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socialtalker
10-20-2010, 02:37 PM
well, starting my project so far has been completely humiliating and disappointing. i dont seem to have a sense for metal, if you follow me. it sooo heavy, cold and hard! not like paper at all, lol!
The metal cutting tools are not working the way i hoped. i had no idea cutting metal was so "violent", lol and now i think i dont have the right angle grinding disk for cutting metal, cant believe i missed that, i just bought a kit and thought it would have everything i needed. and the blades for saw jaw is for aluminum. i might have to cut the metal by hand. the casting furnace i am building is a bit of a disaster Will try to put the drill press up tonight.
the only salve as i post the pics(i also posted on a welding forum as not many here do the gas torch thingy) is that i wont see people's faces as they laugh.

I used 18ga sheet metal for both weeks except last night, so i used minimal settings for both the flux core and gas torch:
first week
My flux core welding was so bad i decided to focus on gas welding
fluxcore front-metal boogers galore
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4145/5066149103_e011ce3eb1_m.jpg
fluxcore detail
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4104/5066149085_6ea4afe0c2_m.jpg
fluxcore back
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4092/5066149125_049c39c537_m.jpg

I just wanted to make a puddle and move it a few inches. all i got was soot
Acet was about 3 and oxy was about 10 setting, using a size 0 tip on all my gas welding
gas - front
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4105/5066759846_5f4ccc59c7_m.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4088/5066149221_9bb0074329_m.jpg

gas back
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4127/5066759758_ace1f24105_m.jpg
============
This week, I had about the same results on 18 Ga steel, although I did get more comfortable with setting up my gas tanks without the feeling i might blow myself up.
Re - I tried the 16 GA 3 inch square tubinig last night. I used a firebrick under my work instead of leaving the metal on the welding table once again all i was trying to do is make a simple molten puddle and move it a few inches, nothing but black soot over burnt metal
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1396/5099259309_7efd676012_o.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1327/5099259301_0a21eed871.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1100/5099259275_76c6296730.jpg

badcheese
10-20-2010, 04:46 PM
Don't give up! Welding is a skill that you learn, not a talent that you are born with. Anyone can learn to do it, and even the best welders had to start from square one. I'm sure you're eager to dive into your build, but first you'll need to have patience while you learn to weld.

The quickest way to get on track would be to have an experienced person show you the basics in person, but I'll tell you what I can see from the photos.

If your oxy/acet flame is covering your workpiece with soot, you probably have the mixture too rich. That means the fuel isn't being completely burned, so you get a lot of carbon left over. If the flame were too lean, it would be causing the steel to oxidize instead. There are videos online that can show you how to adjust your torch to the right mixture. It's not about the numbers on the valves, it's about the appearance and sound of the flame.

The problems with your wire feed welds could be caused by your speed of travel (too fast), unsteady hand, distance from torch to workpiece (too far), wire speed (probably too fast), power setting (too low), or any combination of those. Try bracing your torch hand to hold it very steady and move the torch very slowly. When you're just beginning to learn, you can expect to burn through sometimes. That's okay. It means you have enough heat. If you get blobs on the surface and you don't burn any holes through, you're probably not hot enough.

Again, the best thing to do is have someone set up your gear and show you the basics in person. Keep practicing, be patient with yourself, and keep us updated!

dynodon
10-20-2010, 06:28 PM
What kind of welder and what wire? I'm just starting also and have found that good wire makes a huge differance. I bought some lincon wire for my HF welder and it works great. Take a look at Youtube lots of welding stuff there and video rocks!

Odd Man Out
10-20-2010, 06:28 PM
When I first got interested in TIG welding I took a course on it in a local Community College. I audited it so there wre no formal course guidelines or tests or anything. I sat in a booth and practised -- if I had a question the instructor would be there to teach. For me it was the best way to learn -- I got the correct fundamentals and hands on instruction from the get go.

savarin
10-20-2010, 10:50 PM
The flux core is too cool, turn it up to the highest it will go and try again.
Gradually turn it down if you keep burning through until you get a proper smooth bead.
Keep the tip approx 1/8" from the surface and watch the bead form and slowly move to keep it the same size.
The sound should be a smooth buzzing not a sharp crackle.

