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DIY Welding

Old 03-17-2008, 03:43 PM
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definitivecars
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Default DIY Welding

So I want to learn to weld. Always have but other than artwrok, I now have a real reason to learn. I have some friends who know how to weld big steel stuff. But I want to weld very small aluminum parts. Things like a wheelie bar for my Baja.

Can anyone help me with some good starting info. maybe a good DIY welding site? What kind of welder is needed for aluminum?

Thanks, All feedback is greatly appreciated!

D
Old 03-17-2008, 03:56 PM
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TIM MT
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Default RE: DIY Welding

This may not be the response you are looking for but aluminum welding is very tricky and not for a beginner, take it from this beginner! I will be interested to follow this thread but I ALWAYS get a welder for stuff I care about.
Old 03-17-2008, 04:00 PM
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bigmodman
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Default RE: DIY Welding

well it depends on the thickness of what you are gunna weld. if its like the thin aluminum like on a baja you could use a mig welder but the welds wouldnt look very good.

i would recommend a tig welder, most likely a finger tip control type. its easier to use of the 2 types of tig welders. the other kind is what i have. i have a pedal control tig welder. a big one at that. the good thing about a tig welder is that the welds look good enough to show without grinding them down. but thats after you get good enough to do that. i still cant get a perfect roll of dime with a tig... so it takes practice.

a tig welder is easier to switch between steel and aluminum, b/c all you need is welding rods and gas to switch with a tig welder. or at least mine.

a mig is more complex to switch out.

what i can tell you to do for a diy welding is to practice, get a feel for it. practice on a variety of metals. with a tig you just feed a little welding rod into the pool of metal and draw little tight circles in it kinda fast but you just need practice.
Old 03-17-2008, 05:38 PM
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Leeber
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Default RE: DIY Welding

Dunno if you seen these, and i think its brazing rather than welding.
But from the demo videos it seems to make a pretty strong join.
Some of the torches can use LPG gas straight from ya BBQ gas bottle.
Cheaper setup for a beginner.

http://www.durafix.co.nz/index.php?c...nstrations.htm
I think its a US company so there may be a better page somewhere.

(not a welder myself but may try get one of these one day

Edit: in fact heres the US link
http://www.durafix.com/
Old 03-18-2008, 02:32 AM
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Default RE: DIY Welding

im a alluminuim tig welder by trade and can also do any other kind of welding , if you want to weld alluminium rod for making wheelie bars for eg; i strongly recomend using a TIG welder with a 1.5mm tungsten electrode and sharpen the point of the electrode like a needle because the electrode end always balls up when tig welding alluminium especially when welding delicate fine parts like a wheelie bar made of alloy rod for example . alloy mig welders allways do a dirty job and have a habbit of burning the alloy and goes all black plus alloy mig needs a much higher starting amps to get the alloy melted and welded and IS NOT SUITALBLE for welding fine small alloy rc car parts . If you have a handy spare lazy $3000 you could proberly buy a very small portable TIG welding machine but then you also need to get a botlle welding gas called ARGON , this gas can weld alluminium and stainless and mild steel but then youll need to change the electrodes if you wish to weld other metals , WHITE tip TIG elecrode is for welding alluminuim ONLY and RED tip electrode is for welding stainless and mild steel ONLY
Old 03-18-2008, 08:47 AM
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Default RE: DIY Welding

Welding aluminum is real tricky. Steel welding is easier. But to get around all welding and have a solid conection, bolting everything together is the easiest but requires more planing.
Old 03-18-2008, 11:11 AM
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Default RE: DIY Welding

ORIGINAL: splcrazy

im a alluminuim tig welder by trade and can also do any other kind of welding , if you want to weld alluminium rod for making wheelie bars for eg; i strongly recomend using a TIG welder with a 1.5mm tungsten electrode and sharpen the point of the electrode like a needle because the electrode end always balls up when tig welding alluminium especially when welding delicate fine parts like a wheelie bar made of alloy rod for example . alloy mig welders allways do a dirty job and have a habbit of burning the alloy and goes all black plus alloy mig needs a much higher starting amps to get the alloy melted and welded and IS NOT SUITALBLE for welding fine small alloy rc car parts . If you have a handy spare lazy $3000 you could proberly buy a very small portable TIG welding machine but then you also need to get a botlle welding gas called ARGON , this gas can weld alluminium and stainless and mild steel but then youll need to change the electrodes if you wish to weld other metals , WHITE tip TIG elecrode is for welding alluminuim ONLY and RED tip electrode is for welding stainless and mild steel ONLY
You can use a mig, and you wont pay an arm and a leg for it. Trust me you can, Uses argon to.....And yes you'll have to change couple things if you want to do other metals, But a heck of a lot cheaper and if you get good you can make those welds look mint, Just do some more research.. and I dont see why people are complaining about grinding the welds down...[&:][&:]
Old 03-19-2008, 08:51 AM
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Default RE: DIY Welding


