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Old 03-07-2013, 09:31 PM   #29
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Oxy/Acetylene?

Well here is another update from "Welding School". We have now moved from stick to oxy/fuel welding and cutting. Boy were the sparks flying when we fired up the oxy/fuel cutting torch. I would be afraid to get that anywhere near my frame...I'd probably cut through it and destroy my Airstream. Is oxy/fuel even considered an alternative to the welding we do on our Airstreams? One thing nice is that it is portable using the smaller tanks. Does anyone use this to weld on their outriggers? MIG is coming up soon.

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Old 03-07-2013, 09:56 PM   #30
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I did some gas welding many many years ago... it has its place, but you are on the cusp of moving into the new era!
Keep the updates coming!
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:47 PM   #31
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Well here is another update from "Welding School". We have now moved from stick to oxy/fuel welding and cutting. Boy were the sparks flying when we fired up the oxy/fuel cutting torch. I would be afraid to get that anywhere near my frame...I'd probably cut through it and destroy my Airstream. Is oxy/fuel even considered an alternative to the welding we do on our Airstreams? One thing nice is that it is portable using the smaller tanks. Does anyone use this to weld on their outriggers? MIG is coming up soon.
Cxy-fuel welding is becoming rare, since it's relatively slow and the price of TIG machines has dropped for welding Al or stainless. Speed is important, both because of $$ and because the longer the joint stays hot the more heat goes into the part, and the bigger the heat affected zone.

Oxy-fuel gets used a lot for silver and bronze brazing.

I would not attempt to weld outriggers with oxy-fuel if I had a MIG or stick (w/ thin electrodes!) handy.

With practice and a proper set of electrodes, a stick welder is a fine and inexpensive ($100 used) choice for welding any thing steel on the Airstream. A MIG is easier.

- Bart
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:43 AM   #32
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Bart since all of this to me is new...each welding process seems more interesting. The good thing with this class is that we get to learn/try the most common types of welding. I was also thinking that oxy-fuel would generate a lot of heat to the outriggers-frame-subfloor (which would not be good). I'd hate to start welding outriggers and burn down my Airstream. Am looking forward to MIG. Are there any portable MIG units that will run off of either the Honda/Yamaha 2000 generators?

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Old 03-09-2013, 02:31 AM   #33
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I am a 'gorilla welder'... uuuuuuggggglllleeeee, but strong...
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:49 PM   #34
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If you are a gorilla welder this must be your welding helmet....


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Old 03-09-2013, 08:40 PM   #35
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Portable? Maybe, but heavy.

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... Are there any portable MIG units that will run off of either the Honda/Yamaha 2000 generators?

Bob
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There are, but any reasonably powerful MIG welder is probably going to run on 220. I run one on a Yamaha 6600, which has a 220 outlet ... but getting that big genset in and out of my truck is a major league pain!

By the way, while you are learning, be sure to get some experience with a plasma cutter. Since I got one, I hardly ever use my oxy-acetylene torch (and not even my bandsaw/hacksaw) to cut steel, and it also will cut anything conductive, such as aluminum, copper, etc. They excel at cutting curves. It may be the best thing since razor blades.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:06 PM   #36
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If you are a gorilla welder this must be your welding helmet....
Where did you find that. It's my self portrait!
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:47 AM   #37
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Well we are a little over half way through the welding class and finally getting into MIG welding. After a lecture last night we got on the Lincoln MIG machines and got our feet wet. After more than a month on stick and oxy/ace we are moving on. I'm really glad I signed up for this class. Like the other welding methods, MIG requires patience and practice but it sure is fun. We even used a machine set up for welding aluminum. I'm not sure I can think of any application (aluminum welding) for our Airstreams even though they are mostly aluminum. I can see how MIG would be easy to use when welding outriggers back on the frame. Will keep you posted on the progress...

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Old 03-29-2013, 07:30 AM   #38
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Well we are a little over half way through the welding class and finally getting into MIG welding. After a lecture last night we got on the Lincoln MIG machines and got our feet wet. After more than a month on stick and oxy/ace we are moving on. I'm really glad I signed up for this class. Like the other welding methods, MIG requires patience and practice but it sure is fun. We even used a machine set up for welding aluminum. I'm not sure I can think of any application (aluminum welding) for our Airstreams even though they are mostly aluminum. I can see how MIG would be easy to use when welding outriggers back on the frame. Will keep you posted on the progress...

Bob
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Learned stick, oxyacetylene then aluminum to build all sorts if things. Lets see, how about light things like things to replace wood blocks, steel legs on tables, stabilizers, step supports, new steps, brackets for carrying your specific items...

These items need not be, but might be bolted or riveted to the structure of TT, MHo, TV, etc...

Welding to the Vehicle structure is generally not the best option because of many factors. This is the main reason folks shy away from this skill.

There is a saying back home, "Don't tell my mother I (am a welder/work in oilfield), she thinks I play a piano in a cathouse!"
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:08 AM   #39
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Bob,
Forty years ago, I worked as a diesel truck mechanic. During that time I learned to braise and cut with Ox/Acetylene and Do a little stick welding. I was never very good at the stick welding, but I got by.

I live in Wichita, KS and I've investigated the Vo-Tech offerings here and they are sparse regarding learning the basics of welding. Basic welding used to be available here, but now it seems that all of the welding courses are geared toward becoming certified to a very high level. That's probably because Wichita has a lot of aviation industry and in order to get a really good paying job as a welder, you have to be very skilled and these courses are expensive.

Anyway, I decided to buy a Miller welder and I've been watching videos on Welding Tips and Tricks - TIG, MIG, Stick and a pantload of other info and practicing my MIG welding skills on some small projects and practice pieces. In time, I plan to do the same with stick as my welder is a multi-process unit that is primarily a MIG machine but can also do stick and some TIG (DC only an optional TIG torch kit and regulator). I can highly recommend the welding tips and tricks videos.

Steve
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:09 AM   #40
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... I'm not sure I can think of any application (aluminum welding) for our Airstreams even though they are mostly aluminum....
Bob - check out the window and door frames. On my '73 the original weld on the rear window frame was cracked. I repaired this weld as well as filled/relocated the two bolt holes on the door threshold.

I have a Hobart 210MVP that I picked up a Tractor Supply. Having a welder is like having a pick-up truck, suddenly all your friends have things that need welded. This at least helps to keep the refrigerator in the shop stocked.

dennis
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:52 AM   #41
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I weld, braze and solder. I have an old Lincoln stick welder, medium sized Miller MIG and access to a high end TIG at work. I AM NOT a welder, but can get two pieces of metal stuck together so they don't come apart. If I have something critical to be welded I pay one of my guys at work to do it for me, cheaper and faster that way.

Definitely a skill well worth having in this day and age.

Aaron
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:16 AM   #42
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I started TIG welding back in the mid 60's. I can also stick weld, solder, Braise and MIG.. I have a small set of oxy/acetylene tanks now and a small MIG welder. I have access to a TIG welder where I used to work. Retired now and have plenty of time to make things. Getting harder and harder to see though.
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