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  • How long did it take you to learn welding?

    How long did it take you to understand the basics of welding and consistently put down good welds? To know what wire/electrode to use with this metal or what gas to use with that metal. I am taking welding classes and I seem to be getting it just I feel like it is taking me longer.. Just wanted to know how long it took y'all in the beginning
    My Blue Stuff: Millermatic 211 Auto-Set

    You know you're a welder when... You miss your court date because you stood outside the courthouse looking at the welds on the handrails.

    "If the thats the worst thing that could happen to us all day, then we'll be doing pretty good"

  • #2
    I'm just a hobby welder, but I've been MIG, stick, and TIG welding for about 8 years now. I'm hoping to get the hang of it before too much longer!

    Can I weld? Yes.
    As well as I would like to? No.
    Am I a welder? No, not yet.

    Point is, you can weld a long time and not be a welder. When will you know it all, probably never.

    Classes are great, reading is essential, but practice is the real key.
    Burt
    _______________________
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    Miller 375
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    • #3
      Here a few links to previous posts and discussions which may help.

      http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...ead.php?17848-
      How-did-you-start-in-welding-did-you-have-a-mentor&highlight=mentor

      http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...ead.php?32769-
      can-you-learn-TIG-by-yourself-on-your-own/page3&highlight=mentor

      http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...ead.php?30439-
      Where-or-how-did-you-learn-to-weld&highlight=burnt+hands

      Good luck
      Miller Dynasty 350, Dynasty 210 DX, Hypertherm 1000, Thermal Arc GTSW400, Airco Heliwelder II, oxy-fuel setup, metal cutting bandsaw, air compressor, drill press, large first aid kit, etc.

      Call me the "Clouseau" of welding !

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      • #4
        45 years thus far. Learning was slow as a self taught teenager, I've never had access to a good teacher. You tube videos, and forums have been a Godsend. In the last five years I've bought a great MIG, spool gun, engine welder, and three TIG machines, (now down to one). With help delivered through my computer, I am a good welder. I'm a long way from great, but I will be one day.
        Dynasty 280DX
        Bobcat 250
        MM252
        Spool gun
        Twentieth Century 295
        Twentieth Century 295 AC
        Marquette spot welder
        Smith torches

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        • #5
          I don't think I have ever seen anybody lay down the perfect weld, there is always something you could improve on.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Type View Post
            I don't think I have ever seen anybody lay down the perfect weld, there is always something you could improve on.
            Check out Zap or Zank, or Welder Mike. Zap is cheating, he's got an incredible machine. Zap has about 231 years experience. Mike has multiple personalities they are all good, and they teach each other.
            Dynasty 280DX
            Bobcat 250
            MM252
            Spool gun
            Twentieth Century 295
            Twentieth Century 295 AC
            Marquette spot welder
            Smith torches

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            • #7
              Don't get me wrong, I have seen really good welds, but I'm trying to think of a time where everything was the best is could possibly be. But, those guys are a lot better than me so I probably shouldn't be talking.

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              • #8
                Still Learning... Every Day..!!

                I started to learn how to "Heliarc Weld" (TIG) when I was about 16 (1968) and I am still learning every day...

                For instance.. how the DYN 350 is manipulated in this thread..

                http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...er-Dynasty-350

                BUT... each time I think of the finest Aluminum TIG work... I think of John Marcella's work..... his work is just beautiful..

                Here are some videos...

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGPgsXwgQkQ

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db6BVMANvW0

                Here is the link to his website... lots of pics

                http://marcellamanifolds.net/images/Images.html

                OUR OWN FusionKing is no slouch either... he and his son can make a Dynasty dance and do tricks...

                https://www.facebook.com/OutBackAluminumWelding

                And there are many others that provide an example of high level workmanship, attention to detail and craft...
                .

                *******************************************
                The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                My Blue Stuff:
                Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                Dynasty 200DX
                Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                Millermatic 200

                TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MillerWeld View Post
                  How long did it take you to understand the basics of welding and consistently put down good welds? To know what wire/electrode to use with this metal or what gas to use with that metal. I am taking welding classes and I seem to be getting it just I feel like it is taking me longer.. Just wanted to know how long it took y'all in the beginning
                  It takes a very long time.

                  When you factor in just stainless, aluminum, and mild steel - mig/tig/stick - and different thicknesses, positions, flat, round, thick welded to very thin, various alloy differences, .040" techniques vs. 1" thick technique (and all in between) ,etc, etc - the experience needed just takes time.

