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  • New To The Welding World

    Good Evening All,

    My partner Stephen and I have decided to take the plunge into the welding world, we have purchased a MIG welder (without spending a fortune on our first venture). We've got a few other bits and bobs to go with it. I plan on going into making sculptures from scrap but Ste is more into using for more useful tasks.

    Any hints and tips for a couple of complete starters would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Sue
    Sue

    !Welding Newbie!

  • #2
    Bits & Bobs ??

    Originally posted by Sue113 View Post
    Good Evening All,

    My partner Stephen and I have decided to take the plunge into the welding world, we have purchased a MIG welder (without spending a fortune on our first venture). We've got a few other bits and bobs to go with it. I plan on going into making sculptures from scrap but Ste is more into using for more useful tasks.

    Any hints and tips for a couple of complete starters would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Sue
    Sue Hello & Welcome !!

    To Begin with , let me guess you are in the U.K. , as where I'm sitting in
    Canada It's still mid-afternoon 3:00PM.

    I'm Kinda' New as well, I Stated in 1967, ( Almost 42yrs. Ago )

    What were you looking to find out ??

    Maybe A little more Info. would help !

    .......... Norm :
    www.normsmobilewelding.blogspot.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome. Just what kind of jobs and scale are you think about doing with metal art. good luck and if you need some help someone on here will always help you out

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello and welcome!

        I would recomend looking into whether on not a local tecnical school runs welding classes at night. You will learn much faster with the hands on experience and feed back from the instructor on what you are or are not doing right. Near me a typical class runs $200 and includes wire, gas, some materials and of course the machines to use and the instructor. We also had the ability to try other welding types like tig in the last class. Class lasted 10 weeks, one night a week for 3 hrs. We also had the use of the other shop tools like the saws, torches, press etc that we could use if we needed for our own personal projects.

        You say mig, do you mean mig with gas or do you have a gasless flux core machine? You will find a gas mig more useful for sculpture. Don't forget the safety equipment! Get good quality equipment that fits well and it will last and protect you for a long time.

        Mig is fairly easy to learn, most people can go from flat, to horizontal, to vertical and on to overhead welding in a standard 10 week class if you give it a bit of effort. Having your own machine to practice on at home will help if you work a bit between classes. Good luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          Norm - yes i am in the UK!

          I literally know nothing about welding!! (ok i hear you shout oh god you got a right plonker here)! However I am more than willing to learn.
          We are still waiting to take delivery of the welder but today received an angle grinder and a few other bits.



          Oc - Im thinking of small scale art to start with. Using what scrap I can find cheaply locally.

          Thanks for warm welcome.

          x
          Sue

          !Welding Newbie!

          Comment


          • #6
            DSW - Thanks for the reply, we have ordered a gasless flux core machine, purely from what Steve was reading they're a great place price wise for someone to start. We have been looking into evening courses to get a bit of ground knowledge to start from, Ste will go on said courses first (as his welding is going to be put to some use!)


            Thanks again

            xx
            Sue

            !Welding Newbie!

            Comment


            • #7
              Here ya go Sue. Heres some reading for you. Welcome aboard
              http://millerwelds.com/resources/imp...ur-skills/mig/

              Steve
              Dont force it, use a BIGGER hammer.

              Linde VI-252C and Linde wire feeder.
              Hobart Cyberwave 300c.
              HH 140.
              Miller Big 40.
              Lincoln SAE 200J.
              Hobart GR-303.
              Lincoln tombstone welder.
              TD Cutmaster 52.
              Hobart Stickmate.
              Miller 211 w/ Spoolgun.
              Lincoln SA 200.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello Sue113!

                Welcome to the Forum. How's things in ye' old Lincolnshire? I saw on the news London actually got some snow! (I listen to the BBC on short-wave from time to time). Let us all know when your machine arrives and we can walk you through it. What brand did you buy?

                Keep us posted! (It's 83F @ 14:30 hrs MST in Phoenix) GMT-7?

                Dave
                Last edited by davedarragh; 02-03-2009, 03:44 PM.
                "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by davedarragh View Post
                  Welcome to the Forum. How's things in ye' old Lincolnshire? I saw on the news London actually got some snow! (I listen to the BBC on short-wave from time to time). Let us all know when your machine arrives and we can walk you through it. What brand did you buy?

                  Keep us posted! (It's 83F @ 14:30 hrs MST in Phoenix) -7 GMT ?

                  Dave
                  Yes its been snowing in lincolnshire too!! The snow has pretty much brought the whole country to a standstill!! There was even a mini tornado off of the south coast of Cornwall! But hey i made a 4ft tall snowman with the kids!

                  Currently its about 30F @ 22:23 GMT!! too cold!

                  Our welder (back to the matter in hand!) - im not sure on its make on the picture it says Power Craft! (cheap and cheerful, so i'm told!)

                  x

                  (enjoy ure lovely warm weather!)
                  Sue

                  !Welding Newbie!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "ok i hear you shout oh god you got a right plonker here"

                    If anyone shouts "oh god you got a right plonker" I may be forced into shooting them! BTW what is a plonker and what is the difference between and right one and a wrong one, or is it a left one?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sue113 View Post
                      Good Evening All,

                      My partner Stephen and I have decided to take the plunge into the welding world, we have purchased a MIG welder (without spending a fortune on our first venture). We've got a few other bits and bobs to go with it. I plan on going into making sculptures from scrap but Ste is more into using for more useful tasks.

