Welding

Discussion in 'Hobbies & Crafts' started by Ken Anderson, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    How many of you know how to weld?

    When I worked for Champion Paper Company, toward the end, I was the senior employee in our plant and the only remaining machine adjuster, because they wanted to eliminate the job classification, giving those tasks to the maintenance department. We filed a grievance against that because it was a union-negotiated position, and it turned out that they couldn't eliminate the position but they could reduce it, so they laid all of the machine adjusters off, or moved them to other positions, except for me.

    Concerned that they would insist on removing the position after our contract was up, I wanted to prepare myself to move into the maintenance department if I had to, although I preferred being a machine adjuster. I had also learned through one of the janitors, who acted as my personal spy since he had sole access to the administrative offices at night, they didn't want me to move into the maintenance department, probably because I had repeatedly refused a promotion to shift supervisor and was sometimes a thorn in their side as the chief shop steward for our union.

    The written plan, as my spy found out, was that they were going to give me the alternative of accepting a promotion or being laid off. A promotion to shift supervisor wouldn't have been the end of the world, but it would involve a reduction in my take-home pay and elimination of my job security, as they could fire shift supervisors at will, or transfer me to another state.

    Since I worked the graveyard shift and we didn't have any maintenance employees on duty during that shift, I already knew how to do everything they did except for welding. So, I enrolled in a welding course at a community college and practiced my welding at night, welding together every scrap of metal in the metal scrap bin, given that I had access to the maintenance shop during my shift since we didn't have a graveyard maintenance crew. Then I completed their intermediate and advanced courses.

    I was looking forward to springing that on them when the time came but, as it turned out, they closed the whole plant (and their entire bag division) before our contract ran out.

    Every now and then, I think about getting a welding machine. I don't know how hard it would be to pick it up again because I didn't have an easy time learning how to weld smoothly and effectively.
     
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  2. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    I recently bought a flux welder from Harbor Freight and it works great. It’s just me who didn’t work so great but as I spent some time with it, I learned a lot and am still learning. I think my main problem is being able to see what I’m doing through the mask but I’m getting the hang of it.

    Just before buying the welder, I had some problems with some hinges on an aluminum door so I procured some aluminum welding rods which work with either propane or map gas. It’s easy, a person doesn’t have to wear a hood and I couldn’t have asked for a better flow in the welds.
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Yeah, that's tricky.
     
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Bobby Cole

    Been welding, arc welding and oxy-acetylene for well over 50 years now, and have never heard of a "flux welder". Am I that out of it, or do you mean MIG welder (Metal Inert Gas)? TIG Welding (Tungsten Inert Gas) is similar, uses a non-consumable electrode, unlike Oxy-acetyl. or regular Arc, and MIG uses shielding gas of Argon, and can employ CORED FLUX wire to weld non-ferrous metals like aluminum and stainless steel;.


    Frank
     
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  5. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Obviously you read my post and I’m obviously a newby to the field which, at my age and trying out new things I would think I should be commended should I not?
    Whether you have heard about a flux welder or not, with all of your vast experience I would think that you should be able to ascertain what I am writing about and possibly even ask if I needed any advice in the use of my new mig flux wire welding device to weld non-ferrous metals like aluminum and stainless steel and also.....the ever dangerous galvanized fence post.
    But nope, I get a critique.
     
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  6. Ed Wilson

    Ed Wilson Very Well-Known Member
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    They are building gas pipelines in a lot of places due to extracing natural gas by way of fracking. Welders are making big money.
     
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  7. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Bobby Cole

    Have you ever, in answering Cory, given him a "non-critique"?

    Frank
     
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  8. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Who’s Cory?

    That said, the communique could have been worded:
    What I think you mean by flux welder, is actually called a mig welder by professionals. I have nearly 50 years experience using nearly every type of welder there is and perhaps I can give you some advice so you can do better than just trying to teach yourself.

    Gee Frank, maybe you could. I’m having problems with the feed and are there different gauges of wire that I could use?

    There’s a difference.
     
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  9. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    Welding is one of those things I sometimes wish I knew how to do, but never had strong enough interest in it to bother learning.

    Kinda like sewing, but more macho.
     
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  10. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    The rig I’m using only cost around 140 bucks and whilst I made a mess of things at first by using too much temp or speed or whatever, it wasn’t too long before I was reasonably happy with my work. It’s a given that I wouldn’t dare try welding something for someone else right now, but eventually with the odd jobs that I do, I can see how it might pay for itself in a relatively short period of time.

    But, if it does or doesn’t, it is just another thing I wanted to learn how to do and I have some projects that demand some welding.
    I learned how to sew and crochet years ago so I guess the next step was indeed to learn how to weld.
     
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  11. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    I used to do tons of needlepoint. I got to be pretty good. I could watch tv and freehand Christmas ornaments all night long. If it's good enough for Rosey Greer...

    I have a tractor. Could I use that cheap machine to weld iron? If a part breaks on one of the attachments (steel or iron),could I weld it with that H.F. rig?
     
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  12. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Dunno, Maybe @Frank Sanoica or @Ken Anderson can give some better advice on that than I.

    There’s a lot I still do not know but just off the cuff, I’d probably try. This rig only has two temps, high and low but nothing in between so I’d probably jack up the heat, slow down the feed and get ready to buy another spool of wire.
    Given the thickness of the metal, I’d probably try my hand at preheating with the propane then proceed to make another mess or maybe it would come out just fine.

    Might I also mention that welding is psychologically beneficial. I have always been somewhat of a perfectionist so learning to do new things that will not and can not be perfect at the first teaches me to be able to screw up as much as I want as long as my screw ups are headed in the right direction.
    I’m fairly comfortable with the journey.
     
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  13. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    @Frank Sanoica Maybe a flux welder is needed to make a flux capacitor.

    Besides welding on the ranch, I did do welding on a bridge construction job and also hoopers for a sawmill where every weld had to be perfect. The hooper job was interesting because it was in full leathers and 15 minutes at a time with a 15-minute break. It was well over a hundred down in the hopper and air quality wasn't the best despite overhead airbags keeping air flowing. It paid twice the going rate. I liked the job because it was near the river and after work, a couple of other girls and I stripped down to scant bikinis and went windsurfing.
     
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  14. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Okay folks. I wrote Flux Welder and that’s what I meant because that is precisely what it says on the box and on the ad. I wanted to start out small just to learn and see what I can do with it. Mig welder, flux welder or whatever, it does what I want it to do. The one I bought is a little more expensive and supposedly a little more durable than the one shown in the picture but they’re essentially the same.
    E82C5A91-239A-4517-A7F6-B08628B9DEAF.png
     

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  15. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Very Well-Known Member
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    I can stick two pieces of metal together,but I would hesitate to call it welding. I have one of those 110v flux core welders. Works well on thin stuff like sheet metal,lawnmower decks and the like.Probably could do thicker stuff if you ground deep V's and filled neatly and methodically.
     
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