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Can I get a critique on my welding, please?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by evintho, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,172


    I'm in the process of making my frame. I think the penetration is good but the bead ain't near as pretty as some of the ones I've seen here. Took a welding class last year but it was just O/A and stick. MIG wasn't offered until next semester. Therefore, I'm self-taught. I'm welding .120 wall, some 3/16" and a bit of 1/4". Hobart Ironman 210 w/.035 wire and a 75/25 mix. I'm not too concerned about the plug welds, just the bead. Am I too fast, too slow, too hot, not hot enough? I'm adjusting the settings based on the decal inside the cover. Any comments or tips are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!


  2. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,669


    looks fine to me. did you have a "v" groove? looks just fine, now smooth them out!
  3. dave lewis
    Joined: Dec 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,345

    dave lewis

    EV..I'm with matt..
    Looks great !
    plenty of heat (most mig newbies weld WAY too cold )
    If you don't burn thru every once in awhile you are welding too cold.
    Keep watching for the "ring" (blue heat line)...Adjust heat for different thickness.
    Looks like you got it just about perfect !
  4. go-twichy
    Joined: Jul 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,652


    looks better than mine sometimes! i think you could hit bumps at speed.
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  5. Hellbentrodder
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 124

    from Cotati

    Looks decent to me. Only critique I would give is you always want to weld into your weld. Meaning you should have ran the bottom bead first and then the top one.
  6. mitchsfab
    Joined: May 20, 2010
    Posts: 99


    It looks good on the heat and penitration. The chart on the machine is just for reference. Kind of a rule of thumb is it should sound like bacon frying smoothly in a pan, not too poppy nice and smooth. Practice more on some scrap to achieve the bead that you are looking for. Welding is practice practice practice.
    Have fun
  7. dubcee
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 486


    You dont have to be a good welder, just a good grinder! That looks good to me! pretty it up with a 4 inch and a flapper, it will look like day one, Hell I think you got it!
  8. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,172


    Whew! Nothing but positive comments! I wasn't looking to boost my ego, just trying to make sure I was joining 2 pieces of metal properly. This is, after all, frame and suspension components. Just wanna keep me and my family safe, not to mention the rest of the driving public! Thanks everyone for your input!
  9. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,669


    its when they look like this mess, that i cut off a 50 chevy today, then you should worry..thank god this welder didnt work on the chassis...

    Attached Files:

  10. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,807


    that looks like some Ray Charles welding!!!!:confused:
  11. No worries, Stevie Wonder taught him.:D

    Seriously though:

    It looks like your settings are in the right neighborhood. Now you just have to master the manipulation. The biggest problem I can see with that weld is your consistency. Looks to me like you weren't comfortable, and you were swaying all over the place. Best tip I can offer at this point is GET COMFORTABLE before you ever bother striking an arc. Plan your weld out. Make a few dry runs with the welder off. Find a way to get comfortable so that your bodies range of motion isn't going to make you uncomfortable mid-weld. There's nothing worse than getting part way through a weld, and realizing that you're fighting against your own body. Brace yourself against something. There is nothing in the rules that says you can't set something up to make yourself comfortable. Find a place to rest your arms, and leave as little weight hanging from your arms as possible, if that's what it takes. I've built fixturing on many occasions just to get my arms comfortable before making a weld. After awhile you'll find natural ways to brace your body to get comfortable, then you can relax, and let your range of motion and eyeballs do the work. It all just becomes part of the process.

    Anyways, you're on your way.
  12. DAVEO!
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 291


    my eyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. jdownunder
    Joined: Aug 21, 2007
    Posts: 334


    critique there's nothing wrong with that you just need to get comfortable with your own ability
  14. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    from Slow lane

    Great advice Bodi!
    And as obvious as it might sound i actually didnt think too much of it until now, but it might be my main problem as well...thanx dude.

