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The Official Welding Thread

DSM Jeff

Proven Member
560
4
Jun 23, 2003
~, Connecticut
Paul, where did you get that T? That would be great for my mig cart so I can leave both welders set up on 1 tank. I also have a spare regulator sitting around.
 

v8s_are_slow

20+ Year Contributor
2,773
245
Sep 30, 2002
Panama City, Florida
Practice on some scrap SS tubing first. Get yout heat and flow rates dialed in before attempting on your good stuff.

Would blocking off the ends of the pipes with SOMETHING benefit me? Like to keep air out? Or would it really be that big of a deal? Was also wondering if I should get a pipe expander to that the pipes would slide over each other....for more strength. Or if just welding them together at the ends would be strong enough. I dunno. I want it to last and not break.
 

99gst_racer

Moderator
11,946
1,388
Apr 5, 2003
Coloma, Michigan
Would blocking off the ends of the pipes with SOMETHING benefit me? Like to keep air out? Or would it really be that big of a deal? Was also wondering if I should get a pipe expander to that the pipes would slide over each other....for more strength. Or if just welding them together at the ends would be strong enough. I dunno. I want it to last and not break.
Blocking off the ends won't keep air out because there's already air in the pipe. The only way to keep air out is to displace it with an inert gas (like argon). Butt welds are plenty strong enough, so no need to worry about slip-fit joints either.
 

turboglenn

Proven Member
6,377
111
Nov 5, 2007
RIpley, West_Virginia
You can also get a cheap "Y" fitting at all welding shops that have valves on each leg, when i'm back purging this is how i do mine, I put the "Y" at the TIG to torch hookup so the gas only flows when i'm actually firing an arc... I can turn off the torch gas and hit thepedal to fill the pipe, then open the torch and turn the purge down a little lower to conserve gas.. honestly though i much prefer solar flux.. one 60 dollar can and a bottle of heet to mix it with to make it a paste will outlast many many bottles of argon and can get in places that are hard to back-gas, like i said before doing sheet, or complex pipe fittings like manifolds where to fill the whole thing while working on one runner is a waste.. as long as you apply the solarflux-b to each joint before tacking or after tacking each couple of pieces you'll really love using it.

When back gassing the way i do it or any other wya the best solution I've found is the rubber glove trick, but you must evacuate the oxygen in there too, not just add argon, to do this i snipthe tip of one ofthe glove fingers and run it a few minutes (well maybe a minute or so), then i tie up the end of that finger with a bread tie or put itin a knot to avoid wasting argon, but agian, once you invest in solarflux, you'll forget about back purging/back-gassing

I put some on the table (about a half a teaspoon of powder) the drop some methanol on it to make the past, then i mix and apply it with an old toothbrush. When it starts to dry up, just add more methanol (heet), and when you're done if there's powder left, and it's dry, scrape it back into the can of powder flux as you cna wet it and use it as any times as you like. I bought a half pint (i think that's the size) years ago and i've barely used 1/8th of the can and that's even having wasted/spliised some... doing the same work using back gassing i've burned through more argon thatn i care to admit to

I saw an article in a magazine recently about the Miller Diversion 180 Tig welder, it looked like it'd be really good for someone that is just getting into tig welding. It was very simple, you just select what kind of material you're welding (ac or dc), and the thickness of the material. Didn't have the different adjustments that someone with more experience would be looking for, but it'd probably work well for most diy light-duty, at-home-mechanic type stuff.

a quick note about something to remember that makes this type of setting useless (well not useless but un-needed) is to remember A/C for aluminum, DC for steels of all types.. then for amperage use 1 amp per .001" material thickness

so lets say on the diversion you set it to aluminum 1/8th inch.. you would on a nrmal machine set it to AC, and dial up to 125 amps to match the .125" (1/8th inch)
 

99gst_racer

Moderator
11,946
1,388
Apr 5, 2003
Coloma, Michigan
Wes, a good friend of mine sells and repairs aluminum horse trailers and they MIG only. It works great for laying long, straight beads, but I feel it would be incredibly challenging for welding in a circle in an extremely tight radius like doing bungs. So, I honestly wouldn't recommend MIG for such a job. Bungs are truely a job for TIG welding.
 

Gamble97

Proven Member
2,648
67
Jan 3, 2006
small town, Illinois
Plenty of welders in this forum, find one to do it for you. I highly recommend you don't use me though :D
Or hit up my friend at Tab-Fabrication.com he has always done work for me for cheap. Tell him I sent you.
 

