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Technical Wanting to learn to weld

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jeremy W, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,637

    from oregon

    If you get a better machine, you'll surprise yourself at what you "thought" you needed a welder for, you'll starting looking for stuff to weld.
    I bought my Millermatic 200 Mig in the late 80's and "taught" myself to weld with some self help type books. I was a machinist and had to make components that got welded together so I had already learned the importance of the fit-up of parts.
    Never have had the greatest eyesight (bad now) but I got by for my own needs. The very first thing I built was my welding table and I have to say it really turned out nice.
    One thing that was mentioned is using a true gas machine in an outdoors environment, even inside with the door open on a windy day, steps need to be taken to block air movement around the weld site, even a fan can have an effect on weld quality.
    Heavy cardboard from an appliance box works great for temporary air shielding.
    Happy welding.
  2. I was in the same spot a couple years ago, I did a lot of reading on this wonderful board and decided on the Hobart 140. It seemed like a good unit for the money and could grow with me for a while. I'm not doing this for a living, just hobby work. It's been fun and couldn't be happier with my set up

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  3. BadgeZ28
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 1,095

    from Oregon

    I will throw in getting a decent auto darkening helmet. I use Mig welders. Easier to learn IMO.
  4. FAKKY
    Joined: Sep 9, 2016
    Posts: 234


    I'm in same boat. Want to learn to weld my cross member since I'm doing g basically most things on my truck.

    Started with a HF 90a. It's OK but always had me guessing how much of the bad welds are me and how much is machine.

    Did a lot of research ... Bought a tweco 211i.

    Man you won't believe the difference ..... It's actually fun to weld and as mentioned I look for stuff to weld. Don't get me wrong. My welds aren't near good enough yet mainly due to consistency and need to check penetration with multiple cuts and acid tests .... But it's a world of difference.

    So yeah I get what people are saying.

    If your doing anything bigger than 1/8 then you need 230v. Dryer 30A with adapter will work.

    If not then a good 110v will work but you really need gas for light metal work. Can be done without .... But really what you need.

    So in that case get a miller or Hobart or Lincoln off of Craigslist for about 300-500.

    Have fun.

    Sent from my XT1650 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  5. tikiwagon13
    Joined: Feb 23, 2011
    Posts: 371


    rule of thumb, one amp per one thousands of an inch of material.
  6. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,329


    Built this from 4 chalk marks on the floor with a Hobart 140 110 volt machine. Put over 10,000 miles on it . Nothing fell off, no cracks in the frame or the headers or anything I welded on the car. DSCF0956.JPG DSCF0936.JPG
    El Caballo, clunker and LostBoy like this.
  7. We have local B.O.C.E.S. trade schools around and I see welding courses offered. So do community colleges. I learned gas welding and shielded arc welding when I was in college full time. It was good to learn something right.
  8. LostBoy
    Joined: Mar 16, 2016
    Posts: 217


    That thing looks like a wheelie machine. Very cool.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. I've taken MIG, stick and gas welding classes at the local college and the big benefit for me was getting my hands on all the different equipment and also being forced to practice, practice, practice. Not just technique, but shop safety, gas pressures and regulators etc. You've got to be pretty damned dedicated and disciplined to really learn from YouTube.
    i.rant likes this.
  10. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 700


    My recommendation is to look for a course on welding at your local Community College. I had planned to take one semester and ended up taking a year because I like it so much. They taught me all sorts of different things be on the stick Weld, and MIG welding. After you practice practice practice practice, you learn a lot of great techniques which can be passed on to others. I also recommend investing on a good brand like Miller or Lincoln. I know there are many more but I do stay away from the cheaper China built stuff. Do it right the first time.

    Sent from my SM-G925V using H.A.M.B. mobile app
  11. 38caddy
    Joined: Mar 15, 2006
    Posts: 62

    from RI

    I am insanely impressed. You have done really well by her. My 10 year-old daughter would trip on the threshold into the garage, stumble slightly and scream and cry that she thinks she broke her leg.
    cptmoney, slimcat7m3 and clunker like this.
  12. clunker
    Joined: Feb 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,612

    from Boston MA

    Don't get me wrong, I've used some really nice Miller welders in class, they are beyond awesome. If I ever had some serious cash I would upgrade to Miller in a second.

    But the truth is that a lot of their smaller machines (190, 211, etc), and even some bigger machines (Dynasty 700) are not "made" in the USA. They are "assembled in the USA".


