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Old 12-23-2015, 09:47 PM
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Want to learn to weld

I've been thinking of learning how to weld so i can work on Jeep or repairs. For instance i want to be able to install custom cage and do the work myself. Thats one of the examples, im sure i would use the knoledge to other needs as well.

How hard is it to learn? Is it worth it? I heard there are classes you can take, but is it enough to be able to install cage or do repairs to the Jeep?

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Old 12-23-2015, 10:07 PM   #2
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I've been a home hobby welder for years. Learned in high school on an old arc welder. In my 40s I bought a small Lincoln mig welder. Mig welding is way easier to learn, anyone can learn but it does take some practice to get good. Watch a lot of YouTube vids, read the instruction guide, check out a book at the library, and practice, practice, practice. Anyone can make two pieces of metal stick together, but it takes some skill and practice to make it strong AND look pretty.
I would say go for it, and then make up your mind after a year of making projects you think you can trust a weld you put on a cage not to fail if you roll your jeep. It might open up a whole new hobby for you, it did me.

Here is project I made with my welding.
https://youtu.be/uynfNnXfkLk


Thanks,

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Old 12-23-2015, 10:17 PM   #3
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I can teach a monkey how to mig weld. Pick up a 220v Mig and start practicing on scrap metal. It's easy to learn.

It's like owning a trailer, once you can weld and have a machine, you make a lot of new friends!
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:55 PM   #4
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I learned from Lincoln Electric... in a class to be a merit badge counselor for Boy Scouts.

Easy to pick up... but as was stated... takes practice to be good. I'm sure your local community college offers a class as well.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:07 PM   #5
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There is a big difference between beautiful looking welds and welds that will simply hold stuff together. It is really not that hard especially if you use a Mig welder but only practice and some instruction will made beautiful welds.

I started stick welding over thirty years ago, switched to Mig and now do almost everything with Tig. I can make absolutely beautiful welds with Tig but it has taken lots of practice and more than a little swearing.

Our local community college has courses in basic Mig welding for less than $250 and would probably be a good starting point if you have something like that available in your area.
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Old 12-24-2015, 12:08 AM   #6
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Welding will end up being the easy part. Then you'll have to invest in cutting tools, bending brakes, building jigs, and all the other stuff required to work with metal. It can get expensive...which leaves you wondering if the satisfaction of doing the stuff yourself was better than just spending the money on something already completed.
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:28 AM   #7
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Go for it. It's not that bad but there is some expense involved. I have a friend that used to say that becoming a welder is one of the cheapest businesses a man can get into. I'm not sure that's true, but there are more expensive professions. Anyway, get the best machine you can afford. You'll be glad you did. Most prefer mig. If you do, get one that is gas ready (Argon, or CO2/Argon mix) or addable. You will want it. You can use gas-less mig, but the welds aren't as pretty.
After that, a grinder is a must. Then you will be wanting a torch, a chop saw or both. Really serious folks get a band saw, but those take room. But they are nice. I just bought that Milwaukee portable band saw. Real handy but it's not for every task.
I used to weld for friends for free just for the practice and experience (and partly to show off) but now everyone (but family) pays. The consumables aren't free, especially acetylene.
Enjoy. It's a blast.
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by airmed2 View Post
Welding will end up being the easy part. Then you'll have to invest in cutting tools, bending brakes, building jigs, and all the other stuff required to work with metal. It can get expensive...which leaves you wondering if the satisfaction of doing the stuff yourself was better than just spending the money on something already completed.
I agree with you, but it's pretty cool when someone is admiring that bumper that they have never seen one like and says "you built that, didn't you".
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Old 12-24-2015, 12:04 PM   #9
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I agree with you, but it's pretty cool when someone is admiring that bumper that they have never seen one like and says "you built that, didn't you".
yup! I bought this one pre cut and did all the welding. Saved at least $300. After building it I can see why bumpers are so dang expensive. That was a lot of welding and grinding!




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Old 12-24-2015, 01:26 PM   #10
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Classes at a community college would be your best bet. Gets your feet wet and you get a good idea of what equipment you will be needing. I have worked in machine/fab shops for over 30 yrs now and I am a design engineer but came up as a cnc machinist and tool and die work.

There is much satisfaction designing and making something that is functional and pleasing to the eye.
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Old 12-26-2015, 03:31 PM
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Thanks Everyone for suggestions. Very informative. I will check out local community college welding classes and go from there. Once i try and see what it takes to become one, then ill deside if its something i want to do on my own.
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:12 PM   #12
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yup! I bought this one pre cut and did all the welding. Saved at least $300. After building it I can see why bumpers are so dang expensive. That was a lot of welding and grinding!
Which bumper kit is that? If I get one I'll Tig weld it which will take a lot longer to weld but no clean up or grinding required. I've considered making my own but the trial and error part of most of my projects usually ends up costing me more then simply buying something. A kit seems like an ideal middle ground between my desire to DIY and personal ineptitude at design.
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:36 PM   #13
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Which bumper kit is that? If I get one I'll Tig weld it which will take a lot longer to weld but no clean up or grinding required. I've considered making my own but the trial and error part of most of my projects usually ends up costing me more then simply buying something. A kit seems like an ideal middle ground between my desire to DIY and personal ineptitude at design.
The company is called tab and slot. I have seen their stuff here and there, but they mostly fly under the radar. They really could make a killing though, it's a quality design and the grinding that I had to do to make the tabs fit together was pretty much nothing.

They are on ebay, but they only have one item for sale, a stinger for a steel bumper. Shoot them a message, I am sure if people had interest they would make some. I guess they do a lot of art and other stuff.

I paid like $200 for it, they forgot to ship 4 small parts. When I contacted them, they IMMEDIATELY refunded the full cost and shipped the missing parts. Stand up people. I would have been cool with just the parts, but they had already refunded my card.

The forward side is exposed, so it fills up with mud pretty well. Not a big deal, especially because I intend on doing a DIY tire carrier, so I can get in there to weld the spindle to the bumper.



And yea, I agree, DIY is fun, but unless you have a Burn Table and a brake, it's not going to come out this nice. Good middle ground.
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:26 PM   #14
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I just took an basic 2 hour class as that's always worked out best as most people (myself included) can be biased or mistaken when sharing their habits and styles. I'll be buying a welder soon but it will likely go no where near my 2015 JKW.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:25 PM   #15
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Take a class at a local community college. You'll get to learn all of the different types of welding and which suits you best for your needs. Also having an instructor available to you is a lot more useful than a video. They can show you personally what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. Nothing wrong with videos though. There are some good ones out there. They just don't replace an instructor.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:55 PM   #16
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Just remember, do not listen to the guy that says "Its not about the machine, it's about the technique"

Having the proper machine is half the equation.
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:14 PM   #17
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As many have said, just takes practice, I learned to weld both MIG and TIG. Had someone that has done some welding for me to actually spend a few hours teaching me. I fitted the cage in my last race car but still have him come in and finish weld it, never welded anything my life depended on :-)
Would suggest starting with MIG and use shielding gas, flux core welding just looks like crap.
Remember practice, practice.
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:40 PM   #18
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The company is called tab and slot.
Thanks, I appreciate the reply. I will look them up and see what we can work out as I need a few projects to keep me busy this winter.

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