ORIGINAL: zeen420

ORIGINAL: splcrazy

im a alluminuim tig welder by trade and can also do any other kind of welding , if you want to weld alluminium rod for making wheelie bars for eg; i strongly recomend using a TIG welder with a 1.5mm tungsten electrode and sharpen the point of the electrode like a needle because the electrode end always balls up when tig welding alluminium especially when welding delicate fine parts like a wheelie bar made of alloy rod for example . alloy mig welders allways do a dirty job and have a habbit of burning the alloy and goes all black plus alloy mig needs a much higher starting amps to get the alloy melted and welded and IS NOT SUITALBLE for welding fine small alloy rc car parts . If you have a handy spare lazy $3000 you could proberly buy a very small portable TIG welding machine but then you also need to get a botlle welding gas called ARGON , this gas can weld alluminium and stainless and mild steel but then youll need to change the electrodes if you wish to weld other metals , WHITE tip TIG elecrode is for welding alluminuim ONLY and RED tip electrode is for welding stainless and mild steel ONLY
You can use a mig, and you wont pay an arm and a leg for it. Trust me you can, Uses argon to.....And yes you'll have to change couple things if you want to do other metals, But a heck of a lot cheaper and if you get good you can make those welds look mint, Just do some more research.. and I dont see why people are complaining about grinding the welds down...[&:][&:]
It's hazardous to your health[]
Old 01-15-2020, 11:28 PM
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Wearl
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I took a welding class at the local junior college. One night a week for 16 weeks. Cost $100 in fees. Learned the right way to gas and arc weld. Just need to practice to keep the skills up. They taught MIG and TIG in the next class, which I didn't take. Bought myself a MIG, looked at some youtube videos, read a couple of articles and started welding. With a little bit of practice it didn't take long to nail it! I just fabbed up some quarter panels for my '27 roadster from scratch and they came out pretty good!
Old 02-09-2020, 07:36 PM
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sport22
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easiest way I learned is aluminum rod welding. you can use a low temp grade aluminum rod and a propane handheld torch to weld. it is easy yet cost effective. youtube has several videos of aluminum rod brazing/welding.
Old 04-09-2020, 04:10 PM
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I’ll add a bit to this. I’ve tig welded for years. I built a number of top fuel funnycars and repaired touring pro cars. I’ve done down to .018”thick stainless steel. 4130 titianium copper and most weldable aluminum’s.
to get to this level takes time and dedication as well as education. It’s not someting you decide to do for fun. I was highly paid to learn this and taught it for awhile. You will need top of the line welding equipment. Figure about 4,000 minimum for the machine. I have over $10000 worth of rod alone. I used or sets of glasses of various power to clearly see what I’m doing. I bought a grand worth of new torches just for one job. I don’t know if I made money or not.LOL I have special grinding equipment just for TIG stuff. I have most of the standard protection clothing some I adapted from civilian stuff as required. The list goes on and on. Recently I had a stroke which has left me with a double vision issue that makes typing this extremely difficult. My first venture to the shop proved a real issue welding even with a wire feed welder. TIG welding is almost out of the question. Seeing two lines and choosing which to weld on let alone produce a quality weld. Is my new challenge. I have a hard time just seeing a pencil line that’s about ..018.” Wide. That’s what you are trying to weld a seam on. I see guys trying this all the time try using a very sharp .005lead pencil. Make. A perfect stack ov C’s several inches long. No mistakes permitted or you just burned a hole in the part. Lay on your back with a sharply marker and see if you can do thunder your workbench. See if you do better. Keep in mind you have a foot pedal to operat too.yes there is a way around the pedal but you lose ability. To vary the arc power without messing with the machine. There are new settings and processes even the very experienced need to lear to maximize your skill.there are lots of videos but remember many are done by people very skilled to begin with.

so I’m done splashing cold water on you. By all means take some courses at the local colleges or trade schools. You may get to see really skilled guys doing this. They may even let you burn some stuff up. I would if I were available. I’ve done it with dome of the local school students. It’s usually an eye opener for them and I hope they use it to further themselves.
Old 04-10-2020, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by definitivecars View Post
So I want to learn to weld. Always have but other than artwrok, I now have a real reason to learn. I have some friends who know how to weld big steel stuff. But I want to weld very small aluminum parts. Things like a wheelie bar for my Baja.

Can anyone help me with some good starting info. maybe a good DIY welding site? What kind of welder is needed for aluminum?

Thanks, All feedback is greatly appreciated!

