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Welding questions

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by hammermachine, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. hammermachine

    hammermachine 1/2 ton status

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    For somebody who has never, never used a welder before is there a model of type that would be best. I'm planning some sheet metal work on my K5 this summer and I thought I would ask the experts.
     
  2. nad

    nad 1/2 ton status

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    I hear that self-feed wire welders are the best for beginners. I just bought a hardly used small Craftsman wire feed MIG welder to learn with. I have never actually welded, but I have friends that are very experienced with it and they are going to teach me. I'm planning on using it for the same thing you are, small sheet metal work on my Jimmy, and maybe if I get good, some heavy duty bumpers or something.
     
  3. Drey

    Drey 3/4 ton status

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    Id say MIG(wire) welders are the easiest if your only going to do light sheetmetal work you could get away with a small 110. Thats what I used when I did the body work on my truck.
     
  4. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    That's funny, I was just thinking about asking the same question. I'd heard MIG was easiest to learn, but I've also heard it's harder to master, and you'd be a better welder in the future to start out with something else. Any truth to that?
     
  5. Drey

    Drey 3/4 ton status

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    Yeah prolly better in the long run to start with stick arc welding. Thats what I started on before Mig
     
  6. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    you guys are focusing on what is easiest to learn and turn you into a great welder, hes asking what is good for sheetmetal... stick welder is no good for that. a tig could be good, but thats hard to learn and much harder to master.

    Lincoln SP-135 is my vote. Handy little welder, that is great for sheetmetal. Lincoln just came out with the Power Mig 140, which looks like it is intended to replace the SP-135, but haven't even seen one yet.

    Mig is definetally the way to go with sheetmetal and no experience. Its the easiest to learn, and yes takes practice to master, but its a good skill to have.
     
  7. hammermachine

    hammermachine 1/2 ton status

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    Thank you all, your points of view have been helpful. I was orginally going to replace the rotted floor panels and replace them using panel adhesive. But I'm going to explore the welding option, the adhesives seem alittle weak to me. I know some people swear by them, I just don't know.



    Smooth-On Epoxies

    [​IMG]
    Smooth-On "Military Grade" Epoxy Adhesives

    Smooth-on has been manufacturing adhesives since 1895. They continue to be the choice of all branches of the U.S. Military, every major airline and auto manufacturer in the world, and many other major industrial manufacturing and repair operations. Our most popular are:

    Metalset A4 is a powerful epoxy adhesive that has become the standard for all branches of the U.S. Military as well as with every major airline and auto manufacturer in the world. It has been used for diverse purposes from repairing bullet holes in helicopters on the battlefields of Viet Nam to patching leaks in car gas tanks. A4 is used for hundreds of industrial bonding applications and offers excellent adhesion to porous and non-porous surfaces. It can be applied to vertical surfaces without sagging and cures overnight with negligible shrinkage. Once cured, A4 offers good machining qualities (sanding, drilling, tapping) and resists alkalies, dilute acids and solvents. Applications include stopping leaks in pipes, valves and tanks and repairing other metal surfaces. A4 can bond dissimilar surfaces, anchor bolts in wood and concrete, and be used as a filler to repair joints and dents.

    Metalset A4 Applications
    Make jigs and fixtures.
    Stop leaks in pipes, tanks, fittings and valves.
    Aerodynamic smoothing compound.
    Alter or repair foundry patterns.
    Repair flaws in metal castings.
    Repair corroded hull and deck areas.
    Set abrasion-resistant tile in conveyors and pulverizing equipment.
    Fillet sheet metal joints, fill dents and cover countersunk rivet holes.
    Use as an auto or truck body solder.
    Anchor bolts in wood, concrete or plaster.
    Use as shim material between uneven surfaces.
     
  8. GruntHunter

    GruntHunter 1/2 ton status

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    Well, this all is real interesting because I've wanted to learn how to weld also. My application isn't body work though. I'm more interested in light work like building or repairing metal hunting stands made out of EMT Elec conduit. From some of the homemade ones I've seen it appears blowing holes through the conduit is a real problem. Will the MIG be that easy to 'master' ?
     
  9. After Ours

    After Ours 1/2 ton status

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    The hardest part about Mig welding is learning the machine. Once you learn the settings, the rest is just practice. I suggest you (hammermachine) buy a small mig, grab some scrap metal and play around with it. All the machines are a little different, just learn yours and you should be metal melting in no time.
     
