gas welding stainless steel?

I have a friend that I am making some shelves for out of stainless steel. These are small shelves that just hold 4 6packs of beer. We
bought stainless steel rods that were 3/8" and I am using .030" stainless wire on my miller135 with the tri gas for shielding. And I cant weld the damn things. Originally we were going to order hollow 3/8 tubes but the solid rods ended up being less expensive. I didnt realize that I wouldnt put out enough heat to weld these things. The beads just superficially stick to the surface. I can do 1/8" stainless steel rods just fine, but not the solid 3/8". He all ready bought about $200 worth of rods so I am trying to figure out a way I can weld these for him without having to buy a TIG machine. I also have an oxyacetelene torch, can I weld stainless with that? perhaps using a stick coated with shielding? do they make those? These are just simple shelves, the welds just need to be structurally good.
Thanks
Matus
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Use the gas torch, but braze it. A high silver content brazing material will be a good color match, if you care. I used 56% silver braze with good results on a baking rack.
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V-grind your joints, use the torch to preheat your Stainless bars to about 500 DegF, push or cut back your gas cup on the MIG gun so the tip protrudes about 1/16" past the cup, keep your wire stick-out extremely short and run hotter than you would for steel.
Should work fine.
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matus1976 wrote:

Hi,
Of course you can weld stainless with oxy/acet. The problem is to find an old established supplier that may still have stainless flux. When I tried to get some flux a few years ago the very young clerk told me "You can't weld stainless with O/A, you have to use TIG". I reminded him that stainless was around since the early 1900's but TIG wasn't invented till around the late 1930's by Linde. Finally the kid shouted out to one of the "old employees" that this guy (me)wanted stainless welding flux. Imagine his surprise when said old guy informed him there was a whole case of it back in the corner and would sell it real cheap just to move it. I will tell you it was all I could do to keep from smirking. I only bought one 1 lb. can. I will tell you it is not as easy as welding mild steel though. Kinda like brazing, heat the rod and dip it in the flux and start welding, dip/weld, dip/weld etc. For doubters, find an old i.e. Audels Welders Guide, ca 1940's and it will describe the process.
My $.02 worth
Bill Kehm (The old guy)
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