What do you want in a welding book?

Hi Guys.
I have decided to spend some of this summer finally compiling a welding book.
I am curious what you guys would want in a book.
I am looking for a balance of technical info to step by step descriptions.
Lots of pictures and likely I will do at least 1 dvd or tape to work with the book. I will likely start with a general welding book and move on to a TIG specific book, or maybe the other way around. I need both for teaching and if it is an actual published book the school can buy them.
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| Hi Guys. | | I have decided to spend some of this summer finally compiling a welding | book. | | I am curious what you guys would want in a book. | I am looking for a balance of technical info to step by step | descriptions.
I like the tips and tricks that help you get the hang of the proper hand motions, like the pencil and washer exercise and so forth. A lot of books have five or so photographs of weld beads, but not a lot of detail about each, and what each little detail of the weld is doing or not doing. Perhaps a dozen or more photographs, with various combinations of problems and conditions that the user is bound to occur, if a neophyte or old hand. Some welds look good but suck, and some welds look horrible but are stout as hell. Explain how we can tell this just by looking at it. Show common errors and what to do about it. Point out what the inspectors look for, what they usually miss. How you can fix that slag inclusion deep in a corner, and the best way to approach a tight corner or leave one. What are the various options for various welding positions and what setups, motions, and options are there for various conditions. What combinations work best, what will get you by, and what just plain won't work, and why. What body positions are bad ergonomically, what works but looks funny, and what are the best ways to deal with certain conditions. My welding teacher used to bend his rod backwards and weld with a mirror on rare occasion. I don't think he was so much looking in the mirror as feeling his way, just using the mirror to start the arc in the right place. I've had to torch weld once with a mirror, and I managed to do okay, but watching that fellow told me that he either had a lot of time to learn it, or someone really sharp taught him to "feel the force." That's what I would like to learn, since I what I need to learn only comes with burning a lot of rod, not attending class with kids who don't know which end to stick in the clamp, and more likely something I'll be wanting to learn long after the course is over.
Thanks, Ernie!
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Carl
I havent seen any "Ernie" posts lately. I sure hope he hasnt forgotten RCM. He is a 100 percent good source of good info and help.
Jerry

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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

I literally spent years trying to learn welding from a book - a fool's errand in my case. A couple of hours in a community college class and I was welding!
Ernie, concentrate on producing the video, configure the book as a backup. To learn to weld, you need to see and hear the welding process, and you just don't get that from a book with still pictures.
Use each medium for its strongest characteristic - printed stuff is great for reference material: 'exploded views' of a mig gun or tig torch - tables of amperage versus rod diameter and composition - that sort of thing.
Video for actual 'process' documentation...
just my $.02 -
Carla
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Seconded.
90% effort on the video 10% on the book (if any).
I would like to see it focusing on pure TIG; but, that is a bit selfish.
I would not hesitate to invest $80-90 for a really quality DVD course on TIG.
But, whether you produce book or video, put me on the list for the first release, Ernie.
Spencer
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I agree with Carla. Welding is as much an art as it is a science: it requires seeing and hearing (and feeling, although that's a bit difficult to convey in any form of instructional media). A quality instructional DVD is the way to go, backed up by a book. In addition to the reference materials Carla mentioned, the book can also contain an instructional narrative of the welding process along with photos (both taking from the video) as a study aid: the students can review the book material to jog their memory and reinforce what they watched in the video. I would consider doing this project as a DVD-ROM with the book on the disk in PDF format. That would significantly lower your publishing costs.
Btw, why don't we have any cool metalworking gals like Carla in the rec.crafts.metalworking newsgroup? :(
- Michael
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DeepDiver wrote:

Thanks for the compliment -
I also haunt the rcm group and occasionally post there also :)
Carla
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On Sat, 02 Jul 2005 05:42:26 GMT, the renowned Carla Fong
Good idea. A DVD in a back pocket of the book would do nicely.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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wrote:

Ernie, Do the book. I know some people learn best by doing and others will do fine with just a book that's written, and if need be, illustrated well. Especially if the book is trying to teach a manual task or skill, good illustrations can really make a difference. Carla, I know videos can be very helpful but I have taught myself several things requiring manual skill from good books. So I think books are a great idea. Especially if the book is used along with either a teacher or a video. A good book is also great to have as a reference when you are not in class and don't have any way to watch a video. Eric R Snow, E T Precision Machine
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I would like to see something along the lines of "when your weld looks like this you need to change that" Also some good real world info on grinding tungstens. No matter how I grind them I get an arc but at my stage of development all of it is still a bit tricky to control. Tis on my list of experiments to grind a really long point and a really short point and see if I can tell the difference. How to tell when the arc length is correct..what to look for. Then some good info on fixturing and setting up a project to weld. Things to consider before laying down the beads and how to best place the tacks so it all comes together looking like it was supposed to instead of squashed out and stressed. Try to think back to the first time you picked up a torch and start from there :)
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Here's two pennies flung from the balcony .........
Lots of pictures or drawings about proper movement. And that given on EACH kind of rod. Some movements, like whipping, don't work good on some rods. Slow and steady doesn't work on some rods. I've seen lots of pictures on how welds SHOULD (I hate that word!) look, but few clues on how to achieve them with that particular rod.
Gear sections to each type of student. Give the newbie tips on movement, rod angle, all the basics.
The intermediate on building a shelf for an uphill weave.
The advanced on keyholing.
And after each topic in each section, "COMMON MISTAKES" as a help section.
A technical section for technical stuff.
Keep the sections separate, not mixing the technical in the newbie section where it will only confuse.
Etc.
You've probably made all the mistakes and hit all the rocks in the learning curve. Just expound on those. Welding takes a lot of time to learn, and there are umpteen different kinds of welding and rods. So, I would just aim it at the garage hobbyist/newbie rather than the old farts.
Give the old farts their own books.
WITH BIG LETTERS! ;-)
Steve
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On Sat, 02 Jul 2005 04:17:34 GMT, Ernie Leimkuhler

