Welding certification and next step

Hi all,
I finished a welding class at my local CC, and an optional part of the
process (although this is what the class is geared towards) was submitting a
sample for certification. I don't need a cert, but figured I'd do it
anyway. I did a steel TIG cert and will do an aluminum and SS cert next
semester. All of these consist of welding two .375" pieces of material
together using a beveled butt joint, and having the resulting piece x-rayed.
As I mentioned, I don't need to have a certification, but it's fun to say
I'm a "certified welder".
The thing is that these certs seem to have almost nothing to do with the
type of welding a need/like to do. I want to do race car fabrication, not
erect buildings. Mostly I'd like to be able to weld tubing/pieces together
and know it's not going to break on track. Don't get me wrong; I love the
hood-down time at the class and the free materials, but should I be looking
for a class geared more towards what I want to do? I was hoping for info on
designing the joining of stressed parts, welding techniques used for tubing,
how excess heat effects strength, etc... I figure that finding a class that
covers this stuff may be tough. Any books that folks would recommend that
covers typical race car fabrication techniques and design basics?
Reply to
Peter Grey
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I've been licking my chops over "Engineer to Win" by Carol Smith. I don't have the book yet but Amazon customer reviewers have nothing but good things to say about it.
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Reply to
Artemia Salina
Well... shoot. I have this book and for got to check it out. I don't think it has any welding specific info, but I'll check and get back to you.
Reply to
Peter Grey
Check out some classes taught on air frame welding. There are a few around the country.
Airframe, car frame, motorcycle frame and bike frame welding are all very similar.
Joint design, fit-up, heat control.
There are no welding certs that specifically apply to car frame welding.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Well, it does have a couple of pages worth of what I want in it, but I'd like more info. I hadn't looked at this book in a number of years and I'd forgotten just how good all Smith's books are. Good info provided in an understandable manner and with a good sense of humor and humility.
Reply to
Peter Grey
All I can offer up is have fun with it. I build drag engines for professional drag racing in top fuel and nitro. classes (about 70% of my income) I just got serious in making manifolds and top ends as well as valve covers, oil pans, and I have done a lot of frame work before I went into business for myself and opened the engine biz. as an apprentice during HS summers and college. I don't know of any books that helped me or got into detail. Strange Engineering and Spitzer race chassis have a lot of good documents and plans available. Give them a Google, maybe something you are interested in might be available to hit your interests directly. I can really only speak to NHRA/IHRA and unsanctioned drag racing, there are a ton of chassis and process' out there. A good source is when at the local track, take a look at some of the older cars that are still hard-hitting. When the race day is over, stop by the pits. The guys will give you a zillion things to look at and most of the crews are more than willing to talk to the average guy is pretty common. Also a look at a wrecked car is a very, very interesting thing to look at the joints and welds after all hell broke loose. The most fun DTA to look over.
Have fun,
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL. Long Beach, CA.
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