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Old 02-08-2005, 12:57 PM
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Got a welding coach

I'm not too proud to admit that I've never been real happy with my welding skills. They are what I'd call "farmer adequate" - because that's where I learned them, growing up on a farm with just my dad as a teacher. The theory was, glob enough weld onto a couple pieces of angle iron and eventually they will stick together.

What that really means, however, is that I have a ton of bad welding baggage. Bad habits and bad techniques that had just became a part of me every time I struck an arc.

As has been suggested many times on this forum, I recently decided to take a welding course to try, at long last, to learn to do it right. I contacted my local community college only to discover they do not provide a singe continuing education course for welding. The only thing they offer is a full time/full cost certified welders course - which was WAY beyond what I had in mind.

So last Sunday I was lamenting about this lack of a learning opportunity to a friend of mine who happens to be a professional welder (industrial welding - for many years he welded those big extension/lift rigs that painters and others use - sort of like cherry pickers). Anyhow, to make a long story even longer, Scott offered to come over to my shop and be my "welding coach". We had our first session this morning and all I can say is wow.

After making a close inspection of some of my prior welds, Scott watched as I laid down a few new beads, and then he started tweaking my hand technique, my wire speed, my voltage settings, my push/pull options and a few other bits and pieces. Within about an hour he had my welds improved by about 50% - at least from what I could see visually.

Anyhow, just wanted to pass this along as another option for any of you who can't weld at all or aren't happy with you current product. Find yourself a good welding coach. It can make a world of difference.

Dewey
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:49 PM
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Welding Skills

I could stand to do that.
My skills are anywhere from NASA certified to bubble gum, all in the same pass.
Fairly decent with a MIG welding heavy steel, bad with sheet metal, trying to weld aluminum was like melting chocolate bars, Tig and working with Stainless I just haven't been able to practice much.
Rod welding with the ol buzz box I got decent at but not much call for that on a car.
I hate the flux core low voltage welders, can't ever get it to lay down right.
I usually get some scrap and practice a bit before working on my finished stuff. Picking up a welder only a few times a year it's difficult to stay in practice.
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Old 02-08-2005, 07:36 PM
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Here are some shots of my progress under "coach Scott".

The first shot shows a fairly typical joint weld done a couple days ago and the second shot is one of the first beads I ran to show Scott my usual technique. Like I said, my welding left a lot to be desired. Lumps, splatter, generally uneven etc.






Here's a shot of a joint weld after some coaching...getting a little better.




And here's a shot of one of my joint welds after about and hour of coaching. Much smoother, much less splatter, and the back side shows decent penetration. An hour well spent.

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Old 02-09-2005, 11:36 AM
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That a boy Dewey!

Its looking MUCH better! He did mention to "watch the puddle", right? Get down so you can see your molten metal. Its not until you can run beads with your eyes closed, that you should pull your head away. Watch close, Steady rest, comfortable work position are the keys.

Sounds like a good buddy to have!

Jeff
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Old 02-09-2005, 02:25 PM
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incredible difference in before and after.

Dewey, I was using a stick welder to put a trailer hitch on my truck this weekend, thank goodness a 'real' welder happened by, hell, my stick welds did a big turn around too. I actually think i might not loose whatever i'm hauling now.
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Old 02-11-2005, 03:22 AM
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Dewey...very nice improvements on the welds! I do have one questions though, it looks like you are dragging your puddle at an angle like this /l/l/l/l/l/l/l/l/l if you drag your puddle more like a small C shape like this CCCCCCCC or even points like this <<<<<< you will get that 'stacked coin' look that is so beautiful to look at when finished...Please don't take my advise the wrong way, I think that your welds are very good looking. No porosity, good heat zone, nice clean welds is what you are getting. Everything takes practice and for a couple hours of coaching.... you'll be showing them welds off like a shiny new quarter everytime someone walks into the garage. My father in law is a certified welder in all aspects of welding, he has been doing it for about 35 years now after the gov't sent him to school for it, so I tend to get shown some very useful pointers every now and then.
Also, remember that you want the sizzling sound not the crackle and pop sounds...If you get the "rope weld" you need to turn up the heat because your welds are jut laying on top of your material and not penetrating the surface.And, and, and.....I better stop now and let you go back to welding.
Later,
WEIMER

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Old 02-11-2005, 06:59 AM
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Weimer,

You read welds pretty good. At this point I'm pretty must just running the wire in a straight line down the weld path.

One of the first things "coach" changed in my technique was to always "push" all horizontal welds rather than "pull" them. The theory, he says, is you always want the hot tip of the wire out there in front of the weld digging in for your penetration. I don't know if all welders would agree with that theory but it sure turned my welds around...and also made it possible, for the first time, for me to really see what's going on with my puddle. Incidentally, he has me doing vertical welds without either a push or a pull, just pointing the wire straight into the weld (nozzle perpendicular to the work piece).