The oxy flame has way too much acetylene.
Light the torch, slowly turn on the oxy till the flame looses its yellow feathers.
Keep adding oxy till you get a sharp bright blue cone surrounded by a pale blue cone.
I expect you have the acetylene turned up to high as well.
If the above does not give the flame as described start turning down the acetylene.
The correct flame should be virtually noiseless until you get to a number 5 nozzle.
Keep the flame in the same spot till a molten (small) puddle forms, slowly move the puddle along. If you keep the heat in the same spot once the puddle forms it will suddenly burn through.
Tp form a bead poke the filler rod into the puddle and slowly move along the line. Only poke the molten puddle to keep a bead forming, dont keep the filler rod in the puddle as you will chill the weld and just get adhesion not fusion.

John Lewis
10-21-2010, 10:19 AM
Take note of what savarin has said for sure. I agree with all he has said.
One important point though. If you haven't yet done so, find out how to correctly set up the acetylene regulator. If not done correctly it is possible to cause an explosion. Not something you want. Acetylene becomes spontaneously explosive at around 14 psi I think. The reason it doesn't explode in the tank is because it is dissolved in acetone in a filler material. Also for safety reasons you need to learn the right sequence of turning on and off the oxy and acetylene.
If you've not yet sorted this out I suggest you get some tuition.

Keep at it. We all had to learn sometime. I'm still far from perfect with an electric welder but my brazing skills are improving and I have managed to build a few bikes.
John Lewis

socialtalker
10-21-2010, 01:19 PM
thanks to everyone for the encouragement and suggestions.


[SIZE="3"]When I first got interested in TIG welding I took a course on it in a local Community College. I audited it so there wre no formal course guidelines or tests or anything. /SIZE]


auditing is an excellent idea, and my last option. going to night school in the winter using the detroit bus system is my very last option.


What kind of welder and what wire? Take a look at Youtube lots of welding stuff ..

i have the 90 amp HF -the 109 dollar with 20% off
http://www.harborfreight.com/welding/mig-flux-welders/90-amp-flux-wire-welder-98871.html
i just used the wire it came with. .030 i did read somewhere, i forget, that getting lincon wire of .035 makes a big difference. i am doing all of my welding outside, not sure i will go back to the 90 amp flux core since its electrical. I did spend a lot of time looking at youtube, most of those folks make it look so easy, especially freddy.


i am becoming very anxious to get started, i cant tell you, although i am not sure i would ride my bike the whole winter, probably put it up in Jan/Feb, now i am not even sure it will be ready until spring, which drives me nuts. (still stuff to get and so many bills). i thought by the 3 day of gas torching honestly i would have rudimentary welds.
you know i have looked at the videos, and i thought i had the "neutral flame" but i didnt. i did remember reading about turning the oxygen up very slowly, and that has worked to put oxygen in, but the problem i am having is when i try to turn the oxygen up a little bit more, the flame goes out. i dont know why.

as for the flux core, i did try different speeds and max/min settings, and i did burn a hole thru the sheet metal, 18 ga is rather thin. if i do practice again i will definitely go much slower.
it would be nice to have someone of experience show me. i may have to fine someone, lol.

Don't give up!


If your oxy/acet flame is covering your workpiece with soot, you probably have the mixture too rich.
The problems with your wire feed welds could be caused by your speed of travel (too fast), unsteady hand, distance from torch to workpiece (too far), wire speed (probably too fast), power setting (too low), or any combination of those. Try bracing your torch hand to hold it very steady and move the torch very slowly.
be patient with yourself, and keep us updated!

vrooom3440
10-21-2010, 01:43 PM
Good advice already...

Your oxy/acet is really off adjustment.

When you light the torch start by opening up just the acet and spark it. The resulting flame will be very yellow and sooty.
Now gradually open up the oxy. The flame will begin to change to a blue flame.
Keep opening up the oxygen until all the yellow is gone. Now you need to look for two different shades of blue in the flame: a small very pointed inner cone and a broader less distinct outer flame. These two tell you what is going on with your adjustment. As you continue to add oxy the outer will get smaller until it dissappears. At the point it dissappears you have a neutral flame. So long as you have some outer flame you have a carburizing flame. If you add more oxy past where the outer flame dissappears you create an oxydizing flame.

Which type of flame you want depends on your materials and objectives. But at the extreme oxydizing flames are used for cutting metal by burning it away. Running a slightly carburizing flame will cause a harder weld with more carbon embedded into the metal. I typically shoot for a neutral flame for oxy/acet welding.

Welding steel with gas is not too hard to self teach actually. The magic is to learn to watch the color of the heated area and understand what it is telling you is happening. The color progresses from a dull red getting brighter with increasing heat up to almost yellow at the point of melting. This is a big part of why welding aluminum is such a bugger: it does not change colors nearly this much with heat! Additionally you can watch the sheen on the metal: molten metal shines like a drop of water.

