Learn How to Weld

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks for making installations of all sizes or making smaller pieces and jewelry.
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ygmir
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Post by ygmir » Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:36 am

Hi FC:
the battery boost thing was mine, and, I have a Miller 225 portable with DC and AC.......thanks for the clarity, I know that part, but, it's good to be safe. Good info, thanks.

A question about "good fit".........I was always under the impression you want a small gap in the joint you're welding, to allow for shrinkage upon cooling.
Is that true?
I've done both, and, haven't experienced a difference.

thanks.
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fciron
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Post by fciron » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:04 am

ygmir wrote:Hi FC:
the battery boost thing was mine, and, I have a Miller 225 portable with DC and AC.......thanks for the clarity, I know that part, but, it's good to be safe. Good info, thanks.

A question about "good fit".........I was always under the impression you want a small gap in the joint you're welding, to allow for shrinkage upon cooling.
Is that true?
I've done both, and, haven't experienced a difference.

thanks.
lessee, it's been explained but it's spread across several posts. DC-electrode positive is the same as negative polarity so the rod clamp is positive and the ground or 'work' clamp is positive, attach to battery appropriately. (or vice versa :twisted: ) if you have a welder where polarity is selected by pluging the leads into pos. and neg. sockets it's easy, if you have a switch you have to read. lols

ah, shrinkage. The weld does contract upon cooling. In practical terms this means that the work will pull towards the weld; a right angle may become an 80 degree angle after welding on one side (it will lean toward the weld. A small gap (tiny like a 1/16th inch) will allow you to knock the peice back into place. I generally tack the piece together with small welds, checking the position as I go. Once I am satisfied that it won't move I weld it up completely. I try to work on opposite sides to prevent distortion (similar to tightening lug nuts). A good fit is still important because it is a lot easier to weld a consistently sized gap and you will have the same amount of weld on each side, thus balancing the shrinkage. (I was thinking about curves and angled joints where fit is most likely to be an issue. Once you get into building things it seems like there are very rarely any horizontal butt welds.)

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Post by ygmir » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:08 am

ok, that helps, thanks.
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Post by mdmf007 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:30 am

didn even notice the picture of the Lincoln machine - and assumed DC was the output we were talking about.

your right - hook that welder to your batteries and there is a 100% chance that youll burn it.

later

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www.learn-how-to-weld.com

Post by apples017 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:37 am

Hi all,

I have a little site on how to weld. Slowly adding to it.

www.learn-how-to-weld.com

Topics include mig welding, arc welding, mig welding wire, welding torches, how to strike an arc, how to lay a weld bead etc etc.

I also have a few small welding videos as well on the site. Might be worth having a look.

Cheers,
Peter
Australia
FREE welding how to's, mig welding, arc welding, how to strike an arc, how to lay a weld bead, mig welding wire, mig weldin guns.

Check it out, you might get something out of it.
http://www.learn-how-to-weld.com

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Post by robotland » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:56 am

A recent discovery (for me, anyway)...Aluminum "brazing" rods, available from Harbor Freight for thirteen bucks the pack of eight. There's a little bit of learning curve, but in the end I'll be darned if you can't stick two pieces of aluminum together pretty well with just one of these and a propane torch. Useful!
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Post by Toolmaker » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:51 am

robotland wrote:A recent discovery (for me, anyway)...Aluminum "brazing" rods, available from Harbor Freight for thirteen bucks the pack of eight. There's a little bit of learning curve, but in the end I'll be darned if you can't stick two pieces of aluminum together pretty well with just one of these and a propane torch. Useful!
Similar rods are available from many different sources nowadays, some are made for steels as well. MAPP can also be used with these rods and one would be surprised at the tensile strength of the welds made with these. I wouldn't use em on a dance platform ontop of a mutant but they are great for cosmetic stuff and general repairs.
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Frustrated with Bicycle Gear Sparking

Post by allyn » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:50 pm

Hello:

I do tig welding to make steel jewelry and art out of discarded metal stuff such as stainless steel tableware from thrift stores, old tools, and bicycle stuff from a used bicycle shop that sells used parts.

Everything's cool and great except for one frustrating problem.

Normally, when I tig weld, I get no sparks or smoke, or slag, or anything; after all, the argon protects the work and the tungsten electrode.

