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  • Beginner Thread

    Hello all, I am very new to welding and plan to utilize this forum as much as possible. I have found that when I ask some of the old welders I personally know about suggestions and advice, I make quantum leaps in my understanding and ability regarding a machine or project. I have some minor experience working with a stick welder, in a barn, years and years ago. Other than that... nothing. A close friend who can make some amazing welling products directed me toward a Dynasty 200DX - runner series TIG, explaining that it would grow with me and tackle almost anything I might want to work with. The price was certainly a shock (especially compared to other "similar" machines) but I have yet to run across a person that suggests I spent too much. After a week or two of playing around in the shop I discovered that I needed the ability to cut metal down to usable size or my grinder (turned cutter) was going to explode. I ordered a Spectrum 375 E-Treme that week and have been blasting everything in sight sense (by far the funnest tool in my shop currently).

    - With that in mind, I would like to ask if anyone has some piece of advice that helped them at the beginning of their welding career/hobby.

    Additional, I have a few specific questions:
    - I noticed that the coolant in my machine began to turn orange after the first couple of days. I changed the coolant a few days ago. Of course there was some bits of the old fluid still in the machine so the color immediately changed slightly. Is this expected?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    what kind of welding you going to do

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    • #3

      The plan is to work automotive projects, so mainly steel and aluminum. I got some stuff to practice with but it's a bit too think. 1/4 aluminum is probably too much for a beginner.

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      • #4
        Beginner Thread

        1/4" is at the limits of that machine. Try to get the hang of it on 1/8" or 3/16" then move on to thinner stuff. With tig aluminum the thinner it is the herder it is to weld

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        • #5
          Hey, FUBAR.
          You must be an old Army guy, too.

          I am a hobby welder and have been learning for about 5 years now.

          The best advice I received early on, was "Watch the puddle, not the arc". And it may take some more practice until you really understand what that means and how to incorporate that in your welding. One guy said "it's not a hot glue gun, you're not just melting the filler material onto the pieces, you want to melt the two pieces you are welding". That's a good way to think of it. So watch the puddle. Practice until you can move it around and control how you are melting the pieces so they become a solid piece. You will then better understand when to move side to side or just weld straight.

          Then it's just practice, practice, and more practice.

          Have fun.
          Burt
          _______________________
          Miller 211AS
          Miller 375
          Miller Syncrowave 250
          Miller Thunderbolt XL
          http://www.10FtDrillBit.com

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          • #6
            Welcome Fubar.

            You are going to has some good fun.
            Nothing welded, Nothing gained

            Miller Dynasty700DX
            3 ea. Miller Dynasty350DX
            Miller Dynasty200DX
            ThermalArc 400 GTSW
            MillerMatic350P
            MillerMatic200 with spoolgun
            MKCobraMig260
            Lincoln SP-170T
            Linde UCC305 (sold 2011)
            Hypertherm 1250
            Hypertherm 800
            PlasmaCam CNC cutter
            Fadal Toolroom CNC Mill
            SiberHegner CNC Mill
            2 ea. Bridgeport
            LeBlond 15" Lathe
            Haberle 18" Cold Saw
            Doringer 14" Cold Saw
            6 foot x 12 foot Mojave granite

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wb4rt View Post
              Hey, FUBAR.
              You must be an old Army guy, too.

              I am a hobby welder and have been learning for about 5 years now.

              The best advice I received early on, was "Watch the puddle, not the arc". And it may take some more practice until you really understand what that means and how to incorporate that in your welding. One guy said "it's not a hot glue gun, you're not just melting the filler material onto the pieces, you want to melt the two pieces you are welding". That's a good way to think of it. So watch the puddle. Practice until you can move it around and control how you are melting the pieces so they become a solid piece. You will then better understand when to move side to side or just weld straight.

              Then it's just practice, practice, and more practice.

              Have fun.
              My dad is a Marine so I feel like I grew up in bootcamp but I never had the honor of severing myself. I have been SNAFU’d and FUBAR’d more times than I care to recall.

              That’s exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. One of the first things I discovered on my own was that getting the two pieces of material to a similar working temperature is a critical component. It’s been a little tricky finding a ‘not to hot, not to cold’ place on the foot peddle. It’s also easy to get things going just right and forget to back out of the peddle because aluminum heats up so fast. I’ve been ending up with a great bead at the start and a hole in table at the end. Nothing beats experience.

              Thanks for the advice.

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              • #8
                Best way to get started...

                Is to have someone show you. I personally took a course at the local vo-tec high school. Community colleges sometimes have similar. I highly recommend a bit of formal training to get the safety stuff. A course like that is enough to make you dangerous but it is the least amount of frustration for you and probably the cheapest practice (even scrap metal is expensive). Then you can hit the online videos, bulletin boards etc. I would normally suggest you buy a nice set of gloves and your own auto dark helmet for the course. Save buying the welder for after.
                Con Fuse!
                Miller Dynasty 350
                Millermatic 350P
                -Spoolmatic 30A

                Hypertherm PowerMax 1000G3
                Miller Multimatic 200 - awesome portable MIG (and stick and TIG)
                Miller Maxstar 200DX - portable TIG and stick

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                • #9
                  Hmmmm.That name sounds oddly familiar! Can you say Jeep?
                  Miller Syncrowave 200
                  Homemade Water Cooler
                  130XP MIG
                  Spectrum 375
                  60 year old Logan Lathe
                  Select Machine and Tool Mill
                  More stuff than I can keep track of..

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