Once you learn what to look for then you can learn to reduce heat with more distance or increase it (to a point) with the torch closer.

Then you can learn to direct the heat with different torch angles and small movements. I learned to do walking circle movements to progress along the weld joint. These will produce a nice bead of overlapping circles.

dynodon
10-21-2010, 04:38 PM
the wire that came with the HF welder is junk......get the good stuff.

sprocket
10-21-2010, 04:58 PM
What I know about welding would fit on the back of a postage stamp. On impatience and frustration, I could write a book. Ask at your local welding supply store if there is a fabrication shop or someone near by who can help with advice. That's what I did. They put me in touch with a retired college welding instructor. He showed me the basics buckshee (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/buckshee) (free).
Also, Give yourself time and don't be too tough on yourself. There will be good days and bad, enjoy the learning, the failures and the achievements. Jeez, I sound like that fella of Kung fu.
Rich

badcheese
10-21-2010, 06:37 PM
the problem i am having is when i try to turn the oxygen up a little bit more, the flame goes out.

That means you have too much flow. Your mix is getting closer, but it's coming out so fast that the torch is blowing itself out. Turn down your acetylene and try again. You're almost there!

socialtalker
10-22-2010, 07:30 AM
thank you savarin, i will have to print out all you wrote, forgot to take heed of what the noise sounds like.
i havent tried to use the rod yet. i will have to make note of not leaving the rod in the puddle, thanks.

The flux core is too cool, turn it up to the highest it will go and try again....
The sound should be a smooth buzzing not a sharp crackle.

The oxy flame has way too much acetylene.....The correct flame should be virtually noiseless until you get to a number 5 nozzle.
Keep the flame in the same spot till a molten (small) puddle forms, slowly move the puddle along. ....dont keep the filler rod in the puddle as you will chill the weld and just get adhesion not fusion.

socialtalker
10-22-2010, 07:54 AM
I am going to price some .035 wire from lincoln today and get if i can afford it!


the wire that came with the HF welder is junk......get the good stuff.

-------------------
this is a very good idea, if i am still getting no results, i will have to do that. thanks for the encouraging words. free is my favorite price!


..Ask at your local welding supply store if there is a fabrication shop or someone near by who can help with advice.
Also, Give yourself time and don't be too tough on yourself. ..
Rich

-----------------

okay i will try it today! woohoo!


That means you have too much flow. Your mix is getting closer, but it's coming out so fast that the torch is blowing itself out. Turn down your acetylene and try again. You're almost there!
================


I think thats one thing i think i have gotten use to, how to handle the gas tanks, although quite honestly i was scared to death when i started. i bought this anti-leak solution and learned how to properly check for leak with it and that helps a great deal.(a youtube clip said avoid dishwashing liquid as it may be oil based) i think i would have been in trouble if i didnt have it because joints i thought were not really tight still made bubbles. i used up the stuff fairly quickly, its like my security blanket. i still read the instructions the from the kit it came with.
i was still hearing hissing when i turned the gases off the time before last and started to panic the torch was leaking gas until i realized that was the tip sizzling and cooling down...lol.

John Lewis
Re: practicing welding for gas and flux core
Take note of what savarin has said for sure. I agree with all he has said.
One important point though. If you haven't yet done so, find out how to correctly set up the acetylene regulator.

socialtalker
10-22-2010, 08:25 AM
"Keep opening up the oxygen until all the yellow is gone,"
thats what i am doing wrong! my flame is still 90% yellow! weird, i probably read it, i saw that on the clips but it didnt sink in, i guess i am so excited to get any kind of flame...lol i thought i had a "neutral" flame he,he!
but the problem still is the $#%# oxygen cuts off when i start to turn it up!
say, do you adjust to the neutral flame with your shades on? thats what i do, but now i am not sure i am missing something doing that.
thanks.

Good advice already...

Your oxy/acet is really off adjustment.

When you light the torch start by opening up just the acet and spark it. The resulting flame will be very yellow and sooty.
Now gradually open up the oxy. The flame will begin to change to a blue flame.
Keep opening up the oxygen until all the yellow is gone. Now you need to look for two different shades of blue in the flame: a small very pointed inner cone and a broader less distinct outer flame. These two tell you what is going on with your adjustment. As you continue to add oxy the outer will get smaller until it dissappears. At the point it dissappears you have a neutral flame. So long as you have some outer flame you have a carburizing flame. If you add more oxy past where the outer flame dissappears you create an oxydizing flame.

