arc welder

I want to buy an arc welder for the home shop.Would a Lincoln 225 amp a/c buzz box be a good selection for someone that does not have much skill at arc welding? With alot of practice,practice,practice maybe I can improve my skills.Would an auto darkening helmet help me very much.What type of rod should I use to practice with? I don't have the extra time to take any welding classes,so any help from you pro's would be great Thanks

Reply to
tony stramella
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I am confused. You don't have time for any welding classes, but do have time for a lot of practice.

Depending on what type of material you weld, I would suggest the Harbor Freight inverter Tig/Arc welder. It can be used for arc welding, but also for TIG welding. Which means it will weld thin materials and somewhat thicker materials. Plus it takes up a lot less room.


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Guess you haven't seen his posts in rec.crafts.metalworking....

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Yes. It is the least expensive way to get into welding. If, after a while, you discover that welding is not for you, or you lose interest, you don't have a pile of money tied up in equipment sitting idle.

With a stick welder (SMAW), there is a high correlation between the appearance of the weld and the quality of the weld -- if it looks good, it most likely is a strong weld -- SMAW is a good welding process to learn on -- there is no question as to whether the weld is good or bad when the quality of the weld is visible from a distance.

Go to an industrial or farm machinery dealer, have a look what the weld beads look like when done by a pro on structural steel, then go home and try to duplicate the appearance of the bead using your own equipment. Set yourself a schedule to burn up 5 welding rods per day, seven days per week, until you get it right.

Yes. When we were more of an agrarian society, it is how 10-year-old farm boys learned to weld -- look at that weld on a piece of farm equipment, fire up dad's AC buzz box, and try to duplicate the appearance of the weld bead, using pieces of scrap metal -- if it doesn't work out, never give up, try again, until you've got it right. If a 10-year-old kid can do it, no reason why you can't.

Yes. Wouldn't be without one. Although, to be a real pro, one should know how to use a manual filp-up type also. (Just my opinion, because a pro always strives to learn everything there is to know.)

6013 3/32" Diameter.

A 6013 rod has a tendency to include slag in the weld bead. You know you're doing it right when you can lay a bead with 6013 without any inclusions -- you have to keep an eye on that puddle.

A 1/8" rod lays down metal too fast for a newbie. You want to take it slow and carefully observe the behavior of the puddle while learning control the motion of the welding rod.

Practise on on 1/8" stock -- angle iron, flat iron, etc., at about 85 Amps for a 3/32" rod.

Hmmm...if you don't have time for welding classes, do you have time to practice? You have to get your knowledge from somewhere, which means doing a lot of reading on your own AND EXPERIEMENTING with a real live hot arc -- all this takes time, which you claim you don't have.

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wrote in message news: | I am confused. You don't have time for any welding classes, but do | have time for a lot of practice.

That's simple. He's got a job that doesn't allow for him to attend classes because of schedule conflicts, constant changes in schedule, and so on. I had an opportunity to take some welding classes while I was out on a medical leave, but the class timing didn't jive with when I started my leave. Had lots of time on intermittent occasions to burn a good bit of rod, though, which I took advantage of. It's a shame, because any classes I take my employer pays for. I was able to take a handful of computer classes, which fit great into my schedule, though. I could try to take some evening classes now, but the demand is low, and a commitment from enough is required to have the evening classes. I wouldn't be getting much sleep, either!

A buzz box, some scrap iron, and a bit of gear is the cheapest way to get into welding. The buzz box will do just about anything most folks need done, with obviously special instances requiring fancier equipment.

Reply to
carl mciver

I pretty well agree with everything Speechless told you. An autodarkening helmet really is great for learning since you don't live in fear of accidentally striking an arc without the helmet down.

6013 makes rather nice looking welds. 7014 does too and you can practice your drag technique with it. When you think you have it all under control and are feeling pretty clever get some 6011 and see what your welds look like - then you won't be such a smart *ss. 6011 is good for welding rather dirty old steel. Good luck, billh
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I would wait for the opportunity to buy an Idealarc or similar with DC capability. They last forever and are not that much more expensive used.

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I have that Lincoln ac/dc box and learned on it. I only used 7018 rod. It gets good penetration and is very storng. Yeah you want to make nice pretty berads but my first one look terrible but no in h-ll cld i brake them on the vice. IOW, just bec a weld dont look like a pro made it dont mean it aint strong. OfF course you want to strive for the best weld you can.

For practice, take apencil and male small arcs on a pice of paper over an over. Make the arcs kinda like like fish scales abt 3/8" long and make them conect at each end and continue down the page. Start your practice with the 7018 stick by weaving back and forth on a 1/8" steel. Use the setting on the side of the machine for the Jet LH-78 electrode.

Also, the 7024 rod is kinda neat but just for horizontal wekding. It can weld thru dirt very well and looks great.

Try and ventilate the area if you can with fan in the door or window etc.

Good luck.


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You seem to be the only person who understands that some people are employed and are very busy and unable to attend classes but those of us who want to learn will read all we can about the craft and practice at home and any other place we can.

Reply to
tony stramella

I think it's likely one of those things that sounds good on paper. I was up for classes while I was out on a medical, but the semester didn't line up, and I wound up a whole lot busier than I had expected to be. After I picked my kids up from school I ran my ass off until well after six, and often even later than that. So I just fired up the box and either played or made stuff I wanted/needed.

Reply to
carl mciver

I found a class that met two evenings per week, starting at 7 and lasting until

9 or 9:30. I wound up taking it twice.

There were a few times I didn't make it to class but all I really missed was practice time with the equipment. That's why I took it again.

-- Jack

Reply to
Jack Hunt

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