I have decided to spend some of this summer finally compiling a welding
I am curious what you guys would want in a book.
I am looking for a balance of technical info to step by step
Lots of pictures and likely I will do at least 1 dvd or tape to work
with the book.
I will likely start with a general welding book and move on to a TIG
specific book, or maybe the other way around.
I need both for teaching and if it is an actual published book the
school can buy them.
| Hi Guys.
| I have decided to spend some of this summer finally compiling a welding
| I am curious what you guys would want in a book.
| I am looking for a balance of technical info to step by step
I like the tips and tricks that help you get the hang of the proper hand
motions, like the pencil and washer exercise and so forth. A lot of books
have five or so photographs of weld beads, but not a lot of detail about
each, and what each little detail of the weld is doing or not doing.
Perhaps a dozen or more photographs, with various combinations of problems
and conditions that the user is bound to occur, if a neophyte or old hand.
Some welds look good but suck, and some welds look horrible but are stout as
hell. Explain how we can tell this just by looking at it. Show common
errors and what to do about it. Point out what the inspectors look for,
what they usually miss. How you can fix that slag inclusion deep in a
corner, and the best way to approach a tight corner or leave one. What are
the various options for various welding positions and what setups, motions,
and options are there for various conditions. What combinations work best,
what will get you by, and what just plain won't work, and why. What body
positions are bad ergonomically, what works but looks funny, and what are
the best ways to deal with certain conditions. My welding teacher used to
bend his rod backwards and weld with a mirror on rare occasion. I don't
think he was so much looking in the mirror as feeling his way, just using
the mirror to start the arc in the right place. I've had to torch weld once
with a mirror, and I managed to do okay, but watching that fellow told me
that he either had a lot of time to learn it, or someone really sharp taught
him to "feel the force." That's what I would like to learn, since I what I
need to learn only comes with burning a lot of rod, not attending class with
kids who don't know which end to stick in the clamp, and more likely
something I'll be wanting to learn long after the course is over.
I literally spent years trying to learn welding from a book - a fool's
errand in my case. A couple of hours in a community college class and I
Ernie, concentrate on producing the video, configure the book as a
backup. To learn to weld, you need to see and hear the welding process,
and you just don't get that from a book with still pictures.
Use each medium for its strongest characteristic - printed stuff is
great for reference material: 'exploded views' of a mig gun or tig torch
- tables of amperage versus rod diameter and composition - that sort of
Video for actual 'process' documentation...
just my $.02 -
Here's two pennies flung from the balcony .........
Lots of pictures or drawings about proper movement. And that given on EACH
kind of rod. Some movements, like whipping, don't work good on some rods.
Slow and steady doesn't work on some rods. I've seen lots of pictures on
how welds SHOULD (I hate that word!) look, but few clues on how to achieve
them with that particular rod.
Gear sections to each type of student. Give the newbie tips on movement,
rod angle, all the basics.
The intermediate on building a shelf for an uphill weave.
The advanced on keyholing.
And after each topic in each section, "COMMON MISTAKES" as a help section.
A technical section for technical stuff.
Keep the sections separate, not mixing the technical in the newbie section
where it will only confuse.
You've probably made all the mistakes and hit all the rocks in the learning
curve. Just expound on those. Welding takes a lot of time to learn, and
there are umpteen different kinds of welding and rods. So, I would just aim
it at the garage hobbyist/newbie rather than the old farts.
Give the old farts their own books.
WITH BIG LETTERS! ;-)
Reference material. The mysterious and arcane ways to get it set up
pretty much right the first time, so we do not have to make each and
every one of the stupid beginner misteaks ;-) ourselves. (Reference
"Gunner's Flying Spare Tire Incident" from a year or so ago... ;-)
And easily refine what you are doing wrong without a bunch of angst.
"This is a picture of what you're doing wrong, and this is how to stop
it." For MIG, a chart that shows what kinds of wire and gas to use
for various situations - where you need to use a mixed gas and where
plain (and cheap) straight CO2 works just fine, etc.
Frankly, I'm almost afraid to do structural work with my Miller
Challenger like reworking a trailer frame, because I'm not sure
whether I'm making a strong weld or just a pretty one. And having the
frame unzip driving down the freeway is not the time to find out.
You always chime in on TIG stuff (which I've never done) where
people are using the wrong tungsten or gas, and that's another good
cross chart. What needs back-purging, etc.
For gas welding and cutting, I can get a neutral flame but I'm not
quite sure how and when to adjust to oxidizing or carburizing (sp?).
I can make it work, just don't ask me how I did it...
