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  1. #1
    Veteran Member deereman75's Avatar
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    Default Learning pipe welding

    The title says it all, I am wanting to get a head start on pipe welding, and need some help.

    My questions are:
    What size pipe is good to start practicing with? (small? Big? What wall?)
    Would I be better off starting pipe welding with 6010 or 7018? (I am going to learn both, which is better to learn the basics with?)

    Also, any advice you have is much welcome. I have never really done any pipe, but as with everything I do, I want to know basically what I'm doing before I start formal training. Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning pipe welding

    Well I'm no pipe weldor! But like most things with welding I get by. I'd say start with 6-inch sch 80 in the 6-G position. I'd start with 1/8-inch 6010 for the root, and hot pass, then 1/8-inch 7018 for fill and cap. Then later go with 6010 all the way. You'll have to figure out what root gap, and root face, (land) works best for you. First thing you need is a note book to write down your results.


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  3. #3
    Silver Member Bday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning pipe welding

    Quote Originally Posted by deereman75 View Post
    The title says it all, I am wanting to get a head start on pipe welding, and need some help.

    My questions are:
    What size pipe is good to start practicing with? (small? Big? What wall?)
    Would I be better off starting pipe welding with 6010 or 7018? (I am going to learn both, which is better to learn the basics with?)

    Also, any advice you have is much welcome. I have never really done any pipe, but as with everything I do, I want to know basically what I'm doing before I start formal training. Thanks in advance!
    Goodluck! Hobart school of welding uses 8" Sch 60 which is 3/8 wall. Open root with 6010 root pass. Followed by 7018 hot and cover passes. About 1/8" gap on the root.

  4. #4
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning pipe welding

    When teaching a welding class I use 6"nominal pipe x 8" long schedule 40 to practice the root and hot pass with 1/8" 6010 and weld out with 3/32 7018. The trainee usually needs more practice on the root and hot pass than the filler and cap so thin wall works better for this. They need to start with the smaller rods and get to where they can handle those before hitting the 1/8" sizes in the 7018. Then cut out the weld and make another practice coupon. You loose about 1/2-3/4" of pipe each time you cut out the old weld if using a beveling machine so the 12" coupon is good for 18 or more practices before it gets too short to use. With the 3/32 7018 rod, they get more practice with starts and stops which they need in order to be a proficient welder.
    A trainee needs a good instructor to coach him and keep him from getting into bad habits. It is almost impossible to learn pipe welding without instruction from a hands on visual instructor so I would recommend that you attend some welder training classes. Welders rarely go straight into pipe welding, rather they learn on plate (structural welding) first then progress to the round stuff. It is much easier to do that way.
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  5. #5
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning pipe welding

    Soon as you can, you'll want to pick up a Tig rig, and a bottle of argon. Learn to Tig weld pipe in the 6-G. You'll have to learn how to weld with both hands.


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  6. #6
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning pipe welding

    Quote Originally Posted by deereman75 View Post
    The title says it all, I am wanting to get a head start on pipe welding, and need some help.

    My questions are:
    What size pipe is good to start practicing with? (small? Big? What wall?)
    Would I be better off starting pipe welding with 6010 or 7018? (I am going to learn both, which is better to learn the basics with?)

    Also, any advice you have is much welcome. I have never really done any pipe, but as with everything I do, I want to know basically what I'm doing before I start formal training. Thanks in advance!
    Watching a good video on test coupon preparation, fit up and tack would give you some idea, but you cant learn it from a video, you have to have some hands on instruction. A good video would help you but you cant see all that you need to know and how to manipulate the rods, angles etc. You need someone to watch you and correct what you are doing as you do it to be efficient. You can weld all day long doing it the wrong way and never learn the right way. Get an instructor to help you.
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  7. #7
    Veteran Member deereman75's Avatar
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    Default

    I know someone I might be able to get a few lessons from. He is a retired welder/machinist/aircraft electrical technition/sheetmetal mechanic. I dont know if he did much pipe, but he sure is a good welder.

