Welding Choices

A

Arnold Hite

Guest
O.K. This is a little off list but I know many of you are skilled
welders. My son and I want to buy a welding unit. I've never attempted
to weld anything. I've always taken my welding jobs to a local welder.
I doubt I will ever attempt to weld on new rear quarter panels, but I
may do small repairs or make modifications to one of my trailers. My
son took a welding class as an elective in college. That makes him the
expert compared to me. The question is what type of welding unit
should we buy? Should we buy an arc welder or Acetylene? Is welding a
thing I can reasonably learn by trial and error? Should I get a book?
Will I need to enroll in the apprentice welding program at the local
tech school? Also if it matters, I have only 110 power in my garage.

Arnold Hite (New Welder want-to-be)
Charleston, SC
 
W

WB6WSN

Guest
----- Original Message -----
From: Arnold Hite
To: amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2003 7:05 PM
Subject: [amphicar-lovers] Welding Choices



O.K. This is a little off list but I know many of you are skilled
welders. My son and I want to buy a welding unit. I've never attempted
to weld anything. I've always taken my welding jobs to a local welder.
I doubt I will ever attempt to weld on new rear quarter panels, but I
may do small repairs or make modifications to one of my trailers. My
son took a welding class as an elective in college. That makes him the
expert compared to me. The question is what type of welding unit
should we buy? Should we buy an arc welder or Acetylene? Is welding a
thing I can reasonably learn by trial and error? Should I get a book?
Will I need to enroll in the apprentice welding program at the local
tech school? Also if it matters, I have only 110 power in my garage.

Arnold Hite (New Welder want-to-be)
Charleston, SC




Arnold:

I sure don't have ALL the answers, but let me speak to a few points. First, I'm
a very neophyte welder. Many years ago, I had several skilled welders working
for me; unfortunately, I didn't learn any skills from them. OTOH, I did learn
what is a good weld, and what you need to do it. So let's start at the top,
welding at a professional level. BTW, I won't address specialty welding, like
electron-beam. Further, my comments will be toward welding steel (not many of us
have aluminum Amphis).

If you want to weld professionally, there's only two ways. TIG or MIG. Both
processes use an electrical arc which is bathed in a continuous stream of a
shielding gas. The gas (usually a mix of carbon dioxide and/or argon) flows out
of the electrode holder and keeps the arc and molten pool of metal from being
oxidized by the oxygen in the air. TIG uses a tungsten electrode that is not
consumed, and you simply melt the two workpieces together (sometimes melting in
a bit of filler rod if needed). TIG is well-suited to precision work like
sealing the seams on a sheet metal can. Good TIG welding can make a folded-up
box look like a casting.

MIG is the real workhorse of industry. MIG uses a spool of wire, fed thru the
electrode holder. The wire is fed into the pieces to be joined, creating an arc
that melts the workpieces and consumes the wire. MIG can weld 1/2" thick plate
with ease, and a skilled welder can also weld thin sheet metal. MIG can also do
unlimited length beads.

A "stick" arc welder uses a hand-held, flux covered metal rod electrode. You
touch the electrode to the workpiece, and the resulting arc melts the workpiece
and the rod. You feed rod manually and move the stick electrode along the seam
to create the weld bead. The main difference between stick and MIG is that stick
doesn't use the shielding gas. The flux on the electrode rod melts and then
protects the molten metal from the atmospheric oxygen. This isn't a very perfect
process, so it takes decent skill to weld well, and the weld suffers from more
defects. Also, there will be a layer of hard, brittle material (slag) that you
will need to crack off the finished weld. Also, the weld is messier than MIG,
with lots of "splatter". Stick is cheap & quick, but quality is hard to assure.

Gas (oxyacetylene) welding uses a lance-shaped flame to heat the workpieces. A
filler rod is worked into the seam, both to "stir" the two molten metals into
one bead, and to supply filler material. Again, there's no shielding gas, so the
filler rod needs to carry flux. The process puts a lot of heat into the
workpieces, and is slow.

So, it's obvious that MIG is the way to go. An industrial MIG will cost you
several thousand dollars, and will need a 240 VAC supply. Dream on. At the
bottom end of the industrial scale, you can get a MIG for about $350. (Yes,
Harbor Freight will sell you a MIG for a bit less, and I often buy HF tools, but
I don't recommend them for a MIG.) Don't even bother with the "gasless" MIG's;
that's NOT really a MIG. Fluxed wire pushed out of a handle does not make a MIG,
no matter what the ad copy says. Some bottom-end true MIG's will run off of 120
VAC. I suggest that, if you are going to all the trouble to have a MIG, you
should wire your garage to provide a 240 VAC, 40 Amp feed. (You already have
one, if you have an electric dryer. If you need a new feed, get a professional
electrician to do it. Hey, it's not exotic, it's just like asking for a dryer
feed.)

