teaching yourself to weld!

Discussion in 'Welding Tips and Welders' started by grumpyvette, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    I get several guys asking me every month about how you go about learning to weld, and the truth is theres a dozen ways to go about learning and it sure helps if you have a local trade school or some other place you can get skilled instructions, but its far from mandatory now that the internet has so much info available.
    Now the first thing Im forced to point out is that cheap, crappy equipment just leads to far more frustration than the cost savings will come close to justifying, so Id strongly advise getting some decent equipment to start out with, like
    MILLER,HOBART,LINCOLN,ETC. and by far the easiest welders to learn on are most likely a good MIG welder in the 140-210 amp range, and don,t forget you NEED to have the correct safety equipment , and a welding apron, gloves and a self darkening face mask is where you start,and a tank of shield gas is MANDATORY to mig weld.(depends on your goals)
    and its PRACTICE and getting in there and making mistakes and seeing what will and will not work that builds the required skill.
    you can go to a local muffler shop or metal supply and ask for or in some cases buy small scrap pieces of angle iron, exhaust pipe, old metal brackets etc, and use those to learn on, while you gain some skill at running a bead, setting the amp range, gas flow rates and learn how to build a puddle of molten metal and get it to penetrate without burning thru the parent metal.
    most new welders from quality suppliers come with an instruction booklet, charts and in some cases an instructional video, which can be rather helpful. theres also a great many videos currently on the internet to help you learn.
    now your not going to make great welds for several hours or days so don,t get frustrated, its a skill, and it takes all of us time to acquire that skill, some of us will just be faster at picking it up than others but anyone can eventually master MIG welding, as my college instructor used to say
    " they can teach moneys to mig weld, so you guys have at least some chance at learning the skill"

    trust me when I say that a quality WELDER and a decent vise and a drill press are MANDATORY BASIC REQUIRED tools
    Im often asked why I prefer the TIG and oxy-acetolene torch welding over arc and mig for most jobs and the reasons that with both those types of equipment you can heat, reheat or adjust the heat nearly instantly with or without adding filler rod material.
    that might not sound like a huge advantage, but trust me here its critical at times, do your research, you'll find you have options, in accessories and materials, the choices you make , make a big difference in how versatile or easy to use the welder becomes in your shop

    each has its use and the deeper you get into the hobby the more youll use a welder and a drill press

    [​IMG]

    HERES THE MIG I PURCHASED
    MILLER 252
    http://www.welders-direct.com/mm5/merch ... gory_Code=
    FOR MY SHOP, (IT COST $2200) IT HAS AN OPTIONAL KIT THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO MIG ALUMINUM< BUT ITS RATHER EXPENSIVE
    (about $1100)
    http://www.welders-direct.com/mm5/merch ... ode=130831
    but its a TOP QUALITY MIG THAT WILL HANDLE 95% OF AUTOMOTIVE WELDING IF YOU GET THE OPTIONAL KIT
    [​IMG]

    HAVING A WORKING WELDING TABLE IS NOT MANDATORY BUT YOULL WONDER HOW ANYONE CAN WORK WITHOUT A DECENT VISE AND WORK BENCH, AND A SOLID METAL BENCH HAS BENEFITS FOR USE AS A WELDING LOCATION.
    [​IMG]

    related useful links, you should read thru.

    http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/tutorial.htm

    http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/

    viewtopic.php?f=60&t=1594

    http://www.usaweld.com/TIG-WELDER-Invertig-221-Welder-p/70221-12.5-1.htm

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=LEA ... &FORM=VDRE

    http://www.usaweld.com/Learn-How-to-MIG-Weld-s/416.htm

    http://www.amazon.com/Learn-Mig-Weld-We ... B006MHNLVA

    http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to- ... G-Welding/

    http://www.weldplus.com/tig-welders.htm

    viewtopic.php?f=60&t=77

    viewtopic.php?f=60&t=530

    viewtopic.php?f=60&t=1669

    viewtopic.php?f=60&t=1108

    viewtopic.php?f=60&t=1283
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2016
  2. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member


    IBURKE POSTED THIS INFO


    "FedEx came to see me today. Eastwood got the welder to me 2 days quicker than Sears told me they would. Eastwood and I are off to a good start.

    I was a little worried because there were a few banged up spots on the out side of the box.


    [​IMG]

    But not to worry as the welder was well packed.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It has a heavy duty adapter to go from the 220v plug to 115v.

    [​IMG]

    It also came with a nice pouch to store consumables and the very nice Weldcraft wp17 torch.


    [​IMG]

    A nice foot pedal with 0 to 200 amp control.


    [​IMG]

    The welder its self is very well finished with quality connectors and controls.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Dual fans.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It also came with a quality gas flow control regulator.


    [​IMG]

    Got it unpacked and connected, turned on and welding.

    [​IMG]

    It has very nice amperage control from the foot pedal, better than the 6000 dollar Lincoln unit I was using in school.

    It ran a fairly good bead welding a but weld on 3/32 mild steel.


    [​IMG]

    My first impressions are very good right out of the box. Will give an up date when I get the feel of welding with the unit. Think I will try some aluminum tomorrow and some 1/4" plate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2018
  3. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    [​IMG]
    I found this picture of a custom fabricated welding cart posted on line and its about as simple and basic but yet fully functional as you can get and would make a decent first welding project.
    obviously decent quality wheels that support the weight and are of large enough diameter to easily roll over minor floor irregularity's and don,t cost a really exorbitant amount will be useful
    http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-cus ... 46819.html
    [​IMG]

    http://www.usaweld.com/TIG-WELDER-Invertig-221-Welder-p/70221-12.5-1.htm

    https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-mp250i-multi-process-250-amp-welder.html

    https://www.eastwood.com/tig200acdc.html
    MY LINCOLN ARC WELDER WEIGHTS A BIT OVER 600 lbs
    [​IMG]

    and ID point out that you have other options like buying and modifying a small trailer that can be towed, behind a car or truck, as that has some advantages, when your making an ENGINE DRIVEN ARC WELDER with a power generator far easier to move around
    http://www.harborfreight.com/1090-lb-ca ... 90153.html

    [​IMG]

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2018 at 6:15 PM
  4. 87vette81big

    87vette81big Guest

    I could do a lot with an engine driven AC DC Welding rig Grumpy.
    I like stick welding.
    Earn extra $$$$.
     
  5. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

     
  6. Maniacmechanic1

    Maniacmechanic1 solid fixture here in the forum

    I miss welding Grumpy.
    The job I am at its mostly Diagnosis work I do.
    1 day repairs.
    Chicago work life.

    When I worked in the small shops local I welded daily with a MIG.
    Sometimes with Acetylene gas torch.
     
  7. Maniacmechanic1

    Maniacmechanic1 solid fixture here in the forum

    Semi Truck work and Frame Repairs I AC Stick welded.
    I still think it Penetrates best on 1/4 to 1 inch thick steel.

    Race Car Fab work with Eddie a TIG is a must have.
    Watercooled preferred so you can TIG non stop 8-12 hours.

    Someday I will have my own TIG welder.
     
    Strictly Attitude likes this.
  8. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    My friend has a higher end Everlast TIG it works I have nothing to compareit to unfortunately but it was a good intro to tig
     

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