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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 08-29-2005, 09:58 AM
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Absolutely as soon as you start calling it her car, allot of things change, And what difference does it make, you going to fix it wash it and do everything else to it anyway and then by the time you've got your welder, she try to get a new washer so it all comes out even.

Quality in a mig welder. Well there are a couple thing to think about.
If you are just using it for sheet metal any mig with a shield gas supply will work. 110amp 120 volt
but if you are going to do frame and "structural" improvements you have to bump up to 220 volts.
Sheet metal is tack, tack, tack, tack . So you will need something in descent shape so your wire doesn't hang up, and back spool and just make an irritating mess. The point is to use the welder, not to fix it.
But a heavy 220 will do both frame and sheet metal and I have found, in most cases it is better to have power you don't need than it is to need power you don't have.
As fas as brand I am a Miller Man and even a well used Miller can still be a good machine.
But go to ebay shop around there a little so you can get and idea and keep your eyes in your local paper once you know what your looking for something is bound to come up.
Oh and there are some place that rent if it is a small project.

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Old 08-29-2005, 10:43 AM
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A 110 MIG, while being limited by short duty cycle, will weld a frame just fine if you prepare ahead. You need to preheat the metal to about 350-400 deg. with a torch, even if you have to use a propane torch, and then you can even weld 1/4" with no problem. This is a good idea anyway no matter what welder is used but be careful and don't overheat the metal, the trick is to get a temp marker in the range you want from the welding supply. These are cheap and available in any temperature range you will need and are easy to use. This method works great and will allow someone with a 110 volt MIG the means to make a perfectly good weld on frames and other thicker parts. The short duty cycle of the 110 MIG is sometimes a limiting factor on some parts but by using short stringer beads,multiple passes and preheat one can weld most anything that would normally be welded with .023 wire and since base metal temperature needs to be kept with a certain range, particularly in the case of frames, this short duty cycle may not be much of a handicap anyway
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Old 08-29-2005, 10:56 AM
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Sure it can be done with a 110, but preheating is a pain in the ***, and so it having an underpowered welder. There are some people out there that believe that a 110 is great!!! I have heard all the pro's to a 110 which comes down to one thing and one thing only $$$$$$$$$$. Never in a million years would you grab the 110 over the 220 if they are sitting right next to each other. A 110 is sure more portable because it is lighter and smaller. And the nozzle is smaller so you can get into some tighter spots. If it is all you can afford get a 110 so you can get going but if you find a 220 you can afford, get that.
There are allot of little details we can get into such as duty cycle, freq,pen depth and whatever. but the point is to make a solid weld, 3/16" and over you will want the power.
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Old 08-29-2005, 11:41 AM
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Ok you refer to preheat as a PITA but did it occur to you that it should be done anyway? If you start out on cold base metal and just simply weld through to finish on a frame then cracking and induced stress from the temperature extremes can cause problems. A weld such as I described with a 110 welder will be Superior to that produced from just tearing into it with more power from a hotter welder. The shorter duty cycle is about the only real problem I see with the 110 outfit and to keep heat under control the weld really needs to be in multiple passes anyway. The key is to start with the base metal about 350-400 deg. and to keep it within that range, or at least close to that, by limiting the welding rate. I agree that 220 is a lot better and I never meant that it wasn't my point is that if someone is using a 110 outfit there is no reason not to use it for frames or other heavier parts. There may be many reasons to want to use 110 besides cost such as power availability and just plain convenience but I hear it from a lot of people that 110 is no good for anything but sheetmetal and that is just not true.
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Old 08-29-2005, 01:13 PM
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Well lets see how we should put this. Hey guy who needs the welder If all you can only afford a small 110 unit than get that and you will be fine, unless you think you are going to use it all the time for a bunch of different projects then get more juice. The Real goal is "TO KEEP THE PROJECT MOVING"

Now the pre heat guy. I would never preheat my frame or any weld on frame components. Heat is the enemy bi product when it comes to steel. Now if you are welding cast iron, tool steel, or aluminum that is a little bit different story. I would just assume run the right size bead for the fillet and be done with it, I might even blow some compressed air on it, if I am say boxing in a rail. I would also move around quite a bit to try and get the heat spread out.
Thats a hassle too but it is better than getting a bunch af warpage.
You are going to get some anyway it is unavoidable, that is what heat does, but you can make an effort to minimize its effects.

now there is always an exception, If I had a really nice, I mean really nice frame table that I know is balz on every time, and I was building a car for say "riddler" there are some things I would do different but i'm not telling just in case!!!!!
But as far as pre heating goes, I don't hardly have enough time as it is to work on my car, why would I want to wast my time with that.

