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Old 04-27-2006, 08:32 PM
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Welding not just your car or truck or hotrod

Well this topic seems to have a lot of debate over what welding process to use. So I love a good debate on welding. So I thought we could look at weld Its self. How it applies to rodding your shop and the project you build. So Just remember some of us old farts have 100 year experience. Which means something Not sure what but been there done that. Any way have fun in here I always find I learn something from the way I do thing. And enjoy a good story about your life in welding.

So I'm going to start of with a question which has to do with rodding
Does anyone know if there is a dot standard for welding on your hot rod or from the aftermarket parts guys that build us the cool parts we use.

Craig

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Old 04-27-2006, 08:48 PM
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I am not sure on car parts but I know a few guys that build drag quad frame out of crome moly and they dont have any type of cert. People that by them just go on good faith and the word of the builder saying they have been tested.
The guys I know have never had a frame fail but I have seen frames that have failed. When you are doing 80+ on the sand and have a shok mount break or something else and you get hurt the fingers start pointing but I have never heard what happens in the end.
I dont know if any of these cases go to court or if you are just racing at your own risk or what.
I never had any problems with any type of part I purchased but I gave up quads before anything could happen, at least in a car you have more of a chance.
So I dont know about having any type of cert. but I have always wonderd.
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:01 PM
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I know NASCAR has an inspection deal and NHRA has the same deal.
I know if you have your own company you have to have liability Insurance. to cover you butt.

Craig
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:37 PM
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There is NOTHING, they are aftermarket and their "completed operations" insurance is going to carry the load when those cool A arms fall apart.

Brian
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:18 AM
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I know if I design a welded joint that I have questions about, I test it using a mocked up section, welded like I think it should be. I put it in my press and jack it up until it fails. If the weld fails before the base metal I start over and redesign the joint. At least that way I know I did it right before it goes on a customers car. (empirical testing is best)

You would be surprised at how many shops can't get insurance for their product. I know I can't. As soon as the insurance company hears that I weld on frames and crossmembers and do custom work they are gone. They don't ask for certs or engineering or anything. It doesn't matter that I have been doing this for 22 years without any failures, claims or litigations against me. I can't even get a plain old garage keepers insurance policy because of the custom work.(california is wonderful)

A friend of mine was going to make custom rims. his insurance company wanted 30,000.00 a month to insure his company to make 400 rims a month. He only made 1 set and gave up..

I believe there are some DOT standards for welding, but they mostly apply to heavy truck stuff,
I'm sure that there are some engineered weldments out there but I'll bet that most of the spiffy boy racer goodies you see on the market are welded using TLAR engineering. (TLAR= that looks about right)
I know I get to re engineer some of that stuff when it comes into my shop in a broken state.
I've fixed alot of broken stuff that detroit engineered and built also, so I don't get too mad at the aftermarket guys.

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Old 04-28-2006, 02:37 AM
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I did that to, I have a product I looked into making, but the cost is way out of sight. Insurance is a funny deal and having a engineered product would seem to make a different but that not the case. I got tired of all the bull in California, Thats why I'm in Az
I have to believe that the after market guy pay Big Insurance bill and would assume there is engineering and design process going on. which drives the cost of the parts.
We have AIM industries here and there part are said to be fair to good but this guy has a staff of attorney keeping him out of trouble. Ive been over there and a lot of the part were being imported from China. I have to believe there is a dot standard for making rod parts like chassis or a four wheel drive lift kit. This is so interesting that it seem there are no real rules.

Craig
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:34 AM
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A lot of the aftermarket guys have the same insurance problems. That's one reason some products are labeled "off road only" and the warranty clearly states that they are ONLY responsible for the part itself in case of failure. Read the warranty -- most are "use at your own risk". That doesn't mean the part isn't safe, just that the insurance is so high it would make the cost of the product prohibitive. Insurance companies only insure things they pretty much know have a snowball's chance in hell of breaking. they aren't going to insure something that might fail. And you thought an insurance company was there to protect you....

Most of the big companies only use certified welders and even then spot check welded parts. Of course the larger ones use automated welding processes which are much more consistent. Even those are spot checked every so many hundred parts. That's why MIG and TIG welding are so prevalent in production welding -- few to no contaminants. Stick welding leaves a lot and is more likely to have weak spots.

