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Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tfeverfred, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Okay, so a while back, I started a thread asking for info on which style of welding is commonly used because I was taking classes at my community college. Here:

    This week is my 3rd week and so far I like it. The school has naturally taught us how not to burn ourselves or the school. Last week we were introduced to Oxy/Acetylene cutting. This was my first time handling a torch. Needless to say, I learned that practice is VERY important. We learned how to set up the tanks and torch. When it came time to cut, that's where I gained more respect for you guys that know how to weld.

    We were tasked to cut through a 1/4" plate. Just a simple cut in a straight line. The instructer cut through like knife through butter. The class, however, produced nice GLOBS of molten steel that coagulated and prevented the cut going through. I could see the cut, but the melted steel collected in the cut and cooled. The instructer said I was going too slow and that made sence.

    Now, I know I'm just starting and I'll get better. I did feel good about working with the equipment, so I'm confident I made a great choice in learning to do this.

    The purpose of this thread is to get some tips, pointers and knowledge from you guys. Please feel free to post advise, photos or anything else that not only I, but others may use to get better at this.

    Thanks for all the past advise and encouragement. I'll post updates of my classwork as a journal of what's going on in the training environment. Photos, if possible. Tomorrow is my next class. I have it every Friday morning 7am to 12 noon.
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,863


    Listen to your instructor, he can see what you're doing and suggest improvements. We'll just tell you all kinds of conflicting info that will confuse you and mess you up.
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Okay. First good advice.:D Any suggestions on types and brands of gear for the beginner?
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,863


    Something you can get parts and service for at a local welder supply place.

  5. Nailhead Brooklyn
    Joined: Jul 31, 2012
    Posts: 567

    Nailhead Brooklyn

    That is awesome, I've been wanting to learn how to weld for years!
  6. wallyringo
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 709


    very cool man, im starting a class in Jan.
  7. Cerberus
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 1,381


    You will learn how important hand eye coordination is. Beware of those around you not exercising safety. My class instructor permanently expelled a student whobbling and unsteady, almost fell to the floor, obviously under the influence. The student was cutting with a plasma torch. I saw it, and it was scary. Be careful when around others welding, to avoid flash.
  8. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,728

    from illinois

    Might want to ask around , alot of people decide to be welders then realize that it's just "not thier thing" . I have 2 migs , a lincoln "buzz box , & a A/C D/C rev. polarity sick weldor that people GAVE me when they found out that they couldn't cut it !!!

  9. BACAGrizz
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 201


    Invest in a good welding helmet. I bought a Miller auto-darkening and have not regretted it. It impressed the instructor so much he went and bought one the next week. Your eyes are worth it and with my old rickety neck, not having to nod hard to tilt the helmet down is wonderful. Just make sure to take it off grind mode before welding.
  10. 76cam
    Joined: Sep 30, 2010
    Posts: 643


    And make sure your pant legs are over you shoes or boots.Molten hot metal down the top of you foot leaves one hell of a mark!!!!
  11. dad-bud
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 3,884


    Nice start fred, the one thing you can do is practice, practice, practice.
    Well, I guess that's three things, do them in order.
    Good luck and listen to your instructor.
  12. X2 on the auto-darkening helmet. If you were glasses for reading then get them a fair bit stronger for welding.
  13. "T'RANTULA"
    Joined: Aug 6, 2011
    Posts: 658

    from Ohio

    I took a 2 year class on welding when I was a junior in high school, only been out of school for a year but it was very helpful! Git er done Fred, after a while it will become second nature to ya!
  14. Glad to see you on board!
    Taught this stuff for 27.5 years in Missouri (SMSU) and Fla. (Tampa Bay Tech).
    I presently own a welding supply store.
    Stay with the major brands! Even the used stuff is good as long as you can find a certified repair facility(man) and parts. I sell used and repaired and also sell the overseas knock offs. Mine comes with a 2 year warranty. Stay with Victor for gas. Altho there are all types of old railroad gear that is good stuff. You'll need a constant pilot with a shut off lever if you ever hammer weld. You'll also need to learn how to shrink as you go! And if you do not have the instant on shut off I just mentioned you'll have to have a close friend to hold everything while you work! You can only use the torch on car body metal before 1974-5. after that mig is the only way to go! Mig welding is not the best thing to use on the older car metal!!!!! Too hard. Too much grinding and burn thru! Weld is brittle too. Hey, you got my number if you get into trouble! Be kind to your instructor and you'll get a lot more instruction. You cannot learn a lot without doin it!!!! It takes time! Confidence comes with lots of experience!
    Good luck!
    Mr. G.
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,863


    The advice for auto darkening helmets...applies to arc welding processes, not gas welding.

