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  #1  
Old December 27th, 2011, 07:30 PM
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Got a welder - now what

So I've always wanted to learn to Weld, and with a little hint dropped to my family they all got me a Lincoln Mig Pro 140 Welder. Very excited but I have no prior expierence welding.

I was going to go get some books and read up, but figured I would ask here as well for tips, advice etc

It can be used with gas or with fluxed wire, from what i heard gas is 10x better, this true?


I need to purchase a tank, shield and gloves, anyone have reccomendations on at least the shield? I'm sure there are a milllion to choose from.

Any useful guides for what settings, wire type for material etc?

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old December 27th, 2011, 07:32 PM
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go to a commuter's parking lot and weld chains to all the parked ( non rover ) cars you see, that should give you enough practice
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  #3  
Old December 27th, 2011, 08:00 PM
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Ummm start welding stuff.
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  #4  
Old December 27th, 2011, 08:12 PM
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Just buy the helmet you like. Auto-dimming is great, but not required.

Go to your local fabrication shop/machine shop and rob the scrap dumpster after 5:00pm. Just get a 5-gallon bucket full of 2" or 3" bits, 3/16" to 1/4" thick. Now you have something to play with. Just weld to your little hearts desire.

When playing around, learn how to hold and move your hands without shaking. Watch the molten puddle as you weld, this is key. Don't allow the molten puddle to get too big or too small as you weld. Start off by "pushing" your puddle rather than "pulling" it.

It's all about the penetration.

Just start fucking with it and you'll teach yourself a lot in a very short amount of time. Get the basics, then go from there. It's not hard.

Oh, and don't over do it starting out. Stop after about 15 or 20 minutes or you will sunburn your eyeballs (feels like sandpaper and it sucks). After a while you can go much longer.

Watch some youtube videos. Or, take a class at a Community College.

...and don't even fuck with the fluxcore wire. It will discourage you.
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  #5  
Old December 27th, 2011, 08:13 PM
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YouTube for welding videos. Don't skimp on your welding mask, but make sure it's auto-darkening. A Lincoln mask is fine.

Start welding, you'll start to learn the settings once you get a feel for the welder.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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i have been welding just about 280 days a year for the past 4 years.... and i still need to learn A LOT
but my first recommendation would be get a auto darkening helmet with the biggest window you can afford, i like the lower end Miller helmets, which is what i have. once you have a good helmet start welding! practice practice practice!! find little projects to do so you dont just get bored welding lines all the time, but dont do a project that has to have a good weld on it. start doing them when you are confident and know that your welds wont break. i wish you the best of luck! if you have any questions at all feel free to ask. also buy a tanks once you feel confident with flux core. YOUTUBE IS YOUR FRIEND! i have learned quite a few things from youtube.
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  #7  
Old December 27th, 2011, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchapman View Post
It's all about the penetration.

Just start fucking with it and you'll teach yourself a lot in a very short amount of time. Get the basics, then go from there. It's not hard.
Really?
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  #8  
Old December 27th, 2011, 08:24 PM
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Very cool - thanks....

Going to try and find a welding shop in the area to get some tanks and a mask in the area. I have some scrap I was going to bring to the scrap yard this week, I think i'll start f'in around with that for a little while

Question - is the wire used strictly determined by the welder or by the material?

Obviously you'll need different wire for different types of material, but does thickness of the welding piece determine which wire to use as well?
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  #9  
Old December 27th, 2011, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossman429
Very cool - thanks....

Going to try and find a welding shop in the area to get some tanks and a mask in the area. I have some scrap I was going to bring to the scrap yard this week, I think i'll start f'in around with that for a little while

Question - is the wire used strictly determined by the welder or by the material?

Obviously you'll need different wire for different types of material, but does thickness of the welding piece determine which wire to use as well?
Thicker metal will require a thicker wire, but you can get away with .030 for most jobs.
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  #10  
Old December 27th, 2011, 08:41 PM
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So educate me

How much different is MG from Flux welding, I know you use the tank, but aren't gases trapped in the Flux for the same effect, just a little dirtier?