    Too bad the other welder I know isnt able to help me. He is a 96 year old pipeline welder who did arctic pipelining in the 40s & 50s. The last time I saw him he could hardly walk, but was still able to make the nicest weld I have ever seen, on the corner of some 1" bar stock with WET 1/8" 7018 and an ac tombstone. It has been a few years since I saw him, and I suspect he is no longer with us. He sure could weld, but he was by far the grumpiest guy I have ever worked with.. He wouldnt let anyone under 50 use power tools....
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Learning pipe welding

    Are you planning to work as a pipe welder as a vocation? If so you will not make it w/o expert training. I am a retired union pipefitter/welder. Did far more fitting than welding as I was never a steady hand at welding and it showed. Today all welders are trained as fitters first. The old days of fitter/welder 2 man crews are not found except in pipeline work. Industrial/commercial the fitter gets you fit-up and tacked then goes to do same for another welder. Welders that start and finish a job have many, many hours in the welding booth at the union hall. I was known on some jobs to keep 3 welders working on big bore pipe. If this is going to be your vocation you have to start with manual arc and prove yourself before moving on to other types such as MIG and TIG or the computerized specialty work.

    Any way, for practice to take a pre-job test we always used Schd 40 6" steel pipe. The job specs will dictate what the procedure is and what type rods. Standard un-specified work is root and first pass 6010, finish with 7014 in number of passes to get the bead required by the procedure. Most practice is with the pipe in a horizontal mode, start at bottom on one side and put in the root pass. In going around the pipe you are doing overhead, vertical, and flat position. When you have that down you start learning to start at the top and work down (harder). Pipes running vertical are the hardest as that is horizontal all the way around. The tendency is to undercut the top and overlap the bottom pieces. Their is a real learning curve hear to control the puddle. The key to passing certification and/or no leaks is the root pass. A flaw here will carry all the way to the top unless you catch it and grind it out and redo that section.

    I learned pipe welding in the beginning on OA torch welding on small pipe up to 6". Hot work, but it sure teaches you puddle control and makes arc welding easier (my opinion). Lots of luck. Join the union if you want to be a pro. Training is free once you are in.

    Ron
    Last edited by Tractor Seabee; 04-01-2013 at 11:38 PM. Reason: add text

  9. #9
    Veteran Member deereman75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning pipe welding

    I am going into this for a living. I start my apprenticeship in about 10 months, I am just wanting to be somewhat able to do it before school, as to let myself get as far as possible in the 7 months of class time. I figure if I can already do an OK job at it, I can spend my time at school getting good instead of spending a month trying to run a bead on pipe. I am not sure on the union aspect, there is a lot of non union work here, and one of my uncles who spent the last year as a project manager for a $30 million gas plant said they would NEVER hire union. There seems to be a ton of rig work here, that with a b pressure and redseal, isn't too hard to get. Also, as far as I know, he unions here don't allow contract rig work, which is the good money.

    On the aspect of fitting first, that isn't a required here. Pressure welding and pipe fitting are different trades, and you can apprentice as a welder, and go right into pipe welding.
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  10. #10
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning pipe welding

    You realize this isn't going to be cheap?
    To start it might be easier, and cheaper to learn open root with plate. Beveling pipe is time consuming. You can buy flatbar, cut it to length clamp it down and use a 7 or 9-inch grinder and put a 37 1/2-degree bevel on pretty quick. Then you can practice horizontal, vertical, and over head open root. Keep an eye out for an old Ridgid power head. One was given to me, I bought a 4-jaw wood lathe chuck, used some 3/4-inch all thread rod through the pipe machine. I can bevel a piece of 6-inch sch 80 pipe in just a few minutes.
    As been said here by very knowledgeable pipe weldors, there is nothing like one on one instruction! Maybe run an ad in the penny saver, here it would be Craig's list to see if a pipe weldor would be willing to teach you.
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