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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-31-2005 09:48 PM
Mig issues

wow, and here i thought that I knew how to weld. Some of your comments amaze me. Have a Happy New Year.
11-14-2005 01:17 PM
gROCERYgEtteR [occupation hazards associated to manufacturing practices from the past. QUOTE]

Yes, partially because of the way the old timers figured things out, the rules, and well just because.

Old style weld rod was nasty, solder and flux were nasty, and some of the coolant is still nasty.

Todays stuff isn't as bad, but anytime you weld say nasty steel, with the rust preventative still on it, oil, think about what that does. how many parts per million of oil in your lungs does it take to drop you?

There are no more or less risks with welding than there is with anything else, driving , sex, fast food all these thing can kill you just as easily, it all part of the game, you just have to use your head.
11-14-2005 12:44 PM
powerrodsmike I would think that welding aluminum could give you alzheimer's about 8 million times faster than the way you get it from eating food cooked in aluminum cookware. And who knows what else. I always clean aluminum with acetone and a dedicated wire brush right before I weld it. I think that might be a better way than using MEK. I remember one day I went into a friends shop who was cleaning these alum. panels with MEK. The vision and smell of him with a cigarette in his mouth, leaning over this 4X6' panel with a rag dripping with MEK all over him and the floor is forever etched in my memory. You could smell it in the street. I remember him saying, "Nah, this stuff won't hurt you." He was from the old days of tough guy manual machinists. He died last year from some bizzarro bone marrow disorder before he was 60. I don't doubt that his exposure to 40 years of coolant, welding fumes, carborundum and metal grinding dust, tar and nicotine and unsafe shop practices might of had some part in shortening his life. Is that what you mean by occupational hazards?
11-14-2005 11:27 AM
autodark is awesome!

I love my autodark mask, it was some off-brand but still decent quality unit. I can't quote the # shade it is, but I generally use 2 super bright halogen lights so I can see clearly the area were I am about to weld. Otherwise, they are too dark to see. I don't think I would ever go back to conventional for auto body work, as it is not continuous welding but alot of stopping/starting, and flipping a regular mask gets annoying very shortly.

Start with thicker stock then work your way to thinner. MartinSR has everything covered.

MIG is definitely the way to do autobody. TIG works, and skilled guys can gets utterly awesome results, but it is SLOW.

11-14-2005 09:52 AM
gROCERYgEtteR I private messaged that guy with the channel and told him basically the same thing , asked about his machines power, told him about v groves and multiple passes.

Although unintentional what you wrote will be great back-up.

I really like the gold lenses as well, i wish my miller auto had one, i never really though about the light reflecting back but it is a very good possibility, i just assumed that because of the gold coating it blocked a different spectrum of light, like "blue blockers" sunglasses. Thats what i have in my over-sized lens Jackson, for when I get PO'ed at my miller.

As far as the cancer thing, there are occupation hazards associated to manufacturing practices from the past. One thing I know welders have trouble with is upper back and neck problems from flipping their hood 4 million times a year. It's one of those things the best prevention is absences, but then we would all have to find a new hobby,like speed walking. Ha