If somebody gives you a stick or non-MIG welder, by all means, play with it. Go
to a metal supply store and ask to buy their debris. Most shops keep a bin right
next to their shear or cut-off saw. They sell this stuff real cheap. (I just
bought two 72" x 6" strips of 16 gauge CRS and two 24" x 8" strips of 14 gauge
CRS for $3.) Just get yourself 50 pounds of odd junk to play with. Practice
clamping it, tack welding, and running beads. Get a feel for how heat distortion
works. Practice horizontal and vertical seams. Stick a welded piece into a vise
and tear the joint apart. Look at your penetration into the workpiece. Do your
welds fail at the edge of the base metal, are the beads as strong as the base
metal?

If MIG is so great, then why doesn't everybody use MIG? As I said, TIG has some
specialty advantages. Non-gas "MIG" entices you with lower initial cost. Stick
welders are the absolute cheapest.

And MIG can't cut. You can only do this with a gas torch. Cutting is obvious;
you heat the metal until it glows cherry red, then squirt a concentrated lance
of oxygen onto it. The oxygen reacts with the near molten iron to create even
more heat, and the immediate area of now liquid steel just runs like water
(actually, the oxygen jet blows it away).

And the MIG can't braze. So what's brazing? It's the same as soldering, just
with different metals. You heat the base (workpiece) metal, slather on some kind
of flux to clean and prevent oxidation, and then melt in a specific allow filler
rod. As the rod melts, it forms an alloy with the base metal, joining the
workpieces. (Notice that unlike welding, you do not melt the workpiece metal,
you just get it hot enough to allow melting of the filler rod.) Brazing can
achieve very good joining of steel, and other metals too.

And now that I've said all that, maybe you wonder what I did? Since I already
had a gas torch kit, I bought a couple of gas cylinders and a cart, and set up
an oxyacetylene gas system. I plan to shape and cut, and maybe tack-weld my
projects, but, for critical structural welding, or for delicate sheet metal
welding, I'm going to call in a professional welder with a mobile welding shop.
Typical cost is about $75 per hour; not too bad if you have everything ready to
fit when the pro arrives.

Please feel free to fill in anything I may have left out, or correct anything
dumb.


Ed
El Cajon
67 Rust Guppy





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
M

Mike Israel

Guest
Hi Arnold,

Well, I am far from an expert and my own welding experience is quite limited.
However, I did take an auto body class a few years back and remember one bit of
advice from the instructor who was quite talented in terms of welding and metal
fabrication. He suggested that for most work that MIG is the way to go.
However, he also said to stay away from the gasless units. A real MIG welder
uses gas. I do not remember exactly why other than that gasless yields work not
suitable for automotive restoration.

I am sure others will speak a bit more authoritatively.

Mike I.




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A

Arnold Hite

Guest
Thanks Ed and Mike,

After reading your posting and talking to a few people around town I
think we are going to buy a gas mig welder. I know 220 would be better
but for now 110 will have to do since my son plans to carry the unit
back to school with him for a few weeks. Ones thing is for sure. I
plan to practice for a while before attempting anything important.
Perhaps I build a rose arbor out of angle iron.

Arnold
 
W

wick68355@aol.com

Guest
I thought I would add my two cents worth. Last year I signed up for a welding
class at the local technical college. I took some welding in high school but
we all know that was almost thirty years ago. I was learning gas mig wire
welding because I thought it would be most practical around the house. After the
class was over I went out looking to buy my own equipment. I decided on a 110
volt unit because it was more practical. We have 220 in the garage and 220 for
the hot tub but if you have to fix something out in the back forty you won't
find 220. A good 110 volt welder will easily do one quarter of an inch. If
you can find a class at the tech school take it. The class I signed up for ran
two nights a week for three hours a night and it went the whole semester. I
got an A+ and earned two collage credits.( Just what I need.)
My two cents worth
Tim Wick
white 63 with no motor


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
A

Allan Woodcock

Guest
I have first hand experience re: welding. That is to say I have spent a
ton of $$$ to have a lot of work done on my car. My guy was a full-on
auto body specialist. He used a small gas jewelers torch and welded
with silicon bronze rod. Also I believe he stitch welded to further
avoid warping the metal. You can get those spacer clips from Eastwood
which hold the panels together with a very small gap which allows the
rod to flow between the panels. Also you should know that the original
Amphicar fenders are 20 guage whereas the replacements sold are usually
made from thinner 22 guage.
Allan
'66 red
 
