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  • Which solvent?

    Hello everyone,
    Which solvent is appropriate for prepping metal before welding? I don't recall what we used when I took a welding class. I'm guessing mineral spirits
    is appropriate.
    TIA,
    Gene

  • #2
    Mineral spirits is a big NO-NO as it is a petroleum based product and will leave an oily residue. Some will tell you Acetone or Lacquer thinners or other similar products but I'm not too keen on having more flammable liquids in a welding shop than necessary. I use either Simple Green or White lightning, both do a great job of cleaning and de-greasing and both rinse off with water leaving no residue.
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    sigpicJohn Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

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    • #3
      i have naver herd of preping metal with solvent prior to welding but I would think that it is to remove oil so in that case acetone mineral spirits lacer thinner or wax and grease remover should work
      edit: i started posting this befor dabar39 and he seems much more knowledgable take his advice
      Last edited by metalmeltr; 01-13-2009, 05:54 AM.
      This is an automotive discussion forum that has some great infromation

      www.autobodytoolmart.com/shoptalk

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      • #4
        I like denatured alcohol. Like many solvents, it is flammable and not good for you if you breath it, get it in your eyes or absorb it through your skin. But I like to think it is less toxic than other solvents, not very expensive comparatively and doesn't leave any residue.

        PS: Last time I bought DNA (last year) it was about $10 for a gallon. Around 20 years ago at a surplus gov't. auction I had to pass on a 55 gallon drum that went for ONLY $5! I didn't have any way to transport it or anywhere to store it. I'd probably still be using today...
        Last edited by mccutter; 01-18-2009, 11:09 PM. Reason: storytime
        TA Arcmaster 185 w/TIG/Stick Kit
        MM210 w/3535 Frankengun
        MM140 w/o AS w/SM100 & CO2
        Hobart (Miller) 625 Plasma
        Hobart 250ci Plasma
        Victor O/A (always ready, but bored)
        Lincoln Patriot Autodark (freebie)
        .45ACP Black Talons for those difficult jobs

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        • #5
          I use lacquer thinner just because it's a solvent I always have around with my sign business. Also (when welding on my camaro chassis) it takes the primer off in the weld area with little effort. Always keep the can in the next room when welding.

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          • #6
            If it's new, clean metal, I second the Simple Green. It's cheap, biodegradable and it isn't hazardous
            sigpic

            Fire, Fire!!!... Oh wait, that's my torch

            Lincoln PT-225 TIG
            Lincoln 175 MIG

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            • #7
              Ive always used denatured alchohol on my stuff...
              Voigt Precision Welding, Inc.

              Miller Dynasty 200 DX, Miller Syncrowave 250, MillerMatic 252, Hypertherm Powermax 45, Auto Arc Trailpower 8000,272+187 lb Peter Wright anvil, 120 lb Fisher-norris, and more! Buffalo drill press, Grizzly Horiz. Bandsaw, Edwards shear, Barth Shear, bantam mechanical ironworker, Hopkins fly press, Doall Bandsaw, brown and sharpe surface grinder.

              2007 Silverado 2500HD (tow vehicle)
              2000 Camaro SS (Race car)
              sigpic

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              • #8
                This question has many possibilities.

                Acetone and alcohol on aluminum are fine,

                Acetone on Stainless however is not good it will darken the area when welded and is a bummer to clean up, Alcohol is better.

                On steel you can get by with much more, I have heard of brakeclean{non-chlorinated**, acetone, alcohol, even laquer thinner.

                The catch is if it flashes off quick it is probably volatile and could create a situation for a fire or explosion.

                Caution be your guide,
                Paul

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                • #9
                  I was just remembering that one of the products that I had mentioned earlier in this thread, White lightning, also goes by the name of Greased lightning depending on which part of the country you come from.
                  If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

                  sigpicJohn Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
                  Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

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                  • #10
                    White lightning doesn't hurt if its absorbed either, if we talking about the same white lightning.
                    To all who contribute to this board.
                    My sincere thanks , Pete.

                    Pureox OA
                    Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                    Miller Syncrowave 250
                    Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

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                    • #11
                      I have used plain 'ol Stoddard solvent for thirty years to degrease, whether on steel or auto parts. Sparks will light it up so be careful and do the cleaning in a different area than welding or grinding (don't ask me how I know, hehe). Getting expensive compared to soap-based solvents, but still works better IMHO.

                      Glenn

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul Seaman View Post
                        On steel you can get by with much more, I have heard of brakeclean{non-chlorinated**, acetone, alcohol, even laquer thinner.

                        The catch is if it flashes off quick it is probably volatile and could create a situation for a fire or explosion.

                        Caution be your guide,
                        Paul
                        I use brake clean all the time on mild steel, works great & never had a problem with it catching on fire. The only degreaser I've ever had fire problem with is the citrus based stuff. I only used that once.
                        Bobcat 225NT
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                        • #13
                          I second the non-chlorinated brakeclean. If you use the other stuff (red crc can) you can choke yourself to death. The stuff is BAD NEWS. Dave
                          Originally posted by Paul Seaman View Post
                          This question has many possibilities.

                          Acetone and alcohol on aluminum are fine,

                          Acetone on Stainless however is not good it will darken the area when welded and is a bummer to clean up, Alcohol is better.

                          On steel you can get by with much more, I have heard of brakeclean{non-chlorinated**, acetone, alcohol, even laquer thinner.

                          The catch is if it flashes off quick it is probably volatile and could create a situation for a fire or explosion.

                          Caution be your guide,
                          Paul

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                          • #14
                            I like IVORY dish soap and a clean water rinse.

                            I have tried other soaps, Dawn does a good job too.

                            I would be very cautious when thinking of using solvents. As noted above they are petroleum based like gasoline is. When the fumes get hot you dont know what effect they will have on you. You can read a lot of guys saying they have used this or that for hundreds of years and thats all great but they arent telling you what they dont know and that is the effect it has had or is having on them.

                            If you read the MSDS's on the stuff they disclaim the heck out of it. Some of it is just covering the backside but most of it is precaution because they dont know it all either.

                            Be careful.

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                            • #15
                              I might be miss guided but I worry more about the stuff in the air emitted from the weld process itself than the small amount of solvent used to clean the weld area. I usually keep a door cracked at least, opened further if wind and temps allow. If I welded more I would probably get an air exchanger but welding isn't a full time job for me.

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