Learning to Weld (1 Viewer)

Joined
Feb 11, 2012
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Sandpoint, ID
Is it crazy to think that I could learn to weld on my own? I'm in a small town and have a few friends that could probably give me some advice/help, but there aren't any local community colleges or anything that I could take a class from.

Is it possible to learn from a book, online videos, etc?
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
184
Location
Sandpoint, ID
Cool. I guess I should mention that my intentions would be minor fabrication. I'd like to custom build a roof rack and be able to put together things like the 4x4 labs bumper kits.
 

spressomon

glutton
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Beyond the obvious (as a non-cert'd welder don't weld anything if someone's life hangs in the balance of whatever you are welding...):
Although I had welding instruction apart of jr. High and high school metal shop classes in a bygone era, this website, Jody's Welding Tips & Tricks, significantly helped me when I added a GTAW/TIG box a few years ago: http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/

And I picked up more than a few solid pointers on GMAW/MIG welding too.
 

gregnash

Anal Retentive Analyst
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^^^^ What Dan said, also there are plenty of instructional videos on Youtube to be able to do it. I have actually taught myself how to do many things through watching the videos on Youtube and then doing a little trial and error. Talk with @reevesci and he can give you some great tips.
 

Helipilot

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MIG welding is almost intuitive. Get a Lincoln or Miller unit that will take gas for your future welding needs. You can start with flux-core wire and weld up a storm. The more you weld the better you will get. Read the manual as it will have a lot of good info t help you get started. Learn what heat and wire speed is required for the thickness of metal you are working with. Get an auto-darkening helmet as it helps you see the "puddle" better. You can do it if you really want to. Good Luck.
 
Joined
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OC, CA
If you take a class, you will spend nearly as much time destructively testing your welds as welding them. Start by bending the weld 180 degrees to see if it breaks or tears. Later on, you can start cutting a "coupon" out and bending it 180 degrees. Knowing that you can make a weld that passes the test gives you more confidence in your actual ability.
 

Helipilot

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Another point SkinneyHB, since you stated there were no places near you to take a class, try to find a welding shop and ask them to let you watch and give you pointers on welding. Most welders I know are friendly and willing to share knowledge. Pin_Head has a good point to eventually get your welds tested to build you skills and confidence. You don't want your welds breaking and hurting yourself or leaving you stranded.
 

UnderDawg

Wannabe welder
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
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733
Best advise I can give you is get the best welder your money can buy. 220v is really whats needed for almost everything your gonna wanna weld. Sure 110v can do quite a bit of projects but a 220v can do pretty much everything a 110v can and much more.

Here's a good resource
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-u...ining-materials/Pages/training-materials.aspx
Spend a couple of bucks and get the welders handbook from Lincoln.
Lincoln also has an E learning course you can take on MIG welding. Read as much as you can on the subject adn then start practicing with your new found knowledge.
There's no substitute for helmet time. You need to get comfortable running beads and understanding how to manipulate the puddle. Also how volts and wire feed affect your welds.

Good luck,
Jason
 

Tapage

Club 4X4 Panamá
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Apr 4, 2003
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Panamá
One of the best books I can recommend ..

http://www.jflfoundation.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MHW

this is also great help to start with helmet time ...

http://www.jflfoundation.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=44

do a couple of beads .. and then go to a welding shop .. do some there and they will tell you if you are right on the money or they will give you tips to improve your technique .. and if necessary your machine settings ( less likely the case these days with new machine that came with charts )
 

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