D
First of all small aluminium wheelie bars probably will not be strong enough to hold up to the rigors of the intended purpose that is why most available I believe are stamped steel. However that being said I saw some where the joints were hobby shop piano wire and carbon fiber tubes glued over the connector wires that worked quite well and gave that tubular look. Thin wall steel tubing worked almost as well and was easily done with gas silver soldering.

Learning to weld opens so many doors to your hobby and projects you take on around the home. I cannot count the number of times I have saved the day for friends and family with self taught welding skills. I can now build my own exhausts for my RC models and craft any kind of landing gear scale or non scale. No mater what others may tell you you will need good equipment and lots of practice. This makes the odd project expensive and impractical at best. There are times even with the proper equipment it is cheaper and more efficient to purchase ready made items for a specific purpose. On the other hand if a challenge is part of the fun by all means give it your best shot and enjoy.

Some background and how I got into welding. I am a tool and die maker 40 plus years and certain types of welding were required for work. At the time most of what I was doing at work would have been prohibitively expensive to do at home so I settled on a gas torch set up and an AC buzz box and for 90% of my needs it worked for years.

I later purchased a CNC mill and lathe for my home shop and started to build scale model aircraft. Exhausts and landing gear made to look scale now needed better welding equipment and the work machines were proving awkward because of the size of the equipment. Because aluminum was my primary construction material I did quite a bit of research into processes for smaller aluminum work. I tried the MAP gas/propane systems at hobby shows etc and never found them satisfactory.

I stumbled on Kent White's site TM Technologies. Kent White is one of the profound artists that specialize in gas welding aluminum. His workshops at Oshkosh are sold out each year and are for home builders who wish to learn how to shape/gas weld aluminum for their home build full size aircraft. His web site is https://www.tinmantech.com/about/ken...he-tin-man.php I purchased his Meco midget tourch/line set and supplies for aluminum soldering, brazing and welding and proceeded to teach myself how to gas weld aluminium. Many hours of practice I can now easily weld up just about any exhaust system I wish to construct. I think my buy in torch and supplies was around $400 but it soon became obvious that the thickness of the aluminum you could work with was limited.

My appetite for welding aluminum had been wetted and by this time the small inverter welders had become available for a reasonable price point. Again I found a very helpful web site Welding Tips and Tricks and proceeded watch and learn.He has tons of videos and how to podcasts. Even a video library on DVD his web site is Welding Tips and Tricks - TIG, MIG, Stick and a pantload of other info. From watching his videos I decided on an Everlast 250 series Mig, Tig and stick. Yes at the time I spent around $3500 but that included a lot of supplies such as gas lenses, cups and tungsten.

Over all I would tell you that you will need to practice, practice, practice and there is no cheap way to get a good job. So if your talking a one or two of then my advice is to buy something ready made or find someone who is capable of doing the job for you. Welding at the level you and I will ever do is more for the challenge than it will ever be for economy.

This is my personal experience only and my opinions they are not the last word by any means and others may have similar or very different experiences every bit as valid as any others who post on this subject.

Check out some of the youtube videos Kent White the Tin Man and Welding Tips and Tricks.


Hope this helps
Dennis

Last edited by Propworn; 04-10-2020 at 07:10 AM.
Old 04-12-2020, 07:14 AM
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i too was a toolmaker for any years before going back to mechanical engineering school. My time in the shop was extremely valuable in industry. welding and machining worked hand in hand then adding welding knowledge just added to every thing else.The it opened the door to creating almost any thing. I often was called out to the shop to help with various fabrication processes. I spent 30+ years in mechanical engineering that were some of the most gratifying possible. I still eat live and sleep engineering. When it came to building models I was able to use my experience designing mechanical gear door operation on my big Corsair. It survived many replacement parts due to rough landing at first to modifications as wheel wells were rescaled and different wheels were added.

as was noted practice,practice. In industry often weld coupons were required to certify the welder was qualified to weld a specific project.
the hard part about model welding is finding someone who is dedicated to be as good as possible in his job. This means continued education all the time. Today with Internet it save endless library trips and searches . As you can see just asking the question will give lots of information from those who “have been there ,done that” .

The guy Jody in the video has produced countless videos on all aspects of welding and nearly all processes. It’s very valuable when starting out. You can get a lot of tips very quickly watching his videos.

byron

welding also encompasses metallurgy. You have to have at lease basic knowledge of metallurgy when welding various metals.

Last edited by bentwings; 04-12-2020 at 07:16 AM.
Old 05-10-2020, 03:54 PM
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I bought a tig and taught myself to tig aluminum, it took a long time and several bottes of argon. Eventually got something functional and ugly.
I probably ran 2 miles of test beads on scrap alum.

Watch someone play the piano, looks easy, now try it.
Welding is the same thing, they make it look easy but theres a world of knowledge and skill behind it.

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