Certification doesn't eliminate problems, but it does reduce them. I had a chance to take a certification test but decided against it. The funny thing is you can be certified to inspect welds even though you may not be able to pass a welding ceritfication test! We had a couple instructors take the inspection certification test when I was teaching basic welding for the USAF. they planned on continuing in the welding career field though. Certification testing requires sample welds which are x-rayed and cut open for examination. Stick welding is allowed one or two inclusions (small spots of slag caught in the weld), TIG and MIG of course aren't. They really check the samples out hard because they know you're trying to do your very best and it's not your typical weld.
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:43 AM
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Welding certifications are some what interesting. Some examples are nucular certified welders, air frame certified welders and jet engine certified welders. These are ones I am somewhat familiar with and know the seriousness that these certification processes are handled. I have watched jet engine welders do test weld after test weld to send in for their annual certification. They would peform a weld that all of us would dream of, only to throw it in the trash because their trained eye said they were not good enough. These welds go through various tests with penetrant dyes, ultra sonic, magnetic imaging and special types of x-rays to ensure integrity. None of my welds would ever pass, but I have never had a weld fail in an estimated 1,000,000 miles of hard street driving over the years. Just call me lucky.

Trees
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:50 AM
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For years I never had one. But changing times and finally I had to get mine from California. The La certification is the hard one to get its a two day test. Funny thing out side of LA county you only need a regular Cirt.Now in California everything structural part has to have a inspection. The funny thing is most of the inspector where for the most part old welder guy with 100 year of back round. For the most part if a inspector can out looking 20 something they sent him packing. Because they had know clue what it was like in the field VS a fab shop. I have had some work X-rayed. and that A cool deal if you ever have a portable x-ray truck come to your shop and take picture.
I take my hat off to the arm chair welder doing aircraft parts. But the guy hanging 100ft in the wind blowing welding in beam conection is the king. trying to control what you doing. Now that a good welder if ya can do that.

I think all parts should be inspected with either x-ray or ultra sonic. The reason is if you have every had a weld x-ray and it looks good on the out side but it what inside that count. That really opens up your eyes to how good you thought you were.

Craig
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:09 AM
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I know it doesn’t qualify for street rods, but I use to weld things for our city. Most of it was repairs to the snowplows and trucks. I had to submit my aws-welding certificate and away I went. I did all of their welding for about a year. The account was pulled from me when I refused to weld a broken plow mount on one of the large plow trucks. I knew I could repair it but I was worried about the (what if thing). I didn’t have insurance to cover my butt for something of that sort. I kept running scenarios through my head, like what if for some stupid reason the repair broke and caused the plow to shift into an oncoming lane and hurt or kill someone. Anyways because I made a decision not to do this repair, the city administrator never brought me anything again. I have heard from some of the guys that work for the city. Tell me they wish I were still doing it because the guy doing the repairs now, does crummy work and over charges the city big time. Oh well, I guess I would rather be safe then sorry. I consider myself to be a very good welder but some times I overanalyze. I have also tuned away farmers that wanted custom hitches added onto their farm trucks. I just don’t want to take the risk of something breaking and having it come back and bite me. I grew up on a farm and around farmers, not knocking them in any way but I know that those hitches would be severely abused and overloaded.

