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Old 11-26-2012, 05:58 PM   #1
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Help me teach myself how to weld

So I dunno if this is a good idea, but I want to teach myself how to weld. I'm looking around at the prices of bumpers and sliders etc, and I figure that if they can do it, why not me? Would it be worth it to build my own stuff?

Around what am I looking to spend to get started?
What do I need to get started?
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:28 PM   #2
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IMO, If your just getting started, as in no tools at all (not sure what you have available), then your going to have a high initial cost depending what you want to do, the list can go on and on: welder, welding supplies, grinder/ cutting tools, various clamps/ tools, and materials would be the basic. The cost would probably be close if not more than the cost to buy bumpers and sliders. But the satisfaction of building your own stuff is awesome and you cant really put a price on the knowledge you gain.

Before you make a huge investment I would buy a cheap welder at harbor freight and just try it out. Practice laying beads in any scrap you have lying around. If you like it and with enough practice you could easily make any armor you want.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:31 PM   #4
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http://weldingteacher.com/welding4dummies.htm


http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...2378_200482378
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:37 PM   #5
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Don't forget welding is just one small part of fabrication. Even if you could weld you need to be able to make the pieces that you will eventually weld.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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Bending for example
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lone wolf 87 View Post
So I dunno if this is a good idea, but I want to teach myself how to weld. I'm looking around at the prices of bumpers and sliders etc, and I figure that if they can do it, why not me? Would it be worth it to build my own stuff?

Around what am I looking to spend to get started?
What do I need to get started?
It really depends on what you are looking to weld. If you are looking to do some body work (light gage steel) a Harbor Freight MIG welder would be fine. If you are looking to do heavier steel (trailer/frame repair) you are looking at heavier welders. If you are looking to do alloys (alum/stainless) you need filler wire and welders for that. Again the gage of the materials dictates how much amperage the machine you need.

I don't know about where you live but here the schools offer occupational courses, if it's an option near you that may be a way to go for you.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lone wolf 87 View Post
So I dunno if this is a good idea, but I want to teach myself how to weld. I'm looking around at the prices of bumpers and sliders etc, and I figure that if they can do it, why not me? Would it be worth it to build my own stuff?

Around what am I looking to spend to get started?
What do I need to get started?
a local junior college might have a welding class, IMO look on craigslist or harbor freight for a wire feed welder.

with a welder, grinder with grinding and cutting blades, sharpie, and tape measure, you could build some decent square sliders.
like these
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:53 PM   #9
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TAKE CLASSES..I did, it helped alot.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:56 PM   #10
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I have tools, and am pretty handy, but as far as welding equipment goes, none, zero, zip etc etc.

I want to be able to build my own bumper, sliders, roll cage, bed extender, and other stuff like that.

I'm just not sure which type of welder to get. For starters, I don't have a garage, only a shed. The only other place to work is outside or in my basement near the storm door for ventilation. So.. stick welding is best for my application? I dunno, I still have a lot of research to do.

Thanks for the input and websites.

What's a round figure I'm looking to save up for for the welder and all supporting equipment? And yes, in my mind, skills and gained knowledge will always pay for themselves.

Oh yeah, and I live around the Philadelphia area. Not too sure about schooling in my area. I'm not trying to make a career out of this, just trying to pick up a skill and hobby.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95 taco View Post
a local junior college might have a welding class, IMO look on craigslist or harbor freight for a wire feed welder.

with a welder, grinder with grinding and cutting blades, sharpie, and tape measure, you could build some decent square sliders.
like these
Those look really cool! Is welding round tube/ piping harder?
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:00 PM   #12
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Right this way sir!
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lone wolf 87 View Post
Those look really cool! Is welding round tube/ piping harder?
i don't know for sure as i haven't welded anything yet, but i would guess that it would be the same if not a little bit easier.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lone wolf 87 View Post
I have tools, and am pretty handy, but as far as welding equipment goes, none, zero, zip etc etc.

I want to be able to build my own bumper, sliders, roll cage, bed extender, and other stuff like that.

I'm just not sure which type of welder to get. For starters, I don't have a garage, only a shed. The only other place to work is outside or in my basement near the storm door for ventilation. So.. stick welding is best for my application? I dunno, I still have a lot of research to do.

Thanks for the input and websites.

What's a round figure I'm looking to save up for for the welder and all supporting equipment? And yes, in my mind, skills and gained knowledge will always pay for themselves.

Oh yeah, and I live around the Philadelphia area. Not too sure about schooling in my area. I'm not trying to make a career out of this, just trying to pick up a skill and hobby.
Lots-o-tubing work. stick would be the best choice if you are going to be working outside, but it's not a "neat" weld, kinda lumpy and a lot of spatter to have to clean up after. Most of the smaller MIG welders are a flux cored wire (no shielding gas), I'm curious if it can be used outside?

How would you plan to do the bending for the tubing?

I guess the point I'm trying to bring out is, whatever you do in the backyard isn't going to be anywhere as neat or finished as the things you can buy from people the own $100,000's of fabrication equipment.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95 taco View Post
i don't know for sure as i haven't welded anything yet, but i would guess that it would be the same if not a little bit easier.
It's not pipe, it's tubing. The welding is easy, the fitting is what makes the welding easy.
Fitting tubing isn't easy
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:27 PM   #16
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From what I'm reading you have no tools and little to no experience in fabrication. If your just doing it to build your self bumpers, slider and stuff like that I think the cost to start would be way more then buying from a vendor. If you want to build them to learn how then go for it its great to build your own stuff but it's going to cost to get started and making them look good will take a few messed up ones.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTBerJim View Post
Lots-o-tubing work. stick would be the best choice if you are going to be working outside, but it's not a "neat" weld, kinda lumpy and a lot of spatter to have to clean up after. Most of the smaller MIG welders are a flux cored wire (no shielding gas), I'm curious if it can be used outside?

How would you plan to do the bending for the tubing?

I guess the point I'm trying to bring out is, whatever you do in the backyard isn't going to be anywhere as neat or finished as the things you can buy from people the own $100,000's of fabrication equipment.
Even self shielded flux core wire creates a shielding gas once vaporized. Flux cored electrodes that are gas shielded are for shop environments and flux cored electrodes that are self-shielded are for field welding
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:04 PM   #18
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In short, it aint worth it to do your own. But if you insist, here's a few pointers.

I would say for what you are wanting to do $2500 would be what you would likely spend getting initial equipment. This can vary quite a bit depending on what you want and need.

I suggest a MIG welder with shielding gas. Dont bother with a small crackerbox welder with flux core. While they may be rated for X thinkness, they dont do as good and I havent had much success with them. Maybe I'm just biased since I am used to good equipment. I've got a millermatic 251. Miller is an awesome brand of MIG welders. If you want to do ARC welding, you can get pretty cheap units and do fine. ARC welding is a lot harder than MIG and generally doesnt look as good.

I'll finish this later. gotta run.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:10 PM   #19
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Thanks for the input everyone!

Yeah I'm starting to gather that this is going to be an expensive venture. I might need to finish nursing school first before I dive into this.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:23 PM   #20
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I'm sure you got the point. But when I built my sliders I spent a whopping $25 but I did do it out of a shop. Had a minor error and still use the sliders til this day. I did build I front and rear bumper I no longer have at a very low cost. But again all I had all the tools and more handy
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