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yes if you're serious you need a welder

grumpyvette

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Apr 17, 2001
Messages
841
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Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co
one of my buddies stopped by with a minor exhaust leak that needed fixing, it took about 8-9 minutes and we had it fixed, the local muffler shop wanted a $100 to replace the NEARLY NEW exhaust pipe...
another friend I have dropped by last week with a busted bracket, that cost over $120 at the dealer but he can,t buy one since they are discontinued.....

yet another in a long line of reasons to own a decent welder.......
I can,t even imagine being in this hobby/obsession without at least a oxy-acetolene torch or a stick welder of some type.
heres a small sample, just remember these names
MILLER
HOBART
LINCOLN
HTP
http://www.welders-direct.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WD&Product_Code=907335
http://www.welders-direct.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WD&Product_Code=K1297
http://www.welders-direct.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=WD&Category_Code=MW

http://www.welders-direct.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=WD&Category_Code=TW
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=43550

http://www.htpweld.com/products/mig_welders/mig_140.html
http://www.htpweld.com/products/tig_welders/tig201.html

heres an old post that cover much of the info, LOOK THRU THE LINKS
a decent arc or stick welder will do a good deal of whats likely to need welding, an oxyacetolene torch is versital, a mig is really easy to master and a good tig will handle about anything you can name plus aluminum

http://www.twi.co.uk/j32k/protected/band_3/jk6.html
TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas Welding)
tig.jpg

basically youve got a controlable electric arc in a gas shield that you use similar to a oxy-acetolene flame to melt the material and feed a rod of similar material to flow and join the peices
This process is the toughest to learn. The electrode is composed of Tungsten, and a current is flowed through it controlled by either a foot pedal, a hand switch, or a fixed current on the machine itself. I am learning TIG using a foot pedal, the more you press down on the metal, the more amps you get. Once you get enough current flowing to get an appropriate sized weld pool, you start dabbing a filler metal into the puddle as you move the electrode further down the work piece. TIG allows you a great amount of control because you regulate how much current the electrode gets and how much filler metal the weld pool gets. This process is very slow compared to the other types though. in my opinion its by far the best process simply because you can CONTROL BOTH THE HEAT POLARITY AND MATERIAL FEED CONSTANTLY MAKING ADJUSTMENTS IN BOTH SHOULD YOU CHOOSE
MIG - (Metal Inert Gas)
http://www.twi.co.uk/j32k/protected/band_3/jk4.html
jk41.gif

migwelding1.jpg


MIG is the easiest process of welding. A feeding gun is used to feed a spool of filler metal wire into the weld pool. in effect you feed a charged wire into the weld are where it melts on contact due to the current arc ,Current is usually switched on and off by means of a trigger on the gun. Amps are usually controlled by a dial on the MIG machine itself, meaning that you cannot adjust current in the middle of welding. Though, with some machine you are able to get a foot pedal to control Amps while welding.the better machines allow you to vary the speed of the wire feed but you set the electrical energy (heat with a dial), its extremely fast and simple to use but your basicall shooting molten wire into the area to be welded.
Arc Welding (stick)
image017.jpg

Arc welding is mostly used in industrial applications. An electrode is used to strike an arc, the electrode then melts away to deposit metal into the weld pool. The electrode is coated with a variety of different materials which are used to help keep the weld pool from being contaminated.
TIG and non-flux-cored MIG both use a variety of different shielding gases to help keep the weld pool from being contaminated depending on what metal is being welding.
 

wishuwerehere82

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Joined
Sep 6, 2003
Messages
2,314
Location
Rochester, NY
Corvette
Red '82 Coupe,Sebring Silver '98 Coupe
What type of gas are you using?
We used to use Argon for MIG welding on carbon steel, but Nitrogen worked better for TIG welding Stainless steel tubing.
 

grumpyvette

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2001
Messages
841
Location
Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co

jims427400

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Jun 7, 2005
Messages
763
Location
Temperance Michigan
Corvette
67 427 tripower,68 427 tripower,04 Z16, 62 340hp
I totally agree, used to be a certified welder myself with arc and TIG in the geerage.
 

G Winter

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Joined
Aug 21, 2004
Messages
2,177
Location
NW Iowa
Corvette
1990 red convert 6 sp
Just a little added note here. If you can stick weld and weld with oxyacetolene, then the TIG is easy to master .In a way the TIG is like an electric torch . You have to be able to hold an arc and in some cases fill with wire. Many welds require no fill wire.

