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Welding - Where to start

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 79Guy, Oct 28, 2000.

  1. 79Guy

    79Guy 1/2 ton status

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    I'd love to be able to do some simple welding. Where is the best (easiest) place to start?

    '79 Guy
    1 Blazer - 7 Children
    http://79guy.coloradok5.com
     
  2. sosamantx

    sosamantx 1/2 ton status

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  3. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I started by begging my wife to buy me a MIG welder for christmas last year. I had never done any welding before (except some oxy/acet. stuff in high school) but I wanted to be able to fab some stuff cheaper than guys are charging to make. I talked to a few guys, got some tips, then set out and started practising. I taught myself to weld, picked up a small hand grinder, a bench grinder, some good quality drill bits, my neighbor brought home a small oxy/acetelene set one day and now we are fairly confident in fabbing almost anything. We built his rear bumper with a swing away tire carrier, I have modified mine with jerry can racks and a hilift carrier, and are going to start building some sway bar disconnects and shackle flips for both Blazers. Its not difficult, but it took a bit of time before I was confident enough in the strength of my welds to do anything that may take some weight. The MIG I bought is a cheap (500.00) unit that uses 115v household power, and I actually havent even been able to afford the shielding gas for it yet... the flux core although its not as pretty as shielded, seems to work not bad.
    Give it a try.

    Mike


    <font color=blue>Thumper
    85 Fullsize Jimmy
    [​IMG]
    <font color=red>Lets Go Wheelin! </font color=red>
     
  4. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    I did the same as Thumper, just taught myself one weekend(right after my frame broke in half at the steering box). I've just been using flux core as well, take your time and you can get some good results. Ibought some pieces of steel in varying thickness to practice with and once I thought my welds were looking good, I started on my truck.
     
  5. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I weld and fabricate for a living. I would recommend a short night course if one is available in your area. You don't need a ticket just something to get you started in the right direction.
    I would also get one of the home machines so you can practice at home. A good source for practice steel is any fab shop, they all have a scap bin and usually a case of beer will get you a fair bit of small steel pieces to play with at home. The small 115 Volt machines that use the single sheild flux-core wire are about the easiest to weld with. Get one that can be upgraded with a gas kit though so you can use micro-wire as well.
    Lots of people have taught themselves to weld, but I think a short night course might remove the frustration.

    Just my usual 2 cents

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  6. nyyef

    nyyef 1/2 ton status

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    i ordered that book "the welders handbook", spent one night going through it and the next putting it into practice. after two weekends of working on scrap metal, i made a workbench. turned out ok after some grinding. it comes down to old phrase...practice, practice, practice.

    Knife.
    knife.coloradok5.com
     
  7. K5XLR8R

    K5XLR8R 1/2 ton status

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    Im currently taking a class at the local Community College!
    Its fairly cheap and in two nights have begun Arc welding...this week we're going to gas. I caint wait! I'm planning on doing a brush guard for my Blazer and then possibly a rear tire rack w jerry can mounts!!..mannaged to catch myself on fire the 2nd night arc welding too...hehehe
     
  8. Butch

    Butch 1/2 ton status

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    Welding is a fairly simple process, but a couple things you should know about. If you get a 115v mig it is only rated to weld material up to 3/16in thick, so if you want to make a strong front or rear bumper out of 1/4" material you will not get the penetration needed to have full strength and you may break it loose when it slams on a rock. Also, there are different strengths of wire. They are rated by their tensile strength. There is 60 series and 70 series wire and you always want to use the 70 series on anything structural to the vehicle. Short of that get some scrap steel and go for it. Make sure whatever you weld is clean, with no paint, rust or grease present. When you do start your bead, look closely and you will see one small area that is especially bright. This is called the puddle and whatever you make that bright spot look like is what your weld will look like when you break off the flux. Good luck
     

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