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post #1 of 28 Old 02-26-2019, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Looking to learn some welding skills

Hello Members,
I'm curious and would like to learn some welding skills. I was wondering for those who have experience here what would be a good place to start. I have limited skills in this area (soldering) if you can call it that. I've seen flux-cored, MIG, DC-TIG,DC-Stick and I'm sure there are many more. Any way looking for somewhere to start.
Thanks!

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post #2 of 28 Old 02-26-2019, 09:51 AM
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Will you be welding indoors , outdoors, or have the option of either?

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post #3 of 28 Old 02-26-2019, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nwcove View Post
Will you be welding indoors , outdoors, or have the option of either?
Both, if inside it would be the unattached garage mancave or just outside in front of it.
Thanks for your interest.

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post #4 of 28 Old 02-26-2019, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by aldfam4 View Post
Both, if inside it would be the unattached garage mancave or just outside in front of it.
Thanks for your interest.
do you know what you will be welding how thick of metal. in my experience MIG is the easiest to learn and will have the best welds compared to Flux.

Drawbacks are the welders are more expensive and you will need gas an added cost. also if you dont have 220v in the garage that takes away from some of the nice mid grade mig welders you can get.

if its just going to be a limited use hobby and you only have standard electric i might stick with a 110 flux welder.

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post #5 of 28 Old 02-26-2019, 10:29 AM
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Last year I bought a flux core welder that uses a flux core wire. It can do MIG as well with solid wire and a gas bottle. My son has a stick welder that needs a 120 volt 20 amp circuit even though 15 amp specified, so that is out. I am only a learner so the more exotic welders are out of my league.

MIG is probably best for indoor use since flux core gives off gasses. MIG needs a windless environment that cannot disperse the shielding gas. Flux core can be used anywhere outside or in garage, but suffers from spatter where little balls of metal are deposited on the surfaces close to the welding. Not hard to cleanup but a definite nusance that MIG resolves. But I have not used MIG yet.

Adjusting the weld for different metal thickness takes a lot of practice and is not as easy as the welder videos would suggest, at least for me. I have an auto darkening helmet that was almost as expensive as the welder but I cannot imagine welding without it. I don't have a welding cart but that will have to change since the welder is very heavy and there are extras to be transported too. I bought a traditional welding hammer but that is more for the hard slag of a stick welder. The flux core slag is thin and easily removed with a wire brush, so a set of wire brushes of different sizes to get into places is good.

I welded the broken augers on my son's Crafstman blower last fall and it has held up well. Fixed a few jobs around the house/garage that took a long time but results are not bad. Seems versatile for metal of 5/16" thickness or less.

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post #6 of 28 Old 02-26-2019, 10:33 AM
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I agree with Snowbelt Mig is the easiest to learn and perfect for light metals such as snowblowers and lawn mowers. Myself I bought a flux cored wire fed and I am self taught. My welds arent the fanciest but I can get a good solid weld. Usually have to grind it to get a smooth looking job. I found that the flux core with .35 wire allowed me to weld thicker metals with multiple passes. I have used mig, flux-core, and stick. My preference is the flux core. Flux core makes more splatter from the flux but eliminates the cost of the mig gas contract. I dont do alot of welding so a tank of gas lasts years but the contract was about $60. due annually. Mig does do a smoother job on thinner metals.
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post #7 of 28 Old 02-26-2019, 10:59 AM
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I grew up on a farm and did a lot of welding. Between farm shop at High School and what I learned on the farm, I was very good with a Lincoln Tombstone 220v stick welder. If you have 220v and want stick, that's my recommendation.

Once I got my own place, I only have 110v and picked up a 110v stick welder - big mistake. Next to impossible to strike a successful arc.
I then tried flux core mig. Picked up a HF unit - worked about a year then had a lot of issues with it. When it worked it worked OK, but more times than not I had feed issues with it.
I then went with a Hobart 110v mig (140 amp IIRC) that can take a bottle too. It's the one I'm still using. I'm not the greatest of welders as I do it so little and the 50 yrs since leaving the farm I've forgotten a lot. Once I touch up my skills, I get decent welds that hold.
If you want a brand, I'd suggest checking out Hobart, Lincoln or Miller, they all put out good welders. None may be industrial welders but most of us don't need that.
I also have a self darkening helmet, it's the best thing since sliced bread. I also have a dust and particulate mask I wear under the helmet. If you weld in an area that isn't that well ventilated and use flux core, the fumes can get to you.

One more thing. Never use chlorine based brake cleaner on metal then weld on it. Add the cleaner and heat and you create phosgene gas (think WW1 battlefields) and can be very nasty or even deadly.

If you have local adult ed classes, many have courses in welding. It's worth the time and money IMO.

My 2 cents.

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post #8 of 28 Old 02-26-2019, 11:37 AM
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no matter which machine you get, remember, surface prep is key. and its very important to use the right extension cord !

and to help with any annoying spatter......https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-...H505/100341087

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post #9 of 28 Old 02-26-2019, 11:44 AM
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All that has been said above is solid advice. Hobart, Lincoln & Miller are the way to go. I know 3 friends that bought HF wire feeds and none worked after the first 6 months. You're gonna love welding.
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post #10 of 28 Old 02-26-2019, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbelt_subie View Post
do you know what you will be welding how thick of metal. in my experience MIG is the easiest to learn and will have the best welds compared to Flux.

Drawbacks are the welders are more expensive and you will need gas an added cost. also if you dont have 220v in the garage that takes away from some of the nice mid grade mig welders you can get.

if its just going to be a limited use hobby and you only have standard electric i might stick with a 110 flux welder.
Snowbelt_subie, thanks for your help. Good information. I don't have 220 voltage in the garage..., yet. I can get it in there but will have to wait until the summer for now. Flux - might be a consideration as of now, though

Jack of all trades, Master of none!
Ariens - 924086 - ST1028
Craftsman - 88934 - 10HP 28"
Toro - CCR 3650
Toro - CCR 2000
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