an X-Ray test because it can cold lap real easy. I would really like to get one of the new Pulse Arc MIG welders which would be real nice.
There is more to welding than folks think. I was a certified pipe welder at a Nuclear plant many years ago. All the welding processes have their purpose and what they are best suited for. Most folks would be best off to learn to MIG weld for what they would be doing with it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:48 PM   #16
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Enrolled in Welding Class

Well thanks for the suggestions and encouragement. I paid the local welding shop a visit and received great advice and recommendations for learning how to weld. I am signed up for a 60 hour class at an area vo-tech school that will cover oxy/acetylene, stick, tig, mig, and plasma cutting. So we will see if you can teach an old dog new tricks....

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Old 01-22-2013, 09:57 PM   #17
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Well thanks for the suggestions and encouragement. I paid the local welding shop a visit and received great advice and recommendations for learning how to weld. I am signed up for a 60 hour class at an area vo-tech school that will cover oxy/acetylene, stick, tig, mig, and plasma cutting. So we will see if you can teach an old dog new tricks....

Bob
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Way to go Bob, this route will put you in the cat birds seat. You will be able to test drive all their equipment as well as discuss with other students.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:25 PM   #18
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Well thanks for the suggestions and encouragement. I paid the local welding shop a visit and received great advice and recommendations for learning how to weld. I am signed up for a 60 hour class at an area vo-tech school that will cover oxy/acetylene, stick, tig, mig, and plasma cutting. So we will see if you can teach an old dog new tricks....

Bob
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Good for you! I want to second what DFlores said--you won't regret what you're doing. I took a night course in stick welding at a local vocational school a lot of years ago and bought myself a Lincoln welder. I did it for a specific job, but the skill and the equipment have paid for themselves many times over. When it comes to fixing stuff, it's amazing how many big problems become little problems when you know how to weld.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:36 PM   #19
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The only bad part about learning how to weld is how many new projects you find yourself tackling that you could never manage before....

Have fun!

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Old 01-22-2013, 11:09 PM   #20
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Welding is not my forte, but I do enjoy it.
I got a used Snap-On SL140 Mig/Tig, with the DC Tig setup, as well as a Auminum Mig Spool gun... It is doing good for me and is more capable than I am at present...


Spool Gun..



My learning process is ongoing...
Modded Battery tray making it deeper and wider for my 6V battery mod..

Here is what I had...


Doing the thicker stuff is easier...

Butt welding these 2 pieces of 18 gauge was good practice..
Tacked..


Seamed..



I could get 8 in there now(4x2)


My first attempt at DC TIG welding on a piece of exhast pipe with no filler rod..


I guess my point is practice and enjoying it is the key!
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:24 PM   #21
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I taught myself how to mig weld, but I did take a private lesson from an old school Navy welder. Amazing what watching a little Youtube can do. Good luck you can do it!!
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:20 PM   #22
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Well I thought I would give you an update of my welding progress. But first let me say that I really have a lot of respect for those can do this. So far I've had 2 classes. We are being taught stick welding first. The first class went fine...during the second class I got "flash burned"...ouch! I think part of the challenge is being able to see when using a fixed #10 shade. So after the last class I purchased a Lincoln auto darkening helmet...this should help. Right now I'm wondering if I'll ever weld up outriggers. But as they say...practice makes perfect. I'm back for more this week...

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Old 02-17-2013, 10:52 PM   #23
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Auto darkening lenses are nice - but there is still a small delay while the liquid-crystals or whatever magic they use activates. After a day of welding your eyes will have cumulatively seen a second or two of arc so chose a spot on the stick up a bit to focus on first as you strike the weld and work by feel & sound for the first second.. And an old leather jacket is great for keeping the sunburn and slag splatter scars down
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:15 PM   #24
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If you're doing a lot of welding starts/day, high speed auto darkening helmets are available which turn dark in 1/20000 second.

I've taught several people to weld (MIG mostly) and it is much easier for students with an autodarkening helmet.

FYI, this technology was originally developed for air force pilot's goggles so pilots would not be blinded by nuclear bomb detonations.

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:20 PM   #25
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If you haven't got your equipment yet, you may find that a small flux core wire welder will offer a similar welding experience to MIG. The advantage for the DIY'er is the elimination of the need for shielding gas. There are machines available that can perform both flux core and MIG.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:18 PM   #26
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Welding Class Update

Well thanks to all for their encouragement. I have had 5 welding classes so far and having a blast. We are still learning stick and should be starting MIG soon. I must admit after the first class I was beginning to wonder if I would ever pick it up. Still won't quit my day job. Hopefully I'll get to the point where I can put outriggers on and frame supports.

Bob Leopold
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:34 PM   #27
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Good Looking Beads

Bob,
You're looking sharp, looks like you are getting much closer to hanging outriggers. Once you get some mig work under your belt, you'll be ready to go, work on mastering penetration on thinner material without burning thru.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:26 AM   #28
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Looking good! Once you start MIG it will look a lot prettier. The way I was taught was to make dots, once they were consistent in size I put the dots side by side. When you use a MIG welder you will notice the wire leaves a small dot in the middle of the puddle dot. Once the dots you set side by side are consistent you overlap the dots overlapping at the small dot in the center of the puddle. And thats it stacks of dimes. You will notice that the MIG makes a certain sound when you have the right amount of weld. I learned to weld with my ears as well as my eyes.
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