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Old 05-18-2016, 12:05 PM   #1
EnduroJoe
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Wants to melt metal!

I want to be able to weld my own projects. I have zero welding experience and my knowledge on the topic ends at YouTube

So my question(s) is where do I start? Should I look into formal training? What equipment should I start looking for?

I was thinking about just getting a cheapish machine from harbour freight and practicing on scrap until I get somewhere.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnduroJoe View Post
I want to be able to weld my own projects. I have zero welding experience and my knowledge on the topic ends at YouTube

So my question(s) is where do I start? Should I look into formal training? What equipment should I start looking for?

I was thinking about just getting a cheapish machine from harbour freight and practicing on scrap until I get somewhere.
Even a cheap machine is fairly expensive. Better to get a good machine right from the start.
I'd recommend mig. It's pretty easy to get proficient with it and offers the flexibility to use Flux core wire if you don't want to mess with gas. Although using gas is better, imho.
You'll want a decent welding hood, I prefer auto darkening cuz its easier.
You'll need gloves, although in my view you don't really need big heavy welding gloves.
You'll want to have an angle grinder for cutting and grinding metal.
Get some scrap from a steel supply place, they're all over town, and get started burning metal. Getting the machine set up for what you are welding takes some guess work until you get experience. You'll get the hang of it.
Watching vids will help.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:24 PM   #3
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we have a welding machine thread going somewhere find that. I agree with above. MIG takes care of a lot. A cheap machine will hurt you more than anything when trying to learn
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:38 PM   #4
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What is a good MIG welder I should look at getting?

Im in the same boat as OP
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Old 05-18-2016, 02:42 PM   #5
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http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...FZGIaQodoVANhA

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us...olnElectric%29

http://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.co...welder-k5126-1
in that order
all depends on what you want to do and what you THINK you might end up doing in the future. I guess budget matters as well lol
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Old 05-18-2016, 02:46 PM   #6
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I started with stick and MIG. I still have only a few minutes of time on a TIG torch. As an inspector Ive watched a lot of welding over the years. I somehow passed the cert test back in the day for welding on offshore structures. That was never supposed to be a long tern job though. Its easy enough to get by and good equipment matters a lot in the learning curve
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:01 PM   #7
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Another option would be Miller, IMHO
I've been happy with mine.

Another opinion is, decide what is the max thickness you are likely to weld. Then buy a machine that will weld a little thicker. For example, if you think 1/4 is the thickest you are likely to weld, then get a machine that is rated for 5/16 or 3/8.

That way when you are welding 1/4inch material, your machine is not quite maxed out and it will be better. If it's maxed out, you'll barely be able to do what you want to do. Might even have to preheat to get a good weld.
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:12 PM   #8
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Great stuff guys. Thanks for all the input.
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