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GregThorpe 08-22-2012 06:20 AM

Advice for a Beginner
Im currently looking at a variety of introduction courses for welding and have recently been accepted onto one. They've asked me which welding process I would like to focus on and Im a bit confused and slightly unsure.

They've asked me to select either MIG, TIG, MMA or OXY and I'm not sure which will help me more further down the road and which is more commonly used on pipelines.

I live in Dubai, UAE and would really like to progress onto NDT and weld inspection, as I mentioned, primarily in the petroleum/gas pipeline industry.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


timothale 08-22-2012 07:29 AM

good site
A good place to check out is "welding tips and tricks. " Jody used to be a welding instructor, does a short video each week and will personally answer your Questions.

RWENUTS 08-22-2012 12:57 PM

Most pipelines are welded using SMAW (shielded metal arc welding) Or commonly known as stick or AC welding. If you're going to work in heavy pipe like pipelines or associated heavy pipe used in processing plants then arc welding is what you need to know. Some experience with mig welding is usefull too. Mig could be used smaller gauge pipe systems.

PatM 08-22-2012 01:17 PM

The SMAW referred to above is also called MMA (Manual Metallic Arc). MMA is an older designation, as is MIG (now GMAW), TIG (now GTAW), and I'm sure the oxy-fuel processes and others have changed some over time as well. Big pipe (Think Alyeska pipeline) can have long straight sections welded using SAW (Submerged Arc), but that is a pretty heavy-duty high-deposition industrial process. Only good directly (or very near directly) downhand.

For learning and understanding, I think GTAW (TIG) is great. I don't know how to use this process personnally, but all the best welders I've known over a 40 year career in manufacturing have been good TIG welders. MIG is easiest. MIG and FCAW (Flux Core Arc Welding) use very similar equipment and are forgiving processes when starting out.

Best of luck to you.


35WINDOW 08-22-2012 01:31 PM

My suggestion would be to learn Tig (or Oxy/Ac) also-I enrolled in a local Community College (where they only offered Stick, Mig or Oxy/Ac) and took the Oxy/Ac course, which translated pretty well for Tig (obviously, with both you have to learn hand/eye coordination, as well as Puddle/Filler control)-

Learning to Tig has been a process for me, and I'm still learning (Alum, Stainless, etc.)-with Mig, heck I just bought the Machine, plugged it in, bought some Gas, watched some videos (and got some pointers), and by the end of the first Hour I was making nice Welds-maybe it's just me, but Mig Welding came a lot easier for me to learn-Tig, not so much-

S10 Racer 08-22-2012 07:40 PM

Keep in mind that on some pipe welding, the first weld "root pass" is a TIG welded pass, all others are stick welded with multiple stringer passes with maybe a cover pass on the last pass. My point is, you need to learn both TIG & SMAW. Second thought, learn all you can and take as many courses as you can, the more you know the more valuable you are to a company. Knowledge is POWER:thumbup:

S10 Racer 08-22-2012 07:48 PM


Originally Posted by GregThorpe (Post 1584986)
would really like to progress onto NDT and weld inspection.


You would be surprised how many weld inspectors can't even weld. I know a few.

timothale 08-23-2012 06:34 AM

take all the classes
The Woman who was the business agent for the Monterey Ca plumbers union Was inside a nice air conditioned room Tig welding the Oxygen lines for a hospital remodel While the 30 year old guy was outside slopping in the Mud laying HEAVy 6 inch cast iron sewer pipe. He asked how she got the nice jobs. She answered because she had taken every upgrade course offered and was Certified to do every kind of Weld !!

timothale 08-23-2012 06:40 AM

Oxy-acety too
I took a Tig welding class a few years ago and they started us out learning to Oxy-acety weld steel. The instructor said in the learning process torch welding is less forgiving while learning torch and rod control.

boatbob2 08-23-2012 11:03 AM

There was a black lady tig welder at ever-nu tank co,in Fort Lauderdale,she was THE BEST i ever saw,she taught most of their employees to weld..

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