Beginner in need of help!

I am taking a welding class and right now we are learning how to gas weld. I
should say I am "trying" to learn to gas weld. I am having problems learning
how to do this and I wondered if anyone has any tips or tricks that might
help me out.
The problem I'm having is with the filler rod in my left hand. I'm okay with
making and pushing the puddle with the torch. But I'm having a lot of
difficulty getting the rod in the puddle with any consistency. First, I
wasn't getting any material in the weld at all, now I am able to get a bead
sometimes but most of the time I either burn a hole in the metal, stick the
rod to the metal, or just don't get the material to flow from the rod into
the puddle. It's very frustrating.
You should know that I am a complete novice and have never welded before so
this is totally new to me. I'm finding that I can't coordinate the right
hand with the torch and the left hand with the filler rod. It's like I'm
just too clumsy or uncoordinated to push the puddle with one hand and dip
the rod in it with the other. It seems that the other students in the class
are leaving me behind and going on to other welds and I'm still working on
the very first ones. Is it this hard to learn at first or am I just a klutz?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Hawke
Reply to
Hawke
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When you are poking the rod into the puddle make sure that you are moving it along its axis into the puddle. Many people make the mistake of twisting their wrist totip the end of the rod into the puddle. The tip of the rod should hang just above the puddle so that the flame is preheating the tip. Remember that if you insert the tip into the puddle the melting rod will absorb heat reducing the size of your puddle. Hesitate for a few moments and the puddle gets larger. You can regulate puddle size by how often you dip the rod rather than by removing your heat. To repeat... that rod should be moving along its centerline into the puddle. The bend of the torch tip is the correct angle the torch should point in relation to the plate. The rod should be positioned in front at the corresponding angle. Randy
Reply to
Randy Zimmerman
| I am taking a welding class and right now we are learning how to gas weld. I | should say I am "trying" to learn to gas weld. I am having problems learning | how to do this and I wondered if anyone has any tips or tricks that might | help me out. | | The problem I'm having is with the filler rod in my left hand. I'm okay with | making and pushing the puddle with the torch. But I'm having a lot of | difficulty getting the rod in the puddle with any consistency. First, I | wasn't getting any material in the weld at all, now I am able to get a bead | sometimes but most of the time I either burn a hole in the metal, stick the | rod to the metal, or just don't get the material to flow from the rod into | the puddle. It's very frustrating. | | You should know that I am a complete novice and have never welded before so | this is totally new to me. I'm finding that I can't coordinate the right | hand with the torch and the left hand with the filler rod. It's like I'm | just too clumsy or uncoordinated to push the puddle with one hand and dip | the rod in it with the other. It seems that the other students in the class | are leaving me behind and going on to other welds and I'm still working on | the very first ones. Is it this hard to learn at first or am I just a klutz? | Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. | | Hawke
Are you comfortable? Is the torch or rod not balanced in your hand? If you were to hold those positions for a long time will it hurt? If you close your eyes and let the items go where your body wants to put them, what happens?
Reply to
carl mciver
I'll let the better welders deal with the technical aspects of your question. I will say that like everything else in life some people will have a knack for being able to weld easier than others. Please don't just give up, one day you'll be struggling and the next day the pieces will start to fall in place and you'll wonder what the problem was. I applaud your intelligence to ask for some advice. Hang in there, you'll make it!
Billh
Reply to
billh
Along the same lines as the questions/advice that Carl has given--do you have your arms braced or supported in some way? My welding improved immeasurably when I discovered the secret of bracing my arm(s)!
Reply to
Andrew H. Wakefield
Hawke
Bill is saying exactly what I would say. You might feel it like a spade across the face right now, but it will fall into place. Sometimes you have to break down the job further. Can you leave a neat line of bead across a sheet of metal - no joint being made? There's always a "lower gear" to select to get restarted - then you have a sure path to being up to speed again, instead of being frustrated and in tears (which we have all been through!!!!!!). Oxy-acet is lovely. You will get to love the technique. It's a great start. Get a weldor's beanie so sweat doesn't run into your goggles and mist everything up!
As you get more skilled, for oxy-acet remember it is an error to drip filler off the end of the rod like the old way of sealing letters with wax. As it has been described in other posts, dip the filler rod into the weld pool. For sure keep it near the flame so it is preheated, but you will get uncontrolled over-large knobbly overheated welds if you don't quickly dip-dip-dip-... into the weld pool
It'll come - best wishes.
