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What type of welds should I run to start off with?

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  • pdog
    started a topic What type of welds should I run to start off with?

    What type of welds should I run to start off with?

    Well, I finally got everything together with my MM210 and fired her up last night. The setup was a breeze, Miller really made a quality part.

    I did not have much time last night, but not using the machine was killing me. So I ran out into the garage before the wife came home and produced my first 3 welds, straight (actually they were not straight at all ) lines on an 1/8" piece of steel. It was awesome!!!! My buddy has my camera, so I will have to wait to post pictures. Actually, that may be a good thing until I get in more practice

    I have a rolling cart to rest my work on while welding, but it is not the best. What I need is a thin piece of metal I can use as a table top over the cart that can be easily removed. I had to clamp the ground clamp onto the 6"x6"x1/8" piece I was welding on, and it caused the metal to stick up into the air. Not ideal conditions for my first time, but it worked.

    After all this here is my question. I really want to practice, but want each practice session to be productive. Where should I start? This is what I thought:

    1. Start by practicing straight beads on the top of a metal plate until I can get straight welds, basically just working on my hand control and coordination. I could not believe how bad my gun was moving around while welding, not straight at all.

    2. While still working on straight beads on the top of a piece of metal, start to really concentrate on the weld puddle itself for penetration and work on welding speed.

    3. Once I am more comfortable with this, I should then move on to welding 2 pieces together such as t-joints or butt joints.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I also am going to order a Miller BWE next week. My helmet is not an auto darken and it is a PITA. The welding gloves I also got from Harbor Freight are stiff as a board, not really helping the cause.

  • fun4now
    replied
    they also make a clove cover that slips over the back of the glove if you find your guid hand getting a lil hot on the back. i got one a long time ago. about due for another as this one has seen some sereous ware ill post a pic if i make it out to the shop tomarow, they are realy cheap and a great help. it looks like a patch for a fire suit.

    Leave a comment:


  • pdog
    replied
    Originally posted by fun4now
    oh shoure beet me to the post wile im typing, you only had 4 words to typ.
    LOL.

    Thanks all. Thank you for the pics of the hand position. I was using 2 hands, but had my free hand almost over my other hand. I like the way you have your second hand holding the torch a little closer to the weld to help with control.

    The bad thing is I leave for Florida tomorrow with the wife (we rented a house), which won't be such a bad thing since it is going to get down to single digits here in NJ the next couple of nights.

    I have the Miller MIG text and Welding Essentials books to read while I am relaxing in a heated pool in Orlando. I will be pretty pumped up to get welding when I get back.

    Thanks again everyone.

    Leave a comment:


  • drscotch
    replied
    Yep, the last course I took started with a little bead on plate, then lots of horizontal lap joints and vertical lap joints, etc. all on various thicknesses of material. These are common joints to get good at.

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  • hankj
    replied
    pdog,

    Are you using two hands? It's a lot easier to be steady if you support the "guide" hand with the other hand. Get comfy and do some dry runs with different holding techniques 'till you find one that's cmfortable to you. Kinda like the pics....


    Hank
    Attached Files

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  • fun4now
    replied
    oh shoure beet me to the post wile im typing, you only had 4 words to typ.

    Leave a comment:


  • fun4now
    replied
    i would have to threw my vote in here with dan, you are trying to lern MIG as if it were TIG and its notbut and lap joints would be my choice. the biggest thig is keeping the torch at a stedy distance off the work, not a strait line. heck a lot of my welds have been done in an "S" pattern any ways. practice on some joints and cut them open to see what kind of penitration you are getting.

    burninbriar makes a good point about skiing, the strait line, or rathere the ability to fallow whatever the line may be will come in time, for now just try to keep your weld on the joint.

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  • pdog
    replied
    Thanks Dan, will do.

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  • Danny
    replied
    Personally, I feel running beads on a flat plate is somewhat a waste of time. Your better off practicing on a real joint design. A good joint design to start off on in my opinion would be a lap joint. First of all, it is easy to produce. The only prep work would be to make sure you metal is bright and shiny , meaning no mill scale or rust. Secondly, the joint design gives you a straight line to follow. And finally, it is a fairly easy joint design to master.

    Here's a sample pic to give you an idea of weld bead placement on a lap.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • burninbriar
    replied
    With youre attitude toward it , you will will probably be welding pretty decent before you know it. Its kind of like skiing, you can learn how to do it fairly quick and then spend the rest of youre life getting better.Good luck and have fun.

    Leave a comment:


  • pdog
    replied
    Thanks guys. I realize this will be a long process, but I am looking forward to it.

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  • farmboy weldor
    replied
    as long as the bead profile is ok and consistent its not about being straight when you start out, the nice straight beads come with time, just work on being steady, which also means time. if you really wanted to make youre beads straighter on plate you can take a scribe and a straight edge and scribe a mark and even after that if you cant see the line you can use a centerpunch to make the line more visiblr while welding,

    i wouldnt exactly recomend this but for starting out it will prolly be ok.
    remember its all about time, time and more time

    as for the jionts im not going to tell you which one is better for practice, id just say do them both its good practice

    Leave a comment:


  • burninbriar
    replied
    It sounds like youre takeing a very practical aproach. If you know someone who is a welder it wouldnt hurt to spend a little time with them just to get you headed strait. I'm assumeing you never welded before. One thing I would sugjest is to treat youre practice welds like you would if someone was paying you. If you weld on cruddy metal and take the "its just practice" attitude the process will get slower and more frustrateing.
    Have fun.

    Leave a comment:

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