Skills required to do mods, builds, and other wild stuff

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by VargasD, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

    Sep 22, 2012
    SE Michigan
    +1. Having the all the toys is nice, but you have to know how to use them too. You can go a long way with a drill press, grinder, vice, and MIG, and you can get all that for less than one nice TIG and definitely less than a good lathe or mill.

    Buying used tools is a good idea, too. My bench vise and drill press were both used and cost $100 for the both of them. A lot of the older tools are higher quality than most of what you can buy new anyway.
  2. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

    Aug 5, 2007
    Oakland, CA
  3. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Aug 12, 2005
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    I've watched a ton of videos too.

    Keith fenner and tubalcain are two guys I've learned a bunch from on youtube
  4. hmmwv15

    hmmwv15 young grasshopper

    Jan 25, 2011
    north-ish Georgia
    I took an intro to welding course as an elective at a local tech school. I loved that class more than what I was actually going for. So much that if I were to go back for anything, it would probably be more welding. I had been around welding and backyard fabrication, but had never picked up a welder until I took that class. It got my feet wet into stick, mig, and tig welding. I really want to get into tig but I have no machine to use.

    Best bang for the buck for a good mig welder would probably be the Hobart handler 140. $500 plus tax and you are set up with flux core wire, ready to weld out of the box, no gas necessary. It comes with a 1/2 spool of flux core to get you started, as well as everything you need to run regular wire and gas. If you decide you want to get more into welding all you have to do is buy a small tank of gas to go along with it. Should you decide it isn't your thing, I'll bet it would be very easy to sell a lightly used Hobart than it would a lightly used Chicago electric jobber from harbor freight. If you can swing it, a millermatic 140 is a tad nicer because the voltage is more adjustable. The hobart 140 only has four voltage settings, and sometimes you need in between them but you can still fudge it with technique and wire speed settings.

    Personally I wouldn't go to trade school for auto/motorcycle mechanics. Easy for me to say having already gone. Still though, I can't speak for every course or every school, but my instructor was horrible and it seemed as though the curriculum revolved more around "put a box in it" which means "install a new part" rather than actually diagnosing what is wrong. Not to say I didn't learn anything, but it just wasn't worth it for me. May be different for you I don't know.

    All I have is my hobart 140, cheap dremel, drill and assorted bits, a 3" bench vice, a hacksaw with a worn out blade, and a cheap 4.5" angle grinder from harbor freight with various wheels. Vice grips come in handy too. I'm definitely not a pro, but it's amazing how much you can do with a small amount of power tools and a little bit of creativity.

    I'm drooling over a tig welder, tube bender, lathe, and band saw. SOMEDAY!!

    Oh, and material! You start welding and you'll be looking in ditches for metal scrap you can make some use out of!

    x2 on reading everyone elses builds, eats up a ton of my free time. It's a love/hate thing. :D
  5. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

    Oct 26, 2004
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    hobart 140 is a good little machine. the wire feed speed also fine tunes the voltage to get you what you want. trouble is, you may get it faster than you like but if you are ready to move faster or slower to compensate it works pretty good. get an auto darkening hood

    yard sale a few 4" grinders... I have 3. I set one up with a cut off wheel, one with a wire wheel, and one as a grinder