Gamble97

Proven Member
2,648
67
Jan 3, 2006
small town, Illinois
Price it out you never know. he did a vband weld on my o2 housing and a elbow on my compressor housing for $50 shipped. I just had to pay to ship it out to him.
Local place wanted $75 for just the elbow welded on.
 

bigjuice_7

Proven Member
68
0
Jun 22, 2010
St. John, Indiana
Hey guys I just started welding at work like 2 weeks ago. I love it, because we fab all kinds of stuff. Mostly using the MIG now. My manager who is teaching me can put down an awesome looking bead, and when he gave me a few small tips mine started to look just as good. My welds look pretty good when welding mild steel, but to me(maybe JUST me) Stainless is a little harder to make it look nice( like the roll of dimes look). We usually only MIG weld stainless 2" square tubing that we make into frames(pretty thin stuff). Do you guys have any tips for welding stainless that could be helpful? I still have a lot to learn, and im willing to put in the practice to get better, and most kids my age barely know what welding is LOL so I plan on practicing alot in hopes to start using the TIG!
 

Gamble97

Proven Member
2,648
67
Jan 3, 2006
small town, Illinois
Use stainless filler and a tri mix of argon/helium/co2 or a mix or 98argon/2% co2. Or use flux wire.
 
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99gst_racer

Moderator
11,946
1,388
Apr 5, 2003
Coloma, Michigan
There was some talk about welding 4130 chromoly steel in the "show your bead" thread, and I figured it was worth talking about in here. I'm not an expert by any means, but I've got some experience with it and I have a good understanding of how to use it properly. If anyone else wants to chime in and add to this, feel free.

I've learned that not all 4130 welding should be handled in the same manner. Talk to an aircraft fuselage builder, an automotive chassis builder, and a pipe fitter and you'll get varying opinions and procedural methods from each guy. In the world of motorsports, the general filler of choice is ER70S-2 or ER80S-D2. By using a lower strength filler, the weldment is more ductile and less susceptible to cracking and it will not require any type of strength related post heat treatment as it would is a 4130 filler were used. Always be sure to keep the tubing at room temperature or warmer when welding it. And it must be clean of surface scale, cutting oils, and moisture. Pre-heating to 400*F is recommended on all material thicknesses, and it's required with anything .095" or thicker.

One of the most important aspects when TIG welding 4130 is joint fitment. Fitment must be perfectly tight. By completely eliminating fitment gaps, you can use a minimal amount of heat and run a narrower bead. This will prevent stressing it as much as possible. If done properly, many weldments will not even require stress relieving. If for some reason you need to put a large amount of heat to it (like filling a gap), be sure to preheat the area so that there is less of a temperature differential between the HAZ and the surrounding material. This will help keep stresses to a minimum.

Here's an example of a good and tight 4130 tube fitment from one of my crossmembers:

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And it makes for a nice and narrow bead without getting crazy on the amperage:

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turboglenn

Proven Member
6,377
111
Nov 5, 2007
RIpley, West_Virginia
that's awesome fitment there paul. but let me make one suggestion when welding up somethig like that where the inner part makes an "air tight" container of sorts. There should always be a hole for air to vent from that's about 1/8th inch or less in diamter, it can be at the surface of one pipe where the other will "T" into it or in the side of the piece that's t'ing in,. the reasons for this is when you get to sealing up an air tight fixture of pipiing (while not aiming for an airtight seal jsut assembling pipe) the expansion of air from heat will cause the weld to blow outwards fromthe air expansion at the very last part of the bead causing you to have to do a fast "cold weld" to seal it up or over heat it and catch it on the cooling cycle to fill the last "hole". This hole you drill can later be filled with a threaded fitting or when placed in a non vital area for strength it can be "cold welded" really fast to fill it before heat expansion starts enough to cauyse the issue,, but it should always be practiced so the vital welds get their best treatment and procedure for maximum strength

although your fitment is 100% perfect IMO, the general rule for most is that your weld rod should not be able to fit in your largest gap, and on that setup you should be using 1/16th rod maybe 3/32 at most (but i'm sure you know what you're doing i'm just putting out general info for all)
 
