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Can I Teach Myself To Weld?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by h0twired, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. brucer
    Joined: Jun 5, 2008
    Posts: 332

    from western ky

    for a hobbyist, i think if your mechanically inclined, have a good perception of the concept of welding, and good hand/eye coordination, there is plenty of information on the internet to get you a darned good start mig welding..

    i'm sure if you know some hotrodders in your area, either they can weld good enough to get you started, or they will know someone that can..

    also as others have stated, your local vocational/technical school or high school probably offers cheap welding courses. if they have a good teacher he might even let you stand in a couple of classes just so you can observe..

    my initial welding education consisted of mig welding hundreds of axle plates together 8 hrs a day, a certified welder checked my work periodically. i had a jig table and welded 8 at a time. i made it interesting by moving the fixture vertical, near upside down and such to teach myself to do vertical to near overhead welds..
  2. brpowel4
    Joined: Jul 31, 2006
    Posts: 107


    I taught myself how to mig weld. I started with scrap then i did sheetmetal work. Then i got thicker scrap (1/8", 3/16", etc) and practiced on that. tried to break several of my welds and ended up breaking the parent metal so the welds are strong. My welds are looking alot nicer too. An Agriculture teacher is going to teach me how to stick weld eventually.

    Look up videos online to get pointers and listen for that consistent "frying bacon" welding sound.

    Apparently, i'm going to teach myself how to sew upholstery next.

  3. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,768


    There are lots of welding "Tricks" that are not written down anywhere and that you can learn only from a certified weldor - someone in the trade. This includes the metallurgy. Take a class and learn the right way. It's these "pearls of wisdom" that can make the difference. Plus, with today's welding tech you will be amazed what advances have been made since you first started welding years ago.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  4. h0twired
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 133

    from Winnipeg

    Thanks guys.

    Does anyone have any books and videos that might be worth buying. Is there any "welders bible" that you guys swear by? My wife has them for knitting, so there must be one for welding.

    I have also taken a couple pics if they are of interest to anyone.

    One is of the lil' Lincoln welder and the other is of the coupe. I have a pile of parts for the coupe (along with a ton of parts of a two-door sedan that my dad gutted back in the day).

    Attached Files:

  5. paco
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,139

    from Atlanta

    No ..... don't even try ...... I'll be up to pick up the coupe as soon as you give me the go ahead!! I'll even haul the welder off for you.

    Just jerken' ya around .... pick up a junk yard fender & practice. Just don't set yourself on fire.

  6. cleatus
    Joined: Mar 1, 2002
    Posts: 2,277

    from Sacramento

    Being self-taught doesn't keep you from being good at anything.
    It is mostly about practice and trying hard to improve.
    I'm self-taught & I can butt weld two large, flat, thin sheets together & they are still flat when I'm done and the seam can be completely metal finished to the point you can't see it - so how much better can your "GOOD" welder do?
  7. Winterbear
    Joined: Jan 30, 2006
    Posts: 82


    Are you kidding with a roller chassis and that body what needs welded ? :) I know I am oversimplifying it but ddamn that body looks pretty clean and straight to me.
  8. garagerods
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 452

    from Omaha

    ^^^ That's funny.

    Egg or the chicken. hahaha
  9. garagerods
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 452

    from Omaha

    Just do it!

    There's nothing on metal that can't be redone if you need to do it over.

    Good luck!!
  10. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,732


    yeah, you can learn how to play the piano without instruction too..

    and I know welding is bone head simple,

    but a little one on one instruction will advance your learning and the quality of the weld exponentially
  11. davis574ord
    Joined: May 21, 2009
    Posts: 786


    Sorry about the loss of your dad, that sucks but u can carry on , u said that u took some classes. I never took any formal classes, and i would put my welds against anyones . I pretty much learned through trial and error, the more u do it the better u get just dont be afraid to experiment with it! U will do fine!
  12. Blown 26
    Joined: Mar 1, 2010
    Posts: 30

    Blown 26

    Mig welding is pretty simple. I have the same welder so I will give you some of the settings I use. For 1/8 to 1/4 set the heat in the middle I believe its marked C on mine. Wire speed up in the middle around 5 is my setting. When you are welding you want it to sound like frying bacon nice steady crackle if its not steady adjust wire speed and try again. If you are using gas set the pressure when you pull the trigger to read about 18 to 20 on the gauge. Angle the tip back around 35 to 40 degrees. Start on one end and work your way back towards you so basically you are pullin. Watch your puddle making small circles will make beautiful welds but remember if you pull back to fast you end up with no penetration. You want a nice orange glow. Practice Practice Practice. Start with butt welds first then when you have the hang of it put it in the vise and bash the shit out of it. When it doesn't break you got it then work on your technique to make em pretty. Good Luck
  13. Scott Hightower
    Joined: Apr 8, 2010
    Posts: 17

    Scott Hightower
    from Georgia

    I taught myself years ago on a homemade welder believe it or not. The most important thing for you to do as a rookie is test your welds. In your destructive tests the parent material should break NOT the weld itself. There are allot of beginner manuals available on the manufacturer sites like Miller, Lincoln, & Hobart.
    Get some scrap metal and practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more.

  14. dino1
    Joined: Jun 20, 2009
    Posts: 28

    from austin tx

    I think a teacher only takes you about half way, the rest is determination and the will to be better which you bring to the table. A teacher can't be over your shoulder for the rest of your life. I went to welding school and I had great teachers, but I also had the will and drive to want to make good welds. That helps tons. I'm a glassblower now and I teach people how, I give them the basics, tell them what to look for and how to react, but they need the drive and will to be better glassblowers, or welders, to make the final product something they can be proud of. Some people want quality, and will work hard to acheive that, some people just want to run a bead that will work. There's a happy medium in there somewhere, you'll find it. If you have the drive you can be self taught, hell that's how I became a glassblower.
  15. Some people can only learn in a structured enviorment. Often though they never go beyond what someone else taught them. Others can self teach themselves. They are a different type of person. They can analyze their efforts and are patient and always curious. When someone says you cant learn by yourself they mean they cant or for them it does not seem reasonable. That however does not make it true for all but only for them. The rest of us tell ourselves or ask "who taught the guy who first welded?" I learned to tig this year , on my own. I went to the shop every morning for a month and tried tig welding. I burnt up one filler rod every day. Made a few errors, had a few laughs too. Now it is second nature to me. I suspect the local guru down at the high school cant really weld anyway.
    Try. What have you got to lose? $20 worth of wire and a bit of gas? What if you are successful? There is something very satisfying about learning a new skill in the privacy of your own shop. Go for it!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010

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