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Help me teach myself how to weld

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by lone wolf 87, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Nov 26, 2012 at 5:58 PM
    #1
    lone wolf 87

    lone wolf 87 [OP] Member

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    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?
     
  2. Nov 26, 2012 at 6:28 PM
    #2
    GhostDog86

    GhostDog86 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  3. Nov 26, 2012 at 6:30 PM
    #3
    HomerTaco

    HomerTaco That "grill guy" Vendor

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  4. Nov 26, 2012 at 6:31 PM
    #4
    neontrail

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  5. Nov 26, 2012 at 6:37 PM
    #5
    rsbmg

    rsbmg Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  6. Nov 26, 2012 at 6:39 PM
    #6
    zbaldo

    zbaldo Well-Known Member

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    Stock as Stock can be with duratracs and a roof rack
    Bending for example
     
  7. Nov 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM
    #7
    MTBerJim

    MTBerJim You Know We Can't Do This All Day!!!

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    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.
     
  8. Nov 26, 2012 at 6:44 PM
    #8
    95 taco

    95 taco Cornfed

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    Bilsteins front and rear, front set to 1'' and rear are 9'' 5125's, OMD springs in the rear, CSJumper LED's inside, hard wired inverter.
    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

    IMG_05596.jpg
     
  9. Nov 26, 2012 at 6:53 PM
    #9
    wildjerseyfirefighter

    wildjerseyfirefighter I sell fishing and fishing accessories

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    TAKE CLASSES..I did, it helped alot.
     
  10. Nov 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM
    #10
    lone wolf 87

    lone wolf 87 [OP] Member

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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.
     
  11. Nov 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM
    #11
    lone wolf 87

    lone wolf 87 [OP] Member

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    Those look really cool! Is welding round tube/ piping harder?
     
  12. Nov 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM
    #12
    VirginiaBound

    VirginiaBound Whyareyoureadingthis?

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  13. Nov 26, 2012 at 7:04 PM
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    95 taco

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    Bilsteins front and rear, front set to 1'' and rear are 9'' 5125's, OMD springs in the rear, CSJumper LED's inside, hard wired inverter.
    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.
     
  14. Nov 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM
    #14
    MTBerJim

    MTBerJim You Know We Can't Do This All Day!!!

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    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.
     
  15. Nov 26, 2012 at 7:14 PM
    #15
    MTBerJim

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    It's not pipe, it's tubing. The welding is easy, the fitting is what makes the welding easy.
    Fitting tubing isn't easy
     
  16. Nov 26, 2012 at 7:27 PM
    #16
    JLee

    JLee The Man! Vendor

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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.
     
  17. Nov 26, 2012 at 7:53 PM
    #17
    Redfox1

    Redfox1 'Stralia! Riding Roo's and wrangling koalas

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    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
     
  18. Nov 26, 2012 at 8:04 PM
    #18
    Country101

    Country101 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  19. Nov 26, 2012 at 8:10 PM
    #19
    lone wolf 87

    lone wolf 87 [OP] Member

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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.
     
  20. Nov 26, 2012 at 8:23 PM
    #20
    661prerunner

    661prerunner Well-Known Member

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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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