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  1. #1
    Bronze Member chris85's Avatar
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    Default Thinking about giving it a try.

    I would like to have the option to make small repairs when needed and would like to give welding a try. I have an option for a stick welder or a flux wire welder. What is the difference in each' application and is there one that would be better for a novice?

    Suggestions?
    Chris
    Massachusetts
    "Iron Horse" JM 284 Tractor w/ HW03 backhoe, “homemade” 28 ton, hydraulic log splitter (thanks to Northern tool and Tractor Supply), Craftsman 42 lawn tractor, Craftsman snow blower.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about giving it a try.

    If you're talking about gasless flux wire, depending on the wire you could look at it as rolled up 7018. Any wire feed will be easier to learn than Stick welding.


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  3. #3
    Elite Member gwdixon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about giving it a try.

    You'll hear this a hundred times over. Take a class at community college or continuing education.

    You'll need it anyway to properly learn and might get a better idea of the best process for your projects.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Thinking about giving it a try.

    I tried to find a class, but everything was designed around getting your ticket. Couldn't find the high school shop class equivalent for adults.

    Ian
    Everlast PowerArc200

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Sutol's Avatar
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    Ford 1200 / Super Dexta x 2

    Default Re: Thinking about giving it a try.

    Buy a cheap stick welder and look on the interweb for hints and tips, videos etc.

    It isn.t difficult, get some thick metal to parctice on and you will soon get the hang oif it.

    you will also need an angle grinder to clean up the bits that you want to weld.

    I'm no expert but my tips would be.

    Only weld bare shiney metals together, no dirt, rust or paint on it

    Use lowest power setting that will allow you to strike up the rod, dont be tempted to set it high and melt the work too soon. It will take a bit of practice to strike up he rod to start welding, bit like striking a match.

    Watch videos on interweb over and over and read about it.

    You will enjoy it when you get the hang of it and then get a mig for delicate jobs

    Simples
    .
    .
    .Pete

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    .

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Sutol's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about giving it a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shield Arc View Post
    If you're talking about gasless flux wire, depending on the wire you could look at it as rolled up 7018. Any wire feed will be easier to learn than Stick welding.
    I found stick welding easier to grasp than the mig, less settings to worry about I suppose. Mig is easier to strike up but I like the stick
    .
    .
    .Pete

    .
    .

  7. #7
    Veteran Member weldingisfun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about giving it a try.

    I agree with Shield Arc.

    The flux core, wire feed is the way go if you intend to teach yourself. Ran into the same problems you did trying to find a class at the local community college.

    Taught myself, been welding now for about seven years and loving it.

  8. #8
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thinking about giving it a try.

    Do it! Give it a try!!

    I've had 6 welders over the past 5 years, and I settled on a AC/DC stick welder, 110v wire feed, and a oxy/acetylene rig. I've only ever welded a few things with O/A just to say I've done it. I'm a novice, and I've been a novice for 20 years.

    Here's what I've learned...

    Stick will be the cheapest to get into, and it's not that hard to learn. If you use 6013 or 7014 rod you can make strong, attractive welds with only a little practice. You can probably find an AC stick welder on Craig's list or your local want ads for $100 or less. Now that I have the wire feed welder I use it because it's easy. However, when my weld strength and quality are important, I still use the stick welder as my go-to. If I could only have one it would be a stick welder.

    An auto darkening helmet is worth every penny you pay for it. A lot of us have paid $50 or so for a Harbor Freight AD helmet and it's received very good reviews.

    An angle grinder is a must. My dad always said the difference between a good welder and a bad welder is who knows how to use an angle grinder. I've since learned that a good welder uses an angle grinder before he strikes and arc so that he doesn't have to use it after. Good fit and clean metal are keys to a good weld.

    The actual burning of metal and sticking things together is the easy part. Chosing the right rod/wire and setting up your welder correctly are what determines your success. Keep a few charts handy that help you match rod thickness with your metal thickness and suggest initial amperage settings. Here are a few to get you started...
    Electrode Amperage Chart - Baker's Gas & Welding Supplies
    A BASIC GUIDE OF ARC WELDING ELECTRODES: ELECTRODE SIZE AND AMPS USED

    Welding is like so many other activities... It goes a lot better if you warm up first. Start each project with some practice welding on scrap pieces to test your settings and refresh your technique. Practice on pieces that are like what you will be welding for that project.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  9. #9
    Bronze Member nsmithnd's Avatar
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    Bismarck, ND
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    Ford 1700

    Default Re: Thinking about giving it a try.

    One of my favorite sites is Welding Tips and Tricks

    Good quality video where you can actually see what's going on (as opposed to a firefly in the yard that many welding video's resemble).

    -Neil

  10. #10
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Branson, Mo.
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    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: Thinking about giving it a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by nsmithnd View Post
    One of my favorite sites is Welding Tips and Tricks

    Good quality video where you can actually see what's going on (as opposed to a firefly in the yard that many welding video's resemble).

    -Neil
    +1 on that, I eagerly await each weeks episode that Jody does. I have learned a lot from that man. It is not the same a doing, but it is helpful.. He leans a lot on TIG but does segments on all processes. The one he did on using stick to weld up the grinder stand and how to work around heat bending workpiece after it cools was really excellent. I will also highly recommend an auto darkening helmet, and as for grinders I have 4 and could use another one. There is no end of this welding thing once you start. But it is worth it. All your life before you get your welder, you could remove all the metal from a workpiece you want, but you could never put so much as an iron filing back on. Well a welder changes all of that.. now you can put metal back on! Just my 2 cents.

    James K0UA
    James KØUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


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