Which type of flame you want depends on your materials and objectives. But at the extreme oxydizing flames are used for cutting metal by burning it away. Running a slightly carburizing flame will cause a harder weld with more carbon embedded into the metal. I typically shoot for a neutral flame for oxy/acet welding.

Welding steel with gas is not too hard to self teach actually. The magic is to learn to watch the color of the heated area and understand what it is telling you is happening. The color progresses from a dull red getting brighter with increasing heat up to almost yellow at the point of melting. This is a big part of why welding aluminum is such a bugger: it does not change colors nearly this much with heat! Additionally you can watch the sheen on the metal: molten metal shines like a drop of water.

Once you learn what to look for then you can learn to reduce heat with more distance or increase it (to a point) with the torch closer.

Then you can learn to direct the heat with different torch angles and small movements. I learned to do walking circle movements to progress along the weld joint. These will produce a nice bead of overlapping circles.

vrooom3440
10-22-2010, 12:45 PM
Yup shades on to adjust flame. Sounds like you have the oxy pressure up to high on the regulator if you are blowing out the flame.

socialtalker
10-23-2010, 07:59 AM
Friday, i finally understood something about what neural flame really is, I got it! too excited. after reading all the suggestions, i was anxious to try it out!
I saw the two blue flames coming together and the flame sounds going quiet! very interesting! the neutral flame was very tiny and unstable most times and a lot of times the flame went out. i tried pushing the puddle, but looking at the results, the metal pool looks like it went the other way. I also tried do a gap fill and made holes instead! i cant believe how hot that little blue flame is. i couldnt control it, i tried not to keep the rod in the puddle, but it kept getting stuck!
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1188/5107299696_6249c8bf5c_o.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1121/5107299688_50411b257a_o.jpg

socialtalker
10-23-2010, 08:03 AM
yes, thanks. i did adjust to setting to what i think is five. i got a tiny neutral flame, but its very hot and i couldnt control it. i made holes where i meant to fill gaps! lol.

Yup shades on to adjust flame. Sounds like you have the oxy pressure up to high on the regulator if you are blowing out the flame.

socialtalker
11-20-2010, 01:25 PM
practice of last week
all gas torch oxy-act welding, no 2 tip

the week started off good with my first real welded joint, but the week ended disappointingly as only one line of weld bead(is that how you say it?), survived the "stress test"
for the noobs: i didnt want to use my steel i bought my bike project, so i went back to the steel place and bought scraps of of cut steel bars and angle irons and small squares called "shim" at 90 cents a pound, minimun 5 pounds, very glad i did as i found out, i really couldnt find anything to practice on at home, to my great surprise. although i dont know the thickness of most of this shim by looking at it yet. i think most of it was thicker than 18 ga. anyway, it makes excellent practice metal

sunday
AT LAST! A WELD! sunday-november 14 2010
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1295/5178618675_5509828144.jpg
2nd side
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1039/5178618817_7c95df7489.jpg

i didnt stress test this weld, as it will be a keepsake...lol

TUESDAY
nov 16 tues - push puddle practice no 1- made a mistake and left it out in the rain.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4154/5191750190_4641992cb9.jpg

4 peices joined, practice
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4153/5191750238_e0483f1afa.jpg

welding joins
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4129/5191750218_ef6907950e.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4085/5191154819_d62da16a9e.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4086/5191750208_4040b1e3d1.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4151/5191154827_081dce99c8.jpg

FRIDAY:
3 pieces
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4131/5191154895_45a4b65384.jpg

push puddle practic
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4129/5191750252_65afbf84ab.jpg

looked like a good weld
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4110/5191750262_fc2d7ef810.jpg


sloppy, but strong or so i thought...
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4089/5191154881_67fc69dc75.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4144/5191750232_b642795747.jpg

but only one wack pull this apart, i thought wrong.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4131/5191860203_1e94d459bf.jpg

took several wacks to pull apart the other weld
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4110/5191154901_ff67232c38.jpg


so only one line of welding (from tuesday) survived the vice and ball hammer, i knocked it both ways, but it held on.
i have to say i think angle iron i used was too thick for a noob to practice on, i thought i had adequately adjusted for connecting such a thick metal to something much thinner, but it didnt work. the only piece that really welded was a much thinner bar.

nov 20 stress test survivor
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4130/5191154911_7d51a99569.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4124/5191750304_a721ac7962.jpg

badcheese
11-20-2010, 04:11 PM
That's how to do it. Get a bunch of scrap that you don't care about, and just keep practicing. Good that you're giving it the hammer test, too. Keep it up, and pretty soon you'll be a crackerjack welder!