R

ross.donald@netzero.com

Guest
I;m A new member as of 3 months ago, not to good
on the computer ect. but would like to stay in the amphicar club .if
I can get some reponce to a few guestions , has any one out there have
A fairly good front marine Lens and gasket Part # 10-32-15& 10-32-15c I
would like to buy it , also I have two engins for my car it is A 1964 BLUE
AMPHICAR. THE ORIGNAL AND a SPITFIRE i LIVE OUTSIDE Seattle
Wash. I got my vido of Celina It was great!!! if some one will anser
this E mail I will have more incourgment to se if any one is out there
ross.donald@netzero.com
 
W

WB6WSN

Guest
----- Original Message -----
From: Allan Woodcock
To: Amphicar Lovers
Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2003 12:49 PM
Subject: [amphicar-lovers] Welding Choices


I have first hand experience re: welding. That is to say I have spent a
ton of $$$ to have a lot of work done on my car. My guy was a full-on
auto body specialist. He used a small gas jewelers torch and welded
with silicon bronze rod. Also I believe he stitch welded to further
avoid warping the metal. You can get those spacer clips from Eastwood
which hold the panels together with a very small gap which allows the
rod to flow between the panels. Also you should know that the original
Amphicar fenders are 20 guage whereas the replacements sold are usually
made from thinner 22 guage.
Allan
'66 red


Allan:

I'm not trying to be a nit-picker, but. Using a gas torch to heat thin sheets of
steel, allowing a phosphor-bronze filler material to flow into the gap is
brazing, not welding.

Welding involves melting the base metal, a tricky thing to do with thin sheet
(just about the time it starts to flow, it falls apart).

Brazing involves getting the base metal hot, not hot enough to melt, but hot
enough to melt the filler material (the phosphor bronze alloy). Brazing is
another name for soldering. When you solder two copper wires together, you don't
ever melt the copper, you melt the tin/lead solder alloy only. It flows around
the hot copper wires, but the wires don't melt.

When the brazing filler alloy melts, it forms a new alloy at the interface
between the base metal and the alloy puddle. This is how it "sticks" to the base
metal. If you were to cross-section cut a brazed joint, you would see the
following layers: base steel, steel/phosphor bronze alloy, phosphor bronze
alloy, steel/phosphor bronze alloy and base steel. Once all of this cools and
hardens, it has a strength almost as strong as the base steel.

Brazing is just fine for some jobs, like joining thin sheet metal. You can also
join thin sheets with spot welding, where you apply strong compression and then
a burst of high current through the clamped area, causing the facing surfaces to
melt and weld together. And, as you saw, you can "tack" weld a spot or two to
hold the pieces for subsequent work.

Ed
El Cajon
67 Rust Guppy


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
C

Craig Taylor

Guest
Hi Ross, welcome to the club. I don't have a marine light but there are some
good sources on this list. Gord Souter has lots of parts and is great to work
with. I just bought some break parts from him. You can try Gordon Imports too.
You said you have a Spitfire engine. I'm liiking for one if you want to sell it.

Craig in Alaska
Red 66 Amphicar(RDUCKY)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
B

Bill Connelly

Guest
Ross,

Welcome aboard. We are "out there", all right.

~Bilgey
----- Original Message -----
From: ross.donald@netzero.com
To: amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com
Cc: amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2003 5:11 PM
Subject: Re: [amphicar-lovers] Welding Choices



I;m A new member as of 3 months ago, not to good
on the computer ect. but would like to stay in the amphicar club .if
I can get some reponce to a few guestions , has any one out there have
A fairly good front marine Lens and gasket Part # 10-32-15& 10-32-15c I
would like to buy it , also I have two engins for my car it is A 1964 BLUE
AMPHICAR. THE ORIGNAL AND a SPITFIRE i LIVE OUTSIDE Seattle
Wash. I got my vido of Celina It was great!!! if some one will anser
this E mail I will have more incourgment to se if any one is out there
ross.donald@netzero.com




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I

Ina Cabanas

Guest
I thought I'd tell about my graduate class in welding at the Tyler School of Art
which is part of Temple University in Phila. PA. I can't remember when I took
the class but it must have been in the early 1970's as part of my teacher
certification. I learned how to arc weld & really love it. It took a while to
learn how not to get the metal rod stuck onto what I wanted to weld & I just
LOVED wearing the helmet. I found great junk pieces of metal in scrap yards &
made fantastic junk art. At the time my brother was into motorcycles & I made
him a GREAT motorcycle out of all kinds of metal. The teacher didn't like that
it LOOKED like something & wasn't abstract. (I made many abstract pieces too
but that motorcycle was my claim to fame.) Arc welding was fun. I'd love to do
it again. Ina in the boro


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