And make the tip selection charts clear where the cutoffs are if
you're running on a small B or MC cylinder, to avoid sucking the
Acetone out of the bottle. I don't think any of my welding tips are
in the danger zone, but cutting tips...
A separate companion book would be a "Buyers Reference Guide to Used
Welding Gear." I'd love to get a plasma cutter, but it would be great
to have a chart of the units to avoid because the consumables are made
of those rare earth metals Unobtanium or Highpricium. Or if I run
across a TIG power supply or an engine-driven unit, whether it's a gem
or a dog. Or the ones that break when you look at them sideways.
Sure, I can ask here - but that takes a couple days, and by then the
unit is probably long gone.
Just don't pull that odious tactic of "Every student needs to buy a
new copy of my way overpriced book - and to prove it you have to tear
out and turn in the flyleaf page for course credit, or you fail."
The students who find your book valuable won't want to sell it back to
the bookstore for used resale, they'll keep it as handy reference for
(This response would be shorter and more concise, but I don't want
to stay up all night polishing it.)
As for the video, I would say a DVD is much better, easy to go back and
forth, you can see it at the computer and it will work all over the world.
US and europe doesnt have the same videotape standard, so unless its a dvd
I cant buy it
I have a couple of welding texts with vast amounts of information in
each but I would like to see a book similar to James Harvey's "Machine
Shop Trade Secrets". It's written in a first person style, with some
humor and some Q&A type sections, lots of photos and real world advice
like is available in this newsgroup.
I would like to see a book that talks about the "advanced" features on
newer machines. A discussion of what they were intended to do, when they
work best, and how to set them up would be great. I have not seen a
description worth a beer in any book or owners manual. My interest is
almost completely in TIG.
Early on, I purchased a college textbook, complete with color
pictures, on welding. Aimed at students, it also includes occasional
career possibilities as well as every type of welding and cutting
imaginable. So, here are my recommendations:
1. Decide what to leave out. Water-jet cutting, SAW and oxygen lances
are unlikely to be employed by your audience.
2. Spend just as much attention to cutting, fitting and safety as is
done for the actual welding. I could make a great weld in the middle
of a flat practice plate, but if the joint fit and preparation are
poor, the weld may still fail.
3. Start collecting proofreaders. The guy who wrote the college
textbook I have has loads of experience and knows his craft, but there
are obvious errors and inconsistencies in the book. Realize that some
errors will creep in and beginners won't know the difference.
4. Hopefully, by now, you have an editor to assist in organizing the
material and making it flow from one topic to the next. The measure of
a book is not whether you know the material, but can the reader
effectively learn from the material. Exercises are just as important
as the information presented.
5. Doing a video in any format is a real challenge. It's all in real
time. Having someone videotape you in a classroom and welding lab
setting could be helpful for the finished product. Again, get a
beginning student to see if they can learn as well from the video as
from the actual class and lab.
6. Consider breaking the book writing into several smaller works:
Book I - OA, SMAW and MIG - flat, vertical and horizontal, mild steel
Book II - Plasma cutting, TIG, pipe - add aluminum and overhead
or match it to the current curriculum - one book per course.
7. Teach with the book in class before publishing it. Students will
assist in polishing it to a fine instructional document.
As others have recommended, a guide to buying used equipment would
be very helpful.
I think that you text should be specific to one or two processes. For
example: one on TIG, another on wire feed, another on stick and arc
gouging, and so on.
Coil bound so that it sits flat would be good. If it is going to be
used as a learning tool it would be wise to construct the book so that it
would take revisions or addendums easily. Pictures are nice but expensive.
I am wondering if there is a computer graphic process that converts
photographs to simple line drawings.
As people mentioned pictures of mistakes would be good. A series of
exercises with matching diagnostic pictures would be helpful.
If you target the book for everyone it will end up suitable for no one.
HTP sells a MIG welding video, part informational regarding their machines,
part general MIG techniques. The shots of the actual welding were pretty
well done. Something along those lines with more explanation would be good.
On Sat, 02 Jul 2005 04:17:34 GMT, the opaque Ernie Leimkuhler
Hi! Newbie welder (again) here. I'd like to see:
1. How to determine what metal you're working with
2. What rod works where and why
3. Troubleshooting welds (by rod #?)
Your balanced approach sounds good.
ETA, please? I'd also be happy to beta-test it for you.
The other way around. Include EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT TIG, please.
Excellent! Good luck and good skill to you, sir.
Annoy a politician: Be trustworthy, faithful, and honest!
There's a lot of books on the market, so I guess you need something to
make it stand out.
