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Welding Tips

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  • Welding Tips

    Dont mean to burst anybodys bubble but im new to welding, never touched one in my life. But i have a couple of questions. Im interested in picking it up, always have been but never got around to it. Dont know much about it so i hope im saying it right.

    Ok im interested in purchasing a MIG welder but the prices are really high, I dont think ill be needing to do anythign more than 1/4" steel for now anyway but they say it goes by grade of material. 1/4" Steel should be 20 grade material right? Now to pump out a nice beed of weld to join that grade i would need to push out 250 amps right? Would i be able to do the same job with a 140 or 150 amp welder? also, What kind of stick would i use with this steel? Also, what kind of gas would i need to use? The differences between argon, co2, helium, Would all this matter for 20 grade steel?

    Once again, dont mind me, im new to this. really ineterested though. ill be looking into a school for welding so i can learn more about this, hopefully they have one with my budget. thanks agian.

  • #2
    Place to Start

    A good place to start is with some of the instructional videos and lessons on the Miller site. Also a good book is valuable now and as a reference as you progress.

    Good luck,


    Thunderbolt AC/DC
    MM 175
    Maxstar 150 STL
    Blue Star 185 DX
    Spectrum 375


    • #3

      Hi there and welcome to the forum and of course welding. Welding is a ton of fun and the projects you can do are endless and you will find lots of expert help here too. However, based on your questions (please, please take this as what I mean it to be as only help in hopes you will start off on the right foot) I would recommend that you seek as much educational information as you can. Especially on the process you wish to use. And before you decide what process you wish to use, educate yourself on the different processes. Each process has it's purpose and you will most likely narrow your choices down to one that fits your needs the most. Learning about the processes, metal, gases, what makes a sound weld, preparation and of course safety are all part of the game along with lots of practice. There lots of educational resources here and on this board. As our friend above mentioned videos are great sources just like books. If your lucky, maybe you can find a shop that will let you watch and ask some questions.

      Good luck...

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      • #4
        Many avenues to explore

        If you are interested in getting started in welding there are a few really easy ways to get going...

        1...really explore the education section of this site it has good basic information...

        2...go to your local welding supplier and maybe you will get lucky and there will be a knowledgable and helpful person there...

        and the best possible solution...

        3...check with the local adult education/continuing education/community education/tech school...etc for a night welding class that would get you a semsters worth of good trainign to get you the basics before you get bad habits and real frustration. Also you would find out that hey...this is awesome...LOVE it...or hey not what I really hoped for BEFORE you invest a load of money.

        Now understand that this is just my opinion but I do hope it either helps or jogs a thought for someone else to point you in another more beneficial direction.

        Have you ever noticed that enough is usually too much?!


        • #5
          I have learned more from my neighbor who welds professionally than anything else. I read a lot about techniques before I ever picked up a gun, so I had some idea about the techniques, but having somebody there to look over your shoulder and give you instant feedback is invaluable. If you know anyone at all that welds, even if you don't know them that well, I'd try and work out a opportunity to go watch them and get them to help you learn. Even for just a few hours. Also check your local community college for classes.
          Millermatic 180 Auto Set


          • #6
            Start with one of these:

            Both great books with lots of info and color pictures, they are used as text books.

            another great book:

            Dynasty 200 DX
            Millermatic 175
            Spectrum 375
            All kinds of Smith OA gear


            • #7
              My best advice is to RUN THE OTHER WAY BEFORE YOU EVER STRIKE YOUR FIRST ARC! Once you do, it will be too late for you to turn back. You will be drawn to the light, just like a fateful moth. But, on the other hand, it is a skill you will love to the end.