one other thing i have always heard is that welding aluminum is detrimental to your health, especially when you clean it with MEK.
11-13-2005 09:12 AM
powerrodsmike I don't have much occasion to do gas welding. My TIG welder does all my work that a gas torch would be used for. I hardly ever use my torch unless I am reducing a car to pieces small enough to fit in the metal recycling bin or cutting out bulkhead parts for ocean liners. I might get one of those Cobalt lenses just to see if there is a diff in the stuff I do. I see that Seattle dale was having some trouble mig welding some 3/8 together. What is the amperage output of your machine? I would think that you should have at least a 200 or 250 amp machine to do that big of material easily. The thickness combined with the sheer mass of that material make for a very cold weld. 18" of 3/8" steel is a big heat sink. I know that when I do anything over 5/16 with my 160 amp machine I am looking for a bigger unit. Use straight CO2 gas, It welds a little hotter. Also try using the .035" E-70S-6 wire. It cleans a little better on dirty stuff. That is all I keep in my migs at the shop anymore.You may want to preheat the steel some too, It really does help on the thicker stuff. Sometimes just getting it up to 70 or 80 degrees can make a difference. On "T" joints in thicker material when using a marginally powered welder I like to keep the torch straight up or angled back slightly from the direction of travel.(pushing the bead). I usually turn the heat as high as it will go and back off of the wire speed a bit. That seems to dig into the base metal a little better. I then oscillate the tip side to side in a "C" motion so that I dwell a little more in the root of the weld and wash some bead up the sides of the joint. this makes a nice concave bead with a minimum of undercut. In doing any buttwelding on thick stuff I "V" grind my joint at about 30*. Buttwelding usually requires a little more wire and "pulling" the torch. I vary from "straight up" to leaning about 15 or 20* towards the direction of travel. That works pretty good for me. Thin stuff I usually leave a gap of the thickness of material or a little less. (1/8" gets a .100" gap, .250" gets approx .200" or "V"d slightly.) Sometimes on the thicker stuff I will do several passes to build up the bead. That is a really common way when stick welding to build up a bead, so why not use it when mig welding? Hope this helps.
11-13-2005 06:12 AM
oldred Power, You have me really thinking now about those burns. About 20 years ago I had a co-worker with an injury on the top of his head similar to what you described that took weeks to heal and about two years later he too had a skin cancer problem on that spot, coincidence? I don't know, never thought much more about it until now. You also have a good point about the lens color, I have used a gold colored lens for years and you are right about the visibility. Have you tried a Cobalt lens for gas welding? they are a bit pricey at around $40 so not many people will buy one for that reason but compared to most of someones tools this is quite cheap for what they will do. The visibility difference while gas welding is nothing short of amazing especially when welding aluminum.
11-13-2005 12:00 AM
powerrodsmike This is a really good thread, I'll try to add something new. I have been using one of the auto darkening lenses for about 5 years now and have found that although the shade can be adjusted the color of the shade cannot. I think this is what makes it hard to see the seam. I also thought that my eyes were going bad like oldred. I would turn the shade down to #9 and still have trouble seeing the seam. I tried a helmet with a regular #10 shade the other day and it really made a big difference in what I could see while I was welding. It was better for both mig and tig. I then tried a lense with the gold coating. It was a #12 and the penetration and puddle actually showed up better than with the lighter lense. I think that is because the gold coating reflects the light generated from the arc back down to the work which illuminated it. Another thing that I don't like about the auto-dark lense is that when you are in close quarters with alot of obstructions and you move your head an such a manner as to block the arc from the light sensor in the helmet and it goes from dark to light while you are welding. SURPRISE. Here is something else to think about, It may not be just the UV that causes cancer. One day I was tacking something overhead without my helmet on and a molten ball of weld spatter landed on my nose. It burned in rather quickly and left a hole which did not fully heal for several months. I didn't give it much thought until I went to a dermatologist a couple of years later and during his checkup he found a spot there that was cancerous. Coincidence? It is the only place that I have ever had a skin cancer. And not to scare anyone further, but I recently read that exposure to fumes generated during welding, cutting or brazing is thought to be associated with ALS, (Lou Gehrig's disease). It is known that manganese poisioning can produce symptoms of parkinsons disease or MS. One study found that 40% of all welders showed some symptoms of manganese poisioning. One more thing, I would try one of those chin activated helmets but with the way i mutter to myself and chew on my tongue while I am working I would wind up with flashburn for sure.
11-12-2005 10:16 PM
MARTINSR That is why I like my Accustrike helmet so much. You open it a tiny bit to see and when you need to grind you just pop it up all the way, hands free. However, I hardly ever pop it all the way up,I just open it a little and do what I need to do.

11-12-2005 04:30 PM
firstgenbird Tacking without a hood is shown on these rod shows all the time. I think it's one of the dumbest shortcuts you can take, no disrespect or flame intended. It only takes once for a spatter to get under your eyelid. Then since it's steel, it'll start rusting in your eyes. If you don't lose vision in that eye, the pain and the medical bill will be awesome.