                      Any hints and tips for a couple of complete starters would be greatly appreciated.

                      Thanks
                      Sue

                      Hi sue
                      Welcome.

                      The best way to learn is with someone showing you. If you can't find a school that you like, as DSW suggested, you also could try local weldors,
                      asking them for some help or tips or feedback. Posting your results here,
                      with pictures of the weld is also helpful (though in-person is better).

                      The information on the miller web site that ACWD1950 posted
                      is also excellent -- if you can't find anyone else to help, that's a good
                      place to go.

                      As to places like you-tube; if you just look for how to weld
                      videos, you're as likely to get junk or bad information as not.
                      I'd avoid them unless someone who seems reasonable on one of these
                      forums says "go look at ....".

                      After that, it's practice, practice, practice.

                      If your partner is doing "real" stuff -- he really shouldn't try doing anything
                      where if the weld fails, someone could get hurt until he has a fair bit of
                      experience. A weld may look good on the outside, but be rotten on the
                      inside. If you (or he) posts something that boils down to "I don't know
                      what I am doing and want to weld my trailer" you _will_ be dismissed
                      as a right plonker (or worse)

                      Frank

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sue one more thought to keep in mind.

                        I don't know anything about the machine you will be getting, but in the US almost all the Flux core only machines are small light duty models. It is very easy to make what looks like a nice bead and has very little strength. While probably not critical for your purposes in art, (unless you plan on building 4 story high sculptures) your partner must keep this in mind. Most companies tend to exaggerate the maximum capacities of their machines. They will weld that thick BUT only when used in very skilled, knolegeable hands and with the right prep.

                        As long as you all keep this in mind you will have a great time learning to weld.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ahh geez-

                          Just drag the gun for Fluxcore and burn some wire

                          Keep yer head outta da smoke

                          and put the hood down before welding.

                          Have fun.
                          Ed Conley
                          http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                          MM252
                          MM211
                          Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
                          TA185
                          Miller 125c Plasma 120v
                          O/A set
                          SO 2020 Bender
                          You can call me Bacchus

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Some more advice

                            I'm a wood sculptor who started working in metal about six years ago. You have not talked much about your art however starting with putting together bits of scrap to make forms is a good idea. Moreover, flux core is pretty forgiving of rusty and painted metal so it makes the metal preparation a bit easier.

                            You will discover that cutting, preparing, grinding, and finishing is 90% of the work and welding is 10%. You definitely need cutting tools and one inexpensive way is to get a cutting wheel for your angle grinder. This is essentially a very thin grinding wheel that 'cuts' by grinding. It is fairly crude so another handy tool is a die grinder that uses thinner, 3" diameter cutting wheels.

                            To do curves you have to cut straight lines first, and then use the angle grinder to make the curve. I recommend flap wheels for grinding rather than grinding wheels. Not as noisy and, to some extent, you can sculpt the metal easier than with a grinding wheel. You will also need some welding vise grips to hold pieces in place while you tack weld them.

                            I also recommend scrap yards - the messier the better - to find odd bits and shapes. Regular steel yards only have standard shapes ; bar, rod, tube, etc. and, at the beginning, they inhibit rather than promote creativity.

                            When you find your own technique then you can refine it, and probably will move away from flux core to gas MIG welding but the welder you have is a great place to start.

                            Also on the welding side, I highly recommend an auto-darkening welding helmet. As others have said, be careful about safety - particularly eye protection when welding and grinding.

                            Finally, have fun!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DSW View Post
                              Sue one more thought to keep in mind.

                              I don't know anything about the machine you will be getting, but in the US almost all the Flux core only machines are small light duty models.
                              The first thing that comes up up when someone mentions getting a MIG welder is the voltage. Here in the states, we (most commonly in residential schemes) have 2 voltages: 120 and 240 volts. Almost all appliances run on 120 volts and thus almost every receptacle is wired for 120 volts fed radially (directly from a dedicated circuit breaker in the mains panel) at a 20 ampere rating.

                              The exceptions are electric stoves, electric clothes dryers, and air conditioning systems, electric water heater/storage tanks (we keep our water hot, 24/7) which are fed 240 volts.

                              There are 3 wires that enter the mains panel... A neutral current carrying conductor, and 2 separate 120 volt, 60Hz cables that provide up to 200 amps each, with the AC voltage 180 degrees separate in phase... thus you get 120v from line to neutral, and 240 volts from line to line, with a reduced elecric shock hazard since no individual wire is higher than 120 volts AC.

                              Thus, for perceived convenience, people her frequently purchase 120 volt welders. The problem is VERY LIMITED PERFORMANCE.

                              Now, in the UK, it's my understanding that houses are wired in one large circuit in a ring, with nominal 230 volts fused at 30 amps. Also, It's my understanding that most appliances have a 13 amp fuse incorporated into the plug.

                              Now, even with only 13A, a small appliance can draw around 3kW compared to a 2.4kW limitation with a 20A breaker and 1.8kW with a 15A breaker in the US. So no matter what, you've got the capacity for more power than the dinky 120v machines we complain about.

                              So this answers the question that you have a 230 volt machine. Now the question is: is it fused at 13 or 30 amps?


                              See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_wiring_(UK) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_wiring_(U.S.)
                              Last edited by Bodybagger; 02-04-2009, 04:29 AM.

                              80% of failures are from 20% of causes
                              Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
                              "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
                              "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
                              "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

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