The nasty exception is whenever I try to weld anything to some of the bicycle gear.

You see, the bicycle gear are those that come from the rear wheel cassette, or freewheel. I take those apart and use the individual gears.

I first clean them using a citrus based cleaner. I then use a steel wire brush the clean them further. I then use a surface grinder to grund the surface of the gears to a shine.

So, by the time I am through, they are clean.

And by the way, I am pretty sure that they are steel and not aluminum because of their weight and the way they behave with a grinder.

Then when I try to weld anything to them using the tig torch, I get a shower of sparks like the 4th of july and the joint is **ugly**; not appropriate for art work at all. It looks like as the metal is blown apart. I can also see some droplets of steel on my tungsten torch; forcing me to regrind the torch.

Other bicycle gears are okay.

I have welded stainless to mild; stainless to stainless; and mild to mild with no problem except for some of the bicycle gears. So, I don't think the problem has to do with welding mild to stainless or mild to mild. It seems to happen no matter what I try to weld the bicycle gear to.

Can any of you give me any clue as to why I am getting this sparking on bicycle gears and not much else?

Thank you

Truly,

Cleara

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titanium?

Post by Tiahaar » Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:16 pm

hey allyn, you're not by chance using the bigger gears from high-end cassettes that are made of titanium maybe? That stuff is pretty reactive and hard to tig weld. From the http://www.welding-advisers.com/Welding-titanium.html site I copied this:
Tip!: In the past it was considered that Tig Welding-titanium could be performed only in chambers, equipped with glove ports and viewing ports, filled with argon. However with accumulating experience and especially for welding of large structures, it was concluded that this is not an absolute need, provided sufficient "trailing" inert gas is continuously provided.

Welding-titanium is done with straight polarity direct current (tungsten electrode connected to negative pole). Power supply should have high frequency facility for arc initiation without contact to avoid contaminating the weld with tungsten bits.
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Titanium?

Post by allyn » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:32 pm

Tihaar:

That's a good tip. Thanks.

I don't think it's titanium, thoug for two reasons.

First of all, the place that I get it from (Citybikes Annex in Portland, Oregon) are very knowlegable, and I would doubt that they would let a tike gear out of the parts room for fifty cents.

Secondly, I notice something after posting my note. If I start putting some stainless steel fill on the joint, the sparking settles doesn and I do end up with good joint. I think, and please correct me if I am wrong, that I would not have been able to weld tike to stainless steel if it was indeed tike.

I am using 20PSI of argon when I do TIG; along with DC negative and an HF start. However I am not using backfill argon in the back of the connection, nor am I using a chamber.

Since I sew clear vinyl, (making clear raincoats) I do plan to make a large clear plastic 'oxygen tent' contraption than can go over my work when I do get to the point that I feel that I can handle (and afford) to work with tike. I do envision some ides for tike jewelry and accessories (buckle belts and pendants) as well as bike frames. That, however is years down the road as I have been welding for only 1 year.

Truly,

Cleara

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Post by motskyroonmatick » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:23 pm

I have a hard time welding mild steel with my tig too. I solved the problem the same way you did. It seems to totally cure the popping and pitting problem for me. I know in a purist sense it isn't too kosher but it works and so I go with it. I think it is the oxygen content of the metal that leads to this problem. Maybe we are both welding on sub standard metal.
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Sub Standard Metal - hmmm . . .

Post by allyn » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:32 pm

I did not think of that. Hmm. . .

Thanks for the suggestion. That could explain it.

Especially, when I work with stainless (stainless tableware from thrift stores), I don't have the problem, nor with mild steel purchased from metalsonline.com.

Then a question could be, how can one (if possible) attempt to leach oxygen out of steel prior to welding it? Assuming that can be done in a home lab environment and not by taking over a steel mill :(

Or, another question I need to answer; are bicycle gears likely to be 'sub-standard' steel? I don't imagine the bike shops knowing the answer to that one. :)

Until then, I now know to have the fill rod right on the joint prior to striking the arc.

Fortunately, the rig does have RF start, so I could set the joint, the fill, and position the torch prior to flipping the hood and touching th pedal . . .

