Welding advice... [Archive] - Glock Talk

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XDRoX
10-07-2012, 11:16
I know nothing except it looks real fun.
I want to be able to weld a dueling tree.
There is a guy on calguns that sells the rounds targets for the dueling tree. The only thing is I have to be able to make the stand. It seems like an easy task but I know nothing about welding.

Like this:
http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=I.4513045017264213&pid=15.1

I want to be able to make basic welds strong enough to build this thing. They don't have to be pretty or super strong, just strong enough to hold.

What do I need? I want to spend the least amount as possible on a welder that will do this task.

I see they make a bunch of different types.
Arc
Mig
Flux
Spot
Plasma
ect..

Would one of you guys be so helpful to post a link of something that would work for what I need???

Thanks

I'm heading to HF in a little while.
http://www.harborfreight.com/welding.html

G17Jake
10-07-2012, 11:26
All I have ever used is a mig welder, and that is what I would buy. I'm sure there are many experienced welders here who can offer advice. I will be watching this thread since I am considering purchasing a welder too.

Hartford
10-07-2012, 11:47
I find welding to be very enjoyable, and I also do it for a living. Starting out can be very frustrating though. Your best bet would be to find someone who can give you a little demonstration or look over your shoulder.

I prefer stick (smaw) welding over all the others, but it isn't practical for all applications. It would work fine for this, but the wire feed welders will be easier to work with in this application

If you go with a wire feed welder get flux cored wire. Hard wire requires a shielding gas like argon. A shielding gas will make the flux core come out better, but it isn't necessary in all applications.

No matter which application you choose don't get the cheapest machine you can find. If you decide to do more down the road you may be very limited by one of the smaller machines.

Another thing you will want to check is the duty cycle of the machine. Duty cycle is the time the machine can weld for. The wire feeders on the HF website have a duty cycle of 20%. They can weld continuously for two minutes out of ten, and then need a rest. It will stay on, but the machine won't weld longer than two minutes straight. This how I remember the duty cycle being explained in school, but that was a while ago so I might be a little off. Since being out in the field every machine I've used has a 100% duty cycle. Small welds won't really be affected by this. For the application you want 20% duty cycle is fine.

There are others here that will chime in with good advice, and better advice. Good luck, have fun and don't get discouraged by it.

ETA: The more I think about it the 20% duty cycle might also be that it can weld for two straight minutes out of ten, or two minutes of welding out of ten. I hate forgetting this stuff. It bothers me.

ETAII: Where you are just starting out I'm rethinking my advice on which machines. A cheaper one might be better just in case you decide welding really isn't for you. It's a very valuable skill to have though, and I would encourage you to learn if you have the interest.

Most recently I had to put a new axle under my boat trailer. Wanted as clearance between the trailer frame and ground as possible. The new axle was designed to sit on top of the leaf springs, and the spring perches weren't space right. I cut them off got them where I needed and welded them back. A simple job that would have cost me a fair amount of coin at the local fab shop. Did it before lunch myself with no help.

ede
10-07-2012, 11:48
For what you'd spend and the results you'd get starting with zero equipment, knowledge and skills you'd be ahead to find a friend/neighbor/coworker that can do it for you. Buy them a case of beer and slip them some cash.

DanaT
10-07-2012, 12:00
I use an Nd:Yag laser.

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 12:01
Hartford, would this work for what I want to do?
Is this a tube fed one? Is that what mig mean?
http://www.harborfreight.com/welding/mig-flux-welders/wire-welder-90-amp-flux-68887.html

kiole
10-07-2012, 12:05
Buy the harbor freight mig welder for 99$ and then get their auto darkening welding helmet. You'll be able to make messy but strong welds. The included wire they give you splatters like all hell but it creates strong welds.

http://www.harborfreight.com/wire-welder-90-amp-flux-68887.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/auto-darkening-welding-helmet-with-racing-stripe-design-67854.html

150-160$ investment and you'll find stuff to do with it around the house. Later if you buy some nicer Lincoln wire the welds will be even nicer. I use that habit freight welder for general crude repair but was able to make a nice license plate bracket for my trike with lot of grinding.