    Evintho: thumbs up man .
  15. Welds look good to me, just slow the movement a hair. I got tired of flipping my welding helmet, and picked up a auto darkening helmet. I now weld rolls of coins everytime.
  16. i needed a new colender...btw your weld looks good.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  17. You have a great future as a welder !!!....nice job !!!
  18. F-6Garagerat
    Joined: Apr 12, 2008
    Posts: 2,651


    So true. You will find things out along the way like what brand wire you prefer, who's gas you like better. all kinds of things. I have 2 places locally for argon/Co2, both claim to be the same mix but the gas from one place just seems to weld cleaner than the other. I find I don't really care where the wire is from but I use .030 wire with a .035 tip in the gun. Ya just gotta stick a bunch of shit together before you will get to know what works for you.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  19. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,276


    The heat affected zone is pretty consistent, an it looks like your settings are in the right neighborhood. It looks your doing good to me. It sounds like a dumb trick but ive heard multiple instructors to tell guy to count while they weld. It helps you keep a steady pace going and you'll find yourself thinking about the counting and the welding will become more automatic to you.
  20. 53 ford
    Joined: Apr 8, 2012
    Posts: 136

    53 ford

    Looks good to me. When you get to the end of the weld, swirl the puddle 180 degrees and sweep out straight back up the weld. When you lift straight up out of the puddle it leaves a crater, sweeping back will eliminate that.
  21. Huh!

    Better than mine!
  22. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,834


    The question should not be "do they look nice?", but "how was the penetration?"

    Did you weld any coupons (samples of like material & thickness), cut the coupon across the weld, sand & polish the cut edge, acid etch and inspect it for penetration? An ugly, penetrating weld is preferable to a beautiful weld that doesn't penetrate, at least it is IMO.
  23. Flatman
    Joined: Dec 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,975


    Gotta agree with Tagman. If you're concerned with your depth of penetration, weld some spare pieces and cut them across the weld so you can see exactly what's going on in there.
    Looks pretty damned good from here!! :D

  24. I don't bother with that stuff. It smells like dead rotting salmon when you start welding. I prefer coloring all over the tip, and cup with a sharpie when everythings new, then just reapply occasionally, and you'll be good. It doesn't smell like crap, and every fabricator should have a dozen crappy sharpies laying around. Eliminates the need for two more cans of stuff cluttering up my welder cart.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  25. vg62truck
    Joined: Dec 17, 2011
    Posts: 50


    So great advice here, like bodi's comments. Relax, be comfortable, brace and breath. But don't let the breathing affect your weld like i did in the begining, by bracing my arms against my chest, funny how simple breathng in and out will wiggle a weld!:eek:But do breath, the counting idea sounds good. Being the grandpa I am, i find childrens programing songs goining through my head[winnie the pooh,just shut the hell up!]:rolleyes:while welding, mind you there are usually enough other voice yaking in there i miss him!

    Most of all have fun, enjoy the projects, challenge yourself and learn from the mistakes, share your experinces good or bad, and never ever stop asking questions
  26. Very decent i'd say. I don't see any undercut or a cold weld. A penetrating weld doesn't have to be pretty to be good. Try you same technic with same material and do a destruction test in a vice.Beat the hell out of it with a hammer and bend it to satisfy yourself. Looks good from here thou.
  27. Just sayin'. Give it a try, you may like it, and then you can unclutter your cart a little more too.;):)

    And your cleanliness tip was dead on. Cleanliness is godliness with MIG welding, especially if you have a 110v machine.
  28. DaveGerard
    Joined: May 21, 2012
    Posts: 75


    Do you have an experienced welder in your area, that you are friends with or trust or whatever? Since you are doing welds that involve safety, and that is a concern for you (as it should be), my experience is that most guys involved in this world (I'm including chopped bikes) are more than happy to check out your welds in exchange for a 6 pack or some other minor fee, rather than hear about a catastrophic failure. My own experience is that I welded some stuff with an arc welder, took it to a buddy, who pointed out that although it would probably hold up, what was the point of risking death over it, and took off the suspect work and tutored me in MIG welding it back on properly. I'm sure the welds are fine, but it never hurts to get a trusted opinion.
  29. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,818

    Deuce Daddy Don

    Lots of good comments & advice here!----& your pix show great to me.
    If you are in doubt on heat range settings, just grab some scrap of same thickness & run some beads while adjusting to suit your needs.
    Nothing can take the place of plain ol' practice!
    When I started welding in the USN, it was all stick in 1951!---Now days there are so many options available with mig-tig-& FRIG, its almost a no brainer!
    It dosen't have to be xray quality, but your application looks very good!!----Don
  30. Terrible Tom
    Joined: Feb 15, 2010
    Posts: 571

    Terrible Tom

    That's the trick you need to learn! Otherwise, it looks good.

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