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View Full Version : Introductions, and, am I safe here?



PhotoByBike
03-13-2010, 04:41 PM
Hi all,

I'm fairly new to this forum, and to bike building. I should be finishing up my first bike later this week based on the plans for the Voyageur which I modified a bit along the way. I'm a late 30-something full time welding student (changing careers).

I recently sold my TIG welder and purchased a MIG welder in its place. The decision to do this hasn't been making me any friends on either the bike build forums or the welding forums. For some reason people seem to find my choice to change welders personally offensive. Same results when people find out I'm intending to build bikes with MIG. Here's to hoping this forum is more MIG friendly. :)

Nice to meet everyone. I hope to be able to contribute a fair amount in the time ahead.

darwin-t
03-13-2010, 05:02 PM
I don't think anyone here will give you any grief over your choice of welder.

Welcome to the site.

We want to see pictures of your bike.....

64c10
03-13-2010, 05:52 PM
first off welcome, i have welded for many years off and on. while i prefer tig, if i can only have one welder give me a mig. and yes we must see pics or we tend to get cranky:taz::rolleyes4:

TheKid
03-13-2010, 06:46 PM
I only weld outdoors, so I use stick or flux core wire. I've never TIG welded, but I have stick welder capable of TIG. I could also used my wire welder for MIG.
If I get to weld indoors with no wind to blow the shielding gases away, I thought I'd go with TIG, because it's so highly praised. But now you and 64c10 have me wondering. What are the advantages of MIG over TIG? I was convinced that MIG is the second choice, probably by the same people who admonished you.
As you can see, these forums are a great place to learn from those who have experience. In this thread so far, that means you guys. Thanks in advance.

graucho
03-13-2010, 07:27 PM
Welcome! Mig is good in my book. Actually, anyone who sparks "any kind" of an ark and makes an attempt the make a bike by themselves or with a little help is good in my book. Glad your here!

Odd Man Out
03-13-2010, 08:19 PM
Hi all,

For some reason people seem to find my choice to change welders personally offensive. Same results when people find out I'm intending to build bikes with MIG. Here's to hoping this forum is more MIG friendly. :)

Nice to meet everyone. I hope to be able to contribute a fair amount in the time ahead.

Welcome

i tig and enjoy it--to me that is the point. As long as you enjoy what you are doing you can connect metal in whatever way that works. I am not sure I would say that this forum is MIG friendly as much as welding neutral... I think it would be more accurate to say that this site is "building joyous" --- we zombies heartily welcome you with open arms. this hobby becomes a passion and the basis of passion is love. We are here to help!

PeterT
03-13-2010, 09:16 PM
Welcome, and yes you are safe here...
just depends how far you push your own boundaries!

If you make your bike with shoddy welds, either TIG/MIG/ARC, and expect it to last a massive downhill high-speed run, then you safe till the bike breaks!

If you know how to weld properly, then you are safe till the end of the run!

It doesn't matter what glue you use to get your creations out, just teach those of use who don't know about your abilities, and enlighten us as to how you do things differently to those who don't use your type of equipment & take lots of pics, more pics, and then even more pics!

PeterT

64c10
03-13-2010, 09:30 PM
hey Kid, my opinion is that Tig offers more heat control with less distortion, but like you said you need no wind for the shielding gas. mig is good for all around conditions, like anything else it is a matter of what works best for you.

PhotoByBike
03-13-2010, 10:28 PM
Thank you everyone for the kind words. It feels like home already. :)


I was convinced that MIG is the second choice, probably by the same people who admonished you.

Here are my feelings about it.

TIG is better, in the sense that a Ford F250 Super Duty may be better than a Ford F150 Lightning. However, if all you're doing is getting groceries, either will do the job just fine, and if your goal is to get there quickly, the Lightning will do the job better. The right tool for the job and all that.

There was a time when TIG was clearly better for some things, specifically in the alternative metals and thin walled metals categories. That's still true today, but the great divide between MIG and TIG is quickly eroding. MIG is getting a lot better every year.

This month's "The World of Welding" magazine from Hobart Institute has a gentleman MIG welding some pipe, a field previously (currently) dominated by TIG and Stick. This month's cover of "Welding Journal", put out by the American Welding Society has a man MIG welding thin metals, with the caption "New Welding Wire for Thin Sheet", another area that TIG usually dominates.

I attend the local American Welding Society chapter meetings, as does the regional Lincoln Electric rep, and he told us Lincoln has seen a decline in TIG welders since 2003. MIG is faster, cheaper, easier to learn, easier to train, able to lay down a lot of metal quicker, better at filling gaps, and comes with a lower labor cost. The majority of their sales are MIG these days.