    It's really hard to build things here and turn a profit. It's also hard for us as consumers to stick to things "made in USA"
    chevyfordman and Aeroman like this.
  13. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 700


    I see. I bought my Millermatic 220V used 10 years ago and runs like a champ. I'm a hobbyist myself and couldn't justify dropping thousands on a new welder at the time.

    Sent from my SM-G925V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    clunker likes this.
  14. I started off with a Century 80, 110v flux welder
    I used it for a bunch of thinner metal welding, but it really couldn't go very thick so I picked up a used tombstone Lincoln 220 AC stick welder that served me well for years.

    Just last year I stepped up to the ESAB rebel

    OMG!!!!! I've been missing out all those years!!!! This thing is a pure pleasure to use, and yields much prettier welds.

    Do what you must, both paths have their merits.
  15. A cheap hobart 140 has done just fine for me and didnt make my wallet hurt either
  16. CA. 280
    Joined: Jan 8, 2010
    Posts: 220

    CA. 280

    Small Eastwood MIG, tack things in place then have PRO friend bring his truck over and do it right the first time.
    29AVEE8 likes this.
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,920


    Two words: Fitment and cleanliness.

    A good welder will not make you a good weldor.

    A bad welder will make you a bad weldor.
    SEAAIRE354, Pocket Nick and clunker like this.
  18. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,637

    from oregon

    There are more than three people here that know the difference.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  19. Some really good advice here. I've got 2 Forney welders. A 140 mig that's 110 volt and a 180 mig that's 220. The 180 would be my choice if I were to have just one.
    slimcat7m3 likes this.
  20. Start out by doing some Oxy Fuel welding.
    It will get you used to watching the puddle, travel speed and angle.
    This will really help when you make the jump to T.I.G.

    I would highly suggest not using an auto darking. I have seen many people who start out with one then have to use a normal helmet can't find the weld surface when they flip the helmet down. I have to use an auto darking at work I hate it.

    When it comes time to buy equipment buy a Lincoln, Miller, or Hobart.
    You will be able to get parts and service.

    A 110 volt is good for doing sheet metal and light work.
    If you plan to do frame or rollcages then go ahead and make the jump to a 220 volt.

    Avoid buying a welder at a swapmeet.

    Now a little showing off, this was shot where I work about six years ago.
    I am the one in the silver helmet, with the glasses and crew cut-
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  21. They're two kind of people the ones that can weld, and the ones who can't.- Jesse James.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
    clunker and Gammz like this.
  22. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,140


    The welding instructor at Eastfield College Ronnie has all his students watch Jody on welding tips and tricks. Jody is down to earth and explains everything in layman tearms and has really good video, and also works with outhers rwelders.
    clunker likes this.
  23. Jeremy W
    Joined: Dec 3, 2016
    Posts: 51

    Jeremy W

    You guys have been awesome. I appreciate all the advice. I am looking for a class to take here in Kansas City. So far all I am finding are college classes that are associated with a certificate or degree. I don't need the certificate or degree. I won't be doing this for a career. I guess I need to keep looking.
  24. 32Dio
    Joined: Jan 5, 2017
    Posts: 4


    You will find one try a Community college trade school they usually have automotive paint upholstery welding and bodywork at a community colleges god bless good luck

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    flyn schlosser and Aeroman like this.
  25. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 700



    Length of Arc

    Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
  26. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,920


    Welders can get paid good money. Not saying you need to change careers, but it is always good to have a fall-back, in case of an involuntary economic change.
    clunker and Jeremy W like this.
  27. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    from Central Ca

    No Truer Words Spoken^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    SEAAIRE354 likes this.
  28. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,920


    Judging by my work last weekend, I might have un-learned. :eek:

    Going to have a do-over tomorrow.
  29. slimcat7m3
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 113


    I have a tig and mig. If I could only have one machine to do everything it is my miller 185. It plugs in 220, has the finesse for sheet metal and can get hot enough for frame work. I'm sure all brands have the equivalent. As an experienced welder, sometimes 110 machines scare me on heavier stuff. Welds look great but aren't penetrated. Great all around machines.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  30. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,637

    from oregon

    I've had these two books many years and I'm sure they've been updated, either way, if you can find them, they are worth twice whatever you end up paying for them. 20170225_224346.jpg 20170225_224431.jpg
    clunker likes this.

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