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Old 03-12-2014, 12:21 PM   #1
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Where did you learn how to weld?

Iv been wanting to learn to weld for a long time now. Iv tried contacting people on craigslist and I have asked friends... all i have ran into are flakes. Starting to think is should just get my ass to the community collage to learn how to weld lol. Where did you guys learn? And would your rec TIG or MIG first? My main reason for wanting to learn is so i can fab my own parts..

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Old 03-12-2014, 12:30 PM   #2
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I taught myself on a gasless fluxcore welder. Get a MIG because a TIG takes a while to master. If you plan on doing a lot of aluminum then maybe find a class to learn how to use a TIG.

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Old 03-12-2014, 12:33 PM   #3
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I learned by buying a flux core welder and practicing in the garage.
The best help I ever got was not from my brother (who learned to weld 20 years ago at school), but from a video a guy put up on wire feed speed.
He started a bead with the wire speed at zero and then adjusted the speed faster as he welded.
Then he marked where the speed was way too slow, too slow, just right, too fast, and way too fast.
That one video helped me make my welding almost 100% better.
I'd post a link, but I can't seem to find it.

Edit: Found it! Here it is:
http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/wire-speed.htm

Also, being able to see is a very important factor.
I bought an auto darkening welding helmet and it's made a world of difference.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:36 PM   #4
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actually the community collage or trade school night class isn't a bad idea, I took one years ago.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:38 PM   #5
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I started in vo-tech in high school. Then went to Hobart to learn pipe and plate. Learned more in the first month at Hobart than two tears vo-tech. I would not recommend Hobart unless you plan to make a living at welding (which I did for many years). Any local vo-tech can teach you what you need to weld as a hobby.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:46 PM   #6
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i WISH i could find someone in Colorado Springs who would be willing to help teach.. I wouldnt mind going to the community college to learn a bit more but i wouldnt be able to do that for a few more months (just started a new job and have no set schedual yet) and living in an apartment i dont have a garage or id go that road also :-( i guess ill have to wait haha
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:46 PM   #7
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Get a good quality MIG at least 140 amps. a community trade school is not a bad idea but if time and $ are a concern then a couple of good text books [by Lincoln, miller etc.] some supply's, [shielding gas. wire, a self darkening helmet, gloves and a long sleeve shirt made of flame proof material. Then get some scrap steel and start burning. It would be nice if a friend could help you get set up..
You might consider renting a machine to get the feel of it and I personaly wouldn't waste my time or money buying a cheap welder [harbor freight]or Ebay from china].
I learned through spark and splatter and with practice and the right equipment your skill level will improve and you will become addicted. Oh and don't forget the fire exting.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:56 PM   #8
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I bought a Harbor Freight Fluxcore welder on sale and went to town on same scrap. Then when I felt comfortable enough I used my flux core welder to put in a new exhaust on the jeep. I would not do any frame repairs with it. But small jobs the fluxcore works great. When I got to replacing floor pans I decided to rent a machine, man what a world of difference. I thought my welds were decent with the cheap flux core welder from HF but when you get behind a real machine I put down a real nice bead. Just don't spend a ton of money at first, buy the harbor freight you can use it for all kinds of small projects.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Pancelode View Post
I learned by buying a flux core welder and practicing in the garage.
The best help I ever got was not from my brother (who learned to weld 20 years ago at school), but from a video a guy put up on wire feed speed.
He started a bead with the wire speed at zero and then adjusted the speed faster as he welded.
Then he marked where the speed was way too slow, too slow, just right, too fast, and way too fast.
That one video helped me make my welding almost 100% better.
I'd post a link, but I can't seem to find it.

Edit: Found it! Here it is:
Setting Wire Feed Speed

Also, being able to see is a very important factor.
I bought an auto darkening welding helmet and it's made a world of difference.
Rusty Pancelode thanks a ton for this info, actually all of you lol. Ill have to read up and see what i can do! And pay a visit to harbor freight hahah
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creelclmsn View Post
I bought a Harbor Freight Fluxcore welder on sale and went to town on same scrap. Then when I felt comfortable enough I used my flux core welder to put in a new exhaust on the jeep. I would not do any frame repairs with it. But small jobs the fluxcore works great. When I got to replacing floor pans I decided to rent a machine, man what a world of difference. I thought my welds were decent with the cheap flux core welder from HF but when you get behind a real machine I put down a real nice bead. Just don't spend a ton of money at first, buy the harbor freight you can use it for all kinds of small projects.
I have an inexpensive HF flux machine too. Got it on sale for $99. It's a cheapie, but works great for small, light duty work. I welded some heavy duty washers to my shock mounts to repair egged out bolt holes, fix the steel frame of my gas grill, stuff like that. Once I get my garage re wired for 220, I'm going to invest in a good mig welder so I can do fab work, bumpers, frame work etc. But for now the HF is a fun little toy.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:40 PM   #11
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I grew up on a farm and learn to weld when I was a teenager. Learned to mig weld while working as a truck and heavy equipment mechanic in high school during basketball off season. It sucks not having a shop in which to do my own fab work
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:17 PM   #12
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I bought a wire feed flux core welder for like $350. Watched a couple of youtube vids and went out and practiced...

