Welding Practice

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Welding Practice

Postby Bigshankhank » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:32 pm

So I got a wire feed welder from Harbor Freight for the winter gift giving event and finally got a chance to set it up and try it out. Couple of test welds, I need practice but like a lot of things once I finally get around to trying them they are much less difficult than I thought. In each case, these welds held very tightly so I am fairly satisfied. Currently the welder is setup with .030" wire, since ost of what I need a welder for is a steel framed trailer I will probably pick up a spool of .035" (which is as large as this welder can handle) to make some beefier welds.
Setting up the 1st weld;
Image
First weld;
Image
Longer weld;
Image
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby jae » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:58 am

Good luck with that welder. I tried out one of those and was never terribly happy with it. Upgrading the wire to Lincoln wire (vs. what it came with) did seem to help quite a bit. I know there are other tweaks you can do to them to make them perform a bit better.

One thing I did when first practicing welding tubing up was to weld up some scrap pieces and then bisect them with a saw to check penetration. I need to start practicing again, it's been too long.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby problemaddict » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:13 am

How thick is that metal? Are you using flux-core, or does it have a gas setup?

MIG is pretty awesome with how easy it is to get decent, but ugly, welds right off the bat. My second welding project was the subframe on my streetfighter and amazingly it is still holding my ass off my rear tire ten years later! It was built after maybe 2 hours of practice...
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby Bigshankhank » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:44 pm

The trailer upper cage is 3/16", the unistrut is 1/4".
Yes it is a simple flux core welder, no gas setup for it. I was pretty happy with my first few welds, though most of what I need to do on this trailer is structural (replace the ball yoke, straighten the frame) so I want to practice a bit more before I start tackling something with the potential to break loose on the interstate.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
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"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby problemaddict » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:00 pm

That is probably pushing it as far as metal thickness, and I'd be concerned about using it for something seriously structural... They say these little MIGs can weld 1/4", but only if you bevel the edges and make multiple passes and know what you're doing. Anytime I try to do multiple passes, I just get an enormous, blobby bead that looks like shit and doesn't look like its penetrating anything. Sheetmetal and exhaust tubing stuff is where they shine. The subframe I talked about earlier was built with 1" and 1/2" square tubing with maybe 1/8" wall thickness. I'd think about using your MIG to tack things together and then finding someone to finish it up, or checking craigslist for a 225amp Arc welder with a 220v hookup.

http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/buil ... k-can.html

http://weldingweb.com/archive/index.php/t-9920.html

Lotsa info out there.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby guitargeek » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:27 pm

I got a Harbor Freight "buzz box" welder, and I still haven't opened the box...

I've been gathering parts to legitimize it:

Big rectifier
Bag of capacitors
Properly-sized wire
Ferrous donut (inductor)
Cooling fans

https://youtu.be/_YHWb93-6PU
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby Bigshankhank » Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:03 pm

guitargeek wrote:I got a Harbor Freight "buzz box" welder, and I still haven't opened the box...

I've been gathering parts to legitimize it:

Big rectifier
Bag of capacitors
Properly-sized wire
Ferrous donut (inductor)
Cooling fans

https://youtu.be/_YHWb93-6PU

Goddammit Geek, I was ignorantly happy with this welder, now I gotta go tearing it apart.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby Bigshankhank » Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:59 am

Having watched the entire first series of modifications, it seems like the rig the user got was improperly setup. In the case of the welder that I got, the tension wheel is properly tight, it came with both size tips, the proper setting on the wire drive wheel (with markings in SAE rather than metric) and the shield is flush with the copper tip. I cannot argue with using a better quality wire, but for practice welding I will burn up as much of the H-F wire as I can.
Moving on to part 2 of the series now.
Thank you.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
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"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

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Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby guitargeek » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:20 am

;-)

Seems like the biggest improvement is to be had by switching to a DC output (rectifier), and smoothing that out (caps).
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xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby Bigshankhank » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:58 pm

Yep, watched the Advanced series of mods, been searching eBay for rectifiers and capacitors. Shame Radio Shack is gone, it would be a simple matter of running out and picking them up.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby guitargeek » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:21 pm

Elitist, arrogant, intolerant, self-absorbed.
Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby guitargeek » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:23 pm

Elitist, arrogant, intolerant, self-absorbed.
Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby Bigshankhank » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:35 pm

Cool, thank you for the links. I actually had it running again today, welding some fence posts together. I upgraded the wire to some Lincoln .035" from the original H-F .030", and it made a difference, noticeable to even a novice a like me. Still pretty blobby welds, though. AC-DC conversion is next.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby wheezy e » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:16 pm

based on the last pic you've got a great start on technique, it's nice and straight with a consistent size. Needs more heat for better penetration, if the machine was maxed out maybe try a little less wire speed so you can slow down which will hold the heat in the material longer. That's just a guess, I've only worked with machines more than capable of whatever thickness material I was welding. One thing that helped me a lot was getting a magnifying lens for my hood. I'm a bit far sighted but suspect it would be an advantage for anyone. Welding is so much fun, enjoy!
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby Bigshankhank » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:39 am