Hartford
10-07-2012, 12:10
Hartford, would this work for what I want to do?
Is this a tube fed one? Is that what mig mean?
http://www.harborfreight.com/welding/mig-flux-welders/wire-welder-90-amp-flux-68887.html

That's a wire feed welder, also known as a mig welder. A roll of wire goes inside the machine and fed out through gun by rollers. I don't see why it wouldn't. Looks like it is strictly flux cored wire. That's also fine for your application. Should work. Hope all goes well for you.

If you don't have a hand held grinder you will want one. They come in very handy when learning how to weld.

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 12:12
Buy the harbor freight mig welder for 99$ and then get their auto darkening welding helmet. You'll be able to make messy but strong welds. The included wire they give you splatters like all hell but it creates strong welds.

http://www.harborfreight.com/wire-welder-90-amp-flux-68887.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/auto-darkening-welding-helmet-with-racing-stripe-design-67854.html

150-160$ investment and you'll find stuff to do with it around the house. Later if you buy some nicer Lincoln wire the welds will be even nicer. I use that habit freight welder for general crude repair but was able to make a nice license plate bracket for my trike with lot of grinding.

This is exactly what I needed to know. Thanks. I assume this will make welds strong enough to build that dueling tree?

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 12:14
That's a wire feed welder, also known as a mig welder. A roll of wire goes inside the machine and fed out through gun by rollers. I don't see why it wouldn't. Looks like it is strictly flux cored wire. That's also fine for your application. Should work. Hope all goes well for you.

If you don't have a hand held grinder you will want one. They come in very handy when learning how to weld.

Thank you. I'll post the results.

Rinspeed
10-07-2012, 12:22
A mig welder is what you want but don't waste your money on a 120V one.

kiole
10-07-2012, 12:26
A mig welder is what you want but don't waste your money on a 120V one.

For what he wants to do it'll be fine. I agree if your planning on doing more a nice Lincoln Hobart or miller 220 machine with gas hookups is a better idea.

Bill Powell
10-07-2012, 12:26
All I would day is stay away from the little 110 volt wire feed welders. you almost gotta do two passes to weld a car fender. wire feed or stick welder, get a 220 volt welder if you're welding angle and steel pipe

kiole
10-07-2012, 12:29
This is exactly what I needed to know. Thanks. I assume this will make welds strong enough to build that dueling tree?

Yes it should be plenty strong, bevel the edges of the metal with a grinder then weld it. You'll get better penetration. Google bevel butt joints.

Adjuster
10-07-2012, 12:35
If you live in a large populated area get your welder off CraigsList. Tons of welding equipment of all types on the list here in the Ft. Lauderdale area.



/

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 15:39
Thanks guys for the advice.

I just got back from HF. I found a coupon for the $150 one for $89.

Questions. I suck. I can't weld two washers together. What's happening is the wire is basically turning to burnt dust and not creating a bead. I've tried adjusting the speed but no luck.

You guys know what I'm doing wrong? I can get the washers to stick together but the break apart very easily and I can't get a nice bead weld. :dunno:

Thanks

kiole
10-07-2012, 15:42
Thanks guys for the advice.

I just got back from HF. I found a coupon for the $150 one for $89.

Questions. I suck. I can't weld two washers together. What's happening is the wire is basically turning to burnt dust and not creating a bead. I've tried adjusting the speed but no luck.

You guys know what I'm doing wrong? I can get the washers to stick together but the break apart very easily and I can't get a nice bead weld. :dunno:

Thanks

Probably not getting a good ground try a large piece of metal first a washer isn't a good piece to learn on.

It is possible as I've welded washers to nails with that very welder

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 15:45
Probably not getting a good ground try a large piece of metal first a washer isn't a good piece to learn on.

Thanks, and my washers were pretty rusty as well. I'll go find some good metal.