    Being able to see well really helps, especially when you get older. It's worth spending good money on quality eyewear
  16. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Well, today I got to burn some rods! Left buggers and pigeon shit all over the plate. BUT..... I learned and got a little better before the class ended. I'd post pics, but I didn't get any and you guys would only get sick anyway.:D

    I learned I need a self darkening helmet today. I could barely see, until the weld started. Or maybe just a different shade? Any recomendations?
  17. Been doing this for forty years and the main thing I tell the young guys is "buy quality". You can buy an auto hood for $100 bucks but it may not survive the first time you drop it. I still have the Hunter hood I bought when I was an apprentice. I found that I need to have my glasses made to focus closer than normal. Listen to your instructor and practice whenever you can. If you can practice outside of class bring in your work to have your instructor critique your technique.
  18. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Yea, I asked the instructer if I could sit in on some classes on my off days. He's getting back with me. I mentioned the fancy helmet because a couple guys had them and claimed to see a little clearer.
  19. Fred, I always like to teach someone how to gas weld first, that way you learn how to get a puddle going and work the puddle, it will really help later on when you Tig and when stick welding. Mig is a lot easier to teach but learn the basics first and practice practice practice......
  20. johnneilson
    Joined: Apr 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,166


    Having to wear glasses under a hood sucks.
    You can get magnifier lenses for the welding helmets and do away with the spectacles.
    Available in different magnifications for different distances and just clip into the hood.

  21. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Whoa, guys! When I said I can barely see, I meant that the lense in my face shield is too dark.:D We did arc today just to see what it's like. In fact, we'll be just touching on the different ways to weld this semester. Next semester gets a little more involved in gas, MIG and TIG. The third semester is where I have to choose which one I want to graduate with.

    So, for now, I'd like to know what SHADE I can switch to, so that I won't be starting my beads blind. Once the arc lite, I could see fairly well, but I was starting all over the place.

    Please, bare with me. I may or may not be using the correct terminology. But i'm learning. On a side note, I'm aceing my "Reading Blueprints" class. I like to draw, so reading blueprints seems easy to me.
  22. A good auto helmet is going to make the start easier. Get a adjustable shade helmet. Your going to like different shades for different types of welding. With MIG I change the shade with material thickness. Anywhere from 9 to 11
    Good for you taking a class. You'll shorten your learning curve dramatically.
  23. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,309


    Miller auto-darkening helmet!
    you want the auto darkening, the biggest view area you can afford and adjustible darkness.

    Good that you are continuing your education!
    I've been in auto body class for a few semesters now. I've become an assistant.
    Be respectful and safe, and read ahead in the books. As said, practice X3.

    There are a TON of you tube videos from respected welders and companies.

    Since you have your T, I doubt you will need to do much on that body, but for anyone else reading this, make sure you do your learning on other stuff before doing your own project. You can find fenders, hoods and even complete cars for cheap or free for practice. Fix that stuff first, and maybe even be able to sell them off to pay for your equipment and supplies.
  24. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    Even a $50 HF auto darkening helmet is better than the old type, and trying to find the right shade....
    For arc (mig etc) get an auto darkening.
  25. Ill be following this thread. I've been wanting to take a class at the local community college for a while. My fiance works there and she has been joking she is going to take it for free and show me how to weld. Hopefully this winter ill take it and maybe check out equipment once tax time comes around.
  26. Also there is nothing more important than to be able to see, so if you need glasses get a prescription for your eyes at the length you will be working at. Most of us as we get a few years older have to keep extending our arms, won't work. I go in every 2 years and get "welding glasses made" really helps me........

    then i can really tell how bad i am doing,.........
  27. I took welding in the 8th through 12th grade. You need to learn the fundamentals. Oxy gas welding is a dieing art. I love it. It's like Zen!! What ever that it. LOL!! I find it really relaxing and just the hiss and melding two pieces of steel together is so cool. I have a Tig, a couple Migs and an Arc. I by far use the Mig the most but it's not my favorite to use, it's just quick. There are so many people out there that don't know about penetration and just lay a catapillar on top of the metal and think they can weld. It makes me laugh until you see this on someones frame of their car. Our teachers taught us Oxy Acetylene first and I spent hours/days with two pencils. my left had drawing a straight line going to the left and my right hand doing overlapping little circles. . Page after page after page. I got A's in Oxy acetylene but B's and Cs in Arc. I hated Arc!!!! And I still do !LOL. Anyway, practice , practice, practice. It's something you will use forever!!!
  28. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    I agree 100% about becoming proficient with gas first. Thats the way I did it, and when I started doing arc, it was really easy. I will have to check into the magnifying lenses, I started up again after a long hiatus, and wearing reading glasses is a bitch. Unless I am just the right distance away, it kinda makes my depth perception go wonky. Do the magnifying lenses prevent that?
  29. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    from Texas

    Back in the 70s myself and a friend took a welding class at San Jacinto College here in Pasadena. First few days concentrated on safety, equipment, names and nomenclature, then oxy-acetylene welding, first rows of beads, then various welds between plates. We became pretty proficient at gas welding but sad to say work demands, Saturday work days, made us quit the course before learning stick welding. We did learn basic stick welding from the books and friends who were more experienced.
    I think I might check into going back and seeing what I missed.
  30. dad-bud
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 3,884


    Fred, the tips being given here are accurate;
    Auto-darkening helmet - you will end up never using anything else after you've used one.
    Gas welding is really the basis of all welding (OK, arc and MIG are kinda removed from it, but) and getting to know about forming a weld-pool and feeding wire in to build up the weld is common to all and will teach you about weld penetration as well as not burning through.
    You'll be fine, but you just need to practice and practice - expect it to take years to really get proficient - it's an art and a science.

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