Ask your WELDING questions here.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by KTM640Dakar, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,887
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    <BR>
    Telephone tech support and advice seems to be universally thorough from Red or Blue. And that is true regardless where you buy the product.

    Many dealers have Ebay stores too. One that I remember is Indiana Oxygen http://stores.ebay.com/Welding-Supplies-from-IOC I know people that saved good money on TIG MIG and Plasma Cutters from them.

    The part numbers and wiring diagrams for even decades old machines are usually online too and are download-able.

    - Jim<BR><BR>
  2. RonS

    RonS Out there...

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    22,643
    Location:
    Dancing with roads
    +1. I don't have a welder and if I did I'm sure wouldn't be able to weld my way out of a paper bag. Still, I'd like to learn at some point and this thread is very interesting. Thanks for taking the time.
  3. Dano 407

    Dano 407 One Man Wolfpack

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,455
    Location:
    The orange groves, CA
    A welding question not brought up yet:

    If I have taught high school welding for 18 years, when should I retire and ride to each of the lower 48 states without seeing home?

    My state teachers retirement says that I am half way. You?:evil

    (By the way, bliss can be attained with a student and a red MIG machine at 22v and 250ipm on a project he has $10,000 into. You get a kid 10k in debt and he doesnt miss much school........)

    And can you help my kids get more than a regional gold in the JFL Foundation Awards program? The guy in Burley ID. is really nice, but I'd like to hand him his rear end on a plate of mild steel.:wink:



    Thanks,


    D
  4. Dano 407

    Dano 407 One Man Wolfpack

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,455
    Location:
    The orange groves, CA
    Big box stores impress me with thier prices on charcoal and paper towels. Tech questions should be handled by qualified people. Hell, those people cant tell me where the bathroom is.

    Any good local welding supply shop (I use two good ones; Cal Weld and Fresno Oxygen/Barnes Welding Supply) should be able to help you. Stay away from the orange apron crowd when making capital purchases. Seriously.

    The same goes for anything technical and/or expensive; or life threatening. Ever have a hitch snap off a trailer?
    OK, you get the point, buy discount fertilizer at the Home Despot, and buy a red machine at a welding shop who will be able to sell you replacement contact tips and difusers without looking up their part numbers via a downed internet connection.
    The welding guys dont carry shovels; and the orange apron crowd dont carry gas cylinders, and Mc Donalds doesnt sell taco sauce. See the logic??????

    D
  5. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,887
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    <BR>
    Sure, don't ask the guy at Home Depot welding tech questions. What, you think people are that crazy? :D

    But the Miller machines there, and from online sellers, are absolutely standard Miller fare. Replacement parts are just as well known to the brand-specific weld supply store.

    Same is true for online sellers of Lincoln, Hobart, etc. And Harbor Freight sells Hobart welders and plasma cutters.

    If you know what you want, and save $250 on it say, and get replacement or repair parts locally, seems like an ok deal to me.

    - Jim<BR><BR>
  6. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,482
    Location:
    Swellvue, WA
    A friend of mine was cleaning out his garage and it looks like I've inherited his small MIG welder (A "Multi-Mig 90090" - I have no idea how old it is). So I thought I'd give this welding thing a try. Looked at the local community college and there appears to be a two-evening MIG course not too far away (Discover U in Seattle) so maybe I'll sign up.

    My friend included his welding helmet, but strongly recommended I invest in one of the auto-darkening models. Any recommendations in this area for something that isn't too expensive, but is also safe for the eyes?
    - Mark
  7. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,887
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    <BR>
    Cool, you'll have great fun.

    Aww heck Mark, I think you're gonna need one of the $300 models with the optional 'sparkles'. The $50 Harbor Freight auto-dark will leave you blind :D

    - Jim<BR><BR>
  8. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,482
    Location:
    Swellvue, WA
    I looked on a few of the welding forums and found that this question is essentially the welding equivalent of of an "oil thread", particuarly the range of opinions on the HF auto-darkening model.

    - Mark
  9. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,887
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    <BR>
    Heh heh. VERY true.

    The auto-dark isn't as much of a convenience with MIG because the torch and wire are right where you want them before you flip the helmet down and pull the trigger.

    An automatic lens is a lot more useful when trying to start a stick electrode. At least for a novice end-user like me :D

    A first timer gotcha that's relevant to any type lens. Any light behind your head will reflect off the back surface of the glass like what happens to a computer monitor facing a window.

    And a gotcha for for LCD automatics . . . The LCD lens has multiple layers of glass and plastic. There is internal reflection between layers, and refraction within the layers. This creates a 'ghost image' visible from the subjective surface. It take a little practice to train your eye to select the 'real' image.

    - Jim<BR><BR>
  10. Gasket

    Gasket Wandering Samurai

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    201
    Location:
    Port Orchard, WA
    I don't want to slog through all of the comments so please to answer me one question. Do I want a MIG or a TIG welder? I am building a new garage next to the house in order to have room to work on my bikes and do a bit of restoration. I am one of those who is a bit confused as to the difference in welders. I want to have one to work my bike projects so if I can have one, what should it be....
  11. KTM640Dakar

    KTM640Dakar Motorsick

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,134
    Location:
    Oxbow Lake
    Hi Gasket,

    A MIG welder (Metal Inert Gas), is a welding process which uses a metal wire (on a spool) that is fed through a welding gun and cable and delivered to the arc at a constant rate. This electrified wire is considered the electrode. Unlike stick welding where you only have a 14 inch long electrode that melts after making a 4 to 5 inch long weld. A MIG weld can go longer since you can have a longer electrode that is in the form of a spool of wire. In both MIG and stick welding the electrode is used as the metal filler.

