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oolieiv
09-19-2012, 10:47 PM
Yesterday I bought a mig welder, flux core, and all the associated safety equipment. Today, I got to try it out. These are the first 3 welds I have ever done, presented in chronological order. All welds on 16 gauge steel plate.
5254
5255
5256

Any comments are appreciated. One thing that's become pretty obvious is before I do much more practicing, I need new coveralls (mine from college are now *coverMOSTS*), and I need a box fan for the garage.

Ticktock
09-20-2012, 01:42 AM
Them sparks are cunning little things--they get everywhere!
Steve G.
(not bad for the first runs--will let others advise, as I only use gas (preferred) and stick.(reluctantly)
BIG PS-Real problem is skin burn from radiation . cover everything if you do a long spell or you will think you have been at the beach all day (only take a few minutes with a welder!

Radical Brad
09-20-2012, 10:21 AM
Your 3rd try is looking the best. A little slower, and a little more amperage should get you to the promised land.
Once you get your motion uniform, the beads will have a more equal thickness through the entire weld.

Brad

graucho
09-20-2012, 02:24 PM
Agreed, # 3 looks the best. It helps using a sharp pencil on paper to get your pattern down.
Go at the speed that you think you'll be laying down a bead.
Do it about 20 times so your hand and brain become consistent without having to think about it.
Then put the welder to good use on some steel and practice. Then go back to the paper and pencil again.
Repeat this about 5 times and you'll be amazed at how your patterns start to take shape.
Keep up the good work.... You'll be happy you learned up a new talent. Most people can't build a bike
because they can't weld. I'm glad you joined the group :rockstar:

http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll13/grauchosbikes/weld_zps419537b6.jpg
.
.

oolieiv
09-23-2012, 01:27 PM
got some pretty consistend beads on the 14 gauge plate today, having the work at a better height and having better clothing helped. Then I took one of the tubes I'm not going to be reuising from DF, cut it in half, and welded it back together.

First pass, "Oh... that's what blow out looks like"
turned the tube over, turned the wire speed down.
"Little less blow out."
*turn tube*
Only a couple of minor holes, wire brushed, filled
Then I turned the tube again, and got an inch or so pretty solid, wire brushed everything and went back to learn about hole filling.

End result seemed pretty strong when leaning against it and bouncing with the vice as a fulcrum under the weld.
Thin tubing is definitely different than the 14 gauge plate, but since I'm making my frame out of 14 gauge.... I think I'm ready to get my square tube.

Tradetek
09-23-2012, 07:37 PM
Very good learning method oolieiv.

Note that a good way to test your weld strength is to join 2 pieces together and then do a basic "hammer test". Place one end in a vice and then strike the free end with a hammer and see if the weld breaks, cracks, or bends or if the metal piece bends someplace else. Keep in mind that the strength of your filler material will affect whether it will bend before the base metal bends or not.

Also google procedures for "nick break test" and "fillet weld break test". Both will give you easy procedures for the DIY'er to do destructive testing procedures on their training pieces to see how the quality of their welds are progressing.

Additionally, the user manual for this welder that was linked by redrkt has great info on what to look for in your welds and suggestions on how to adjust your technique or welder to improve your weld quality: HF 90amp MIG Manual (http://www.harborfreight.com/90-amp-flux-wire-welder-68887.html)

Finally, the guys over on the forum at weldingweb.com (http://weldingweb.com) are also a great resource.

Have fun!

StevefromOH
10-06-2012, 03:16 AM
Yesterday I bought a mig welder, flux core, and all the associated safety equipment. Today, I got to try it out. These are the first 3 welds I have ever done, presented in chronological order. All welds on 16 gauge steel plate.
5254
5255
5256

Any comments are appreciated. One thing that's become pretty obvious is before I do much more practicing, I need new coveralls (mine from college are now *coverMOSTS*), and I need a box fan for the garage.

Not too bad for the first time. You need to slow down a bit. Also, a circular pattern works better than just a straight line. When welding, you need to do everything the same over and over, sort of like a robot. Keep your motion the same each movement of the torch with an overlapping movement of the torch. In order to get a decent looking weld and one that is strong, you will need to practice and then practice again and again and again. It takes time with a whole lot of practice.

There are some great welding sites on the internet along with Youtube where you can see what others do to get a strong good looking weld.

I use a mig, a tig, a stick and gas welding when I build a bike. But a mig is good for just about anything.

oolieiv
10-06-2012, 03:52 AM
Thread is a couple of weeks old, and I've welded the frame together for a Voyager since. Welds still aren't pretty, but destructive testing of practice welds proves I'm getting good penetration, and strength. Bounced on the rolling frame as hard as I could, no give.

charlie_r
10-06-2012, 06:31 AM
Which welder are you using?

If it is one of the many ~$100 types, chances are it is putting out AC weld current.

Practice will get you quite far in making good welds, and when you are comfortable with that, consider adding a little something to the welder:http://forum.atomiczombie.com/showthread.php/6736-added-a-bridge-rectifier-to-my-welder?highlight=

Read through the thread, others here have posted a few links to different websites that go over this same thing.

The difference in weld quality is amazing!

poesp
01-11-2013, 06:09 AM
Hi Oolieiv. Great to see other "first-time welders" here! I am also using my Warrior-build to learn about welding. I also have a flux core welder. Some learnings I've had so far:

-Yes, you need a good-quality coverall (NOT nylon...ouch!) as well as welding gloves and a welding helmet (not just "goggles")
-Good vetilation is a must (probably for all welders, but specially for the flux-core since the fumes are rather nasty)
-I found after some time that I was getting much more spatter. Looks like it's due to irregular feeding speed. According to my google search on the topic, this is a known weakness on flux core welders (maybe others as well) and is basically only a mechanical problem with the feeder. I cleaned up the nozzle and try to keep the welding hose (between the welder and the gun) in as straight a line as possible. Has improved a lot!
-Graucho's image of the "trajectory" is really good! I find that this helps a lot.
-Always clean up the weld before starting a new bead - this ensures you're laying a new layer on solid weld and not slag.

Happy welding!
/POESP