At work we use some kind of mix for welding 304 stainless. I can't remember for sure but I know it is 80% argon with either nitrogen or co2.

Nice post on welding Grumpy. :upthumbs
 

bossvette

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
May 19, 2003
Messages
3,233
Location
West Unity Ohio
Corvette
1968 1997
I was taught how to gas weld by an aircraft mechanic back when I was 14, I have a Miller Mig and a set of Ox-Acetylene torches . My biggest problem is that I don't weld enough, just when the job gets done my welds start looking good.;LOL
When I bought my Mig about 17 years ago my Wife was quite POed about me spending $900 on a welder and complained until the oldest Boy broke the baby's bike in two and I was able to repair it. The torches come in especially handy working on the fords ;LOL

Mine is the granddad of this one:
http://www.welders-direct.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WD&Product_Code=907046
pretty much the same specs just older.
 

grumpyvette

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2001
Messages
841
Location
Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co
I have aquired a few welders in the shop over the years , but the two fairly recent additions make me wonder how I ever got along without them before

I picked up the newest MIG, a MILLER 252 last week, while its too new to the shop to be totally tested yet, its obviously a huge improvement over my previous mig welders

http://www.welders-direct.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WD&Product_Code=907321

this is my lincoln stick welder/generator, its done a great job for years and I sure keeping this one

http://www.welders-direct.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WD&Product_Code=K1419-4


I picked up an OLD 1980s MILLER 330a/bp TIG welder awhile ago,
and while its hardly state of the art, its a good useable tool.
while Id recommend the newer miller or LINCOLN or HTP tigs (having used those)if you have the significant cash to spend, the older TIG does a decent job at less than 1/6 of the cost

http://www.welders-direct.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WD&Product_Code=K1825-1

http://www.htpweld.com/products/tig_welders/tig201.html

http://www.welders-direct.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WD&Product_Code=907194041


you might ask WHY? I need more than one welder,well, I don,t NEED them all but it sure is nice to have the correct tool for the job at hand, first each type of welder does one type of job better than all the others due to its design, and function.

a good tig welder will do about 99% of anything you can imagine, when set up correctly with the correct guy useing it, like an oxy-acetolene torch ,that has the heat seperate from the filler metal supply. a tig is basically an electric flame inside a gas curtain shield that you use to heat the metal and then use sticks of filler rod. a tig will work on stainless, aluminum, mild steel, even some other metals.

its main fault is the machines cost, and it requires a gas shield, but keep in mind many TIG welders can have a standard STICK WELDER function with an addition of a seperate lead so you dont need the gas to stick weld, and generally can control the arc with a foot petal.

a oxy-acetolene torch will do a great deal, and for things like heating & bending, brazeing, etc. that some other welders don,t do as easily, its sure handy

a basic stick welder will allow you to do a great deal on steel, but its basically not designed for any aluminum, brazeing ETC.

QUALITY MIG welders are generally the easiest to learn on, and nearly fool proff after some basic instruction and practice, the bigger and more advanced designs can do stainless and aluminum and have a gas shield like the tig to keep the weld clean

now IM sure some of you noticed I didn,t mention the 110 volt hobby welders like home depot and sear sell? well Ive used those welders, I own a lincoln 3200 weldpack welder, and its a good little sheet metal welder......but read this

Taken directly from a Joe Kalassa , a welding instructor from Lincoln Eletric

"“Some teams fail to achieve proper fusion, which basically happens, for instance, when you take a little 110-volt welding machine and work on heavy things like shock mounts,” Kolasa says. “Some people feel they can do anything they want with one of the smaller machines that is intended for thin materials. If you were to use that machine when it comes to something like a shock mount, you might as well skip welding it and just stick some bubble gum there instead because it won’t work. It’s a misunderstanding of the welding process that comes from a lack of education.”
 

bossvette

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
May 19, 2003
Messages
3,233
Location
West Unity Ohio
Corvette
1968 1997
Taken directly from a Joe Kalassa , a welding instructor from Lincoln Eletric

"“Some teams fail to achieve proper fusion, which basically happens, for instance, when you take a little 110-volt welding machine and work on heavy things like shock mounts,” Kolasa says. “Some people feel they can do anything they want with one of the smaller machines that is intended for thin materials. If you were to use that machine when it comes to something like a shock mount, you might as well skip welding it and just stick some bubble gum there instead because it won’t work. It’s a misunderstanding of the welding process that comes from a lack of education.”

