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rabbitears
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04 Feb 2011, 12:06 pm

Just wondering if there are any welders out there?



nostromo
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04 Feb 2011, 1:54 pm

Yep I particularly enjoy gas welding (Oxyacetelene), but also MIG as its fast. Also like brazing, but yeah I used to find gas welding quite therapeutic almost. These days I use MIG for practicality. I'd like to use a TIG one day too.



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04 Feb 2011, 2:59 pm

Can you recommend, for someone fairly ignorant of welding or brazing, what equipment could be used in a small home workshop for joining brass, iron and steel? Typically either for fixing broken ironmongery or making small pieces of equipment and reinforcement for woodwork.

My only experience is soldering brass and copper, with electric and gas irons. I use bolts and rivets to join things, but welding or brazing would often be neater.



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04 Feb 2011, 3:36 pm

I had a little wire feed I played with for awhile. It was fun. I could never make a "pretty" weld, but they were always strong. My dad is a fantastic welder. He did lots of work on cars and trucks and industrial maintenace.



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04 Feb 2011, 4:25 pm

Never tried welding, but I have done a lot of soft soldering . At school I did a little hard soldering but I am more experienced with soft soldering.

For small work my favourite iron has to be a 25 antex iron, I find it is a little on the hot side. I used to use a weller iron in my youth but since I switched to antex I have never wanted to use a different brand.


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rabbitears
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05 Feb 2011, 6:49 am

StuartN wrote:
Can you recommend, for someone fairly ignorant of welding or brazing, what equipment could be used in a small home workshop for joining brass, iron and steel? Typically either for fixing broken ironmongery or making small pieces of equipment and reinforcement for woodwork.

My only experience is soldering brass and copper, with electric and gas irons. I use bolts and rivets to join things, but welding or brazing would often be neater.


I would suggest a small Manual Metal Arc (MMA) set (also known as 'Shielded Metal Arc Welding' or 'SMAW' in the U.S.A.) They would be perfect for welding your iron and steel, although they won't weld brass. But they are easily portable and many of the smaller models can be plugged directly to the mains electricity supply, although some may need the help of a petrol generator.
Also they are cheap and easy to repair and maintain as there isn't really a lot that can go wrong with them as they are a suprisingly simple machine inside. The only consumables you need to buy are the electrodes, which are usually cheaper than MIG wire and gas. They do take a bit more practice for you to to get competant compared to a MIG, but they are a lot less hassle and once you have learned to weld with one properly, you will have learned a valuable skill.

P.S. - Just remember to buy the right type of electrode for the the type of work being carried out.



nostromo
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05 Feb 2011, 10:36 pm

rabbitears wrote:
StuartN wrote:
Can you recommend, for someone fairly ignorant of welding or brazing, what equipment could be used in a small home workshop for joining brass, iron and steel? Typically either for fixing broken ironmongery or making small pieces of equipment and reinforcement for woodwork.

My only experience is soldering brass and copper, with electric and gas irons. I use bolts and rivets to join things, but welding or brazing would often be neater.


I would suggest a small Manual Metal Arc (MMA) set (also known as 'Shielded Metal Arc Welding' or 'SMAW' in the U.S.A.) They would be perfect for welding your iron and steel, although they won't weld brass. But they are easily portable and many of the smaller models can be plugged directly to the mains electricity supply, although some may need the help of a petrol generator.
Also they are cheap and easy to repair and maintain as there isn't really a lot that can go wrong with them as they are a suprisingly simple machine inside. The only consumables you need to buy are the electrodes, which are usually cheaper than MIG wire and gas. They do take a bit more practice for you to to get competant compared to a MIG, but they are a lot less hassle and once you have learned to weld with one properly, you will have learned a valuable skill.

P.S. - Just remember to buy the right type of electrode for the the type of work being carried out.

These are good and cheap but just be aware they are not really suitable for welding sheet metal thicknesses, they need to be used on thicker stuff such as the sort of steel a trailer would be made out of for example. MIG is good for panel steel (i.e. car thickness and higher) and they are also fast.

A little Oxyacetelyne kit is very versatile as they can be used for welding, brazing, cutting (gas Ax) and heating. Brazing is very versatile and is good for joining disparate thicknesses together or in particular joing cast steel. The main problem I found with a Oxacetylene kit is the company here won't fill bottles you own, and so force you to rent their bottles, if you can get around that issue then get a little Oxyaceteylene kit. another way to lower cost is instead of Oxygen and Aceteylene use Oxygen and LPG, using the same cheap LPG tank and fuel as you use for a barbecue. You can't weld with it unfortunately but it will still braze, heat and cut.

But yeah if its things like attaching bolts to steel plate a regular ARC welder as rabbitears says is your cheapest option for purchase and operation and involves less mucking around with gas and things.



rabbitears
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06 Feb 2011, 10:47 am

nostromo wrote:
rabbitears wrote:
StuartN wrote:
Can you recommend, for someone fairly ignorant of welding or brazing, what equipment could be used in a small home workshop for joining brass, iron and steel? Typically either for fixing broken ironmongery or making small pieces of equipment and reinforcement for woodwork.

