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SSgt.

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Any welders out there that could recommend some good reading material/equipment for someone thinking of getting into it as a hobby?

Ive been wanting to do it for a while now but just waiting for the right advice i guess.
 

booter360

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Any welders out there that could recommend some good reading material/equipment for someone thinking of getting into it as a hobby?

Ive been wanting to do it for a while now but just waiting for the right advice i guess.
The way I learned to weld was by trial and error. For someone starting I would suggest a mig welder mainly because its point and shoot. Any of the inexpensive ones would work to start off with.personally I use Lincoln welders at work.
 

Clyde

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Any welders out there that could recommend some good reading material/equipment for someone thinking of getting into it as a hobby?

Ive been wanting to do it for a while now but just waiting for the right advice i guess.
I too would like to learn how to weld.
 

savageagle

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Hey all, booter360 has the right idea. I started welding back in 1983, after I purchased a 1978 International scout II I started seeing alot of other scouts that had store bought bumpers, side bars and roof racks but they were expensive. As i've always been one that believed in "hands on" was the best way for me to learn something new I purchased a wire feed welder. I didn't have any books, I just turned it on with a good supply of metal to work with and started in. it took me a couple of days where I wasn't burning through everything and things began to stay welded.
With contuious trial and error and after a couple of months I finished my own front winch bumper and a year later my Scout was outfitted with a rear bumper, side rock bars with steps and a very nice roof rack. All it takes is patience and a "stick to it" attitude as well as having confidence that you can do it. I know have three welders, a small "Nascar" wire feed, mig and an old school lincoln buzz box stick welder. I've had the buzz box for 11 years and use that one for custom gates and repairs for many ranchers up here.
As booter360 says, point and shoot inexpensive mig welders are great to start with.
 

Clyde

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Hey all, booter360 has the right idea. I started welding back in 1983, after I purchased a 1978 International scout II I started seeing alot of other scouts that had store bought bumpers, side bars and roof racks but they were expensive. As i've always been one that believed in "hands on" was the best way for me to learn something new I purchased a wire feed welder. I didn't have any books, I just turned it on with a good supply of metal to work with and started in. it took me a couple of days where I wasn't burning through everything and things began to stay welded.
With contuious trial and error and after a couple of months I finished my own front winch bumper and a year later my Scout was outfitted with a rear bumper, side rock bars with steps and a very nice roof rack. All it takes is patience and a "stick to it" attitude as well as having confidence that you can do it. I know have three welders, a small "Nascar" wire feed, mig and an old school lincoln buzz box stick welder. I've had the buzz box for 11 years and use that one for custom gates and repairs for many ranchers up here.
As booter360 says, point and shoot inexpensive mig welders are great to start with.
Now I just need to sneak it passed the wife.... Hey Christmas is coming!
 

Hades

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LOL, its all in what you plan to make.
I say if your welding some weather vains in your garage or repairing some thin metal like muffler pipes then a mig welder is a hell of a toy.
Dont get me wrong, it has its place in the arsenal of tools, and is a good place to start learning.

I recommend 30 minutes with a good welder, they can teach you the basics and save you 10 grinding wheels LOL
to actually have someone show you with your own eyes what a puddle needs to look like is 1/2 of the battle.
once you learn to see the puddle not the arc, you will know what you have before you are done.
When in doubt grind it out.
The reflection of the arc (off walls, cars, ceiling )will still do damage to eyes, remember that if you have kids wanting to watch
Hospital cant help burnt eyes lol, if you wake up with feeling of sand in your eyes
use milk for temp relief( in your eyes) and cut a potato 1/2 and put on eyelids(eyes closed) to help pull the burn out.
A welding shield is NOT a grinding shield, The ultra violet light can get around even very small pits in lenses if you dont have covers on proper.
I would rather take a enema than ever put on another shield, I spent many years looking at my own eyes.
Thats my 2 cents worth of advice.
 
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I disagree 100% about starting with a MIG. You can buy a cheap stick welder cheaper and there is a LOT less than go wrong with it!! Learn on a stick!!! I was taught to weld on an old stick welder, once i could weld/write my name in cursive and make the lines look like a stack of pennies laying down like neat shingles i was then put on a mig. 2 minutes on the MIG and i was welding better than most of the guys in the shop who ONLY ever used a MIG. A lot of them guys had to eat there words.

