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Learning to weld

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Vantage, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Vantage

    Vantage Pacific Standard Time Active Member

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    How difficult would it be to learn to weld. I'm not talking complex underwater welding or anything on a commercial level. I'm talking about simple stuff. Like fabricating roof racks, brackets, target stands and stuff like that. Not too worried about how pretty it looks. Just functional.

    Do I NEED to take a college course? Or is it something that someone can show me over a weekend?

    Additionally.. from nothing to basic set up.. how much money are we talking for total investment to buy the tools and equipment (not counting materials) to weld together rebar and angle iron?

    This is a skill I am lacking in and rather than just "wish I could do that" I'm interested in learning it.
     
  2. Bigbaddude

    Bigbaddude West linn Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It's not something you can learn over night. I have been doing it for 20+ years. I would take a class or two and learn the basics on how to run a wire feed. Then what ever you decide to buy I would buy it used. Don't forget to buy a nice grinder.
    Good luck.
     
  3. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    You need to learn at least the basics through some sort of personal instruction; then practice, practice, practice.
     
  4. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    Bad welding like mine isn't so difficult.

    I got my wire feed here, forget which one tho. It's from Chicago Electric so I'm sure it's made in China. No problems with it just keep an eye on the wire reel tension so it doesn't kink or birdsnest.

    Search results for: 'welder'
     
  5. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Just basic wire welding isn't too difficult. Where are you located---maybe someone here is close and would
    be willing to let you give it a try.
     
  6. gunfreak

    gunfreak Boise Well-Known Member

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    The Navy trained me to weld even after 3 years of HS metal shop. I'm still constantly learning new things and getting better. A community course would be a good thing, a instructor that believes in hands on is a plus.
     
  7. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    Some welding supply shops will give an intro/basic use class to people who buy a welder from them. Also, some community colleges will offer small, welding type specific classes for those who just want to learn the basics of their machine. My brother did this through his local community college in CO, he talked to the welding instructor first and bought one of the wire feed welders from the list the instructor suggested and used it in the 2 week class. That way he was learning on his machine and the instructor could figure out exactly what any issues were, determining if it was user error or machine issues.
     
  8. Squidly

    Squidly Sandy Active Member

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    +1 No substitute for practice.
     
  9. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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  10. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    A one eyed blind man can wire feed while standing on his head, rodding is where it gets fun! Sorry, I just had to throw that in.:rofl1:
     
  11. Vantage

    Vantage Pacific Standard Time Active Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone. I'll check the local Community College and go from there.

    Appreciate it.
     
  12. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    Haha, oh no, here we go......
     
  13. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    I was thinking the same thing:laugh: Wire is real easy to master. A good machine is key also.


    As stated where are you located? I have a fab shop and could let you run a few beads if interested? I am there on weekends sometimes messing around.
     
  14. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    Picked up a weld pak 100 at a garage sale (previous owner never even took it out of the box) and tried to learn from the book it came with. No luck. Think I may just put it up for trade and go back to woodworking.
     
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  15. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    Roger the roof racks, target stands, etc. Within those parameters, are you thinking only steel? Maybe some aluminum? Thick? Thin? With those criteria in mind, ask questions and learn if any training you're considering might cover the basics. Basic welding (especially if you can swallow a botched project here and there) is not too difficult. Good welding transcends that and becomes art at some level far beyond what I learned in summer school at Benson in 1970.

    Commercial plumbers I know (more than a few) who've promoted into mangerial positions all say they miss welding. They look for excuses to ditch the clipboard and get their hands dirty whenever they can.

    Mark my words, you'll find yourself pausing in a stairwell at some point to admire a really nice bead on a handrail. It's addictive.
     
  16. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    I could teach you if you were close. I have a Lincoln buzz box (stick welder) a wire feed using C-25 gas and a gas torch/ welder set up. The only thing I havnt done is get a Tig or plasma cutter for home use,yet. Like they say if you can run a pretty and strong bead with 6011 rod you can weld with anything.
     
  17. cpy911

    cpy911 Newberg Active Member

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    Go down to Harbor Freight, buy a cheap wire gasless welder and helmet. Buy or find some scrap steel. Watch Youtube videos on how to do it (find a buddy even better) and start welding. My welds still look ugly, but I have been able to more than pay for my welder in all the stuff I have made and fixed. I kick myself for not doing it sooner. It is really not too hard. I have fixed my neighbors stuff, my bugmans stuff, my buddies trailer, welded my own trailer (some good welds on that one!), the steel holder here: Steel plate stand - YouTube

    Good times!
    Do it!
     
  18. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    :thumbup: I find myself doing that all the time:laugh: I do a lot of rail and also structural stuff and it is a real treat to see some peoples work.
     
  19. cpy911

    cpy911 Newberg Active Member

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    Agreed. Maybe if I had a real MIG welder I could hope to achieve something so beautiful. For now, my welds look like they are done in China, but my stuff has all held together. I use my grinder and some paint to keep down my embarrassment.

    Every once in a while, I lay down a good looking weld and surprise myself.
     
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  20. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    And TIG is where it becomes art!
     
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