I have a Maxstar 140 (Bought on your recommendation back in 2000, it's
a great machine) and I mainly stick weld with it. What I'd like to see
in the book is:
Good practical advice on how all the different rods behave, and how to
get the best out of them (Another poster also requested this)
A list of the top ten things to do to improve your welding.
Photographs of the common problems, and then a list of practice
exercises designed to overcome each of these.
A DVD would be good, assuming it does not put the price up too high.
1. BIG FONT
2. Don't need huge sections on the theory of welding, or how regulators work, or
how they make carbon arc gouges. Say things like "Buy flash arrestors and put
them on the torch end of the hose", don't write a diatribe on the speed of a gas
burn in free air
3. Lots of complete tabular data.
4. Make assumptions about your readers. For example, assume your readers are
working from gas bottles, not from some giant tank farm distribution system. Say
what your assumptions are. Nobody gets mad if you are clear about this.
5. Yes, get proofreaders at every stage. Even local ones might be bribable (hint)
6. How to weld is only a small part of how to make parts. How to fit parts
together to minimize distortion is also important.
Ernie, writing a book is a BIG job. It can take years. I suggest that you obtain
one or more of the classic "thin books" on technical writing e.g. "The PC Is Not
A Typewriter" or "The Elements of Style" (the latter by William Strunk, the
former by Robin Williams). Those two books should be owned by every modern
author. I do NOT like many elements of modern publishing where they make books
much bigger by using huge margins with lots of callouts in the margins saying
things like "Oh my, this is very important" or something equally idiotic. Strive
for brevity and pray for an editor with real wisdom.
Even more, do you know the fundamentals of generating a document? Audience
analysis? (From my perspective I'd like to see a book written for a home shop
type, but you'd go broke in a hurry, so you should obviously pitch it more
towards beginning industrial recruits, artists, the largest audiences. And then
there is the issue of electronic format ownership, do you self-publish or do you
find a publisher, how much do you let your publisher push you around, like that.
Go talk to Michael Porter (plan to spend some time, conversations with him are
rarely short ones). He may not know everything but he *has* written a book in
the modern environment.
I could go on a long time.
What sort of audience and what sort of welding?
If it's for an absolute beginner and covers OA welding I'd almost certainly
be a customer. Things I'd be interested in are details on the equipment
needed, the way they should be set up, what a welding "station" should like
like, safety issues, good starter techniques and projects. The "why" is
almost as important to me as the "what" to help focus understanding.
I think it would be more helpful to have a more advanced book based
mainly on TIG. There are plenty of books on general welding. The only
good TIG book I have seen is Millers.
I would include pics and descriptions on back purging SS and Ti. Proper
preheats and slow cool times for cast iron and aluminum, and why you
would use 99ni and 4047 over say 55ni or 4043. Why you would use a
304L, 304LSi or 304H rod for specific SS applications. I would also
focus on the pros and cons of using an inverter or transformer machine.
I would have a section on Chromoly also. Also incude info on different
gas blends and the results. Using tips and tricks that you have learned
along the way. Basic torch and consumable selection. (I use mainly a
75% Helium mix on my Dynasty 300.) Later on you could do a book on MIG
with loads of other info.
I also think a DVD is the way to go. I would also rent a Dynasty and
do a side by side with your Syncrowave to show the differences of the
advanced squarewave arc.. I frequent all the welding boards and alot of
times the most asked beginner TIG questions are Dynasty vs. Syncro,
Inverter vs. transformer, Chromoly roll cage welding, and learning to
do nice aluminum beads.
You should also post this question at:
90% effort on the video 10% on the book (if any).
I would like to see it focusing on pure TIG; but, that is a bit
I would not hesitate to invest $80-90 for a really quality DVD course
But, whether you produce book or video, put me on the list for the
first release, Ernie.
I'd like to see a good effort put into explaining why certian settings
and maneuvers are used when welding instead of just saything "this is
the way you do it". Most of the people I introduce to welding (TIG
mostly) just want the bare essentials (one guy made little labels for
his Syncrowave 250 to go on the switch positions that say "steel" and
"aluminum") but don't realize that they're really digging themselves
into a rut. Without knowing the finer points they'll never be able to
tweak and improvise when something comes up. Or I might be wrong and
just overwheming beginners, who knows?
I'd like to see a pretty complete section on filler rod alloys, again
with some explanations. Information on the different filler choices for
things like 4130 steel or 304 SS are invaluable in a reference book.
Detailed descriptions and pictures of the actual torch movements and
filler deposition. All the books I've read have nice pictures of
finished products but what I want to see welds with little arrows
showing torch movement.
The last thing is some good tips on joint design. The design is what
often makes the difference between a bad weld holding and a perfect