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99gst_racer

Moderator
11,946
1,388
Apr 5, 2003
Coloma, Michigan
that's awesome fitment there paul. but let me make one suggestion when welding up somethig like that where the inner part makes an "air tight" container of sorts. There should always be a hole for air to vent from that's about 1/8th inch or less in diamter, it can be at the surface of one pipe where the other will "T" into it or in the side of the piece that's t'ing in,. the reasons for this is when you get to sealing up an air tight fixture of pipiing (while not aiming for an airtight seal jsut assembling pipe) the expansion of air from heat will cause the weld to blow outwards fromthe air expansion at the very last part of the bead causing you to have to do a fast "cold weld" to seal it up or over heat it and catch it on the cooling cycle to fill the last "hole". This hole you drill can later be filled with a threaded fitting or when placed in a non vital area for strength it can be "cold welded" really fast to fill it before heat expansion starts enough to cauyse the issue,, but it should always be practiced so the vital welds get their best treatment and procedure for maximum strength
Thanks Glenn. I agree completely with what you're saying about an air tight container. But I also believe that whether or not it poses a problem depends heavily on the volume of the container. Larger volume containers don't seem to have the same problem as the smaller volume containers. When we first started doing the crossmembers, we would have issues with the welding blowing out a bit when sealing up the last edge of the bar ends. We solved the probem but drilling the pilot holes in the caps prior to welding. But the volume of the end pieces is very small at only about 2.7 cubic inches. And we've never once had the blow out issue when welding the main bar to the ends, which has a volume of about 50.3 cubic inches.

although your fitment is 100% perfect IMO, the general rule for most is that your weld rod should not be able to fit in your largest gap, and on that setup you should be using 1/16th rod maybe 3/32 at most (but i'm sure you know what you're doing i'm just putting out general info for all)
I agree. As little gap as possible should always be the target, but we've never had issues welding up small (~1/16") gaps either.
 
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turboglenn

Proven Member
6,377
111
Nov 5, 2007
RIpley, West_Virginia
I've never payed attention to certain volumes and blow out so you are a leg up on me there with the math involved LOL.. I just curse when it happensand i realize i need to drill one or forgot to in the first place LOL

I've filled some smaller gaps when needed but you do sme nice fitting by that pic.. they always weld so much niver when you fit the just right too :D
 

dsmTripp

Proven Member
474
1
Apr 21, 2009
Palm Bay, Florida
So in my "lets talk welding helmets" thread one of our wisemen posted a picture of him using a wire feed on the sheet metal inside the hatch area. Well last night i tried out my new welding hood and just for shits and grins i tried running a couple of beads on the rear quarter panel sheet metal and it would just burn through. So since im in the very begining stage of learning on my own i would like to know what settings on my wire feed would i need to be able to run beads on it. Here is the wisemans picture.
 

Gamble97

Proven Member
2,648
67
Jan 3, 2006
small town, Illinois
You don't "run beads" on sheet metal it's too thin and will warp and burn holes. You basically tack in one spot, jump across and tack, jump across and tack until it's all the way around.
Want to run beads, get something thicker, body panels and sheet metal are THIN.


Also keep in mind where you gas tank is especially if you are burning through. Where your at is fine but a little forward could be dangerous.
 

TSITurbo95

Probationary Member
2,507
17
Oct 26, 2009
Ohio, Ohio
^ Perfect explanation. To weld sheet metal, you tack, move forward, tack, move forward, tack, etc until it's all the way around.
 

Gamble97

Proven Member
2,648
67
Jan 3, 2006
small town, Illinois
Jump around so the metal doesn't distort and you space out the heat. If you do tack, tack, tack, tack, in a row it will warp. You do that like you tighten a lug nut.
 

dsmTripp

Proven Member
474
1
Apr 21, 2009
Palm Bay, Florida
So i will basically just be tack welding the sheet metal until it looks like a bead? And dont worry about the gas tank. Its already been removed and collecting dust outside. I ask about the sheet metal due to the strut tower mainly. Mine has a small hole from rust that and the two side trunk panals next to the wheel well are rusted so i wanted to weld in new sheets.
 

[email protected]

Proven Member
1,093
8
Aug 9, 2011
Carlsbad, New_Mexico
I still weld the old school way... Oxy/Acetylene or Oxy/Propane with an old gas handle and assortment of tips, plus a cutting torch. It is slower, but it'll weld anything... No need to specialize. Plus, if you have to join different metals and can get good, clean, close fit, brazing is available too (Dont discount brazing, marine nuclear piping is often brazed). It is a little harder to get the hang of initially, but once you know how to set it, it is similar to TIG. I also just don't have the cash for a decent TIG machine, and gas equipment is much cheaper initially, and filler and flux are easy to come by.

Any other gas welders? It seems to be becoming less and less common as a primary means of welding with modern machines, but it is extremely versatile.
 
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