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Welding Galvanized Steel?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Aeroman, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 666


    Fellas, I want to MIG weld galvanized steel pipe. This is going to be for both a car and fence project. I can do mild steel but I have heard horror stories of welding galvanized (zinc) steel. Any tips with using a MIG? Thanks:confused:
  2. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 978

    from PNW

    grind where you are going to weld (get to shiny under) do it outside, and try to avoid inhaling the fumes. Mig will work fine.
  3. snap too
    Joined: Dec 13, 2005
    Posts: 259

    snap too
    from lost wages

    Grind off as much as possible but do yourself a favor and wear a fresh air respirator if your doing a lot of it . I cut and welded on that stuff for years outside and never had any problems but one time working in a confined area got to me . About three hours after coming home I got so damn sick , fever , chills and vomiting that I'll never do it without proper protection.
  4. SUHRsc
    Joined: Sep 27, 2005
    Posts: 5,075


    drink lots of milk
    supposed to help?

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  5. I your just doing a small amount you should be ok in a well ventilated area.
    If your doing a lot get a mask, thoes fumes are not good and you end up with flu like symtoms the next day
  6. InjectorTim
    Joined: Oct 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,242


    It was said above, but I bears repeating, clean, clean, clean, and clean some more, make sure there is no coating around the welding area.
  7. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,774


    Spot on postings so far. Clean all the ZINC (that's what the galvanizing coating is) off of the weld area. It will contaminate the weld if you try to put a bead on it. The ZINC dust created by welding AND GRINDING is a heavy metal and WILL make you sick. The old wives, scratch that WELDERS tale says drink buttermilk. Give me a respirator.
  8. bulletproof1
    Joined: Feb 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,081

    from tulsa okla

    i buy a gallon of milk and set it on my welding table .drink as you go....yes it works ..been down that punking road .oldtimer told me about the milk havent been sick again....
  9. dodgerodder
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,943


    All good info given by others, but hopefully the pipe isn't for something structural to the cars chassis. If it is, pipe is definitely not the thing to use, tubing(preferably dom)is the correct thing to use.

    The downside is that tubing isn't as readily available, and its somewhat pricey. But for chassis and suspension use, pipe is a no-no. If you need any recommendations for your application, post it up. I've bent and welded enough tubing that I(and others)will be glad to help if you need
  10. Wild Turkey
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 900

    Wild Turkey

    To add a bit to what Dodgerodder said -- some galvinized pipe will have a seam that will give you trouble when you try to weld it.

    Watch for it as you grind and prep your joints -- might help avoid unpleasant surprises.:cool:

    And if no one else has mentioned it Don't breath the fumes!:)
  11. Dugg
    Joined: Feb 11, 2006
    Posts: 160


    When I used to weld galvie, I had a fan over my shoulder gently blowing the fumes away from me ... too much wind will blow away the sheilding gases and may cause turbulence that'll suck fumes into your helmet. Grinding as mentioned above is important and drinking milk is correct as a cure - as a cure, not as prevention. Grinding away the galvie and sufficient ventilation are the preventative actions. I finally decided not to ever weld galvie again.... of course, unless I need to for me only.
  12. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,856

    El Caballo

    Drinking milk isn't a cure. If you breath that shit in you are introducing toxins into your bloodstream no matter what. The milk will mask the symptoms. You need proper protection from the fumes like a mask that will filter out the fumes. Don't believe me? Go ask your local welding supplier, they will probably try and talk you out of such a dangerous thing.
  13. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford

    All the above is good advise, after welding "Cold Galvanize" the welded areas.
  14. leon renaud
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,933

    leon renaud
    from N.E. Ct.

    milk does work it was actually required to have it on goverment contract work like on the sub base here.We mig welded miles of galvie pipe for exercise equiptment for several years for use in outdoor playscapes no grinding and it welded just fine however we had a ventilation tube right at the point of weld all smoke and fumes was pulled away before they could reach our face.Now during ww2 germany was building aircraft out of scrapmetals and lost a large number of welders because of confined space welding.with all that said USE A RESPIRATOR and ventilation if you have to weld galvie because the long term effect to exposure is not known for even slight exposure.You can get cold galvanizing paint at any Sherwin Williams store
  15. Grind the shit out of what you want to stick, don't sniff it's "aromatic bouquet", and you'll be okay.
  16. Aeroman
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 666


    Thanks everyone for the very helpful responses! The work that needs to be done is making a fence right now. My dad asked me to help him out since I have MIG welded steel many times. I got one of those cartridges AOSafety masks and I can also get a fan when i do it outside. Also, as you guys pointed out, grind until the metal is shiney. Thanks!
  17. Back in the 80's, I used to weld up hurricane-proof lintels with a stick welder. The steel was all galvanised, but we never ground it, just welded. No masks or respirators, just compulsory to drink a pint of milk a day. Twenty plus years on, I dont seem to have suffered any ill effects, other than creeping senility .........
  18. Split Bones
    Joined: Jun 4, 2005
    Posts: 88

    Split Bones

    and that "OTHER" ill effect 'Bassman.....but we dont mention that one now do we
  19. My brother in Law owns a fence company so I went and asked his welded...he doesn't even begin to start welding until he puts on his filtered welding has a fresh air supply through a filter, fed by fan...if you aren't going to weld much he says use a fan and hold your breath(but he wouldn't do it himself...)
  20. Muriatic Acid will remove galvanizing instantly.
    Don't breathe the fumes.
  21. This might sound a bit odd, but my girlfriend of 4+ years says I have a certain smell to me that she can only describe as "metallic"...and that was before she knew the full scope of my car obsession...and she still says so occasionally even today...I always found it odd that that was her take on it, amidst the deodorant, cologne and booze, but she swears that's her first reaction to maybe there is something to us having to carry around those toxins for life...

    ...all I know is don't breathe in the galvanized shit.
  22. brandonsgrandpa
    Joined: Aug 25, 2005
    Posts: 62


    Any heavy metal stays in your LIVER when you breathe it in.That is why it is quicker to affect you as you breathe more in. I have had the flu like sickness from welding and from machining parts also.NOT FUN. Be careful and good luck

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