    In TIG welding (Tungsten Inert Gas), the electrode is a sharpened piece of Tungsten that does not melt away or become part of the weld. The Tungsten electrode is a 6 inch long heat resistant material that carries the electricity and is used as a heat source. Your metal filler is usually in the form of a rod or stick of metal that you add seperately to the molten metal that melts under the Tungsten electrode or arc.

    MIG welding is easier to learn, TIG welding requires more skill.

    MIG welding requires you to change your filler wire in order to weld different metals. TIG welding can weld all metals (with a few adjustments to the machine and changing filler rods).

    TIG welding equipment is usually more expensive than MIG welders.
    TIG welders are more flexible when changing over from welding steel to aluminum.
    A TIG welder will also stick weld.

    If you only had one machine and are going to weld many types of metals and have time to learn to proper techinque then buy a TIG welder.

    If you only plan to weld steel and want to use an easier process then buy a MIG welder.

    Both will require you to buy a bottle of shielding gas.

    If you want to avoid buying a bottle of gas then stick welding or use a gasless MIG wire (also called a Flux Cored wire or Innershield wire.)

    FCAW is Flux Cored Arc Welding and is a variation of MIG welding. It uses the same MIG welding machine but the wire is hollow and contains flux in its core. Think of flux cored welding wire as stick electrode with the flux on the inside instead of the outside. It has the benefits of MIG without the shielding gas. The downside is the resulting weld will look like a stick weld instead of the better looking appearence of a MIG weld. Also you have to chip the slag off of your weld (like a stick weld) which you don't have to do with a MIG weld that uses shielding gas.
  12. KLboxeR

    KLboxeR Back in the game again

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,651
    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    Fantastic rundown of the different processes :clap
  13. KLboxeR

    KLboxeR Back in the game again

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,651
    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    I don't want to spam or hijack this thread, but I'm probably going to sell my high-end Jackson auto darkening welding helmet. There seem to be many new weldors involved in this thread so I figure this would be a good chance to pass along a great, lightly used, helmet to a fellow ADVrider at a terrific price. Nothing wrong with the helmet, I just have another that I like alot better. PM me if interested in details.

    Mod: If this should go in FM, please delete or let me know.
  14. Ducky 149

    Ducky 149 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    356
    Location:
    Roswell Jawja
    It appears that our welding guru (KTM...) is affiliated with team red. I was looking on Fleabay for a little garage mig welder so I dont have to take all my stuff into work to get welded. I found that Lincoln, Miller,and Hobart are the big players in this field. What are the Pros and Cons of the different brands? I am trying to compare apples to apples etc. Looking in the 135 amp area. Some thing I can learn to weld better on and not out grow in the future. I would like to stick to something that will run on 110V.
    Thanks in advance for all the replies. Scott.
  15. KLboxeR

    KLboxeR Back in the game again

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,651
    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    I've got a little Miller 135 that is a terrific machine. It gets thrown in the truck all the time to go out and do field repairs and consequently gets beat up alot. Still runs great after 4 years. I think it's the 140 now and they've added some features. Whatever you get, make sure it will run inert gas. Much better welds than the flux core only machines.

    I doubt you'll find a stick machine in 110, but you can get a good tombstone (named because they are shaped like a tombstone) welder pretty cheap in 220. Just hook it up to the dryer or stove outlet with an extension cord. Make sure you don't exceed the amperage of the breaker or wire in the circuit, though.

    Chris
  16. bmwblake

    bmwblake upside down parker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,274
    Location:
    nashville, tn

    i ended up buying a millermatic 140 with autoset.
    both the local welding shops have more miller stuff, and several local guys that do it for a living said to go blue.
    it's a 110 machine and so far has worked well in the little bit of time that i've used it.

    btw, sheet metal is way harder than heavier stuff. :1drink
  17. Dano 407

    Dano 407 One Man Wolfpack

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,455
    Location:
    The orange groves, CA
    Opinion: Red.

    Run gas on it (and shut the bottle off at the end of the session!) and experiment with wire size .025 or .030 depending on what you are playing with.

    Nothing at all against the other brands. I have 4 blue machines and 17 red ones. The blue ones are fine, as I am sure the Hobarts are, but I like Red.

    D
  18. KTM640Dakar

    KTM640Dakar Motorsick

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,134
    Location:
    Oxbow Lake
    Gosh Ducky you know I'm going to recommend the 110V Lincoln Power MIG 140 as a new machine or an SP135T or SP135Plus from E-Bay. The key to sucess with the 110V machines is there low end. Being able to weld thin metal is why those machines are popular. Look for the quality and warranty that each manufacturer offers. Lincoln Electric has a three year warranty standard and you can extend that out to five years if you want for a small fee.
  19. nfranco

    nfranco over macho grande?

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    795
    Location:
    la ca
    So I'm having my scotts damper tower welded on tommorrow and I just want to make sure I've got this right. I removed all the paint around the area to be welded, removed the tank and drained the carb and removed the battery. There is oil in the frame (KTM 640 Adventure) but the welding shop said it's not a problem.Anything else I've forgotten?
    Thanks all. Nick
  20. boyscout

    boyscout sittin' down

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Oddometer:
    1,324
    Location:
    Cascadia
    Apologies if this is somewhere else in this thread as I haven't read the whole thing. There's a metal scrap yard in town that specializes in copper, stainless steel and aluminum. I was going to go down and pick up some aluminum to practice welding with. I know some aluminum alloys are weldable and some are not.

    How can I tell whether a piece of aluminum scrap is weldable or not?