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View Full Version : What kind of welding do bike-chopping folk use?



babelloyd
02-27-2010, 01:55 AM
Hi folks!

I'm so beginner that I have no welding or grinding equipment at all, or even a workspace to work in yet. I'm just trying to learn some basics to lay the foundation.

I'm wondering what kind of welding people do when they build bikes. I know it's "arc wedling". But Wikipedia lists many kinds of arc welding: shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, flux-cored arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, plasma arc welding, Submerged arc welding, atomic hydrogen welding, carbon arc welding, electroslag welding, electrogas welding, and stud arc welding.

I figure that, to buy the right kind of welder, I'll need to know what kind of welding I'll be doing.

Thanks tons!

Dave

Radical Brad
02-27-2010, 02:04 AM
Just about any welder will do the job, but ironically, every single bike on this website was welded with the cheapest AC stick welder that money can buy!

So no matter what you get, it will be your command of "the force" that counts in the end!

Brad

darwin-t
02-27-2010, 09:05 AM
I wish I could weld as well as you do, Brad.

Have you ever thought of making a video showing your techniques using a web cam or camcorder looking through a welding lens? It would be a GREAT resource for all welders here, and especially beginners.

Radical Brad
02-27-2010, 12:06 PM
Thanks!.... It wasn't that long ago when I said those very words!

Yes, we plan on going into videos big-time this year, with welding and grinding as the focus.

Brad

Cheezy Rider
02-27-2010, 12:18 PM
What kind of filler rod do you use with stick? 7018, 6010, or what?

Radical Brad
02-27-2010, 01:16 PM
I use only 6013 rod @ 3/32 for all of my work.
My welder is AC only, but for DC you might want to try 7018 rod.

Brad

badcheese
02-27-2010, 05:01 PM
3/32" 6013 is a good all-purpose rod, and a good baseline for comparing other types of rod, so I suggest getting a lot of it and using it for learning. When you feel like you're getting the hang of it (or when you get bored), get a little bit of the other types of rod that are designed for the type of welder and thickness of material you have, and try them all.

I use a cheap 110v DC inverter stick welder. For thin tubing (such as 16 gage), I've had the best luck with 1/16" 7014 rod. For thicker material, I like 3/32" 6013 rod. Strangely, I don't get good results with either the 1/16" size of 6013 or the 3/32" size of 7014. My results would probably be different with a 220v AC welder.

PeterT
02-27-2010, 05:35 PM
I use a flux cored 100A MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welder. The wire feeds as soon as you pull the trigger, so you don't have to try and strike the arc, and lose your starting weld point. I can use it inside and outside in heavy winds without any loss of gases/poor welding, and you only have to occasionally replace the tip when it gets a bit grotty. no other maintenance apart from change of wire when you run out.
Wire feed means that you don't have to try and keep your electrodes dry!

PeterT

darwin-t
02-27-2010, 06:00 PM
I use only 6013 rod @ 3/32 for all of my work.
My welder is AC only, but for DC you might want to try 7018 rod.

Brad

What amperage, Brad? Thanks.

Radical Brad
02-27-2010, 06:03 PM
Well that is a good question! Years back, my welding guide once told me...

"The best thing you can ever do is remove the numbers from your welder."

So, I have been using one without dials ever since. When it seems cold, I turn it up. When I blow holes, I turn it down!

Brad



What amperage, Brad? Thanks.

Cheezy Rider
02-27-2010, 10:01 PM
Kinda hard to do that with the cheaper flux core wire feed, because like on my Lincoln Weld Pak HD, you only have a rocker switch for "Hi/Lo", and another rocker for 1/2 fine tune. Then of course you have your wire feed dial. I also bought a Campbell Hausfeld 70 amp stick welder today for 55. bucks and some 6011 rod. That rod stinks, always stickin. I put it on low and don't seem to have enough amps to start an arc without stickin, and the high seems to want to blow holes. Guess I just gotta get better with the flux core.

graucho
02-28-2010, 12:25 AM
The last 3 years I also use a flux cored 100A MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welder.
Same as PeterT.... Could have copied his post word for word. :rolleyes4:

babelloyd
02-28-2010, 01:21 PM
Thanks everyone. This place is so awesome!

I'm still a bit hazy on the difference between wire feed and, um, not wire feed ("stick" welders?) I plan to get a library book or to in hopes of elucidating that.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, I'm a real test-the-water-extensively-first type of person. At 33 years old, I'm trying to be a more jump-right-in type of person. But which is it, "he who hesitates is lost" or "early bird gets the worm"? "A stitch in time saves nine" or "haste makes waste"? Ha ha, I kid, I kid.

@Brad: I'm learning that the AZ model is to to keep things as simple as possible, so of course the welder used on official RadBrad-made AZ bikes is the most basic welder. However, does that welder require more innate command of the force than the average non-Jedi beginner has? I mean, I'm starting to suspect that you were born with a certain level of command in your genes or bone marrow. I share darwin-t's admiration and look forward to beginning my training!