Thanks
Cleara

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Post by mdmf007 » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:00 pm

Bikes are commonly made of some gnarly alloys, I welded, or tried to weld a bike crack - turned out to be Magnesium. burns real bright and fills your shop with thick smoke.

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Fear of Welding Magnesium

Post by allyn » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:59 pm

That last post gives me fear of accidentally attempting to weld magnesium.

How can I recognize magnesium before attempting to weld it and ending up with a magnesium flare on my welding bench.

I fear this because my primary source of metal to do my art is the second hand bicycle shop and the thrift stores. I use a lot of old bicycle parts in my creations as well as old eating utensils.

Now, with your posting, I fear goint into a piece of magnesium and ending up with a fireworks display in my shop.

How can I tell if I am about to have such a disaster? If I do end up flaring up magnesium, how do I put it out? Or can I?

Thanks

Cleara
(Mark Allyn)

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Post by motskyroonmatick » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:13 pm

Magnesium can only be put out with chemical agents and they work by coating the burning metal. Water makes the fire much more active so don't put water on it. If your bench is metal I would just stand back and let (I presume)the small piece burn. Controlling secondary fires (if any) would be my first priority then check out the burn scar on the table and get back to it. Magnesium should dent easily like aluminum and be able to easily create shavings of it with a steel edge of some sort. Other than that I don't know. The only piece I have is on a camp fire lighter.
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Post by motskyroonmatick » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:33 pm

mdmf007 wrote:Bikes are commonly made of some gnarly alloys, I welded, or tried to weld a bike crack - turned out to be Magnesium. burns real bright and fills your shop with thick smoke.
The frame on my BMW F650 motorcycle is of a mild steel alloy that doesn't weld well with a stick welder and good old 6011. I cracked my frame in the oil tank which is part of the frame by the steering neck. Each time I would make a pass it would open up cracks on each side of the weld. After about 1/2 a day of working on it I went with the clean it good and 10$ epoxy route. It held the oil in for the rest of the trip from Bahia De Los Angeles to San Diego. I burnt the epoxy off with a map gas torch and covered the area with a stainless steel plate. Tig welded in place and pressure tested to 40 lbs. No problems since but no 3000 mile suspension taxing trips in Baja either.
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Post by Sail Man » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:05 pm

mdmf007 wrote:Bikes are commonly made of some gnarly alloys, I welded, or tried to weld a bike crack - turned out to be Magnesium. burns real bright and fills your shop with thick smoke.
Magnesium brakes on car fires....mmmmm pretty :twisted:
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Post by mdmf007 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:10 pm

Sail Man wrote:
mdmf007 wrote:Bikes are commonly made of some gnarly alloys, I welded, or tried to weld a bike crack - turned out to be Magnesium. burns real bright and fills your shop with thick smoke.
Magnesium brakes on car fires....mmmmm pretty :twisted:
Volkswagen blocks too!!!!!!!!!!

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Post by Toolmaker » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:15 pm

I usually only use the magnesium to start the thermite.

Red bull cans work real good!
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Welding Classes

Post by mk-ultra » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:37 pm

If you live in the SF Bay Area, I heartily recommend signing yourself up for a welding class at The Crucible:

http://thecrucible.org/

They're located in Oakland, near Jack London Square -- and tons of the folks there are fellow burners.

I've taken two TIG classes there, and really got a lot out of both of them. Classes usually run one night a week for five weeks, and are 3 hours long.

They also have "intensive" classes where you can cram all the hours in two eight hour sessions.

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Post by Toolmaker » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:05 am

http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/

Not a welding link but of interest to metalworkers.
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Post by robotland » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:47 am

Howdy From Kalamazoo

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ygmir
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Post by ygmir » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:46 pm

Toolmaker wrote:http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/

Not a welding link but of interest to metalworkers.
nice link thanks TM.......
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fciron
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Post by fciron » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:24 pm

Ooh, the backyard metal-casters link reminded me of another project. Waste oil forge. The guys that do diesel conversions locally also collect and resell the used veg oil from restaurants. Sometimes it's too dirty for them to filter and one of them actually offered it to me. So instead of me begging for oil I have someone asking me to please take the stuff.

Anyhow. I found some veg oil burner plans that work for casting, and thus for forging. Yay!

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Post by LeChatNoir » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:19 pm

Sounds like a project to me!!!