Hartford
10-07-2012, 16:54
Thanks, and my washers were pretty rusty as well. I'll go find some good metal.

the cleaner the metal the better. pictures would help critique.

Rabid Rabbit
10-07-2012, 16:57
Check out your community college high school adult ed for welding classes. If you don't at least get a welding book or look on line so you can learn some basics about what you're doing, this really isn't common sense kind of stuff. There is a lot to welding, it isn't as simple or easy as it looks. Just remember take lighters, cartridges etc... out of your pocket. We had one guy in my class that kept forgetting, never did figure out why he had rifle rounds during goose season.

Rabid Rabbit
10-07-2012, 16:59
go visit a welding or machining shop for scrap pieces of metal to weld, for a couple of bucks you can get some good practice material.

Resqu2
10-07-2012, 17:05
If this all all you ever intend to have welded then really just get a shop to do it for you. Lots of expenses for a one time project.

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 17:39
Thanks guys. I got it to weld. It's not pretty but it holds. I'll keep at it until I get better. I do need some scrap metal to practice.

MrsKitty
10-07-2012, 18:20
I find welding to be very enjoyable, and I also do it for a living. Starting out can be very frustrating though. Your best bet would be to find someone who can give you a little demonstration or look over your shoulder.

I prefer stick (smaw) welding over all the others, but it isn't practical for all applications. It would work fine for this, but the wire feed welders will be easier to work with in this application.

I first learned to weld on a wire welder and I simply sucked with it. Not too long after that, I took a some classes at the college with SMAW and I was beyond amazed at how much easier it was! Of course, my father didn't have much patience when it came to teaching me and having an unlimited supply of rods and plate helped relieve a lot of the stress of working with my father helped...

I find welding to be so relaxing. I tune out everything but working that bead and that little puddle of "fire". That puddle is gorgeous and simply eradicates everything else in the world from my thoughts.

I hate how that I lost access to all my father's stuff when I got married and moved 250 miles away from his tools....

G23Gen4TX
10-07-2012, 18:25
I was in the same position as the OP but had bigger aspirations. I wanted to build a 21ft boxing ring.

I already had a $99 Harbor Freight mig welder. Obviously it was not enough. I hired a friend of mine and together we built a biding ring in my back yard. We bought a Lincolin stick welder. It was a 240v one and worked great.

After the ring was done I figured it needed an extra three supporting legs to prevent flexing. that's when I used the HF welder. The supports came out great as well.

The HF welder can weld but it is obviously for smaller jobs. I'd say it can definitally handle the task of building a dueling tree.

For sure get an auto darkening mask. It makes such a difference. Also get welding gloves and an apron. Wear long sleeves and work boots because the splatter will go through everything you wear.

Here's my ring after the frame was finished.

http://tomerlitvin.globat.com/photography/albums/BoxingRing/photo_4.jpg

And with canvas on.

http://tomerlitvin.globat.com/photography/albums/BoxingRing/canvas.jpg

RenoF250
10-07-2012, 18:32
I use an Nd:Yag laser.

For welding targets??? Sure that sounds reasonable.

CitizenOfDreams
10-07-2012, 18:51
I use an Nd:Yag laser.

Would a laser pointer work?

fnfalman
10-07-2012, 18:58
Get a guy that knows how to weld and pay him a few bucks.

Or you can try to weld yourself and have bad fusion with the target coming off after the first couple of rounds, or you can go blind with arch flash, or burn yourself, or shock yourself to death.

faawrenchbndr
10-07-2012, 19:17
I would avoid the Harbor Freight welders,........Pure junk.

TKM
10-07-2012, 19:36
https://www.quikreg.com/classreg/catalog/getcourse.do?action=listAllCourses&clientKey=PLJK0G3308WCI00&providerKey=&menuKey=&programKey=&catalogView=title&view=catalog&courseKey=00UMRIS9J6CPJL0

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 19:37
I would avoid the Harbor Freight welders,........Pure junk.