Aren't both equally strong?
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  #11  
Old December 27th, 2011, 09:51 PM
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My understanding is the fluxcored wire just takes the inert gases and incorporated INTO the wire itself, thus eliminating the need for gas tanks. However, from what I gather it doesn't do nearly as good of a job of providing a inert environment for the weld to happen in as a gas tank does. Since more impurities may be present with a flux core wire as opposed to using a gas tank, the weld may be more susceptible to flaws.
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  #12  
Old December 27th, 2011, 10:01 PM
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varying on the kind of flux core wire you can weld very thick metal which is where it is best used. MIG welding is better for thinner material it also leaves a cleaner weld. flux cored welding is pretty much like stick/arc welding.
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  #13  
Old December 28th, 2011, 06:59 AM
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My dad was a certified welder/fitter for 40+ years, learned in the Navy, and I wish nearly every day I had tapped into his experience. His advise was to take a basic beginner class to learn the basics, then keep welding. As someone mentioned above- weld, weld, weld and to him it meant weld as many tiny pieces of varying sizes/thicknesses together as possible. And as he said, "I wish I could teach you a lifetime of welding in a week, but it doesn't work that way", so my impatience cost me dearly... Enjoy the journey, and best of luck.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 07:38 AM
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Fwiw I taught my self by just doing it. I had friends who could weld, but they were self taught. Now one is making roll cages and the other is a weld inspector. YouTube and practice would probably do you a lot of good to get you started. The more you practice the better you'll get.
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  #15  
Old December 28th, 2011, 09:17 AM
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hey dude, Im about to do some welding tonight! ive got a crappy HF flux core only and im doing the footwell in my truck. you are welcome to come over and chat/help me out/practice welding if you want
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Old December 28th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf Fabrication View Post
Thicker metal will require a thicker wire, but you can get away with .030 for most jobs.
I agree that you will probably use .030 for most tasks but make sure that your machine is capable of handling it both on the rollers and the innershield. Some machines will require you change the rollers (or use a different groove) and some will require a different innershield/hose assembly. Also, make sure you get plenty of tips in the sizes to match your wire thickness as you will inevitably turn a few of them into solid chunks while learning the balance of wire and hand speed
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Old December 28th, 2011, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossman429 View Post
So I've always wanted to learn to Weld, and with a little hint dropped to my family they all got me a Lincoln Mig Pro 140 Welder. Very excited but I have no prior expierence welding.

I was going to go get some books and read up, but figured I would ask here as well for tips, advice etc

It can be used with gas or with fluxed wire, from what i heard gas is 10x better, this true?


I need to purchase a tank, shield and gloves, anyone have reccomendations on at least the shield? I'm sure there are a milllion to choose from.

Any useful guides for what settings, wire type for material etc?

Thanks in advance
GO GAS. FLUX SUCKS.

I'm a big fan of the Speedglas helmets, with a clean shield you get very clear vision of your puddle.
There will be basic thickness/wirespeed guide settings on your machine, that will give you a good starting point, but then by messing with the controls you'll figure out works best for you.... ie some people like to burn hot and fast, others like to go a little slower.... just comes with messing with it and figuring out what you like. Also cleaning the metal before you weld is KEY. This cannot be emphasized enough. There is no substitute for good prep work. You can get a away without a little more welding MIG, but coming from a TIG background I'm accustomed to making sure my metal is totally clean before I start an arc.
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  #18  
Old December 28th, 2011, 10:12 AM
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All good advice. From my non-expert perspective, I recommend these three things as the most important

1. Get a auto-darkening helmet (the price is all over the board so just google and you can find them online quite cheaply - just make sure the specs are good in terms of speed and sensitivity). Being able to see what you are doing is key, especially when starting.

2. At least briefly get someone who knows how to weld to show you what they know and do and then have them watch you do some test welds. It can go a long way to have immediate feedback and someone to answer questions. I took a welding class at my local community college and it was basically just shop time with access to equipment and a pro available to critique and provide feedback. Otherwise I guess youtube would do

3. Practice, practice, practice

Gustavo, the shield produced by the flux core is not as good as that provided by the gas setup, and the better the shield, the cleaner (and better due to less imperfections) the weld. And if it's windy out, you are better with an arc welder over mig, and if skilled you can do as clean welds.

The gas setup will cost as much as the rest of your welding setup, but if you can afford it, get it.
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  #19  
Old December 28th, 2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naplm00 View Post
hey dude, Im about to do some welding tonight! ive got a crappy HF flux core only and im doing the footwell in my truck. you are welcome to come over and chat/help me out/practice welding if you want
Sent ya a PM, timing is bad for tonight but I appreciate the offer

Everyone else thank you very much.

I'm in the process of cleaning out my basement, so I can move a bunch of crap from my garage to my basement, to make room for a nice welding table, and some space for me to practice. I have about three projects on the list, but want to get some seat time before tackeling them (1 is kind fo critical).

I checked the local CC and Votech Schools, they dont have any 101 courses until next fall.


Any idea what a "good" speed/sensitivity is for an auto-darkening helmet? Just need a benchmark to start looking at.
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  #20  
Old December 28th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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Just look at high end ones and compare specs. This looks like mine - certainly switches fast enough and the price is right at $50

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...5271_200485271
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