FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Learning to weld-need advice

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Welding
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
USDA Monkey
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 1449
Location: St. Louis

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15 09 11:13 pm    Post subject: Learning to weld-need advice Reply with quote

I've decided to learn how to weld. I will probably teach myself. I'm looking at a few small stick welders on craigslist or harbor freight.

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/tls/1265280839.html
Here's the same on on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/MIG-MIG100ETL-MIG100-FLUX-WELDER/dp/B000VICINI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1247670161&sr=1-1

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

I plan to use this welder for small projects like making charcoal baskets and other bbq tools but not an entire smoker.

Thanks!
_________________
The American Atomic Buffalo Turd Society of America
I Love a Good Fattie


Last edited by USDA Monkey on Thu Jul 16 09 12:15 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Stu In Tokyo
Newbie


Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15 09 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey USDA Monkey!

Learning to weld is not a hard thing to do, teaching yourself is certainly possible, but you would be miles ahead if you could take a class. Check you local community collages, they might offer a night course...? Or some "Adult Education" courses might be availible.

The MIG welders you are showing are fairly straight forward, they are Flux Core, which means as the wire burns up, it releases a gas to help maintain the arc to weld. These are the simplest wire feed (MIG) welders, but they do have some draw backs. This kind of lightweight machine will have a really short duty cycle, that means that if you want to do a lot of welding, you will over heat the unit if you don't do a lot of stopping and waiting for things to cool down.

If I may offer some advice, and it is worth exactly what you paid for it Wink , I'd look for a good used 240V unit, with the capability to go with a gas bottle.

I know the gas bottle can be a hassle but the welds are much cleaner and nicer looking, it is also easier to weld with. I use straight C02 most of the time, I do have a bottle of CO2 Argon mix for special things, and one of straight Argon for Aluminum, but I rarely use that. I run a liquor shop as my day job and we have the CO2 canisters for the draught beer set ups in restaurants. Most of our clients will not let their bottles run completely empty, as they don't want the hassle of changing over a bottle in the middle of a busy night, so I get lots of bottles with maybe 1/4 of the gas left, so I have free gas (lucky me eh Rolling Eyes ).

With a larger welder you can weld small things, but with the smaller welder you will always be pushing the unit to it's max.

Sorry for being so long winded, it's just that this is something that I can comment on, as I'm still learning about all the BBQ and Charcoal Grilling stuff Embarassed

My advice, take a night course if you can, find a welding dealership, they sometimes have good used units for a good price, also developing a relationship with a dealer is a good thing, then if you have questions/problems you have someone local you can go to.

One last word of advice, get an auto darkening helmet, they really speed up your work, but make darn sure you get a good one, the cheap ones will leave you seeing spots for a few days, which is a BAD thing.

best of luck once you learn to weld, you will be amazed at all the various things that "NEED" welding!

Cheers!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
USDA Monkey
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 1449
Location: St. Louis

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15 09 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stu thanks for the feedback it's exactly what I needed to hear. I've looked into my local community college but from what I can tell they only offer a welding program that is way too long and too much of an investment for just wanting to make bbq accessories.
_________________
The American Atomic Buffalo Turd Society of America
I Love a Good Fattie
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Stu In Tokyo
Newbie


Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16 09 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that good thing is with a MIG, it is really not hard to learn, I could teach you to weld decent basic welds in less than 30 minutes, honestly, it is that easy, for simple things. We are not talking about roll cages for drag racers Very Happy

Some basics points, size the wire to the material you are welding, check you manual for the thickness of the steel, and set the welder heat settings and wire speed to the suggested numbers, this is a ball park figure.

Clean your steel, nothing wreaks a weld like paint or scale on steel, buy a 4" angle grinder and put a good cup wire brush on it, get used to using it a lot, it will save you time.

make sure you have good kit, good helmet (auto darkening is the bomb!) good gloves, long sleeved shirt or just coveralls, and boots, nothing with laces, because if a nice hot gob of molten steel lands on your foot and you are in tennis shoes, the gob of molten steel stops moving as it is caught by your laces, and then it starts to burn DOWN into your shoe, and then foot, trust me on this one it hurts! Shocked
Here is some good info.......

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/

I'm sure there are a lot of other places too.

I hope this helps!

Cheers!
_________________
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28985
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Stu In Tokyo
Newbie


Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16 09 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to add this link..........

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/video_library/

Miller makes some of the best welders, IMHO.

I have a Hobart Handler 175, I've used the pants off of that thing Very Happy
_________________
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28985
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
USDA Monkey
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 1449
Location: St. Louis

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16 09 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for the info.