Fit is way more important!!!
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Old 08-29-2005, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gROCERYgEtteR

Now the pre heat guy. I would never preheat my frame or any weld on frame components. Heat is the enemy bi product when it comes to steel.

Hmmmm, I think I am going to have to disagree with this one. Localized heat is not a good thing in the scenario you mentioned. If you had a 400 degree piece of steel and you welded it and then allowed the weld and surrounding steel to slowly cool back down to ambient temperature, then you have the potentional for a great weld (and the metal surrounding it remains strong.

Do the same think rapidly with a hot bead on cold plate or quench it afterwards with water OR air, and you then have the potential for issues.

In this case, preheating is always good.

Rich
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Old 08-29-2005, 02:55 PM
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Stick welding on patch panels in automotive sheetmetal is possible, I've done it many years ago as a kid doing sidework at a customer's home garage. It's a real PITA and your work won't be nearly as good as what could be done with a mig, tig, or gas welding but if a stick welder is all you've got practice, practice, practice and verify you have the skills required.

Buy a mig and be done IMO, sell your stick welder and recoop some of the investment, beg, borrow, barter, tell the welding supply outfits in town you're in the market for a trade in. Own your own MIG and life will be much better.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 08-29-2005, 03:12 PM
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I am not sure but it sure seems like you are comparing apples to fried chicken.

At one point in my youth I was a commercial diver. This means welding underwater "ya all the way under", on ships, oil rigs, and any other metal broke thing. Are there issues sure but that is not the point.

Could I get better weld if I took the whole rig out of the water but it on dry land, sure but is it necessary ? NO WAY!

There are times to pre heat, like I said, if you are doing cast iron do it to be safe. What happens with cast iron is if you heat a spot in the middle, it will expand at a faster rate than the surrounding metal and if you are fixing a crack the crack will run. This means blocks , heads , drums, exhaust manifolds,<--ohhh icky,
But not mild steel. If it were the case with mild steel imagine what they would have to do with a skyscraper, here lets pre heat it and watch the whole thing roll 15 degrees and then put the next floor on it.

Have you ever looked at the OEM welds on any car? if it is longer than 3" its a mistake and most of them would never, ever past a weld inspect.
Is it something you could do sure, no wait I take that back now that you got me thinking about it.
If you preheat it you actually take the mild temper out of it so it will make it softer, hence more pliable, with a standard weld there can be issues because of heat effected areas on the parent metal just out side the root, so if you preheat the whole part you just made your heat effected area bigger, and yes less strong. Weld material is made with the chemistry is is because so it will air harden slightly harder than the parent, or softer depending on what you are doing. A mild steel all position weld cert requires no pre heat, 1" thick.

Oh basic rule for weld guys weld size "single side = to thick ness of parent material 1/4" plate 1/4" face ,double sided is 1/2 the parent material 1/4" plate =1/8" x 2. how much weld you ask? generally 50 % is good enough, but most companies go 100% for liability reasons, I go 100% cuz i like layin beads and I don't have to grind much.
Mild steels yield strength " yield amount it will bend before it stays that way" is about 32000 psi and break is somewhere around 50, just run of the mill steel. you car motor weighs 600 to 1000 lbs, go look at the welds holding your motor mounts, don't be alarmed they are supposed to be that way, unless you have bolts only than but that into perspective.
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Old 08-29-2005, 03:37 PM
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Grocery, Think about what happens to a 60-70 deg. piece of metal when you subject it to the intense heat of the arc. It is raised from 60-70 deg. to over 2000 deg. almost instantly and to make matters worse this heat is very localized inducing thermal shock into the surrounding metal and then as the metal heats up from the weld it does so unevenly, sometimes with as much a 400-500 deg difference spread over an area of only a few inches inducing much stress into the weld and surrounding metal. Add to this the fact that the first part of the weld is cooled too rapidly due to the heat being absorbed by the surrounding cold metal. Also you apparently have a misunderstanding of why heat causes warpage since you apparently think preheat will cause more warpage when actually it is the other way around since uneven expansion and contraction from UNEVEN heating, not the heating itself, is what causes metal to warp in the first place but on heaver sections the weld itself contracting is the biggest concern not heat induced warpage in the surrounding metal. For what it is worth the "pre-heat guy" has been a certified welder since 1968 and has spent a lifetime in the mining industry welding critical components that very often must pass certification by X-ray or sonic testing and has had to deal with and overcome stress induced cracking from many causes.

