First Welder!

anickode

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Welp stick welding isnt for me, i chickened out and got a hf 125amp 120$ flux core that should be better. also i tried the little stick welder and it just spatters and sticks, it wont weld for me must not be getting hot enough.

What size rods and type of rods are you using? 1/16" aren't good for much besides sheet metal, and 5/64 are very hard to find... It's very difficult to get a stable arc from such a small machine. You also must use rods that are compatible with AC output. Certain fluxes (6010, 7018) won't run well on AC, but 6011 will run on AC, as will 7018AC.

To break it down... As an example, 6010 uses a cellulose/sodium based flux, where 6011 is cellulose/potassium. Potassium burns more aggressively, which maintains the gases in the arc gap in a plasma state, (fire is electrically conductive, FYI) so the electrical continuity of the circuit is maintained without the metal itself touching. As the AC sinewave passes through zero volts, that continuity is vital to sustaining the arc, as the dielectric strength of air is too high for a low voltage arc to restrike itself without it.

It's the same reason you use a high voltage/high frequency arc superimposed on the AC welding current for aluminum TIG. It maintains the arc through the zero point of the sinewave. Also makes it possible to strike the arc without touching the electrode to the workpiece.
 

Brianator

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I weld stick. it is not to bad but then again I learned on stick.

Me too and that's all I used for years until I picked up a wire feed flux core for cheap, to me both have their place(s). For exhaust, bodywork and or small projects you can't beat the wire feed but the stick gets better penetration on thicker steel and I feel I have better control of the puddle.

Congrats JT and welcome to the club! Lol
 

Budget GoKart

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What size rods and type of rods are you using? 1/16" aren't good for much besides sheet metal, and 5/64 are very hard to find... It's very difficult to get a stable arc from such a small machine. You also must use rods that are compatible with AC output. Certain fluxes (6010, 7018) won't run well on AC, but 6011 will run on AC, as will 7018AC.

To break it down... As an example, 6010 uses a cellulose/sodium based flux, where 6011 is cellulose/potassium. Potassium burns more aggressively, which maintains the gases in the arc gap in a plasma state, (fire is electrically conductive, FYI) so the electrical continuity of the circuit is maintained without the metal itself touching. As the AC sinewave passes through zero volts, that continuity is vital to sustaining the arc, as the dielectric strength of air is too high for a low voltage arc to restrike itself without it.

It's the same reason you use a high voltage/high frequency arc superimposed on the AC welding current for aluminum TIG. It maintains the arc through the zero point of the sinewave. Also makes it possible to strike the arc without touching the electrode to the workpiece.

The conditions just are not right for a stick welder of that size for my uses so i will stick to my hf flux core which i learned to use last night a little bit
 

gegcorp2012

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Aahhhh the puddle. Listen for the sound of sizzling bacon, not popping and spattering, but a nice sizzle.

I like my HF auto darkening shield because I can see through it for final positioning and watch for a nice red glow after lettting off the juice.

I watch the puddle to manage the heat on the two pieces I'm welding. Many times you will have thicker material on one side, and you have to get extra heat on that side by having some extra hang time on the thicker side with the electrode relative to the thin side.

Use the zigzag or circular motion to make the heat to pull (or push) the puddle along as you go.

Welding takes lots of practice and technique, good prep and good equipment.

FYI - I am still using my first welder, but I almost scrapped it last season out of frustration over wire feed issues. Since I replaced my gun last season , my 25 yo Cebora Combi 130 MIG has been laying some of the best bead ever.


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JTSpeedDemon

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Yeah, the bacon sizzling sound is just SOOOO good to hear after fiddling with the adjustments and blowing holes! It is marginally annoying to have to brush the flux powder and slag off the completed welds, but otherwise, I really don't mind the characteristics of flux core.
Once my angle grinder arrives, then I can try some T, lap, and butt joints. And then once I feel ready practice wise, it'll be time to weld on my kart!
 

Kartorbust

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Aahhhh the puddle. Listen for the sound of sizzling bacon, not popping and spattering, but a nice sizzle.

I like my HF auto darkening shield because I can see through it for final positioning and watch for a nice red glow after lettting off the juice.

I watch the puddle to manage the heat on the two pieces I'm welding. Many times you will have thicker material on one side, and you have to get extra heat on that side by having some extra hang time on the thicker side with the electrode relative to the thin side.

Use the zigzag or circular motion to make the heat to pull (or push) the puddle along as you go.

Welding takes lots of practice and technique, good prep and good equipment.

FYI - I am still using my first welder, but I almost scrapped it last season out of frustration over wire feed issues. Since I replaced my gun last season , my 25 yo Cebora Combi 130 MIG has been laying some of the best bead ever.


Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk

In tech school we were told never to go in a swirl when welding. Just a nice drag or push to do it. Only in certain times do you ever do a zig zag type.
 

