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I need to learn how to weld

Timco Member Posts: 3,026
Both Lincoln & Miller have great welding basic instructions on their websites, but the bottom line is you need to get your hands on a welder ( I like gas-shield MIG) and some scrap steel and weld, weld, weld. Miller has a great newsletter with welding fourms and cool projects. I own a Millermatic 175 and it really welds smooth compared to 100 A smaller welders.

Just a guy running some pipes.


  • Big Will
    Big Will Member Posts: 394
    books on welding?

    I need to teach myself how to weld. Anybody know of any good books about welding?
  • Maine Doug_74
    Maine Doug_74 Member Posts: 27
    Notice how the

    ads corrospond to the subject. Miller info, forum info on welding, catalogs etc at the sides of the posting.

    Edit: well they did when I first went in. Hmmmm.
  • welding

    If you are trying to pipe weld definitly start with stick. Practice welding flat stock first then pipe. Any book can give you some valuabe info but practice is the most important. I havent welded in 2 years, if i tried to right now it would be a mess.
  • welding

    If you are trying to pipe weld definitly start with stick. Practice welding flat stock first then pipe. Any book can give you some valuabe info but practice is the most important. I havent welded in 2 years, if i tried to right now it would be a mess.
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083

    Theory is important, practice makes better..Know going in you are going to have quite a few "sticks",melted electrodes, and holes before it gets better. And, when you think you got it, along comes a different thickness/position/condition piece of metal that will make you adapt all over again :) MIG does make it a little easier..

    Ahh..the memories..some 32 years ago..13-14 yrs old. Donated 65 VW Bug. Took the body off. Cut 3 feet off the tunnel to make a "dune buggy". Partially succeeded in stick welding the rusty tunnel back together, the shift linkage, etc. Making a tripod to support the steering shaft was a real challenge. Well, it held for a while..I had my grandmothers 100 acres of woodlands to bomb around in it. One day, I hit (or should I say, jumped) over a hillcrest and the buggy broke in half at my welds :)

    My Dad was not happy when he got the utility bill that month.
  • Leo_12
    Leo_12 Member Posts: 17
    If I welded today

    If I were to weld today it would look like a wad of boggers. In the 70's I took a three month full time course. It mainly consisted of burning rod, more rod, then more rod all flat. Then went vertical, then overhead. Burn, burn, burn. Very boring and very repetitious. But we got pretty good. The teacher said if you could do that a wire welder was a piece of cake. He would cut our welds on a power hack saw after it got to a certain thickness. We touched on gas welding, had to hold a hydrostatic test to a certain limit. Then some brazing. It has been so long I wouldn't try today. How much you practice depends on how much you want to do. Guys who are certified have years and years of experience.

  • Rich Kontny_3
    Rich Kontny_3 Member Posts: 562

    Here in Wisconsin they have welding classes at almost all the vocational or tech colleges. Since these schools are taxpayer supported adults have access to these evening classes.

    Many public schools also have adult education classes and offer welding. Check in to this as it is usually offered after work hours and very reasonable.

    Self taught welding is ok but it sure helps to have an experienced welder teach you the basics and then be there when your ready to move up to more difficult welds and techniques.Also why buy the equipment until you know if you want to really do this?

    Good luck! Welding is something good to know even if you do not want to do it for a living.

  • Big Will
    Big Will Member Posts: 394
    Practice is an option

    I guess this differs from repairs and new installs. I don't like to practice on my customers so I start with a book if I don't know someone that knows the task. I have a Lincoln 125 wire feed and worked with that for about four hours the other day. You could tell were I started the day and were I finished. I have a job starting next week that needs pipe welding. The welder came by Friday to check out the job and I looked at the stuff he had built for his truck. No grinder marks and way smother than the best thing I have ever done even after grinding. Kinda makes me jealous. I need to find a stronger stick welder.
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    a good

    weld is a beautiful thing to look at. I still stop and admire a nice TIG fillet (non-robotic) or MIG work.

    I was lucky that in high school we had a killer metal shop with a great teacher that let me do any project worth doing. We also had a forge and sand molds. I had yet to learn about alloys as I cast some motorcycle brake levers out of aluminum ingots ;)

    You will get to know your penetration by the color on the backside of the weld. It's not the build up that counts, it's the penetration. Ooh, that sounds dirty!

  • Joe Billow_6
    Joe Billow_6 Member Posts: 69

    Get a DC welder with 3/32 7018 rod, DC is easier to learn on and you can see your mistakes better. Practice pushing the rod tip/ puddle with a slight weave. From there you can try making root passes on your pipe but make sure that the the root pass is the same height all the way. This will make the cover pass look perfect with no under cut. When welding with your wire feed the weld should look like a pushed over stack of dimes. I actually like wire or tig better because of the looks of the welds. Welding is harder than people might think and a good weld takes practice.
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,045
    There was a time

    I could make about any welding test anywhere. Those days are long gone. I love tig but having been away from it for many years, my hand eye co-ordination is just not there and I am just not going to invest the time to try to get it back. As well, the eyes...Anyway, I'm selling my Miller Synchrowave 180 (Stick/tig)and going to get a good Mig machine.

    Teaching yourself to weld is an ambitious project. Time, practice and material are necessary. As noted the Miller/Lincoln sites are excellent resources, but I think you will be ahead in both tme and quality if you go to the local voc tech and invest a semesters worth of instruction in conjunction with those aids. Rod angle, travel speed, penetration, tie-ins, whats good and why. It's all about confidence, eh?

    Get the best machine you can afford. I also have a Miller 135, 110V mig that is a dandy little machine. Only 10% duty cycle, but for auto body and brackets, etc around the house it is great, and portable. 10% duty cycle means that for every hour I can burn wire for 6 min. Yes that is low, but you are not doing production welding with this type machine. Most of yur time is set-up and positionoing anyway so a high duty cycle is frequently not necessary. Get a good auto-dimming helmet. Take care of your eyes. Work in a clean area. You will be surprised where those sparks can get. The reason welders wear those funny caps is to prevent sparks from dropping into your ear. Well, and to be cool of course!

    I worked a lot of power houses, refineries and pipelines. I was a good welder, but man, I saw so many better than I was. I'll never forget a kid from Oklahoma laced a P5 horizontal cover pass on a 24" main steam riser that was at shoulder level as you passed. It..was...perfect! Not many times you can say that about something.
  • rich pickering
    rich pickering Member Posts: 277

    I'm going to be the voice of gloom here. (LOL)
    Why? Welding is a seperate trade that requires time to learn and money to get set up. If you want to learn to for your own use, go for it, but for work, it's not really cost effective.

    We just dropped the welding component from the plumbing curriculum. Some wanted it left, "we weld brackets all the time". And if that bracket breaks, and the lawyers find out that a non ticketed person made it.......

    To me, the liability just ain't woth it.

    Besides, a great weld is a thing of beauty.
This discussion has been closed.