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Best way to learn how to weld?

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Old 08-05-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
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Best way to learn how to weld?

So I've become a self-taught expert at plastic welding... Which is no big deal - only goes to 900* and the equipment is a few hundred bucks... no sparks or metal flying through the air...

I've always wanted to learn how to weld metal!

I've purchased a Lincoln 140 welder. I have the needed safety equipment (mask, gloves,etc.)

I've got a bunch of scrap steel.

I'd love to take a class but I simply don't have the time to commit to it right now.

I'm not looking to fab up bumpers or anything like that... i just would like to learn the basics so i can take on smaller projects.

Any suggestions???

Thank you,
~ Craig
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:02 PM   #2
Slow as shit. Cute as Hell.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:03 PM   #3
We can't stop here, this is bat country.
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i did some acetylene welding in college but never arc welding. i believe u ground the metal with the clamp coming from the welder and once the electrode comes close enough to the metal, it melts the 2 together.. not sure when the inert gas comes into play
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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I read a few books, and learned quite a bit. I was already working as a welder. I'd read, go try something, read, go try... I don't weld much anymore, and of coarse I loaned my books out to someone........Just don't remember who...
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
What's wrong bro, DERPes flaring up?
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Practice, practice, practice. Not sure, but the Lincoln 140 is a MIG(wire feed) welder correct? I've been a welder in the Navy for 4 years now. The best advice that can be given over the internet is flip that hood down and start getting hot. Just don't move to slow with to much heat out you'll be making steel Swiss cheese.

Must technical colleges offer welding classes too...
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #6
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I'm sure there are great videos on youtube! I have also wanted to learn to weld, but for now, school is my priority.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:32 PM   #7
I'm a zit. Get it?
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i learned in high school. most of the welding ive ever done is arc, but mig is fun and easy too.

just practice. i was taught to weld "j's". some welders just do back and forth, but my welds have always been prettiest by going out, looping in, going out, looping in and so on.

give yourself little projects. we couldn't pass shop class until we could take a twenty something inch long by 3 inch wide strip of metal, measure it, cut it on the band saw, and weld it together in an open box. we would take the box to the teacher and he would set it on a paper towel and fill it with water. no leaks, you passed. if it leaked, start over.

^^ doing stuff like that trains you on welding joints, corners, cramped spaces and sides along with developing various metal fab tricks along the way. it also drives you to strive for perfection. . . not to mention you'll have an indestructible change holder for you dresser haha.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
Go home if you don't like guns liquor and whores.
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There isn't much to a mig. No I kid but it's a lot easier than learning stick.

I like to do Cs or sometimes I'll just drag it straight.

Best way to learn is just to start doing it, you'll have questions and then you can search them on youtube or ask here. Just my opinion but I'm not an expert.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #9
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Best way to learn how to weld is to learn on stick, but it looks like you don't have that option so just start practicing. Make sure the metal is clean and do lots of online research, there is tons of info on this subject all over the place.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:45 PM   #10
HomerTaco [OP] HomerTaco is offline
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Good stuff guys!

The Lincoln is a MIG. It comes wih flux core so I won't need gas but from what I understand that makes for a much more messy weld?
It says on the box it will do TIG as well.
Ideally I'd like to learn to weld aluminum, but from what I've heard/read it is much more difficult to to do that than steel...
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #11
braaap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerTaco View Post
Good stuff guys!

The Lincoln is a MIG. It comes wih flux core so I won't need gas but from what I understand that makes for a much more messy weld?
It says on the box it will do TIG as well.
Ideally I'd like to learn to weld aluminum, but from what I've heard/read it is much more difficult to to do that than steel...
Get really good at steel first, it is fundamental and WAAAY easier.

I would get a gas bottle and some solid wire unless you plan on welding outdoors, flux core is much more difficult than welding with gas and spatters like crazy.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:49 PM   #12
Go home if you don't like guns liquor and whores.
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Yeah aluminum is pretty tough to weld. IMO better done with TIG anyway. You can get a special wire but from what I remember a spool gun is the way to go, aluminum wire is soft and doesn't like to feed well through a regular mig gun.

Flux Core works pretty well just leaves slag like a stick welder would.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:49 PM   #13
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I learned by getting a job as a metal fabricator lol. I just got a job about a few months ago. Practice, Practice, Practice. I started out doing TIG welding, which took a while to remotely get the hang of. Now I am pretty confident. In my spare time at work I just practice on scrap we have lying around. I want to lean MIG next, but from what I have heard it is easier to learn everything else after you learn TIG.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:55 PM   #14
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TIG on alum. is a bit tougher mainly because you can't see the metal change color like you can on mild steel. Aluminum just changes sheen when it starts melting.

No matter what, it feels great melting metal together!
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:56 PM   #15
What's wrong bro, DERPes flaring up?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxy Brown View Post
I learned by getting a job as a metal fabricator lol. I just got a job about a few months ago. Practice, Practice, Practice. I started out doing TIG welding, which took a while to remotely get the hang of. Now I am pretty confident. In my spare time at work I just practice on scrap we have lying around. I want to lean MIG next, but from what I have heard it is easier to learn everything else after you learn TIG.
Way easier? Try stick welding 20ga stainless @ 40 amps lol
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #16
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Homer, all I can say is best of luck to you. Like the others have said above, practice, practice, practice.

I'm terrible at welding and I'm amazed when I see these guys stacking dimes...true art in my world!
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:59 PM   #17
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Yeah I have massive respect for anyone that can weld intricate things with a stick welder. It really is the fundamental process and all the others kind of fall in place once you get good at stick.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:05 PM   #18
What's wrong bro, DERPes flaring up?
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Welding is an art, and a lot of people don't see it that way...anybody can learn to fuse metal together, but making it look good AND pass NDT is a whole other ball game!
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:07 PM   #19
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Go to home depot or lowes and grab one of the welding books next to the welders. It gives you the basics on everything. The best advice I can give you is to get the gun out and burn some wire. Watch the youtube videos and see how you can tell if your getting the penetration through the steel. You don't want the weld to sit on top of the metal but you don't want to over penetrate the steel either. You'll figure it out. Check out the anything welding thread on here too.

Oh and don't get hung up on the beads looking good. You can have a good weld and it not look like it was welded with a TIG and stacked like dimes.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:15 PM   #20
What's wrong bro, DERPes flaring up?
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How not to weld...I have to fill this hole, carbon steel to copper nickel with 6" of clearance laying on my back. FML!
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