Kartorbust

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Yes it can. Most of the welding we do is stringers. Weaving is only used in multi-pass and sometimes multi-pass welds end up having a stringer final pass. My thing with flux cored is, you are somewhat more likely to get slag inclusion in the weld. Best advise I can give is take some scrap pieces of flat stock, put a bevel at the joining sides and weld them together in a butt-joint. Then try to break the pieces where it breaks the weld, so you can see if you have slag inclusion. If you don't, then you're golden, if you do, keep practicing.
 

anickode

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A small circular or side to side motion to help wash the toes in can be beneficial if it's not too drastic. You'll learn to see the difference between the weld puddle and the molten slag behind it.

As for an actual weave bead, they're typically used only on vertical position multi-pass welds, as the slag will tend do flow down and away from the puddle. There are always some exceptions though.
 

gegcorp2012

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BTW, I am not a welder by trade, and never went to a welding class, so theres a lot of details left out of my pervious post, like yah - dont drag in a bunch of junk into the pool.

I saw some teaching videos where the instructor had a technique for the zig zag motion called "walking the cup", its kind of a rocking motion of the gun handle (MIG) by a slight twist of the wrist rather than moving the hand back and forth.

Its hard to beat a well made instructional video, expecially with YT being readily available, so if you do not have first hand instruction, theres some good videos to go along with written advice you are getting here from others.

Back in the day (before the Internet thing) I had a friend that worked at a muffler shop come by the house the first time I rented a welder, and he set me up with the heat and wire speed to make the sizzle sound and showed me how to manipulate the molten puddle by bringing the heat with the arc. I guess that would count as a 10-15 minute lesson, and I was sure to watch what the puddle was doing through a mask.

That weekend, I did a big welding repair of a T-boned BMW320i (unibody car) from the top of the passenger door jamb including hinges, down through the uni frame and passenger floor pan, under the pass seat and pass wheel well, then up to the rear 1/4 panel and finished at the top of the window pillar. It took a lot of prep work to get the wrecked car ready, and to get a "side-o-BMW" from the junkyard, and painstakingly fit the piece so the door would shut right, but with everything trimmed and stripped and screwed together, the actual welding was the easy part.

That weekend I made up my mind to get my own welder since the rental was 2/3 of what a welder would cost !

Anyways, glad to hear Karts and JT will be getting some hours behind the trigger now.

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Budget GoKart

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My first decent weld because the spot was super clean and i tried a different way it works great i just gotta prep my metal good enough
 

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Kartorbust

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Just some encouragement.
 

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JTSpeedDemon

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My first decent weld because the spot was super clean and i tried a different way it works great i just gotta prep my metal good enough

Uhmm, don't mean to rain on your parade, but that's pretty ugly. I know, I know, it's your first, plus what Kartorbust said, but don't go welding karts together with welds like that. I don't think I'd even trust myself welding on a kart yet. But hey, you struck an arc!

BTW - Is that with the little stick or the HF cheapo special?
 

Kartorbust

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Don't worry too much about it. It takes a ton of practice. I didn't start welding until I was in high school, then I fell in love with doing it. I was never good enough for production welding, so at this point it's just a hobby of mine. I need way more experience if I want to continue it as a career.

What I'm getting at is, it takes hours upon hours to get good at it. To become a master at something is like 10,000 hours or 6-10 years. You'll still make mistakes, just got to practice the fundamentals.

What I can recommend you do to practice, especially for building a kart or bike frame is, find or get a bunch of the material you'll be using to build a frame. So 1" to 1-1/4" tubing round or square 10ga to 16ga thickness. Round tubing takes a lot of practice to do it well. When you are welding, it's not the looks of the weld that generally mean anything, its penetration of the material. Not blowing holes in it. Some of your ugliest welds may end up being stronger than your best looking. The running gag in the industry is, your best looking welds are where no one will ever see them.
 

Budget GoKart

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Uhmm, don't mean to rain on your parade, but that's pretty ugly. I know, I know, it's your first, plus what Kartorbust said, but don't go welding karts together with welds like that. I don't think I'd even trust myself welding on a kart yet. But hey, you struck an arc!

BTW - Is that with the little stick or the HF cheapo special?
I know its really bad but its the best i could get with the little time ive had to practice on my hf cheapo
 

gegcorp2012

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I see at least an inch of continuous weld up there. It takes skill to keep the bead in the right place, and you did it.

How is your hand writing or printing ?

Make something fitting for a DIYGK logo if you can write good (or make us a meme... if its bad)

Or move on to welding two scraps of 1/8" plates or angle iron. It will take some practice, but once you think you have a decent weld (lap weld) of two pieces, put one side in a vice and see how hard it is to tear it back apart with a big hammer.
========*
. . . . . ========



Then work on some butt welds

=======*========

This exercise can help you make stronger welds. What happens if you weld both sides of the lap weld piece ?


The base metal should bend instead of the weld coming apart at the joint.

Repeat as needed until you need a grinder to break it apart

More pics please.


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JTSpeedDemon

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Ha, thanks, I'm pretty proud of those first welds but we'll see how well they hold as actual joints! My angle grinder arrived, I just need to start using it! I'm hoping my helmet has a slightly lighter shade setting, because I have it set to shade 10, which is good for 90A work at max power for this thing, but I'm doing 1/8" at like 35A........so basically I'm blacked out when I strike an arc LOL.

As far as writing, my handwriting's a little messy, but mostly because I write fast most of the time.
 
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