With a stick you can also burn stainless and aluminum rods, as well as many others. Witha MIG your looking at having to buy different parts and gases to do this.

In all stick is WAY cheaper down the road and a lot of people will argue stick welds are stronger.

Find a local college that offers welding classes. Take a basic stick class, then mig class. ALSO learn to operate an oxy/acet torch and a plasma torch.
 

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Tbh, it depends what welder youd want to use, MIG is small wire feed, used for your thinner materials. arc is usually somewhat like using battery cables, you have a ground, and you have the positive in which you put your rod, but they also make wire feed arc too. then you have different rod sizes depending onthe thickness of metal in which you're welding. then you have temperature settings (amount of electricity used to melt the rod/wire).
Youve also got to be able to clean and grove what you're welding.then yes id have to agree with a few posters. the puddle is the form of the weld you need to learn. and practice is the only way to be good at it.
You can read all the books you want, i garentee your first welds will look like shit, and your rods will stick like crazy till you get it down.
Buy a cheap arc would be my recommendation. at low temps with thin rods you can weld sheet metal, higher temps with thicker rods you can weld car frames.
Also remember to get the right gear, and wear the right clothing.
A welders mask and welders heavy thick gloves do the trick, the helmut so you dont burn your retnas, and the gloves so you dont electricute yourself, and if some of the melted molten metal falls on your hand, and it will, you dont get burned.
Wear long sleeve shirts, the heat radiating from the welding can give you a really bad sunburn.
I made the mistake onetime of welding with my shirt off, and had just the gloves/helmut, it was the worst sunburn i ever had, all over my arms and chest, not fun.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask, im quite experienced in the field.
 

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Tbh, it depends what welder youd want to use, MIG is small wire feed, used for your thinner materials. arc is usually somewhat like using battery cables, you have a ground, and you have the positive in which you put your rod, but they also make wire feed arc too. then you have different rod sizes depending onthe thickness of metal in which you're welding. then you have temperature settings (amount of electricity used to melt the rod/wire).
Youve also got to be able to clean and grove what you're welding.then yes id have to agree with a few posters. the puddle is the form of the weld you need to learn. and practice is the only way to be good at it.
You can read all the books you want, i garentee your first welds will look like shit, and your rods will stick like crazy till you get it down.
Buy a cheap arc would be my recommendation. at low temps with thin rods you can weld sheet metal, higher temps with thicker rods you can weld car frames.
Also remember to get the right gear, and wear the right clothing.
A welders mask and welders heavy thick gloves do the trick, the helmut so you dont burn your retnas, and the gloves so you dont electricute yourself, and if some of the melted molten metal falls on your hand, and it will, you dont get burned.
Wear long sleeve shirts, the heat radiating from the welding can give you a really bad sunburn.
I made the mistake onetime of welding with my shirt off, and had just the gloves/helmut, it was the worst sunburn i ever had, all over my arms and chest, not fun.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask, im quite experienced in the field.
I would like to get a small, but useful, machine, but the more I read the more confused about the best welder for a newbie.I figure knowing how to weld in a post SHTF world would be quite handy.... however, if there is no electricity to run your machine we will be going to oxy/acetylene.
 

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I would like to get a small, but useful, machine, but the more I read the more confused about the best welder for a newbie.I figure knowing how to weld in a post SHTF world would be quite handy.... however, if there is no electricity to run your machine we will be going to oxy/acetylene.
Just get a harbor frieght welder. the best welder is always the best welder though lol.
They do make welders that run on diesil fuel too, might be a good buy post-shtf.
Oxy/ace is really hard to weild with. if you wanna go that route, try brazing.
 

Clyde

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Just get a harbor frieght welder. the best welder is always the best welder though lol.
They do make welders that run on diesil fuel too, might be a good buy post-shtf.
Oxy/ace is really hard to weild with. if you wanna go that route, try brazing.
I would rather not go oxy/ace.
So you recommend mig?
 