There was an article in The Anvil’s Ring a while back about a fellow in Arizona who had a nice little homemade casting rig that used oil. Decent photos and info.

I’ll have to see if I can dig up a link and post it.
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Post by fciron » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:08 pm

Like this?
http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/oilburners.html

Linked to from that site is the one I shall probably be knocking off:
http://home.comcast.net/~moya034/burner/

Image

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Post by LeChatNoir » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:42 pm

Very much like that, actually!!

Man... now you got me thinking about revamping my shop.
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Post by robotland » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:03 pm

Beware of burning anything that'd make your shop smell like fast food...that's (kind of) what happened to my colleague Jerry Berta, who had a lifelong obsession with diners. He bought "Uncle Bob's Diner" that was used for the "quicker-picker-upper" Rosie's Diner paper towel commercials and had it transported from New Jersey to north of Grand Rapids (Michigan) to use as a studio, but kept having people see it, stop and try to order food....Eventually he caved and bought TWO MORE vintage diners and opened them as restaurants. He still has the "NO FOOD.... JUST ART" neon sign in the window of his "flagship". He and his wife both do ceramics.. nice folks, and a helluva creative team... NOT unlike dear LeChat and lovely Karine.
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Post by fciron » Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:42 pm

Don't worry at 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit even the fast food smell gets burnt up. :twisted:

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allyn
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Success at TIG Brazing!

Post by allyn » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:11 pm

Folks:

I wish to share with you a wonderful accomplishment I had this weekend!

I have finally achieved success at tig brazing brass to stainless steel!

After much frustration and breathing God only knows what kind of fumes that evoke from heating brass (and yes, they do stink), I have finally got a piece of brass stick to a piece of stainless steel.

My project is a multi-metal peace symbol to be used as a belt buckle for
a custom made man's clear vinyl raincoat that I am making. It needs to have
both ornamental as well as load bearing strength.

Here is what you need to do to TIG braze different metals:

1. Use a filler rod known as Silicon Bronze. You can get it at most decent
weld suppliers. You do not want the type with paste. Just solid silicon
bronze.

2. Make sure that everything is clean. I use a steel brush on my electric
drill and clean everything. It's best to clean everything right before you
you do the brazing. Don't clean the stuff, let it sit for a week, and then
braze.

3. Use DC, electrode negative. Use RF start.

4. Use argon for you shielding gas; set the torch pressure to about 20 PSI.

5. If you have, it, use the foot pedal to control the current. Set your max
current to about 100 amps.

6. Get ready with the torch in on hand, the silicon bronze in the other hand
and your foot on the pedal.

7. What you need to do is to quickly pre-heat the base metals, then back down
on the current and then insert the silicon bronze filler and apply the arc to
the filler. You then need to quickly move the arc back and fourth in order
to provide uniform heat to the filler and to the base metal. One thing
you have to be aware of is that the tip of the arc itself is many
thousands of degrees and will melt all metals. The object of the game
here is to try to diffuse the heat to the point that your base metals
do not get warm enough to melt, but warm enough in order for the
filler metal to melt and flow onto them.

8. Strike the ark and stomp on the pedal for about 2 to 3 seconds. You want to
pre heat the base metals, but not melt them. This is very important
especially with brass. If you heat the brass too hot, it gets angry and
spits off these horrible zinc fumes. This will take practice.

9. Immediatly back off on the pedal and insert the filler directly into the arc.

10. Melt the filler with as little current as possible. Remeber, you don't want
to melt the base metals.

11. Once you have the gob of filler metal, you need to increase the current
slightly by gently pressing on the foot pedal as you wave the arc back
and fourth over the filler metal and the base metals. You need to watch
very closely for the filler metal to flow over the base metals but not to let
the base metals themselves melt. This is where you will really need to
practice.


I am doing TIG brazing because I absolutely will not have any flamable
gasses in my shop. I strongly feel that having electric equipment alone
is the safest for me. I have heard too many horror stories about
acetylene and propane.

I also do not want to mess around with the pastes. Some of them are quite
nasty. TIG brazing eliminates the need of pastes because the argon
shielding gas will prevent the oxidizing.

I would love to hear others' experiences with TIG welding and TIG brazing.

Luv

Cleara
(Mark Allyn)

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