RS.
Reply to
richard.smith.met
Ever notice that when you have a pot of water boiling on the stove, and you throw in cold vegetables, the water stops boiling? Similarly, when you dip the end of your rod in the puddle, you cool it. You can minimize this cooling effect by holding the rod in the flame before you dip it. But, the rod will always be cooler than the puddle, so you should also move the flame onto the rod/puddle to help the melting. This develops into a kind of waving rhythm of both hands. Once it starts to work for you, it will feel very natural.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
I concur with Randy. You don't want to twist your wrist or your arm for that matter. Try keeping your arms so the movement of the torch tip ( or the rod tip ) is exactly the same as the movement of your elbow. That is if you want to move the torch an eighth of an inch, you move your elbow an eighth of an inch and your arm and torch stay parallel to where they were.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
Are you left or right handed? You need more precision in placing the rod than the flame. I was taught to feed rod with the dominant hand when using gas.
Do you cut your rods in half? It's hard to control the hot end of a rod with 30 inches of it swinging around behind your hand.
Reply to
mark
wrote: (clip)Do you cut your rods in half? It's hard to control the hot end of a rod with 30 inches of it swinging around behind your hand. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I bend mine in half. Not only does it make them easier to control--I never pick it up by the hot end anymore.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
This waving rhythm of both hands that you are speaking of is what is causing me the problem. It's like playing a piano. I can play with one hand but when I have to use both is when I mess things up. It's just that coordination between pushing the puddle with the torch and the tapping with the rod that I can't seem to do. One or the other, no problem, both together, problem. I guess it's just a matter of practicing but it's frustrating for me because I seem to be the slowest person in the class. I hate that!
Hawke
Reply to
Hawke
The type of motions you're trying to learn are similar to those used when TIG welding. Ernie Leimkuhler is the undisputed expert here on TIG and he offered the following observation/suggestion in a post a couple of years ago:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "TIG is very personal. If you have good fine motor skills, good depth perception, and good eye-hand coordination, then TIG isn't that hard to learn.
Think of it this way.
Take a clean piece of white paper on a table, draw a straight line down the center of the paper right to left with a straight edge. Take 2 pencils, one in each hand. Starting at one edge of the paper (right edge if you are right handed), rest the 2 pencil points on the line, now while making little 1/4" wide swirls move your right hand along the line very slowly to the left. At the same time with your left hand, and traveling in the same direction, do a side to side zig zag about 1/4" wide along the same path. You can't rest either arm on the table.
If you can do that then you can handle TIG.
Mainly it is training your muscles to do very consistent small motions while you body moves along the weld.
I find, as a teacher, that out of 100 students about 10 can pick it up immediately, 30 can get it after some practice, 40 can get it eventually, but it takes some time and work, 15 can get it after a long time but it isn't that pretty ,and the remaining 5 had best try a different process, or pay somebody to TIG for them.
In general I find women have an easier time than men learning TIG. Different mindset maybe, I don't know. "
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
He also has suggested another method using a washer and moving the pencil inside the hole but I personally think this one is better in this case. Obviously it isn't the same motion you'll use to weld but It gives you a way to practice having your hands move two different ways even when you don't have access to the torch at school.
It's kind of like the old "rub your stomach while you pat your head" deal. :-)
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Reply to
Keith Marshall
"Hawke" wrote: (clip) I can play with one hand but when I have to use both is when I mess things up. (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ OK, then, let's talk about one hand. If you clamp two pieces of sheet metal in contact at 90 degrees, it is possible to make a very neat weld with NO filler. Have you tried that? If that works for you, then try the same weld, but just add filler once in a while. Then increase your heat a little, so you HAVE to add filler more often to save the weld. When you can add filler at will, you've got it.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
working on
There is wisdom in the replies you've received so far, but !!! Somehow you HAVE TO get your instructor's attention. He/she is THERE (should be) and you have PAID as much as everyone else to get as much as everyone else from that class. SPEAK UP ! HEY TEACH'R, I NEED HELP WITH THIS ! I NEED YOUR ATTENTION ! LIKE, NOW ! WHAT am I doing wrong ? The instructor SHOULD be able to SEE your problems first hand.
\R (also in a class at this time - and getting FULL value) (-:
Reply to
2regburgess

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