Welding

What changes can we make to our lives to deal with the economic and energy crises ahead? Have you already started making preparations? Got tips to share?

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clv101
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Welding

Post by clv101 »

Does anyone here weld?

How easy is to self teach (from Internet/videos) MIG welding with relatively cheap equipment?

How useful is a 10 week, 3hr per week evening class at the local college leading to City and Guilds level 1 qualification?
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emordnilap
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Post by emordnilap »

I can do basic arc welding. It's easy; you can be shown the basics in half an hour. All you need then is practise!

A modern inverter welder is best for home use, the draw is much lower than the older stuff. Also, get a 'solar' helmet, ie, one where you can see through the mask at all times and it darkens when you start welding. For a beginner, a permanently dark helmet makes welding near-on impossible.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Basic electric arc welding is easy, I manage it and have never had any formal instruction.

Unless you intend to earn your living from welding, a formal course may be more detailed than you need.

The older type of arc welder is now very cheap to buy, though remember that they need a lot of power ! The smaller ones can be just about be powered from a 13 amp socket, but expect to get through a lot of plug fuses.
The larger units need a 32 amp supply, and some need a 400/415 volt supply.

An arc welder can be powered from a generator if it is large enough.

The more modern inverter welding units dont use as much power, but it is still significant.

Take care if not used to welding, apart from the heat and UV light, remember that the voltages used can be dangerous, though less so than the mains.
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emordnilap
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Post by emordnilap »

Also, weld any galvanised metal outside with the wind behind you. Otherwise you won't be welding for long.

And adam2's got a point I'd forgotten - no exposed skin!
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
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Post by Catweazle »

The process of melting metal is quite easy, the difficult bit is knowing where to put it , how to get it to cool in the shape you want, and being able to read the symbols put on the metal by the people who cut it to shape.

I recommend "Modern Welding" ISBN 0-87006-966-7. It's a big book, but it will tell you everything about every method of welding.
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Re: Welding

Post by Kentucky Fried Panda »

clv101 wrote:Does anyone here weld?

How easy is to self teach (from Internet/videos) MIG welding with relatively cheap equipment?

How useful is a 10 week, 3hr per week evening class at the local college leading to City and Guilds level 1 qualification?
Yes, but not often.

I've not done any MIG, but would be fun to try.

Qualifications are always useful, especially if they're work related.
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Re: Welding

Post by Little John »

clv101 wrote:Does anyone here weld?

How easy is to self teach (from Internet/videos) MIG welding with relatively cheap equipment?

How useful is a 10 week, 3hr per week evening class at the local college leading to City and Guilds level 1 qualification?
I do a bit of arc welding. Half and hour being shown and you'll be good to go. Having said that, I just went on the interent and googled a couple of vids. After about a day of faffing about, i had it.

Arc welding's not hard. Pretty arc welding is quite hard. But it comes with time.
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

I've been looking at a lot of videos and think TIG welding is probably the most useful - and fairly similar to the fillet brazing I've done. Made this last week:

Image
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Post by Little John »

clv101 wrote:I've been looking at a lot of videos and think TIG welding is probably the most useful - and fairly similar to the fillet brazing I've done. Made this last week:

Image
If you can fillet braze like that, you don't need to go on a several week welding course
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Post by Catweazle »

clv101 wrote:I've been looking at a lot of videos and think TIG welding is probably the most useful - and fairly similar to the fillet brazing I've done. Made this last week:
That's a lovely bit of work.

I have a TIG welder myself, if you can afford it get an AC / DC model with HF and pulse. The AC will allow you to weld aluminium and the HF starts the arc without needing to tough the workpiece which keeps the tungsten cleaner and thus the arc straighter, pulse lets you control the heat input without turning the current down to a level that causes instability. You will use a fair bit of Argon, but there is a company now doing cheap contracts, better than the 5 year Air Products contract I had to take out. A foot control is useful too, as on low currents you sometimes need a bit more to start the weld than to maintain it and it's nice to cut the current when you come to an edge to avoid melting a dip into the edge.

They say that with TIG you can weld a razor blade to a boat anchor and it's true, it's very controllable and easy to use.
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Post by stumuzz »

clv101 wrote: TIG welding is probably the most useful
For what?
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Post by biffvernon »

For welding razor blades to a boat anchors. Every home should have one.

(Wood-worker, knows nothing about metal-work.)
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Post by Little John »

I have an inverter welder. It does arc and also scratch tig.

I bought an argon bottle early on and did some scratch tig. In the early days, it made some pretty welds. But, since getting more use to the arc, I can now make perfectly neat arc welds. Also, the arc welds are strong as buggery. Consequently, I can't ever see me needing to use to tig or mig for anything that I might use a welder for.

I've even seen someone weld aluminum with an arc welder! Looks like you'd need to be an ace welder to do that , though.
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Post by stumuzz »

Land rover defender owner here.

Pretty welding. Seems such Louis XVi.
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Post by Tarrel »

It's a useful skill to have. I learned arc welding and oxy-acetylene brazing at college years ago. It wasn't very difficult to learn.

Lidl were selling a cheap arc welder recently. Wish I'd bought one but, as is often the case with Lidl, they weren't in stock for long.
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