How easy is it to electrocute yourself with one of these things?
_________________
The American Atomic Buffalo Turd Society of America
I Love a Good Fattie
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Stu In Tokyo
Newbie


Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16 09 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

USDA Monkey wrote:
Thanks again for the info.

How easy is it to electrocute yourself with one of these things?


You are very welcome.

Electrocute.......... Shocked

Well, don't stand in a bucket of water while welding Very Happy

I think you would have to be doing something VERY strange to electrocute youself, burns are the most common injuries with welders, as welded steel get HOT.

Cheers!
_________________
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28985
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
USDA Monkey
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 1449
Location: St. Louis

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16 09 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Having not been around welding equipment before and seeing all the talk about voltage got me wondering.
_________________
The American Atomic Buffalo Turd Society of America
I Love a Good Fattie
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
nes_matt
BBQ Fan


Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16 09 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same questions a couple months ago. This thread may be helpful to you:
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28136. There is some good advice in that thread from the folks here.

I'll second the "buy the biggest you can" comment. I think Miller makes a welder that runs on 120V and 220V so that helps with portability.

I settled on a Northern Tool 135Amp mig welder. It is the same as the Lincold Weldpack 140 so far as I can tell having seen them both. You can buy it for $320 new here: http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200332691_200332691. I've welded 1/4" steel plate using flux core wire with this. It's at the limit of the welder, but it does it.

The Harbor Freight welders really get bad reviews on the welding forum, though I can't comment personally on whether that is deserved or not

Here's some other resources that may be helpful:
http://weldingweb.com/
http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/

+1 on Stu's comment about the auto darkening helmet. I bought the HF $50 one and it works great. No need to spend hundreds on that.

Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26011
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16 09 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

USDA Monkey, Stu has given some great advice. So with that I will add when you look for a machine get one that is at least capable of 140 amp. and can use gas if needed. I weld stick which is a bit more intimidating than wire feed, the wire feed is a good way to go for some one wanting to learn. A good auto darkening helmet is nice, I use the Miller performance line. Once you get involved in welding and your neighbors find out, then you will have lots of projects. Laughing
_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
thebbqspecialist
Newbie


Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 29
Location: Newfield, Maine

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16 09 7:57 am    Post subject: .... Reply with quote

The ones you are looking at are imports. We have been happy with our lincoln electric one. I do believe that Miller makes one. Don't go cheap on your helmet either. Welding flash isn't fun. You can get these in a regualur 110 plug into your wall. The flux core does make it easier. I'm a female and my hubby gave me a 10 minute lesson and I picked it up right away. I don't do anything structural, just decorative stuff. If you have a buddy that welds see if he'll help.

Or find your welding dealership who often has the certified classes that run over a weekend. Hope this helps.
_________________
The BBQ Specialist - Manufacturer & Designer of Gourmet BBQ and Grilling Accessories
www.theBBQSpecialist.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
USDA Monkey
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 1449
Location: St. Louis

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17 09 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the help. I will check out all the sites and look into finding my local welding dealer.
_________________
The American Atomic Buffalo Turd Society of America
I Love a Good Fattie
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Haelix
Newbie


Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25 09 10:05 am    Post subject: Re: Learning to weld-need advice Reply with quote

USDA Monkey wrote:
I've decided to learn how to weld. I will probably teach myself. I'm looking at a few small stick welders on craigslist or harbor freight.

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/tls/1265280839.html
Here's the same on on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/MIG-MIG100ETL-MIG100-FLUX-WELDER/dp/B000VICINI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1247670161&sr=1-1

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

I plan to use this welder for small projects like making charcoal baskets and other bbq tools but not an entire smoker.

Thanks!


I weld for a living, you can spend a bunch of money on a welder or , do what I did and get the 200 dollar mig from harbor freight, it has a gas option, but isnt necessary for gasles wire. with .035 wire it makes a pretty good weld, and runs on 220 volts. little tip, when useing .035 wire use a .045 mig tip, it is less restrictive and lets the wire flow smother.
If you go with a stick welder look for one that is DC, most of the ones you will find for under 300 will be AC, and they will only weld with AC rods, but some rods will weld on ither, most stainless rods will weld on ither
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
T00lman
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 21 Dec 2007
Posts: 2473
Location: warren michigan

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26 09 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

just a thought but if ya know someone who knows how to weld do a barter you cook for them they give ya a few lessons check out some garages and fab shops around you will be surprised at how helpful most people will be .
_________________
1 bad azz d.o table
weber 22 1/2 x 2
some of its magic some of its tragic
#37 liar
1 wsm 18 1/2
1wsm 22 1/2
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mtrammel
BBQ Super Fan


Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 423
Location: Covington, GA (Greater Atlanta)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26 09 9:41 am    Post subject: learning to weld Reply with quote