I'm probably a bigger brand snob than most on this forum. I truly believe you get what you pay for and buy once cry once. But I've had really good luck with cheap HF stuff in the past.

And for me $89 for a welder ain't nothing. My electricity bill if over three times that. My last water bill was $250. My cable bill is $200. I spent $120 in a bar the other night.

If this $89 welder breaks next week I won't feel mad. For me it was worth the price just to mess around with something new in the garage today.

If welding is something I enjoy I'll buy a better one.

janice6
10-07-2012, 19:47
To weld steel, the rule of thumb for welder capacity is 1 Ampere for each mil (0.001") of thickness of the steel you are going to weld. You may get things to "stick" with less, but not reliably.

ARC is least investment (just buy a few rods) but also requires some practice to get a good bead. Many different rods to make it easier, "Jet rod" for example. I can't ARC weld to save my ass.

MIG with "Flux core wire" is the easiest to use, but the price will go up fast if you want to keep it for other jobs. Also Flux core is very difficult for thin steel.

MIG with gas is more expensive but more versatile. (Mine is 250 AMP)

I have TIG too, but forget it too expensive and overkill. (Mine is 200 AMP)

Welding as with any other skill, you have to jump in with great confidence, and it is easier.

With your own equipment, sure you can do it. Also, check metal scrap yards for "cutoffs and cut-outs" for targets, will be cheaper.

Inyo Tim
10-07-2012, 19:52
If this $89 welder breaks next week I won't feel mad. For me it was worth the price just to mess around with something new in the garage today.

If welding is something I enjoy I'll buy a better one.

I don't think you will enjoy trying to learn to weld with an $89 welding machine. To me it would be like trying to learn how to play guitar on the cheapest one you could find. It will be a tough row to hoe.

TKM
10-07-2012, 19:55
ROP is a pretty cool program out in El Cajon.

Do you know anybody that lives off of Murray Hill?

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 19:55
I don't think you will enjoy trying to learn to weld with an $89 welding machine. To me it would be like trying to learn how to play guitar on the cheapest one you could find. It will be a tough row to hoe.

I already enjoyed it. Going to go back to the garage and practice some more as soon as these Chargers beat the Saints :supergrin:

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 19:58
ROP is a pretty cool program out in El Cajon.

Do you know anybody that lives off of Murray Hill?

If only they still had metal shop at Helix...
Damn budget cuts.

My mom is a dean of San Diego Community college and said they offer some classes. Ntheres also a huge metal store in Kerney Mesa that offers classes. It seems like I'm already getting the hang of it, but I'm not above taking a class.
Thanks bro :wavey:

Snaps
10-07-2012, 20:15
I've been considering the same thing, does the guy who has them have a website?

I can weld so I'm good.

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 20:27
I've been considering the same thing, does the guy who has them have a website?

I can weld so I'm good.

I don't think so. I'll PM a link to the thread tomorrow. He sells 6 of the flip targets for $110 shipped. He gets great reviews on Calguns.

XDRoX
10-07-2012, 20:29
I just went out to the garage for halftime. Wow, am I having fun. It still ain't pretty but it's thick and strong. I'm getting better by the minute. Thanks guys for all the help.

MAC702
10-07-2012, 20:29
...I see they make a bunch of different types.
Arc
Mig
Flux...

MIG (GMAW) and flux-cored (FCAW) welding are also forms of arc welding. They just use a continuous wire instead of changing out the sticks in stick welding (SMAW). All these processes use an electric arc.

Stick welding is the cheapest to get into, and more versatile. The cheaper the machine, the harder it will be to use.

The wire processes are convenient when you get them set-up properly, and very fast for production work. Don't think you can treat them like a hot glue gun, though.

Before buying at Harbor Freight, check out factory refurbished Hobart machines from places like www.toolking.com. These are the best values in the welding world.

I've made much of my living with Lincoln, Miller, Hobart, and ESAB machines.