Since this is on welding, I just wanted to add, how many production products have you all seen with welds on them that should not be trusted to hold together a soup can?
I can’t believe the amount of crappy welding I have seen coming out of factories. What has happened to QC? I was helping millwrights install equipment into factories for a while and a lot of the welds had to be redone. A lot of it was on large machinery and production equipment that could not be sent back for correct welding, because of time limit factors on installation. Digital pictures were taken; the welds were repaired and billed back to the various companies. Another safety issue that was seen a lot was the welds on critical things in factories that were done by the maintenance crews in them. I am not bashing maintenance workers in any way shape or form, just saying I saw a lot of really bad and unsafe welds in different factories on things that would be considered safety issues, guards, railings, mountings, and brackets holding heavy items and pipes directly overhead of workers. Just crazy I thought.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:12 AM
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I have guys stop in to my shop and ask me to fabricate bike parts frequently. I'll do sheetmetal repairs, minor brackets, etc. but will not touch anything structural. They usually start out with: "you've got a welder, don't you?" I answer "sure, but it won't do what you want" even before they explain what they need. I won't expose myself to any litigation concerning structural modification of a car or a bike. I send them to a local fabricator who will do the necessary design and engineering work for their part, NDT it, and then turn it over to the customer with the "off road use only" caveat. Usually, the guy trying to build something on the cheap or in an unsafe manner doesn't want to pay to build it right. They are also the type that will sue at the drop of a hat.
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twistedwrench
I know it doesn?t qualify for street rods, but I use to weld things for our city. Most of it was repairs to the snowplows and trucks. I had to submit my aws-welding certificate and away I went. I did all of their welding for about a year. The account was pulled from me when I refused to weld a broken plow mount on one of the large plow trucks. I knew I could repair it but I was worried about the (what if thing). I didn?t have insurance to cover my butt for something of that sort. I kept running scenarios through my head, like what if for some stupid reason the repair broke and caused the plow to shift into an oncoming lane and hurt or kill someone. Anyways because I made a decision not to do this repair, the city administrator never brought me anything again. I have heard from some of the guys that work for the city. Tell me they wish I were still doing it because the guy doing the repairs now, does crummy work and over charges the city big time. Oh well, I guess I would rather be safe then sorry. I consider myself to be a very good welder but some times I overanalyze. I have also tuned away farmers that wanted custom hitches added onto their farm trucks. I just don?t want to take the risk of something breaking and having it come back and bite me. I grew up on a farm and around farmers, not knocking them in any way but I know that those hitches would be severely abused and overloaded.

Since this is on welding, I just wanted to add, how many production products have you all seen with welds on them that should not be trusted to hold together a soup can?
I can?t believe the amount of crappy welding I have seen coming out of factories. What has happened to QC? I was helping millwrights install equipment into factories for a while and a lot of the welds had to be redone. A lot of it was on large machinery and production equipment that could not be sent back for correct welding, because of time limit factors on installation. Digital pictures were taken; the welds were repaired and billed back to the various companies. Another safety issue that was seen a lot was the welds on critical things in factories that were done by the maintenance crews in them. I am not bashing maintenance workers in any way shape or form, just saying I saw a lot of really bad and unsafe welds in different factories on things that would be considered safety issues, guards, railings, mountings, and brackets holding heavy items and pipes directly overhead of workers. Just crazy I thought.
I know what you mean I was, still am a Millwright for 30 plus years.
Welding is a funny thing you can get a certification and say I'm a good welder.

But when I went thought trade school for 4 years and we got to the welding class at the local college the instructor ask how many of you guys can weld.
Well all of us were working for some one I happen to be working for my dads company and we were trained by the old guys working there so we felt we welded ok so up went the hands. The instructor said but do you really no know how to weld! we all felt insulted, After completing the welding course I now know what he ment by his statement. I to have seen the same thing in the field and scary the you know what out of you. I have for some reason escape death a couple of time because someone could not weld or thought they could be a home made engineer.
So I trust know one when it come to that stuff. Also the aftermarket world is full of junk, I to have had to reweld parts that the welds were not up to pare. A lot of this stuff is weld by robot welding station. All you got two do is hire a warn body to slap the part in the jig lock it down and push the start button.and its done. its not inspected tell it get out of the paint line then the paint can hide some flaws in the welding. You only need one smart guy a set man.to program the robots.

Craig
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:23 PM
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I read in a trade magazine not long ago that over 90% of the welders(weldors) out there have a major lack of understanding of the basic fundamentals of welding. While this may seem like an unreasonably high estimate it takes in all types of production welding (manual) and is probably low if anything. I have known people who have been welding for 15-25 years with various certifications that I would not allow to weld on my lawn mower so not all certs mean much in the real world. The same thing can be said for years of practice I know of people who have been "practicing" for many years and have been doing the same wrong things over and over and will get mad if you point out the flaws, they simply refuse to learn. My point is that when someone says "I am certified with 20 years experience" it may or may not mean anything.
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:39 PM
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Well said OldRed, It got to make you thing when your buy these part. Or any thing else that's been welded. You walk up a set of stairs or you see a new store being build its got to make you wonder.
I'm still interested in the dot thing I have to assume the are some kind of standard out there.


Craig
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:59 PM
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A disclaimer on your product means nothing. If someone gets hurt, you are screwed. Any good lawyer will take everything you have.
Be very careful who you make parts for.
Bob
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