It's important to note too when talking about MIG that there is a difference between solid wire (GMAW) and Fluxed Core (FCAW). FC can be used with or without gas depending on the wire you use (with gas for dual shielding), and is designed for thicker metals. It burns hotter, has more penetration than MIG, and has slag. It's also good for use outdoors as you know, as the gas-less wire isn't bothered by wind.

New models of MIG welders can do solid wire and flux cored, and on the solid wire side, they can handle some pretty thin materials. My welder (Millermatic 211) will go down to 24 ga. and up to 3/8". I have the Spoolgun with it for aluminum work that will do between 18ga and 1/4". This trumps the abilities of the TIG welder that it replaced. Higher dollar MIG welders like the Millermatic 350P have a pulser, which works similarly to the pulser in TIG machine, and allows for some very nice looking "stack of dimes" type welds while controlling the heat input.

http://www.millerwelds.com/education/articles/images/P-Bead-Comparison.jpg
(Pulsed MIG top, standard MIG bottom)

If you want precision, go with TIG. You have more control, no fear of cold starts, no spatter, very few sparks if any, a smaller heat affected zone (debatable in some applications, as the speed of MIG can offset this in some metals especially when compared to a TIG welder without a pulser), and nicer looking beads. You also have a smaller chance of having defects show up in NDT.

This is all of course assuming a skilled welder. An average MIG welder will generally produce a better bead than an average TIG welder because TIG is harder to do well. Once you've mastered it (I'm not there yet), it's a hard process to beat for precision thin metal work. That's not say you can't do it with MIG though. My MIG work is actually much better than my TIG work.

Price is also a factor. The best TIG welding comes from pulsed model TIG welders which start about $3300 with required accessories and gas. A good non-pulsed MIG welder can be had for under $700.

If I could only have one welder, it would be a MIG (GMAW w/FCAW preferably), Stick, and then TIG, in that order. I honestly really like stick welding, I just give the nod to MIG because I don't have to deal with slag cleanup. There's something beautiful about the simplicity of Stick though (no gas to deal with, no wire which means no bird nesting, no burn back, no replacing contact tips, no worry about changing liners if you change wire, etc), and I debated a while about getting a stick welder before deciding on MIG.

I certainly wouldn't want to build a smoker or a trailer with a TIG welder, nor would I want to do any hardfacing or repair work with one. While I acknowledge that TIG may be superior for some things, I don't feel like I'm missing out by not having it.

Hope that helps.


first off welcome, i have welded for many years off and on. while i prefer tig, if i can only have one welder give me a mig. and yes we must see pics or we tend to get cranky:taz::rolleyes4:

Haha, soon. I've got a few parts coming, and I want to paint it and all that jazz before I'm done. I hope to have it on the road next week (spring break, so I have time to work on some projects). I've decided to go with a 26" nexus 3 speed w/coaster so I need as few cables as possible to get my test builds up and running.

TheKid
03-13-2010, 11:06 PM
Great. Thanks guys. Since I already have the add-ons for MIG, I'll go that route once the garage is cleaned out. I get pretty good welds with FC, and no longer get burn through. But the 8 lb. inverter stick welder can't be beat for portability, so I do most jobs with it. It's also great for the little aluminum projects I do from time to time, which I can't do with FC.
I was always afraid of welding in the garage, because it's all wood and 77 years old. But I recently acquired a whole bunch of Wonderboard, which will greatly reduce the chances of fire. As soon as this hurricane like weather passes, (It's on the way to you, Chainmaker and RR) I can get started with that.

velotux
04-26-2010, 04:12 PM
Hi all.

I enjoy MIG welding best and get better results compared to Arc welding. I like the WYSIWYG that you get with mig rather than a weld that looks sweet, then discovering the horrors exposed after chipping off the slag. I am looking into TIG welding at the moment. I loved gas welding in college so I think I will ultimately gravitate towards that. However it is the bike that counts, and that you enjoy making it, riding it, and that everyone that sees it is awestruck and wants one. My first bike, a Meridian was welded with the MIG at work and I was very happy with it. Bike number 2, a Meridian, I welded with an Arc welder, and threw it in the compactor at work when nobody was looking to check out the 3 or 4 kilos of ugly bird snot. Bike 3, my meridian is Mig welded and now I am getting better and more than happy with it. Pics to come in a week or two hopefully. Bike 4 will be mig welded because I am comfortable with it now and is a kind of electric meridian tadpole trike for my wife. After that I hope to get wild and zombified and very ambitious with an aluminium track racer that will probably be tig welded and no doubt will end up with lots of bits being sneakily thrown in the compactor while hopefully being unseen as to the quality, or lack of it in the welding.

All the best and happy building whatever your welding equipment.

Tim