My welds are not pieces of art, but they hold... what can i say, i am a functionalist...
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:53 PM   #13
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I learned how to weld when I worked for an ALCOA refinery in Point Comfort, Texas (1968). I was a member of The Steelworkers of America Union. I ended up welding for a total of 40 years in various places. I am now retired.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:39 PM   #14
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learned in high school shop class, over 40 years ago..First welding job paid $1.90/hr..Eventually owned my own welding business for about 20 years and then taught welding for 4 years..To me,starting students with flux core mig worked out best..
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:56 PM   #15
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"Learned" how to weld while I was a mechanic. I bought a Lincoln "buzz box" (AC225) and taught myself how to stick weld. I do okay with it, although I would probably have trouble getting paid! haha Stick is great for work on the farm with rusted dirty stuff. 6010 rod is a great all around stick. For lighter gauge I got a 110v Lincoln 140a wire feed. Started with .035 flux core and now use .025 solid with argon/co2 gas for sheet metal. works great. Read all you can and lean about voltage and amperage (wire speed) for your project. Practice, practice, practice! Have fun with it, and always wear ALL the proper safety equipment & be aware of your surroundings.

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Old 03-12-2014, 06:36 PM   #16
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I learned to weld when I was 13 I was helping my dad and he taught me how by just watching and learning I have build my front and rear swinging tire rack bumper for my jeep it's a hole lot cheaper to build it than buy it I personal think mig is the best to start on
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COSpringsYJ View Post
Rusty Pancelode thanks a ton for this info, actually all of you lol. Ill have to read up and see what i can do! And pay a visit to harbor freight hahah
Yeah, no problem.
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:13 AM   #18
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I learned in college in "metal shop". I've since refined my "skills" at home with my Lincoln MIG 140. There is a kit available for welding aluminum, but it's something I haven't been able to do successfully. I can use fluxcore or regular wire to weld. Fluxcore will get the job done, but it's dirty. Regular wire with shielding gas is definitely much better if you want a quality weld. I've done a lot of fab work with mine whether I need to fix something, or make a tool, minor body work in unseen areas, exhaust, even some frame repair.

TIG is great, but slow. It's the way to go for body work, or any application where you're dealing with thin material and it needs to be presentable. The skill level is much higher to use TIG than MIG.
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:34 AM   #19
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I started in Vo-Tech in the 7th grade and continued thru high school then went to a two year college and got an Associate degree in Welding Technology. Went to work as a certified welder after college. Got bored with it and became a cop. I've kept welding over the years to "keep my skills".

We were started with oxy acetylene welding using filler rod dipped in flux (yep, I'm an old guy!) then on to arc. I eventually was certified in arc, flux core, mig and TIG. I once had business cards with " I can weld anything but the break of day and a broken heart, but I have a rod for that last one.

Find a part time class and go from there.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:13 PM   #20
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I got a degree in welding and non-destructive testing from University of Alaska, Anchorage. I agree with Kluso50. It is a skill-art. I build mostly motorcycles these days, but am currently up to my elbows in Aluminum fixes, mostly on horse trailers, of all things. You need stick only for thick steel welds. Mig for thinner steels- and I believe it to be the most versatile welder for steel and the easiest to operate and understand for novice welders. I have an everlast TIG welder and a Miller MIG welder. both of mine will run off a 110 house circuit. The duty cycle of these machines are much lower than a commercial welder- but that isn't what you want to do, right?

Oh- FWIW I find flux core wire feeds, no matter the brand, to be a total waste of time and money. Just find a cheap local buzz box and do straight stick IMHO. Much better results. PM me if you need more info, happy to do what I can.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:40 PM   #21
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I learned in my High School AG shop. If you want to learn, start with arc/stick.

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