Yup you can weld small stuff with a big welder but not big stuff with a toy ;LOL
 

grumpyvette

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2001
Messages
841
Location
Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co
BTW, if your looking to buy a welder ID strongly advise taking a course on welding FIRST so you understand what your looking at and what to expect and so you have a good feel for what your looking to do and what equipment is necessary,then stop by a few large welding shops and ask the owner if hes ever considered upgrading his equipment? stop by a few welder dealers and ask about trade ins.?
most will jump at the chance to unload older equipment if given a reasonable offer, the TRICK is knowing EXACTLY what your looking at, having a good idea as to age and condition and value and getting a DEAL, Id generally avoid anything priced higher than 1/2-1/3 of current retail.

http://www.welders-direct.com/

https://weldingsupply.securesites.com/cgi-bin/browsecatalogs.pl?UNDEF::

but be fair! include all the accessories in the bid!

look around your local area for the guy or guys that do welder repairs, they can very often get you a decent deal on a used welder or point you to someone whos looking to upgrade thier current equipment that you might be able to make a good deal for on thier older equipment.
just stick to name brands , and ID STRONGLY ADVISE STICKING TO WELDERS that REQUIRE a 220volt single phase electrical feed

lincoln
miller
ESAB
HOBART
HTP
THERMADYNE

because having access to parts and service and manuals is MANDATORY
if you do buy equipment thats USED ask for a demonatration on BOTH the thin sheet metal like patching a fender and exhaust pipes and thicker 1/4-3/8" thick stuff


DON,t forget the welder requires a MATCHED electrical feed in your garage and it may require a tank of shield gas and may require accessories or longer cords, and consumables like wire for MIG units or sticks of filler rod for stick or tig welders, all those things add up fast!
 

SPANISHVETTS

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Nov 5, 2002
Messages
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Location
El puerto de Santa Maria Spain
Corvette
before 60,63&82 now 90 383 Stroker & 91 ZR1-Sold
The Spanish have a welder called ¨the Eagle¨ that has been in production, unchanged, since 1948. It is a big @$$ auto transformer AC STIK welder made with no less than 200 pounds of coper wire. It has an On/Off switch and 10 3/4 inch coper plugs connected to taps on the transformer. No meter, No circuit breaker, No thermal protection, No osha warning placards.

Euro-Land has 50Hz (cycle if U R old as me) current so when an Eagle is working everything in the shop vibrates and the magnet field pulls every nut and bolt to the wooden case of the welder.

I have welded 1/32 stainless and 3/4 drill pipe with the Eagle and the machine was better than me on both jobs.

You can still buy a new Eagle today but with the price of coper a modern Miller will cost less.

I love modern equipment, I love my ThermalArc 250 all mode welder and the SnapOn Tig machine but I still have to respect the Good Old stuff that was just built to Work. No technology, not even a frigging Diode; just 200# of coper wire and somebody that cared enough to hand wind it.
 

grumpyvette

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Apr 17, 2001
Messages
841
Location
Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co
now most of this is OBVIOUS to the more experianced guys, but your need to wear the correct gear and use common sence while welding
at a minimum wear a NON-SYNTHETIC ,(many synthetics melt instantly or are very flameable) VS(cotton, denim, and leather don,t generally flare or burn instantly ), wear long DENIM sleeve shirts, long leg slacks and sturdy leather boots,(cleated thick rubber soles that insulate helps) with the DENIM slacks OVER the boots not tucked loosely into open tops like cowboy boots and a use self darkening helmet, and wearing leather welders gloves and a reversed cotton baseball cap sure won,t hurt if your doing a good deal of welding, simply because YOU WILL EVENTUALLY get radiation burns (fairly quickly from the arc/flash of welding if you don,t ) on exposed skin,
(think of this as a bad sun burn, OR WORSE, that can happen in minutes in some cases) and repeated exposure too radiation burns is never a good idea.
and welders tend to create HEAT, sparks and falling bits of red hot metalic crud that makes sandels, short sleeve shirts and shorts a very dumb idea in most cases. keep a DECENT SIZE CO2 fire extinguisher handy, and a water hose with a spray nozzle that pressurized kept near by is a good idea.
never weld over your head if you can move the part to where you can weld at bench ;level, yeah! it takes longer to remove and install the parts like exhausts or mufflers and yeah! its not always practical, but both safety and weld quality benefit, so if you have the option weld on a bench vs the car!
THINK! before welding, HOT stuff falling on tender bits of your anatomy or starting the car on fires seldom FUN, and clamps, use of a barrier for shielding the stuff near the weld location with a wet towel or sheet of galvanized metal , use a GREAT GROUND, or in rare cases flowing water , it is only comon sence, but be aware that you can also get ELECTRICUTED if your REALLY DUMB, SO THINK IT THRU BEFORE you start, have a buddy help, and know what your doing, before you get in over your skill/knowledge level

