MIG Book Recommendations?

I bought my middle son a welder to help him start a metalworking hobby. He's interested in engines and stuff that goes, wants to build
a go-cart (bored between college semesters while he works). For the time, he lives in a trailer on my cousins' business location, and will run from the trailer dryer circuit. I'm dealing with him remotely, but I'm comfortable we've got the wiring issues worked out. He's building a 10-4 SO cord extension to get outside a comfortable distance. He can also haul the machine over to the shop. The welder is a new Millermatic 180.
I've advised him of the necessity to practice a lot and dissect his welds before even thinking about building a human conveyance. We've agreed on that score. He'll also need to build a tubing bender and probably a ring roller before he starts anything serious, so he'll be kept busy for a while. I actually don't care if he ever builds a go-cart.
He also has a little (very little) experience with mig in the shop, and access to people who weld for advice. I'm not sure of their skill level, because I'm 1500 miles away, but it's probably adequate for their business (heavy concrete construction, see link for types of jobs http://www.peltierbros.com/job_sites.htm ). So he's not operating in a vacuum.
I'd like to hear suggestions for welding books, especially related to mig. Thanks.
Pete Keillor
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Lincoln and Miller put some stuff out. With MIG, the best teacher is just doing it a lot. And destroying your welds to find out where they held and where not. MIG is not the preferred way to join metals that people really need to bet their lives on. But it works so well on all the other stuff that just has to hold.
Steve
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I am not a MIG weldor, but for stick and TIG, Miller's online PDF handbooks are invaluable. I hope that their MIG book is just as good.
The MIG handbook is here:
http://www.millerwelds.com/pdf/mig_handbook.pdf
As for practice, etc, what SteveB said.
i
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Ignoramus28480 wrote:

And get the set of "welding calculators" from Miller for the $6 or so for the set, they are great as well for finding your starting parameters to adjust from.
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I agree that break-testing your welds is a good thing to do and an essential part of learning. There is no point "practicing your welds" learning a new skill if you do not diagnose what actually happened and what you actually got. At college I found it was a complete waste of time "practiced welding" without breaking these trial welds.
Look up "nick-break test". That's for a fillet weld. You cut a piece out of the length of your test weld then saw a nick in the length direction along the weld fillet surface then break the samle - forces the break to be a the fillet corner, where most likely to have defects like lack of fusion, slag entrapment (stick/SMA), etc.
Richard Smith
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This is true. But only if you take things to an extreme. To help people understand what I am trying to explain to them engineering wise, I take it to the extreme. "What if we made it THISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS long, how would that affect it?" IOW, when talking about welding, there's a lot of different categories.
For most people who use MIG on a hobby or semiprofessional basis, testing and failure analysis is seldom needed because it is plenty strong for their uses, mostly ornamental metal, light sheet metal work, and other noncritical applications. So, most of the time, it is "good enough" and most times more than "good enough", and the item would never be put to the test in the way it is during testing unless extreme forces were applied, and then catastrophic failure would be the only logical end to the sequence. There are a lot of welds that have all sorts of common welding mistakes that are holding together miles of fence and thousands of gates, and unless they are at a critical stress point, will last until the item is junked. Good enough.
IF a weldor gets to the point of required certification, or KNOWING that this item must hold to support people, contain pressure, or keep the trailer from passing you on the freeway (or even the spare tire as has happened), then they would get into it deep enough for professional analysis of the welds.
I personally think that it is good to overweld an item. Not necessarily to make a lot of passes, but maybe a proper pass at higher heat so fusion and penetration is achieved. More than is required for the usual hot glue application used on ornamental metals. You only learn that if you get into the % of weldors who must meet standards and understand how it all works so that they can meet those standards a very high % of the time. For the rest, any gorilla weld that holds is good enough. And what the heck. If it holds up the ornamental fence and gate, yes, it is plenty good enough. Less than 1% of the public would find any fault at all with it, and that 1% would be picky weldors.
So, bottom line, yes, learn to use the machine. But don't get complacent there. Go beyond that and learn how to do it RIGHT so that spare does stay on the trailer.
HTH
Steve
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For our fillet welds in stick class, we would just put the entire T joint piece (about 8" long of 3/8" steel) into a shop press so as to bend the upright down in the direction of the weld. The most reveling thing you first saw, was how little penetration you were getting. But it would also clearly show problems with cold lapping where the weld bead would just peel off the metal, and other defects based on how the piece cracked apart.
MIG welding on thin material (sheet metal) is normally easy to see if you got a good weld. You just check to see if you got total penetration on the back side. The hard part is not burning holes while still getting penetration.
On thicker material, that's when you run into trouble because it's easy to cold lap large parts of the weld and never know you have done it. If you are building things where people can get seriously hurt if the weld fails, you really need to get the experience that only comes with destructive testing of your welds.
You really can't learn this from a book. You have to do it, and it's best if you have someone with experience around to give you pointers. The books are good for giving you the theory and all the terminology, and tell you about safety issues, but learning to make good welds just requires a lot of practice.
To the person who asked about books, I would advise checking out classes in your son's local area as well. Our local community college has a good selection of welding courses (I've taken 6 of them covering all the major welding processes) and it makes a world of difference in giving you the confidence in understanding your ability (and your limits). And the in-state tuition rates were fairly affordable for me at least. (1/4 the price of my Millermatic 180 welder plus extras).
--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com http://NewsReader.Com /
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On 04 Aug 2009 20:26:36 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com (Curt Welch) wrote:

That would be me. Excellent points all, and I had thought about that. Since he'll be attending Texas State (pursuing a construction management degree), courses will be available. They appear to have a nice lab. http://www.txstate.edu/technology/labs/welding-lab.html
Thanks, everybody, I'll pass the entire thread to Ben.
Pete Keillor
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Get him a student membership in the AWS (American Welding Society). It will be an excellent resource for him as he pursues his degree(s). Should he choose to get involved in his local chapter, he will have a much, much better understanding of what welding is all about. I don't just mean sticking metal together, but also what it does to the weldors, too.
I don't know how many young, intense, brilliant, and incredibly short- sighted (I'm being nice here) engineers I've met who have no real idea what verbatum compliance means, and who earnestly believe that all we have to do is "stick to the standard." I've wasted weeks of my life convincing them that the "standards" don't work in every situation. Once in a while, you have to improvise, and it's a lot easier if your engineer understands how and why. He'll only get that from real-life experience, training, and talking to weldors who've done it.
I firmly believe that any engineer who gives orders / plans to weldors should know how to weld it himself. They should all take at least a month of practical welding training, then another month actually welding in the real world before they are allowed to don their pocket-protector for posterity.
Granted, the engineer may not have the expertise for every job, but he should know the fundamentals, at the very least.
--
Tin Lizzie
"Elephant: A mouse built to government specifications."-Lazarus Long
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On Mon, 03 Aug 2009 08:34:56 -0400, Pete Keillor wrote:

No suggestions for books, but:
If you use square tubing you can do a pretty fair job of putting a curve into it with just a vice -- there's no need to sacrifice the time, or a Japanese monkey, to build a bender.
For that matter, he can trade off a bit of effort and beauty for nice round bends and just make the frame out of all straight tubing.
(I used to try to make everything perfect, and I never got anything done except for model airplanes. Now I aim for "good enough" and I get lots done, except for those dang model airplanes which come out slowly but look really nice when I'm done).
--
www.wescottdesign.com

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Pete Keillor wrote:

My go-to welding book is "Welding Principles and Applications" by Jeffus.
Of course, nothing beats an in-person welding class.
GWE
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And if you can get a real life weldor to come over and bribe him with some adult beverages and some charred mammal flesh, you can get even more instructions in a shorter period of time.
MAJOR HINT: Save the adult beverages until AFTER the lesson.
BTDT.
Steve ;-)
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wrote:

Thanks, everybody. Grant, that's an expensive book. I think I'll buy one for me, then order one for Ben if I like it. Thanks to everybody for their suggestions.
Ben can get plenty of folks around the yard that know how to weld at some level, I'm pretty sure he won't find a full time pro, though. That's not their focus. Then in a few weeks, it's off to Texas State. Once he's in an apartment his welding will be severely curtailed until we sell our home here and move down. Then he will keep the welder at our new place. Of course, then I can use it too. Heh, heh.
Pete Keillor
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Pete Keillor wrote:

re: "Welding Principles and Applications" by Jeffus
C'mon now. A big part of welding is scrounging. One quick visit to bookfinder.com found a bunch of used copies for about $10. Did I buy mine new? Ha!
Actually, before I ever buy a book like this, I go check it out of the local library and read it. If I find myself going back to the library to get it again, then I start thinking about looking for it used. Only when I get sick of waiting around for the book to show up at the reserved desk at the library do I order one, and then only if I find it cheap enough.
It has been said that I'm so cheap I eat peas and shit them out one at a time.
:-)
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He is working with steel, but the most educational book I have picked up recently on aluminum welding was Pollards book on boat building with aluminum. There was some real interesting stuff on double welding butt joints, back chipping, strong backs for alignment, etc. I was going to start a thread about it later when I have the book handy to reference.
Bob La Londe www.YumaBassMan.com
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MIG is easy. I have stick welded since I was about 8 years old. Dad owned a large commercial machine shop. I bought a Lincoln 180C with a Spool Gun to do some stuff on my Aluminum boat. Can not believe how easy it is to mig weld steel. Much easier than stick as the hand does not have to keep moving towards the work. Get the correct distance and just move along at the proper speed. Aluminum welding with the spool gun is trickier but fairly easy to learn. TIG, another matter altogether. I can TIG steel, and with a $15k Miller syncrowave I can do aluminum. But with most cheaper machines, my Alum TIG welding is non existance. Someone commented that mig will not weld as strong as stick. Seems as if the pipe welding automatic MIG machines do a fine job. Check with the local junior college or his university for an ART WELDING class. The instructor will show him how to weld, and you will not be spending the hours than a person looking for a degree in welding or certification in welding will need.
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Pete Keillor wrote:

I like William Minnick's welding books. His book on TIG welding is quite useful. His book on MIG welding "Gas Metalic Arc Welding" is not as useful though.
BobH
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