                  ...forgot self shielded flux core vs gas shielded flux core and the different mixes for spray mig transfer and tri-mix shielding gas, and spool gun vs. push-pull, and pulse mig and surface tension transfer......still forgetting a few...

                  Basically, master whatever you are using, then master something else.
                  Then, when you get rusty with a particular process that you need again, practice up for a while and then get after it
                  "Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." ~George Bernard Shaw~

                  Airco 300 Heliwelder
                  Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                  ESAB 161
                  Invertec v250 and v300 Pro
                  SA200
                  Spectrum 700 plasma
                  MM210
                  Miller HF-15-1
                  Dirty ugly tools - perfect

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Type View Post
                    I don't think I have ever seen anybody lay down the perfect weld, there is always something you could improve on.
                    I was never impressed by anyone welding ever, except when I was in vo-tech, my teacher would look at me while he was welding a vertical up 6010 cap. It was perfect except for 1 weave dropped by like a 32nd.

                    My welds on stainless are always perfect though. When you have to polish everything smooth you will never see a oops.

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                    • #11
                      You are asking how long does it take to learn, but I can see that like a lot of newbies and outsiders, you are thinking only about the physical skill involved, the ability to consistently make good-looking welds with few or no surface flaws and the needed penetration. And right now you are thinking in terms of getting good at all-position welding in a school test-booth setting. But there is far, FAR more to welding than that!! After the school sends you out into the world, very likely you will have to learn to make the same sound welds under, to put it gently, sub-optimal conditions. And under a variety of mental stresses. You'll have to make those good welds using unfamiliar equipment that is not already set up and dialed-in for you. And so far, this is still just referring to the physical skill of laying down good beads. But there are more dimensions to this game.

                      Whatever basic and applied metallurgy they are teaching you in school is not merely a gesture toward making the course look like it has a scholarly component; this information is absolutely critical to keeping you from making very serious mistakes. And this is not just a matter of avoiding weld cracking, locked-in stresses, and so on. You also want to be aware of design requirements of the part you weld; what does the machine shop need from you, what does the painter/coater/plater need, and so on, not to mention the final user.

                      So a professional or serious amateur welder does not just prepare the joints and lay the beads. He strives to master the tech, to get as much of the tech memorized as he can, and to be alert to when he needs to look it up. He needs to acquire a good measure of "engineering tech" so that for instance he is aware of avoiding stress concentrations, of moving the loads around and spreading them out. Unfortunately, too many guys who can run beads are not tech-savvy; yesterday a friend showed me a bracket somebody welded to his truck frame: beads straight across the I-beam frame. Do you know why this is bad (and illegal)? You'll learn.

                      Any good all-around welder I know of has to have a whole variety of shop skills and knowledge, not just for fitting (and that is a whole set of skills by itself) but because he is a builder. And (this is important to understanding the mind of a blue-collar man), because it PLEASES him to learn these skills.

                      So, if you are looking to call yourself a welder if all you do is make beads on plates that were already jigged and fit-up for you, on a machine that was dialed-in for you, the way it was for all the women who welded ships in WW2, you can pick that up fast, as those gals did during the war. But nobody here will be much impressed, nobody who basically is learning new aspects of the business every day. It's not merely a politeness to refer to welding as a skilled trade. Personally, I got a degree in one of the "liberal arts," and could have had worn a suit, spent my days in front of a typewriter or with my head in a book or lecturing, and never got dirt under my nails. We joke about it, but it takes just as much brain-power to master a skilled blue-collar trade, and it seemed to me that this was a good honest no-B.S. way to make a living and do something useful in life.

                      And all of that learning and studying you have to do to be a skilled welder is a GOOD thing!! This trade is fascinating! It has physical AND intellectual dimensions. It's not for the lazy or the stupid (though we have some of those guys, making us look bad to the general public). But if you aspire to be a tech master, a member of the blue-collar elite, and you can tolerate the hard parts of it, overall it will be a satisfying career. Ignore the white-collar classes who imagine that welders are knuckle-dragging oafs who can barely read. Join the AWS, our professional society. Never tell anybody, "Aw, I'm just a welder." Be proud, and let them see that you are, and tell them why.
                      Last edited by old jupiter; 04-05-2015, 11:58 AM.

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                      • #12
                        after 35 years of welding and fitting there isn't a day goes by that I don't learn something new about tricks in fitting or welding. I can always say I been there and done that but I can never say I been there and done it that way.i guess welding an fitting is like being a dr it's a practice because theres always new stuff comeing out each year for you to learn how to use it and weld with it. so it's fair to say I been practicing welding and fitting for 35+ years

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                        • #13
                          great post old jupiter

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                          • #14
                            About 2 years.

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