Krime

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I would rather not go oxy/ace.
So you recommend mig?
No, id recommend ARC.
But it basicly depends on your needs. What do you plan on welding the most?
If its mostly heavy dudy metals like 1/4in thick+ go with ARC.
If its like sheet metal, metal security doors, or thin metals, go MIG, because, unless you do it specificly, youll burn right through thin metal with the ARC.
If its aluminum or non-ferious, use TIG.
Etc etc etc
 

savageagle

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Starting my new projects on my toyota making body armor i'm using my stick welder. I'm working with heavy wall pipe and 1/4" flat plate for brackets where needed.

As you can see my stick welder has been very well cared for. The bender is 16 ton from harbor freight and makes easy bending of 1/2" to 3" pipe.
Here is the first piece to these upgrades. I front lightbar mounted to stock bumper bolts and the lower bars are mounted into already drilled and tapped
holes. This is the 3rd frontbar i've made thats why I used an easy mount system so guys who have bought these from me can easily mount them on their 4 runners.

The side rockbars are under construction. I have removed the rear bumper, chrome trim above the wheel wells and the stock running boards which I sold for $150.
I'm using heavy wall pipe and the sidebars will require mounting brackets front and rear.

The bracket is 1/4" and mounts using the top bolt as seen. The top bolt goes all the way through as there was an exisiting hole already there. The top bolt will be welded to the bracket
and the sidebar will be welded over the top bolt to the bracket covering the bolts head. The top bolt goes all the way through and is bolted using an aircraft type making it easy to install.
I sometimes make my stuff a bit different trying to utlilze all the stock mounts making it easy to install on the same vehicle. The front lightbar shown will be sold and i'll make another.
Same for the sidebars, rear bumper and roofrack. It's a good way to advertize and when they sell they are easily removed and I start on another, sometimes altering it a bit with new ideas.
The lightbar may get me some more tools I may need as I will barter sometimes when theres a profit and it's something I can use.
 

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If you can see it, the left quarter has some rust. I have done some body welding but it takes alot of patience. Using a wirefeed welder. The slower you go the better. I repaired a motorcycle fender the first time and was worried if I went to fast i'd burn everything up. I went very slow doing quick spot welds and the lowest setting. It looked pretty ugly with so many spot welds on it but I kept in my head my final vision of what I wanted. After some gringing, alot of grinding and some sanding, primer and paint you couldn't tell it had been repaired. Sometimes you can surprize yourself so remember to have lot's of patience and don't be discouraged by the way it looks before it's done.
 
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I like the project. What I don't like is it looks like the guard volts to the bumper in some spots? Usually bolting it bumpers like this does little good. it is better to pop a hole thru the bumper and extend the pipe thru the hole and bolt it the frame. 99.999% of bumpers are cheap crap!! So if ya bump something with it it WILL tear the bumper where it is bolted.

Just a thought.
 
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Part of my resume.... I worked a couple years for a company called Fisher industries in Dickinson ND. Look em up on the web and you will see the massive stuff we builded ( builded is a past tense redneck word).

=)
 
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for armoring I learned that 3/8 AR400 is a great choice. It is what lines armored Humvees. Mild steel wont stop nearly as much. The Ar400 is a lot harder.
 

savageagle

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I like the project. What I don't like is it looks like the guard volts to the bumper in some spots? Usually bolting it bumpers like this does little good. it is better to pop a hole thru the bumper and extend the pipe thru the hole and bolt it the frame. 99.999% of bumpers are cheap crap!! So if ya bump something with it it WILL tear the bumper where it is bolted.
Good point. The bumper is quite sturdy but the idea you had about sending the tube through the bumper I thought would work until I investigated what was underneath. I'd have to go through the bumper about 8 inches towards center. Where the top bar is bolted at the bumper is also bolted to a heavy bracket that mounts to the frame. It's still going to mess up the bumper if I hit something hard but I'm hoping that won't happen. up here it's more likely it will as in 22+ years I have hit 5 deer and one bear all with different vehicles. I'd for sure need some very heavy stuff up front to protect it good. People like em so far as it's an inexpensive way to hold your lights and dress up your 4 runner without having to remove soo much and pay an arm and leg.
I sell them for $150 as shown. I have made 4 different styles which vary in price. Marlin crawler sells some real nice stuff but you pay for what you get. I do it to make some easy fast cash and I don't have a big shop with all the tools i'd need to really make some great stuff. Maybe i'll add some tools here and there and who knows, things could grow.
 

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