Probably a stupid question

I want to learn to weld as a hobby. All of my reading says learn gas welding first. So I bought a unit have connected everything and am ready to
go. In none of my books do they talk of flux when welding mild steel ( at least not that I remember ). Yet the guy at the welding store gave me flux coated rods to start with. Do I need flux or not. If not what would happen if I used these rods? One other question. My system is a Harris with No. 5 tip. Tha manual says set gas pressures to 5 psi on oxy and acet. This is easy with the acet gauge with a low range scale. The oxygen gauge however is a 25-100 psi Gauge and thus the lower level of the scale is limited. It just about starts at 5 psi so setting this accurately is limited. Is this an issue or do you simply do the fine adjusting by trying to get the neutral flame.
I apologize if these questions are really stupid but I want to learn the correct and especially safe method.
Thanks
Barry
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Yes you sorta guesstimate where five pounds is. You likely were given some brazing rod. Is there yellow metal under the flux? Brazing is much easier. I suspect that is why you were given them. A number five torch tip is rather big unless you are brazing quarter inch thick material. You don't need flux when welding. The envelope beyond the cone of the neutral flame keeps the oxygen out of the molten weld pool. Randy
I want to learn to weld as a hobby. All of my reading says learn gas welding first. So I bought a unit have connected everything and am ready to go. In none of my books do they talk of flux when welding mild steel ( at least not that I remember ). Yet the guy at the welding store gave me flux coated rods to start with. Do I need flux or not. If not what would happen if I used these rods? One other question. My system is a Harris with No. 5 tip. Tha manual says set gas pressures to 5 psi on oxy and acet. This is easy with the acet gauge with a low range scale. The oxygen gauge however is a 25-100 psi Gauge and thus the lower level of the scale is limited. It just about starts at 5 psi so setting this accurately is limited. Is this an issue or do you simply do the fine adjusting by trying to get the neutral flame.
I apologize if these questions are really stupid but I want to learn the correct and especially safe method.
Thanks
Barry
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That would answer it. Thanks
Barry

to
flux
happen
5
It
neutral
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For welding you need to have a 'neutral' flame or even a bit 'carburizing'. Light the torch with acetelyne only, add O2. The flame will go from sooty to clean then blue to intense blue. As you add O2, there will be a long inner flame (several inches long) that gets shorter as it approaches the 1/4" long inner flame. You want the outer flame to just touch the inner for a neutral flame. I find that welding works better with a little bit of excess acetelyne, say 1/4" longer than the inner flame.
"R. Zimmerman" wrote:

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http://www.machinist.org/army_welding / and http://www.free-ed.net/fr02/lfc/021100/00/100/coursemain.asp and http://www.torchcutter.com/intro.htm for cutting and http://www.metalwebnews.com/wc.html geoff
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to
flux
happen
5
It
neutral
Barry, these aren't stupid questions and I am glad you asked. I have been on the newgroup for several years and don't post much because most people have way more expertise than I do so I sit and learn. But I will post what I have learned on gas welding as it was the first I learned and really enjoy it.
As for setting up your torch with gauges that don't read in lower scales or the numbers have faded off from old age, here is how I do it. Turn gas Acet. on tank. Open knob on torch all the way and adjust tee till little gas is flowing. Light the acet. You will notice a lot of black smoke. Adjust tee till you have a nice feathery flame. Open O2 bottle and adjust tee down to low pressure and then open the knob on the torch all the way. Adjust tee on O2 till you have a slightly oxidizing flame. Adjust the knobs on the torch to a neutral flame and then you are ready.
I haven't had any problems using this system of setup and I don't have to remember how many pounds for every tip I use. As far as flux that is for brazing and for beginners I would not recommend brazing. I would start with welding and cutting with a torch. I would also learn to use a filler rod that can be anything from a coat hanger to store bought stuff. I have read everything on coat hanger you will find haters and lovers, but then truth of the matter it is cheap for practice and abundant. Once you learn to weld then brazing will come easier. The biggest problem I have read about is that people don't get the parent metal hot enough and don't know how to use a fill rod and torch together.
Scott
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Thanks, the advice is much appreciated.
Barry

ready
( at

No.
is
however
this
what
enjoy
or
knobs
with
read
weld
use
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BP, are you in northwestern PA by any chance?
Jeremy
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Yes I am.

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This is why I read this newsgroup. Something new to try. Sounds like it would work well. Dan

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The only stupid question,is the one that's not asked.
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