My only experience is soldering brass and copper, with electric and gas irons. I use bolts and rivets to join things, but welding or brazing would often be neater.


I would suggest a small Manual Metal Arc (MMA) set (also known as 'Shielded Metal Arc Welding' or 'SMAW' in the U.S.A.) They would be perfect for welding your iron and steel, although they won't weld brass. But they are easily portable and many of the smaller models can be plugged directly to the mains electricity supply, although some may need the help of a petrol generator.
Also they are cheap and easy to repair and maintain as there isn't really a lot that can go wrong with them as they are a suprisingly simple machine inside. The only consumables you need to buy are the electrodes, which are usually cheaper than MIG wire and gas. They do take a bit more practice for you to to get competant compared to a MIG, but they are a lot less hassle and once you have learned to weld with one properly, you will have learned a valuable skill.

P.S. - Just remember to buy the right type of electrode for the the type of work being carried out.

These are good and cheap but just be aware they are not really suitable for welding sheet metal thicknesses, they need to be used on thicker stuff such as the sort of steel a trailer would be made out of for example. MIG is good for panel steel (i.e. car thickness and higher) and they are also fast.

A little Oxyacetelyne kit is very versatile as they can be used for welding, brazing, cutting (gas Ax) and heating. Brazing is very versatile and is good for joining disparate thicknesses together or in particular joing cast steel. The main problem I found with a Oxacetylene kit is the company here won't fill bottles you own, and so force you to rent their bottles, if you can get around that issue then get a little Oxyaceteylene kit. another way to lower cost is instead of Oxygen and Aceteylene use Oxygen and LPG, using the same cheap LPG tank and fuel as you use for a barbecue. You can't weld with it unfortunately but it will still braze, heat and cut.

But yeah if its things like attaching bolts to steel plate a regular ARC welder as rabbitears says is your cheapest option for purchase and operation and involves less mucking around with gas and things.


If you have the right amps and a small electrode size, you could weld sheet metal with MMA, just as long as you restrain it all properly so it wont deform. It WILL take some restraining though.



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06 Feb 2011, 11:25 am

rabbitears wrote:
nostromo wrote:
A little Oxyacetelyne kit is very versatile ...

If you have the right amps and a small electrode size, you could weld sheet metal with MMA, just as long as you restrain it all properly so it wont deform. It WILL take some restraining though.

Yes, sheet metal can be challenging. I have done a lot of welding over a span of many years, but I do not presently have any equipment of my own. If I did, however, I think I would prefer flux-core wire (MIG minus gas bottle) for light stuff I would not be able to do with oxyacetylene. But as has been said, oxyacetylene bottles can be difficult to obtain and/or to have filled.


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14 Feb 2011, 4:56 pm

Yes. I enjoy welding.



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16 Feb 2011, 9:10 pm

I was a TIG welder years ago for a company that made custom outdoor lighting fixtures. Mostly aluminum and a little stainless. Loved it, miss it, but glad I don't have to do it every day. Also attempted forge welding long ago in a hand-cranked coal forge! Really, really difficult and an art I left unmastered.


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rabbitears
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17 Feb 2011, 6:23 am

I did a little bit of TIG in college, I got okay at it but it's tricky. I'm better at MMA and MIG. I only dabbled with TIG though really as I took Platework instead of sheet metal, I kind of wish I took sheet metal though, seems more intricate and has a tidier result. I felt sometimes that Platework was for cavemen as I spent most of it whacking steel with a hammer. Although you do get to play with the big toys, which doesn't really happen when you're doing sheet metal.


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17 Feb 2011, 8:14 pm

rabbitears wrote:
...I kind of wish I took sheet metal though, seems more intricate and has a tidier result...


Before I became a welder, I had a chance to work with this old German guy who did custom sheet metal and copper roofing. Unlike most in the US who do this kind of thing with a staple gun and roofing cement, we hand fitted every piece using a portable break(not sure if that's how it's spelled?) and would hammer over the seams using a little hand held anvil type thing, and every seam was folded over twice in a technique he called "doubleseam". It was a lot of fun, I always liked doing things that I felt involved real craftsmanship.


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rabbitears
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17 Feb 2011, 8:21 pm

Yeah, a friend of mine in college used a doubleseam to make a jug, so that proves that a good doubleseam is watertight. I think he soldered in the seam though, but it would still hold water without soldering, it was just done as a precaution really.


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19 Feb 2011, 9:37 pm

Only D.I.Y.
I've got a MIG unit with a gas bottle, but I use the flux wire, though. I do repairs on auto or whatever needs fixin,' for example the trampoline welds cracked from too much load- too many people on it at once. Or broken vehicle exhaust welds, etc, etc.

I'd prefer brazing though, and I've repaired aluminum quite well with a unique brazing rod. I also braze copper( not solder) and steel.



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21 Feb 2011, 5:48 pm

I enjoy it too, it's really satisfying when you make a nice weld!
I do mostly MIG welding, mostly in the theatre industry where I don't require a ticket (yet)!

I think it's also a great skill to learn; an experienced welder once told me "they keep trying to make robot welders, but they will never replace humans b/c they aren't sensitive/accurate enough"