Dave

Radical Brad
02-28-2010, 02:56 PM
ME?!?.... nope, I just hate to loose, and have never learned the concept of giving up!
Having used both, I would say wire feed takes half the time to learn, but stick makes you twice as good. Once your stick welds break past the "ugly zone", things start to look really good.

Brad




@Brad: I'm learning that the AZ model is to to keep things as simple as possible, so of course the welder used on official RadBrad-made AZ bikes is the most basic welder. However, does that welder require more innate command of the force than the average non-Jedi beginner has? I mean, I'm starting to suspect that you were born with a certain level of command in your genes or bone marrow. I share darwin-t's admiration and look forward to beginning my training!

Dave

JayRay
03-01-2010, 12:31 AM
Babelloyd,
I never welded before I started my LodeRunner
so I kept it simple and inexpensive.

I bought this simple arc welder, aka stick welder,
from Harbor Freight. It was on sale for $99 and
I had a coupon for another 20% off.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=98870

(click below to see larger pic)
http://i459.photobucket.com/albums/qq317/JustJay2009/Tools/th_Welder-01.jpg (http://s459.photobucket.com/albums/qq317/JustJay2009/Tools/?action=view&current=Welder-01.jpg)

I use both 1/16" 6013 and 1/16" 7014 size / type
welding rods only, also available at Harbor Freight.

I think the most important thing I bought, because
it helped me the most when learning to weld, was
the auto darkening helmet you see in the photo
above. It allows you to see clearly what you are
doing right up to when you strike an arc when it
instantly darkens. I also bought this at Harbor
Freight on sale for $34.99.
NO, I do not work for them...LOL

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=46092

I practiced on some scrap metal and finally got
up the nerve to start welding together the rear
box of my project. Not all of my welds are pretty
but they are strong. Below is an example of what
this cheap little welder can do with only 1/16" rods
on 14ga steel when the welding ***'s are smiling on me.

The first two were done on my first
day of "real" welding on my frame.

(click any pic to see full size)
http://i459.photobucket.com/albums/qq317/JustJay2009/Rear%20Box/th_RearBox-4.jpg (http://s459.photobucket.com/albums/qq317/JustJay2009/Rear%20Box/?action=view&current=RearBox-4.jpg)

http://i459.photobucket.com/albums/qq317/JustJay2009/Rear%20Box/th_RearBox-5.jpg (http://s459.photobucket.com/albums/qq317/JustJay2009/Rear%20Box/?action=view&current=RearBox-5.jpg)

http://i459.photobucket.com/albums/qq317/JustJay2009/Main%20Beam/th_MainBeam-19.jpg (http://s459.photobucket.com/albums/qq317/JustJay2009/Main%20Beam/?action=view&current=MainBeam-19.jpg)

In the beginning I found every excuse I could to
not start welding yet, gathering, preparing,
fabricating parts etc.. Once I started I
wondered "what the heck was I worried
about", and besides I had an angle
grinder to fix all evils.

In any case, take this from a fellow preparer / procrastinator,
gather up your tools and some scrap metal and weld away!
Jay

darwin-t
03-01-2010, 12:48 AM
JayRaty,

You are a natural at welding, my friend.

Although, 14 gauge is easier to weld than 16 gauge. My first bike was 14 gauge and weighs 56 lbs. I'm making my Warrior with 16 gauge. I think I've lost my mojo on welding. I have ground them all down to do them over again.

babelloyd
03-01-2010, 10:52 AM
Jay,

Wow, great tips and info, and great-looking welds! As you said (and as I believe Brad says), one can use a grinder to polish/tidy one's welds if they aren't perfect, right?

Harbor Freight appears to be a choice destination for many AZ tool buyers. They don't have any retail stores here in Edmonton, Canada. Do they ship to Canada? I may try Rona, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, or Home Hardware brick-and-mortar stores too. And also the yellow pages for possible local welding supply shops.

darwin-t
03-01-2010, 11:58 AM
Jay,
As you said (and as I believe Brad says), one can use a grinder to polish/tidy one's welds if they aren't perfect, right?


Good welders can grind them down smooth because they know the welds are strong enough.

Us beginners grind them down smooth so we can do the over. It's usually better to leave the beads intact on load bearing welds. Grind down ones that don't matter much, like putting caps on the ends of tubing.

babelloyd
03-02-2010, 02:44 AM
Good welders can grind them down smooth because they know the welds are strong enough.

Us beginners grind them down smooth so we can do the over. It's usually better to leave the beads intact on load bearing welds. Grind down ones that don't matter much, like putting caps on the ends of tubing.

Ahhhh... very excellent advice! Thanks tons!

Doc Hollywood
03-02-2010, 09:59 AM
I use a Hobart Handler 187 for most of my welding with .035 ER70s6 wire.I also have a Parker TIG and plasma cutter.

I use them on my truck you see in my avatar.