BadBob, I share your opinion that it is best to just buy a MIG and be done with it since when one considers all the obstacles that have to be overcome with a stick welder it is simply not worth it, at least not for a beginner.
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Old 08-29-2005, 03:52 PM
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Grocery, What you are saying is pure nonsense. But this is not the place to discuss this so I will not say anymore here. I would like to see you go over to the Horbart site and explain your theories on pre-heat to those guys they can always use a good laugh, BTW car frames are not mild steel.
Pick a welding site and I will meet you there.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 08-29-2005, 04:32 PM
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Really, that is interesting.
Make sure you guys don't listen to either one of us, do some research on you own, getting information from as many places as possible is important. Because if the 25 welders, regular production type and I also have a couple of specialist, got word of this guys theory's it would shut our production down and me being the R & D engineer ( research and development) if i tried to pass that off on my production supervisor my,
well lets just say it would be very interesting at the water cooler for a couple of months, it would make for allot of jokes.

Good luck
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Old 08-29-2005, 06:16 PM
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grocery, What I said is common welding knowledge you on the other hand kept referring to mild steel quite apparently thinking car frames and metal structures are not made from structural steels and apparently are completely unaware that pre-heating steel is common practice, R @ D engineer You have proven to me what you know already and I have said too much so go ahead give it your best shot I will have no more to say here but I would truly like to see you spout this nonsense on a welding forum.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 08-29-2005, 07:36 PM
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I spent a summer trying to stick weld sheet metal for my egg project. The rods I tried were 6011, 6013, 7014, 7018. I used an air powered flange tool to give good lap joints to double the thickness where I welded. It helped, but I still had, at best, as many holes as tacks. The 7018 rod was the best for me, once I learned how to keep from sticking it every time at low current. The results were so lousy I resorted to oxy/acetylene. The burn-throughs almost ended but I warped the crap out of everything.

After a couple of tanks, I tried a wire-feed welder (flux core, no gas) and did only marginally better than with stick. Ignorance caused the most trouble. I scrapped the whole mess and used fiberglass to make the egg shape, then got some excellent remote coaching from folks on here (see Got a welding coach ). I can actually weld sheet metal with flux core wire now.

I wouldn't waste a minute trying to weld thin stuff with stick. Save that for the heavy steel.
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Old 08-29-2005, 07:58 PM
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First, thank you for the replies thus far. I am grateful as well as entertained.

Let me clear up a couple of things. I was given a small, AC welder as a gift. It is a firepower AC welder sold by eastwood. It runs on 110, up to 100 amps. It was advertised as a good unit for sheet metal.....but in my experience it has been very difficult to master. I have experienced burn through, splatter problems, porosity issues, but to be honest....not much by way of warpage problems. Each time I practice I get a bit better.

I understand that people prefer MIG units. I am working with what I have, until I fail or I can really justify the upgrade for a tool better suited for a range of welding projects. At this point I am focused on rust repair panels, with 18 and 20 gauge metal. I understand I have chosen a steep learning curve, and one that may not be all that fruitful.

To sum up, I see about half the respondents say don't bother with this direction, as it will be fruitless. The balance says it can be done, has been done, but the results are marginal. This afternoon I picked up 5lbs of 7014 ($11) and started practicing some plug welds on 22 gauge scrap. I'll continue practicing till I feel a bit more confident. Interestingly, I also got hit offline with some private messages that encouraged me greatly. Thanks for those.

Incidentally, while picking up the 7014 at the welding shop, I drew the attention of 3 welders also picking up supplies. I was in shorts and a white polo shirt.....clearly out of my element. They argued that 6013 rods would work better for sheetmetal...and were designed for sheetmetal. When I explained that my "buzzbox" was a small AC only unit, they agreed that 7014 was probably best. They didn't scold me for trying sticks on sheetmetal...in fact one went out of his way to argue that migs were not well suited for the task. He stated "they put out way too much heat for sheetmetal." Clearly he would be labled a heretic here. Another favored sticks, and also hinted that a torch with the right tip and filler material would be better.

Again...I have to work with what I have...until I know I can't.

Last...thanks for the notes to my wife. I actually forwarded them along and she brought up the conversation tonight at dinner...with a couple of friends. Maybe I'll show her what I can do on the Volvo.....and then show her the latest Miller or Hobart catalogs.

Thanks folks.
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Old 08-29-2005, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtcruiser60
To sum up, I see about half the respondents say don't bother with this direction, as it will be fruitless. The balance says it can be done, has been done, but the results are marginal.
That pretty much covers it. Fruitless and Marginal

Anything can be done. But is it worth the grief to spend all that time and get something that could have been 10 times better with 1/10th the effort?

You can finish concrete with a paint stir stick and you can also drive nails with a shoe.

Rich
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