  10. SCOOBYDANNN

    SCOOBYDANNN 1/2 ton status

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    the mig is the easiest to learn--hardest part is learning the machine.

    with that said; get the bigest machine you can afford-trust me, it makes a difference. If all you can afford is the 135 (which is the smallest I recommend) then get it you wont be dissapointed. But if you can spend a couple more dollars (ie. a couple hundred more) get a 175 or even a 210. It makes working on thicker metals much easier. my 175 melts sheetmetal real nice abd then I turn it up to do 1/4.
     
  11. runamok151

    runamok151 1 ton status Premium Member

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    x2. i picked up a lincoln 135 last year in preparation to start doing body work on my k5. i just took a welding class last fall at my local vocational h.s., 1 night a week for 12 weeks. was well worth it if you have the time and at $360 (all materials included) i didn't think it was too expensive. i got to try stick, mig, tig and gas welding. im not an expert by any means, but i feel pretty confident that i can start some projects around the house and on the truck.

    i took my lincoln to class so the teacher could check it out (he was interested in getting a small one to use around the school) and help me set it up. i used it for 4 hours that night and was very happy w/ the results. it welded 1/4" and 1/8" steel very well. i played around with all the settings to see what happens w/ different thicknesses and materials. here's a pic of 1/4" plate i welded that night.
    [​IMG]

    i have since welded up a cart for the welder out of 1" square tube and removable fenders for my trailer . and i've finally started getting the floor pan ready to go in the truck. i like the fact that it is a lower power welder, i think there will be less chance of burning through the sheet metal. i think it will handle the thicker material im planning on making bumpers and slider out of.

    everyone will tell you welding is easy, and they're right. it just takes practice. buy some scrap and start welding. show your results to an experienced welder and get their feedback. they can tell you if your too hot or feeding too fast or slow. once you know what to look for it's not hard.
     
  12. noahrob

    noahrob 1/2 ton status Author

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    If you only have 110, I would recomed the SP 135. I have one and use it all the time on the truck, in fact that is what is holding my truck together, i.e fenders on the truck. With that said, I also have bigger welders for structural type stuff. If you have 220, check out the 175, it can still go small and do sheet metal, but also some thicker gauge stuff. The 110 cannot generate the heat needed to penetrate thicker stuff.
     
  13. hammermachine

    hammermachine 1/2 ton status

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    Welders


    Thanks for the advice, I can buy a Firepower Mig welder from work at a decent price, so I'm probaly going to do that. I had already bought a arc welder from pep boys, but based on the feedback here I'm going to retrun that one in favor of the Mig. Thanks again.
     
  14. GruntHunter

    GruntHunter 1/2 ton status

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  15. hammermachine

    hammermachine 1/2 ton status

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    Mig welder

    Based on the advice I've recieved here and elsewhere, I bought a mig from work and finally got a chance to use it this weekend. I'm not sure about the results I got,but it was pretty cool to use, and simple to set up. I think I need alot more practice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2007
  16. hammermachine

    hammermachine 1/2 ton status

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    Yesterday's practice

    I practiced more after work yesterday. It seemed to have gone better, but for some reason I had more trouble welding sheet metal than heavier steel. I tried lower and higher voltage. Everything ended up welded but it sure ain't pretty. The other question is how do you weld patches into your truck bed without; 1) Electrocuting yourself? 2) burning down your truck?
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2007
  17. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    keep in mind that a pretty weld isent always a strong weld

    i am no expert( i rely on Rene for all my tough questions, he is wicked smart about welding) but it looks to me like you are using solid core(gasless) and the wire might be a little thick for the sheetmetal(.028, or ,.030)
    adding gas, and a smaller wire will help a lot.
     
  18. MTChevy

    MTChevy 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    also make sure anything you weld is as clean as possible... hit it with the wire wheel. Results will be a lot better.
     
  19. After Ours

    After Ours 1/2 ton status

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    You will get the hang of it. If the wire seems to push the gun back and away from the metal your wire speed may be to high. If the wire seems to burn up before it reches the metal then the wire speed is to low. Wire speed can effect the amount of heat applied. Just keep at it and don't be skerred to screw with the dials.
    Don't weld in a puddle of water, and keep a fire ext. within reach.
     
  20. hammermachine

    hammermachine 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks.



    Thanks for the advice, total novice here! Electrical sh*t makes me nervous.
     

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