Spend a little money and get an autodark helmet. Buy the autogrind version that lets you go from welding to grinding mode if your work has you tacking and grinding to fit.
11-12-2005 10:11 AM
gROCERYgEtteR The new generation of welder is learning with the auto hoods, where as 15 years ago they were around but not very good and very expensive.

I find it funny that most welders don't know the "speed of light" being that it is the thing that causes the most damage. That guy who welds beer cans with goggles is probably fine oxy/acc weld, you cant tig a beer can, or aluminum mig for that matter....... so what ever. We were talking about the light the other day I think tig aluminum is UV B, someone may want to confirm that.

I tack without a hood because, i take my hood off all the time, i don't like the flip mech on the new miller auto's. but I have also been doing it for a long time like that so....the damage is done, but, but, if i am really going at it I do use some serious spf sunscreen to reduce the effects.
11-12-2005 09:58 AM
oldred MartinSr, Like you said-SAFETY,SAFETY,SAFETY!! I have been in the business for a long time(too long but I am retiring at the end of this year ) I have seen many really bad accidents happen to these "tough guys", these range from minor burns to disfiguring burns to fatalities, unfortunately, and each and every time it could (SHOULD) have been prevented. An accident does not have to happen all at once and these guys who are "tough" find out all too late that an accumulation of tiny burn scares amounts to a serious injury but, like a tattoo, they are there permanently. Then there is that leather-like skin, skin cancer, eye damage from those quick helmet-less tacks and sometimes eye loss from a quick splatter while welding or cutting without protection, it goes on and on but once it happens, and it does all too often, it is TOO LATE FOR PROTECTION!
11-12-2005 09:30 AM
MARTINSR SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY I am not just talking about "I am man enough to have a little spark burn me" so you say "To hell with that cumbersome jacket, gloves and helmet, I can take it".

We are talking HEALTH Real life health issues that can creep up pretty quick. (click here) to read about a Eric (Sevt Chevelle) who found himself at 18 I think it was with zinc fume fever and permantly damaged lungs. He has to use two inhaler every day to get going and has to shoot a steroid into his lungs thru a shunt in his chest every week! Thank you Eric for posting this personal information for the good of your fellow man.

I got a nice lightweight welding jacket on Ebay for about $25.00. I have been using welding gloves now for a number of years EVERY TIME I pick up the gun, about $20.00. I buy nice soft gloves, there are some that are stiff, I agree they are very hard to work with. Take some time and go out and pick up a pair of nice soft ones. I recently went to using TIG gloves, they have paper thin leather fingers and palm and feel darn near sensual

I have gotten use to wearing a welding respirator EVERY TIME (3m # 7187 is a $20.00 disposable unit). It is comfortable IF YOU WANT IT TO BE. If you want to look for something to complain about, it is a pain in the ***. If you want to live to see your grand kids it is a tiny inconvenience that you get use to very fast. I can't stand the smell of welding anymore, I HAVE to wear it. It is MUCH more comfortable to wear it than not for me now.

My helmet, I am telling you guys you have to try one of these Cherokee helmets (click here) .

Red,yeah, I have to tell my eight year old son THAT IS NOT HOW YOU DO THAT over and over while watching those shows. The morons will grind on their laps not wearing googles! I am sorry guys, but not wearing safety equipment is just simply unprofessional. I don't care how good you are, if you are doing this stuff without protecting your body you look like drunken party goer tossing around a foot ball on the lawn compared to a pro on monday night football.

11-12-2005 09:27 AM
shine not a good way to tan . once was enough.
11-12-2005 09:22 AM
oldred Bill, If you watch those guys on tv you will also see them MIG and TIG welding in a T-shirt with their arms bare! Some guys really do this and will laugh at you if you try to tell them about the hazards(the guy welding with only goggles is just plain stupid if he is arc welding). I think most of those TV guys just jump in for the camera and probably don't really weld all that much dressed like that but I guess maybe some do. We could probably start a big disagreement here by getting on this subject because guys who do this will not listen anyway and just have to learn the hard way
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