Snaps
10-07-2012, 20:37
I don't think so. I'll PM a link to the thread tomorrow. He sells 6 of the flip targets for $110 shipped. He gets great reviews on Calguns.

cool, thanks.

Caver 60
10-07-2012, 20:49
Lots of good advice above.

Concur with taking a class or at least getting an instruction book. I had a class in college once.

Also wear proper welding protection clothing. Wear cotton or leather (but leather is expensive). Blue jeans work well as long as there are no holes in them. Clothing made out of space age materials will let sparks melt right through. Also leather work boots. Nothing like catching a hot spark in a pair of tennis shoes or your open shirt collar. Not to mention arc burn. They make cotton shirts designed for welding that are not too expensive.

I only do stick welding and I'm certainly not an expert. My welds are 'gorilla' welds. Ugly as heck, but strong as you know what. I've got farm equipment that I put together 20 years ago that's still holding.

Have fun.

skinny99
10-08-2012, 07:49
http://weldingweb.com/

Start reading. Lots of posts of people using the HF machines.
Youtube also has a lot of info. People like making the cheap stuff work good.

Me, I am welder snob. I have a really nice older Miller MIG machine and an even older Lincoln stick welder.

I hate the type of machine you bought, but I have used them some when I couldn't get 220 to the site. With some patience, strong and OK looking welds can be accomplished. Remember, with that welder, clean material is extremely important. Bevel the edges of thicker material, it will help with penetration. When you have small equipment penetration is always an issue! :whistling:

dango
10-08-2012, 08:08
Well , are we talkin the swining of swords or the melting and fusing of metals ?

I always get's my ie -vs- ei's mixed up !:supergrin:

arclight610
10-08-2012, 09:29
Sounds like you need to get a little closer and go slower. Alot of problems newer people have is that they hold too far away and try to go too fast. It should sound like you are cooking bacon.

Snaps
10-08-2012, 15:46
Get a guy that knows how to weld and pay him a few bucks.

Or you can try to weld yourself and have bad fusion with the target coming off after the first couple of rounds, or you can go blind with arch flash, or burn yourself, or shock yourself to death.

I think its a good way to learn, welding can come in very useful in life. Its one of those skills that's not as common anymore though.

deutscheglocker
10-08-2012, 19:19
You might try watching a few welding videos to learn arc length, angle, travel speed, watching the puddle to ensure you are fusing/welding equally on both parts.

I'm primarily a stick weldor with a bit of TIG.
There's a lot going on depending if the welds you are making are flat, vertical, overhead, with different thicknesses of metal.

Instead of watching your friend Joe teach you the incorrect way, I would opt for taking some community college beginners class. Find out if they instruct in MIG since that's what you are using.

It's kinda like shooting. You aren't going to come out of the gate making perfect filet welds just like you won't be making those 100 yd shots with your Glock 23 with the first box or making one hole groups at 25. Take your time & learn the right way. It'll keep it interesting if you are successful with the first few projects.
Then, after a day or so, you'll be making Xray quality 6G welds & will be welding at a Nuke near you. :).

KenInColorado
10-08-2012, 20:04
The key to welding is preparation. A grinder with a flap disc or aggressive wire wheel is essential. The surfaces that you're welding should be clean and also have a shine to them.

Go slow. Watch the weld "puddle" move in the gap between the two pieces that you're welding. Move the tip of the gun in a circular motion to build the puddle between the two surfaces.

When you practice with your scrap pieces, put the things you've joined in a vice and try to break them apart with a hammer. Cut them apart with your grinder to see how deep the weld has penetrated.

HF flux core welding wire SUCKS. Find a place that sells Miller/Hobart flux core wire or Lincoln flux core wire. The HF stuff seems inconsistent with how the flux is imbedded in the wire, and it pops and spits and wrecks the quality of the bead. Miller/Hobart or Lincoln runs a lot better and it makes a huge difference in the weld strength.

You can build amazing stuff with flux core wire and a 110v welder. I have a Hobart 110v machine, and I built the bumpers, rocker guards and suspension mounts for my Jeep with it.