Thanks for the feedback, makes me feel a little better.
If I have time today I am going to weld on my first permanent addition to the trailer, a set of brackets to hold my canoe in place. The 1st time we strapped the canoe on top for a sojourn down to the local creek the damn thing was bouncing and sliding everywhere despite repeated attempts to bind the straps tighter at every stop. This should at least eliminate the sliding.
One day I'll need to invest in a proper hood. Currently I have a pair of goggles with #11 lenses as well as the stupid handheld mask the welder came with. The goggles do protect me eyes, but with the popping slag I really can't afford to leave my beautiful face unprotected. Already got a good burn on one foot from a slag dropping down into my boot.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
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"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby guitargeek » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:05 am

ATGATT

Get better gear...
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Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby problemaddict » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:29 pm

Auto darkening helmet is the dog's dangiles! I got the cheapest one in the store and it's still working great many years later. Hood brand, I think...
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby guitargeek » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:49 pm

I blundered a few years ago... goggles and gloves, t-shirt, shorts, and saddles. First and second degree burns on my face, arms, and legs. Pretty dumb, and dumber because I'm supposed to avoid stuff like sunlight because lupus is exacerbated by it. Made me sick for a couple weeks, but I learned.

Possibly even dumber, though... About 20 years ago, I bought a house in west Texas (that's not the dumb part). Stinking sumac (piss elm) had taken over most of the back yard. I borrowed a chainsaw from a friend and went to work in the August heat. That stuff dulls a saw pretty quickly, so I had to keep stopping to sharpen it. After about three days, I noticed that I was getting headaches... then I realized that I hadn't bothered to wear any hearing protection!!

Stupid, stupid, stupid.
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xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby Bigshankhank » Tue May 02, 2017 6:17 am

I meant to snap a couple of photos of my latest creation. I picked up a cheap 5x8 trailer a few months ago for general hauling and it needed some remediation from prior abuse. In addition to building a new deck, the frame is tweaked. I hammered a few sections of it back to straight, but it still needs more. Most importantly, the coupler was dodgy and after it decoupled from me truck a second time, I decided it was time to replace it. Considering the trailer, while empty, still managed to snap its safety chains in the 2nd incident and ran the trailer off onto the side of the road (thankfully no collateral damage or injuries), the couple shell was smashed and of course the chains were toast, plus it cost me a tow truck charge to get it home so I am going to town fixing it up. I cut out the main spar to the coupler as it was showing signs of significant rust, bought a new length of steel tube, primed and painted that inside and out and welded on a new coupler. With Miller brand .035 wire, a god welding mask and a few other small updates (though still running in AC configuration) plus a TON of practice welds, I am really quite happy with the welds I was able to put down. The spar is 1/8" steel, and you can see the discoloration on the inside around each weld so I know it has good penetration. I ground down the longer welds to smooth them out a bit, but they had a nice rippled layering just like they should. Maybe no instagrammable, but pretty damn good. Next up is to clean up some of the other rusted metal exposed with the old spar removed, weld the new spar in to place, straighten a couple more bent pieces and finish up the wiring and paint. Then replace the hubs/wheels/tires and add some fenders. I figure all in I will have about $400 bucks into this trailer, but more importantly I will have gained a good deal of welding experience.

I still want to do the DC conversion, but again I think using a higher quality feed wire has made a huge difference. That plus having a proper hood, rather than the hand held shield which required you to control the lead with only one hand.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
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"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby wheezy e » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:06 am

jangleplatz! know that you can do multiple passes when working at the far end of your machine's ability, just get rid of all slag before going over it again (assuming this is a flux-core, gas-less machine). not directly going over the last weld, but starting with a center weld, then hitting each side of initial weld making sure the third grabs the second, make sense? just be sure each additional weld fully penetrates it's adjoining welds. also, pre-heating material works wonders when you are up against the limits of the machine.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby guitargeek » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:15 pm

That's good advice...
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Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby Bigshankhank » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:45 pm

Have gotten pretty good at welding after miles of practice welds. OK maybe just a few feet of welds overall but it feels like a lot.
Image

Same welder, same OG alternating current setup just like I got it from the China hardware store, good wire and better smoother technique.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
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Re: Welding Practice

Postby jae » Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:44 pm

don't know how I missed your 2017 post about noticing the difference in the Lincoln wire, but that was my experience with it as well
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