I recently began to learn to weld. (I'm a computer nerd by day and learning to weld at night so I dont consider myself a "welder".) I really suggest if you want to get started head for the Lowes or Home Depot and find the welding isle and only get the book Welder's Handbook. This one covers the basics of all the different welding machines (stick, mig, tig, OA, and adds plasma cutter to boot). The main thing I liked was the coverage of safety and the tools to use. I followed this with reading any manuals I could find online, PM'ing a guy on this forum who helped in a major way (I wont call any screen names but thanks Kevin) and watched HOURS of videos on youtube...anything I could find and (this is important on there) read the comments afterwards because often you learn in the comments that the video you just watched is what not to do. Armed with this, I trolled craigslist and passed up several units until I located one that was literally like new and I could tell it had been well cared for by the owner. It was a Hobart 140 which was weaker than I aimed for but I got the complete startup, welder, hammers, helmet, cart, wire spools, spare tips, pliers...literally an entire setup...$425.
Now I've made a mechanical finger, welding table, and some nice side tables, just to learn angles, what heat distortion does, etc. I've bought crap scrap off the steel yards and used this for welding tables, learning the tools, and have started buying real steel now to make nicer stuff with. Its handy to find people who weld and let them critique your welds...you learn more by that few minutes of talking than anything else you can do...
My biggest suggestion is learn the safety, get a unit, and get scrap steel at a steel yard and begin just running a bead, welding couple pieces together, burn through it, play with the knobs (to learn the equipment) and just get the hang of it. Until your beads have good penetration and look like the examples of perfect welds (and welders agree that they are perfect welds) and you can do this consistently...dont start a first project.
Gopher it! Good luck there are a lot of good welders in these forums...I learned more here than on actual welding forums.
This is all offered from a rookie thats been at it less than a month just as a roadmap of how I've done it...(i too cant find classes that arent 3 months during hours I have to work) Your milage may very and this is all IMHO
_________________
Chargriller Offset
Bass Pro XPS propane 60k BTU Grill
Stainless Fish Fryer
UDS


Last edited by mtrammel on Mon Jul 27 09 1:38 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mrcustomsteel
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 1997
Location: Bilings, still a Texan, MT

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26 09 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen mtrammel. Someone who knows how to weld can get you way up the learning curve on MIG in about an hour. Practice on some scrap then go for it on a smoker. We are not making submarines. Many of the students in welding classes make smokers for their first project. Smokers are a great way to cut your teeth. Go for it. Low downside as far as dangerous weld failures go. The trailer part is another story as you will be towing it at highway speeds.
_________________
D. Tillery
Texan transplanted in Billings, MT
www.mrcustomsteel.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Stu In Tokyo
Newbie


Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26 09 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mtrammel, excellent advice and post.

BTW, you can often get a lot of "Real Steel" at the scrap yards Real cheap! Very Happy

Cheers!
_________________
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28985
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JimmieOhio
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Posts: 1125
Location: east side of Cleveland, Ohio

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26 09 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stu In Tokyo wrote:
Well, don't stand in a bucket of water while welding Very Happy

I only did this once, when I was a kid.

My father said I was grounded.

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
_________________
Jimmie Ohio
KCBS Certified BBQ Judge

"Never criticize a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. Then, criticize him all you want since you're a mile away and you have HIS shoes."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26011
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26 09 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimmieOhio wrote:
Stu In Tokyo wrote:
Well, don't stand in a bucket of water while welding Very Happy

I only did this once, when I was a kid.

My father said I was grounded.

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing


Now thats funny Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
_________________
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hybrid Cooker
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mtrammel
BBQ Super Fan


Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 423
Location: Covington, GA (Greater Atlanta)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27 09 1:25 am    Post subject: PS Reply with quote

BTW...one last piece of rookie advice...from a fellow rookie
a well meaning father-in-law brought me over some 2 foot diameter heavy gauge sheet metal tubing about 4 feet long. Also brought enough smaller pipe to make legs, stand, shelves, side firebox, and a lot of other "scrap" his manufacturing plant was tossing and they let him take. He called and asked if I wanted it to attempt a first smoker build and excitedly I said heck yeah! When he drove up and I saw the shiny silver metal in the back, i feared the G word. I asked if this was galvanized steel and sure enough it was. Unless you dont really care for someone, dont use this stuff. It seasons the food with zinc which can cause uncool metal poison issues. So unless its stainless, avoid the silver looking steel in your smoker builds...
So a final thought is...its important if you plan to learn to weld to learn your metals as well as the welding machines.
_________________
Chargriller Offset
Bass Pro XPS propane 60k BTU Grill
Stainless Fish Fryer
UDS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Welding All times are GMT + 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group