if your useing an oxy-acetolene torch, make DAMN SURE the tanks are turned off before putting them away,and the fittings are tight and nothings leaking before use!

41652_H_SH315_MW355.jpg

http://www.denimexpress.com/
http://www.tuffrhino.com/Welders_Cl...dVariation=6&gclid=CN7B8IuV0o0CFQyPYAodPEEPZA
https://weldingsupply.securesites.com/cgi-bin/einstein.pl?Next::1:UNDEF:OR:terms::PS
 

grumpyvette

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Joined
Apr 17, 2001
Messages
841
Location
Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co
""welders tend to create HEAT, sparks and falling bits of red hot metalic crud that makes sandels, short sleeve shirts and shorts a very dumb idea in most cases."
Have you been peeking in my shop?"




no! but I was YOUNG and DUMB at one time (40 years ago) and HAVING LEARNED THE HARD WAY.... like most guys, DO! I still remember doing that DUMB STUFF, and suffering the results. the TRICK is I still remember and try to AVOID repeating my former mistakes, and hopefully preventing others from making similar mistakes
 

grumpyvette

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Joined
Apr 17, 2001
Messages
841
Location
Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co
btw between myself and friends, weve tried these HF & hd welders, plus MANY others, but this might help some guys

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94056

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=55167

YOUVE GOT TO BE KIDDING, these were nearly totally useless



http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93793

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94164

crappy quality but these at least did work ....some times... but not often


http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=43550

I liked this one,no problems at all, but it was not as easy to use as some Ive used


heres some from HOME DEPOT

lincoln 3200, WORKS but BARELY

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...ctId=100093231

the 175 lincoln a big step up, but still not what Id suggest as adequate

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...ctId=100395926

Lincoln Electric AC/DC 225/125 Welder

GOOD BASIC NO FRILLS STICK WELDER

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...cStoreNum=8125
 

Mac

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Administrator
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
5,475
Location
Ottawa, Canuckistan
Corvette
1973 coupe L82 (gone as casualty of divorce)
no! but I was YOUNG and DUMB at one time (40 years ago) and HAVING LEARNED THE HARD WAY.... like most guys, DO! I still remember doing that DUMB STUFF, and suffering the results. the TRICK is I still remember and try to AVOID repeating my former mistakes, and hopefully preventing others from making similar mistakes
I still recall my young & dumb days as a pre-teen using my dad's old Lincoln stick welder to patch up a friend's bicycle after he broke the frame going over a ramp. It never occurred to me to use the face shield. Later that night, when my burning eyes were killing me, I decided eye protection wasn't such a bad thing.

I learned the "short, sandels & sparks don't mix" rule a few months later. The "gas tank & fumes" rule waited until I was a teen. How I survived to dubious adulthood is a mystery.

-Mac
 

SPANISHVETTS

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 5, 2002
Messages
1,143
Location
El puerto de Santa Maria Spain
Corvette
before 60,63&82 now 90 383 Stroker & 91 ZR1-Sold
Grumpy,
Looking at your short list the entry level is around a thousand $ for a decent welder. That makes the used market look better and better. I bought the ThermalArc 250 with wire feed and plasma cutter adapter used for a bit less than 1K.

My recommendation to people buying their 1st welder is to shop for a good used machine that will do the job instead of spending $500 on a POS that will only frustrate the user and end up gathering dust with the other discount tools piled in the corner.


MAC - I thought you knew better:W
 

Mac

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
5,475
Location
Ottawa, Canuckistan
Corvette
1973 coupe L82 (gone as casualty of divorce)
MAC - I thought you knew better:W
I do now... What's the old saying about good judgment coming from experience and experience comes from bad judgment...?

-Mac
 

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