The point being, I think the result of the CCCCCC technique would be different when pushing a weld rather than pulling a weld. Correct? So I'm trying to envision how one would do the CCCCCCCC technique when pushing rather than pulling.

Also, could you elaborate a bit on how you achieve the CCCCCC - with either a push or a pull. Are you actually moving the wire from side to side in a "C" pattern across the weld path or do you do it with more of a forward/back motion to heap the molten metal into a C shape. Also are you moving the entire gun in this fashion (wrist would be locked and the action would be in your elbow and shoulder) or just the tip (action would be more in your wrist as you tilt the gun slightly from side to side.)

Very nice weld in your pic BTW. Is that with a mig?

Dewey
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:41 AM
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Nice weld Weimer!

If I had to bet, I would say TIG on Aluminum tubing. Maybe Chrome Moly ? No metal discolorations. No spatter of any type. I only say Moly because of the bluing in some of the bead.


You can still <<< or CCC on a push.
I agree on deeper penetration when you push. (The wife thinks so too!)
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beenaway2long
You can still <<< or CCC on a push.
I agree on deeper penetration when you push. (The wife thinks so too!)
Now you've gone and made me squirt milk out my nose laughing.
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:25 AM
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Okay...first of all, that isn't a pic of my own weld, that is a random pic that I found on the web to use as an example. I am going to say that it is TIG welded aluminum, just by looking at it. Regardless the same concept applys for steel, etc.
I prefer to pull my puddle when welding. Everyone is different...believe it or not, alot of left handed people prefer to push their welds instead of pull them
You can get the same results pushing with the CCCCC technique as you can pulling them, but I feel like I am working upside down this way. I always like to bring everything closer to me. TIP #1 invest $100-$150 and buy a decent auto-darkening helmet.
Always set up your welder with a piece of scrap before starting to weld. You need to first learn to listen to the correct sound of a weld...It should sound like a sizzle, no popping or splattering. When you have that down you know that your heat is adjusted about right, then turn your scrap piece over and look at the penetration, you should be able to see the welds through the back, the "blue" zone around your weld should be about 1.5 times the width of your weld. If you stay in one spot too long you could burn through, not long enough you won't get good penetration in your material. Next you need to setup your wire speed. It should be a nice smooth bead at the end of the gun, kind of like a caulking gun. If your speed is too slow then you will burn up your wire to quick and you will have to move the gun at a very slow rate of speed. If the wire speed is up to high then your wire will push into the weld and you will feel it at the tip of the gun. You want a nice even smooth bead with a good clean sizzle sound. I use the wrist to move the tip of the gun. It is more comfortable for me to weld this way...everyone is different.
Personally I find welding very relaxing, I can weld for hours on end...almost thereaputic(sp?)
Like I said everyone is different but just don't give up and don't be afraid to try anything... everytime you practice is everytime you will improve. Go to the scrap yard and buy about 100lbs of scrap tubing,sheet metal etc. And get different thicknesses. Start welding whatever you can together, and send us some pics to see how you are doing.
Hope I am helping
Later,
WEIMER
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:26 AM
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oops, almost forgot this...
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Old 02-12-2005, 08:01 AM
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I've learned to take my time...

I make a couple of test passes on the metal and spot in a weld or two then adjust my MIG and go from there...as long as the metal is CLEAN and the gas is on I'm fine...at least to my satisfaction. I learned with a stick and moved up to the mig and then took classes...it all helped...the more practice I get the better I get...so...practice makes perfect...LOL

Tazz


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Old 02-12-2005, 08:23 AM
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Like cboy, I learned to weld back on the farm. Buzz box style. Took a shop class in High School, but the teacher was a basic welder also. It wasn't till the seventies that I felt I wanted to be able to lay down those "picture perfect" welds. I took a course thru the local Community College. I was lucky in getting an instructor that worked by day in the Nuclear energy plants. He had welded miles and miles of stainless tubing. This guy could TIG a gum wrapper together while using a mirror. He said much of his job welding was in confined spaces and done with peep mirrors. I learned and UNLEARNED a lot of welding procedures. Great guy! and he only instructed the one semester. Moved out to the left coast.
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:29 AM
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Welding Metal

I just want to thank you guys for the welding information. I have been welding for years and at times I need to get back to the basics and remember all the things the teachers said.

Thanks

P.S.

Here is a picture of one of my first welding projects. just for fun.
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:35 AM
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With gas MIG your meant to face the nozzle into the weld and move the gun towards the weld because the gas keeps the oxygen out of the weld.

When you get bubbles in the welds thats from the oxygen getting into the weld and this is called Porosity.

if your using a stick welder then you pull the stick along as the flux is what cleans and protects the weld.
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