Reference material. The mysterious and arcane ways to get it set up pretty much right the first time, so we do not have to make each and every one of the stupid beginner misteaks ;-) ourselves. (Reference "Gunner's Flying Spare Tire Incident" from a year or so ago... ;-)
And easily refine what you are doing wrong without a bunch of angst. "This is a picture of what you're doing wrong, and this is how to stop it." For MIG, a chart that shows what kinds of wire and gas to use for various situations - where you need to use a mixed gas and where plain (and cheap) straight CO2 works just fine, etc.
Frankly, I'm almost afraid to do structural work with my Miller Challenger like reworking a trailer frame, because I'm not sure whether I'm making a strong weld or just a pretty one. And having the frame unzip driving down the freeway is not the time to find out.
You always chime in on TIG stuff (which I've never done) where people are using the wrong tungsten or gas, and that's another good cross chart. What needs back-purging, etc.
For gas welding and cutting, I can get a neutral flame but I'm not quite sure how and when to adjust to oxidizing or carburizing (sp?). I can make it work, just don't ask me how I did it...
And make the tip selection charts clear where the cutoffs are if you're running on a small B or MC cylinder, to avoid sucking the Acetone out of the bottle. I don't think any of my welding tips are in the danger zone, but cutting tips...
A separate companion book would be a "Buyers Reference Guide to Used Welding Gear." I'd love to get a plasma cutter, but it would be great to have a chart of the units to avoid because the consumables are made of those rare earth metals Unobtanium or Highpricium. Or if I run across a TIG power supply or an engine-driven unit, whether it's a gem or a dog. Or the ones that break when you look at them sideways.
Sure, I can ask here - but that takes a couple days, and by then the unit is probably long gone.

Just don't pull that odious tactic of "Every student needs to buy a new copy of my way overpriced book - and to prove it you have to tear out and turn in the flyleaf page for course credit, or you fail." The students who find your book valuable won't want to sell it back to the bookstore for used resale, they'll keep it as handy reference for many years.
(This response would be shorter and more concise, but I don't want to stay up all night polishing it.)
--<< Bruce >>--
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Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
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As for the video, I would say a DVD is much better, easy to go back and forth, you can see it at the computer and it will work all over the world. US and europe doesnt have the same videotape standard, so unless its a dvd I cant buy it Henning
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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

I have a couple of welding texts with vast amounts of information in each but I would like to see a book similar to James Harvey's "Machine Shop Trade Secrets". It's written in a first person style, with some humor and some Q&A type sections, lots of photos and real world advice like is available in this newsgroup.
Fred
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Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

I would like to see a book that talks about the "advanced" features on newer machines. A discussion of what they were intended to do, when they work best, and how to set them up would be great. I have not seen a description worth a beer in any book or owners manual. My interest is almost completely in TIG.
Regards,
Bob
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I think that you text should be specific to one or two processes. For example: one on TIG, another on wire feed, another on stick and arc gouging, and so on. Coil bound so that it sits flat would be good. If it is going to be used as a learning tool it would be wise to construct the book so that it would take revisions or addendums easily. Pictures are nice but expensive. I am wondering if there is a computer graphic process that converts photographs to simple line drawings. As people mentioned pictures of mistakes would be good. A series of exercises with matching diagnostic pictures would be helpful. If you target the book for everyone it will end up suitable for no one. Randy

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HTP sells a MIG welding video, part informational regarding their machines, part general MIG techniques. The shots of the actual welding were pretty well done. Something along those lines with more explanation would be good.
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On Sat, 02 Jul 2005 04:17:34 GMT, Ernie Leimkuhler

There's a lot of books on the market, so I guess you need something to make it stand out.
I have a Maxstar 140 (Bought on your recommendation back in 2000, it's a great machine) and I mainly stick weld with it. What I'd like to see in the book is:
Good practical advice on how all the different rods behave, and how to get the best out of them (Another poster also requested this)
A list of the top ten things to do to improve your welding.
Photographs of the common problems, and then a list of practice exercises designed to overcome each of these.
A DVD would be good, assuming it does not put the price up too high.
Barry Lennox
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One thing that'll make it stand out from all the rest will be the line on the cover (and the spine) that says "By Ernie Leimkuhler".
That one line, alone, will guarantee good sales. 8-)
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What sort of audience and what sort of welding?
If it's for an absolute beginner and covers OA welding I'd almost certainly be a customer. Things I'd be interested in are details on the equipment needed, the way they should be set up, what a welding "station" should like like, safety issues, good starter techniques and projects. The "why" is almost as important to me as the "what" to help focus understanding.
Mike
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