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Welding advice...

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by XDRoX, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    I know nothing except it looks real fun.
    I want to be able to weld a dueling tree.
    There is a guy on calguns that sells the rounds targets for the dueling tree. The only thing is I have to be able to make the stand. It seems like an easy task but I know nothing about welding.

    Like this:
    [​IMG]

    I want to be able to make basic welds strong enough to build this thing. They don't have to be pretty or super strong, just strong enough to hold.

    What do I need? I want to spend the least amount as possible on a welder that will do this task.

    I see they make a bunch of different types.
    Arc
    Mig
    Flux
    Spot
    Plasma
    ect..

    Would one of you guys be so helpful to post a link of something that would work for what I need???

    Thanks

    I'm heading to HF in a little while.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/welding.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  2. G17Jake

    G17Jake

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    All I have ever used is a mig welder, and that is what I would buy. I'm sure there are many experienced welders here who can offer advice. I will be watching this thread since I am considering purchasing a welder too.
     

  3. Hartford

    Hartford

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    I find welding to be very enjoyable, and I also do it for a living. Starting out can be very frustrating though. Your best bet would be to find someone who can give you a little demonstration or look over your shoulder.

    I prefer stick (smaw) welding over all the others, but it isn't practical for all applications. It would work fine for this, but the wire feed welders will be easier to work with in this application

    If you go with a wire feed welder get flux cored wire. Hard wire requires a shielding gas like argon. A shielding gas will make the flux core come out better, but it isn't necessary in all applications.

    No matter which application you choose don't get the cheapest machine you can find. If you decide to do more down the road you may be very limited by one of the smaller machines.

    Another thing you will want to check is the duty cycle of the machine. Duty cycle is the time the machine can weld for. The wire feeders on the HF website have a duty cycle of 20%. They can weld continuously for two minutes out of ten, and then need a rest. It will stay on, but the machine won't weld longer than two minutes straight. This how I remember the duty cycle being explained in school, but that was a while ago so I might be a little off. Since being out in the field every machine I've used has a 100% duty cycle. Small welds won't really be affected by this. For the application you want 20% duty cycle is fine.

    There are others here that will chime in with good advice, and better advice. Good luck, have fun and don't get discouraged by it.

    ETA: The more I think about it the 20% duty cycle might also be that it can weld for two straight minutes out of ten, or two minutes of welding out of ten. I hate forgetting this stuff. It bothers me.

    ETAII: Where you are just starting out I'm rethinking my advice on which machines. A cheaper one might be better just in case you decide welding really isn't for you. It's a very valuable skill to have though, and I would encourage you to learn if you have the interest.

    Most recently I had to put a new axle under my boat trailer. Wanted as clearance between the trailer frame and ground as possible. The new axle was designed to sit on top of the leaf springs, and the spring perches weren't space right. I cut them off got them where I needed and welded them back. A simple job that would have cost me a fair amount of coin at the local fab shop. Did it before lunch myself with no help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  4. ede

    ede Bama's Friend

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    For what you'd spend and the results you'd get starting with zero equipment, knowledge and skills you'd be ahead to find a friend/neighbor/coworker that can do it for you. Buy them a case of beer and slip them some cash.
     
  5. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

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    I use an Nd:Yag laser.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  6. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  7. kiole

    kiole

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    Buy the harbor freight mig welder for 99$ and then get their auto darkening welding helmet. You'll be able to make messy but strong welds. The included wire they give you splatters like all hell but it creates strong welds.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/wire-welder-90-amp-flux-68887.html

    http://www.harborfreight.com/auto-darkening-welding-helmet-with-racing-stripe-design-67854.html

    150-160$ investment and you'll find stuff to do with it around the house. Later if you buy some nicer Lincoln wire the welds will be even nicer. I use that habit freight welder for general crude repair but was able to make a nice license plate bracket for my trike with lot of grinding.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  8. Hartford

    Hartford

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    That's a wire feed welder, also known as a mig welder. A roll of wire goes inside the machine and fed out through gun by rollers. I don't see why it wouldn't. Looks like it is strictly flux cored wire. That's also fine for your application. Should work. Hope all goes well for you.

    If you don't have a hand held grinder you will want one. They come in very handy when learning how to weld.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  9. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    This is exactly what I needed to know. Thanks. I assume this will make welds strong enough to build that dueling tree?
     
  10. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Thank you. I'll post the results.
     
  11. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    A mig welder is what you want but don't waste your money on a 120V one.
     
  12. kiole

    kiole

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    For what he wants to do it'll be fine. I agree if your planning on doing more a nice Lincoln Hobart or miller 220 machine with gas hookups is a better idea.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  13. Bill Powell

    Bill Powell Cross Member CLM

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    All I would day is stay away from the little 110 volt wire feed welders. you almost gotta do two passes to weld a car fender. wire feed or stick welder, get a 220 volt welder if you're welding angle and steel pipe
     
  14. kiole

    kiole

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    Yes it should be plenty strong, bevel the edges of the metal with a grinder then weld it. You'll get better penetration. Google bevel butt joints.
     
  15. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    If you live in a large populated area get your welder off CraigsList. Tons of welding equipment of all types on the list here in the Ft. Lauderdale area.



    /
     
  16. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Thanks guys for the advice.

    I just got back from HF. I found a coupon for the $150 one for $89.

    Questions. I suck. I can't weld two washers together. What's happening is the wire is basically turning to burnt dust and not creating a bead. I've tried adjusting the speed but no luck.

    You guys know what I'm doing wrong? I can get the washers to stick together but the break apart very easily and I can't get a nice bead weld. :dunno:

    Thanks
     
  17. kiole

    kiole

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    Probably not getting a good ground try a large piece of metal first a washer isn't a good piece to learn on.

    It is possible as I've welded washers to nails with that very welder
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  18. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Thanks, and my washers were pretty rusty as well. I'll go find some good metal.
     
  19. Hartford

    Hartford

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    the cleaner the metal the better. pictures would help critique.
     
  20. Rabid Rabbit

    Rabid Rabbit

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    Check out your community college high school adult ed for welding classes. If you don't at least get a welding book or look on line so you can learn some basics about what you're doing, this really isn't common sense kind of stuff. There is a lot to welding, it isn't as simple or easy as it looks. Just remember take lighters, cartridges etc... out of your pocket. We had one guy in my class that kept forgetting, never did figure out why he had rifle rounds during goose season.