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How did you learn to Weld.


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well, a blacksmith shop i bought out last spring came with an old Lincoln tombstone AC arc welder, which i plan on using to teach myself to arc weld with this next spring, after I make myself an 8/3 SOOW extension cord to run from my dryer out the walkout basement door to the garage >_< I can forge weld, but I havent done more than stick 2 pieces of metal together with a blob with a real welder yet.

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was 30 (1980) running electrical conduit up 10 stories, and had an apprentice who could weld and a buzz box, he showed me how. I bought the welder in the photo below.

After that job the union dispatcher called on a friday and asked if I thought I could certify for a power house job. I spent all weekend reading and burning rod. Monday three of us showed up to do coupons, spent most of the day trying weld vertical with no luck when one guy gets a fitter to show us how. He said just watch what I do. I did and it worked. They did a bend test and I got the job. They had me certify later (kind of a hokey deal)

I love to weld but don't have the talent to be real good at it.

7457.attach

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  • 6 months later...

When I bought my house in 2001 I had the garage wired for 220 and I bought a used lincoln tombstone. I then got an ac dc stick, mig and oxy aceteline. My girlfriend's dad is a retired welder and he gave me my leather apron and some tips. The rest I learned on my own.

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Dad did some occasional OA welding and taught me how but I don't know if I could ever do it with anything other than coat hanger wire as my medium:D I don't remember him ever using anything other than coat hangers when OA welding...

I'm still trying to teach myself arc, my dad always accused me of making bubble gum welds... they are a bit better now but not by much. About one out of 10 or 20 welds are good enough to make me stand and gawk at my own work... My biggest problem is blowing out the metal I'm trying to weld, just haven't got a good grasp on amperage settings...

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I bought a Lincoln Tombstone AC only and could not run a decent bead. I took a community college class but that was mostly a lightweight survey of all welding processes and didnt really help much. I got a DC weldor and just practiced for 15 mins every day running beads. Filled many plates of scrap with stringers trying to get a nice bead with 6010. I also hung out on the welding forums where I learned a lot. Finally after about 50# of rod, I got the hang of it. I doubt I could get certified but I can do a decent job on the stuff I make for my shop. Stick is best suited to my shop. Its versatile, cheap, will weld heavy stuff and its very easy to switch from one kind of rod to another. For sheet metal I use oxy acet.

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First introduction was in Vo Ag class in high school, but it wasn't much. Then another bit in a college shop class. In 1972 I owned a ranch in Central Texas and had a set of stock working and truck (double decker) loading pens and chutes built by a contractor. It was a lot of money for me and I vowed I would learn to weld.

I moved to NE Texas on a job in 1973 and took welding at night school at the local Jr. College. It was a good course with a retired Navy welder as instructor. He was good and put up with no crap. I was the only student he ever had with a degree in education so he asked me to present his lectures so he could learn more about presentation, etc. I memorized all the material!

That was in 1973 and I took 4 courses, almost enough to get an associate degree. I got good at ox/ac and stick but only touched on TIG. MIG wasn't taught at that time as the local boilermaker and job source for most students used only stick (6010 and 7018) and sub-arc. I bought a little Lincoln 225 crackerbox and did odd projects for myself here and there.

After retiring in 1999, I opened my blacksmith shop and soon bought MIG, TIG & portable machines. Taught myself TIG while building a staircase in a new home. I still have a lot to learn.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I stick weld at my shop. I learned how to set things up by watching someone else. I have never actually seen anyone else weld before. It's all been OJT, reading what I can & trial & error. Practice, practice, practice. Someday I'll have to go down to the local Jr College & sign up for a welding class.

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my dad gave me a 5 min show on how to mig and left me alone! i was at the time building my forge so some of my beads suck but it all holds.only thing i dont like bout my forge it the side draft hoods made from 8th inch plate and weighs 70 pounds and same with my forge...angle iron and plate... i have not learned to stick or o/a or tig but my dad does have an old lincon so i just need to find it somewhere in his old messy repair shop...its older than me!

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I started in high school first with a torch then stick when on to tech school and bought a old westinghouse ac welder from a local Texaco gas station for a few bucks think it was 40 yrs old when i got it and used in Dads barn for awhile . Went to work for a company doing other things for 20 yrs and decided I needed a change and landed a job at another company after six months I took on a welding (mig) and tig most of the tig was for repair work and some lite gauge fabrication steel . As of now I'm working with robotic welding equipment and doing smaller sub assembly work mig welding and repair .

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In my early teens, my folks both worked out of town. I had a good three or four hours each night to kill and it only took about half an hour to do my chores so I spent the rest of the time in my Pop's shop. He had O/A and the proverbial lincoln tombstone. My uncle Rick was a pipeline welder at the time and gave me a few pointers, and the first real project I built was for a platform on the front of dad's boat trailer. He was so impressed that he always had me do his welding for him after that (cause he sucked at it :-). Then all my buddies who had nasty old rusted out cars and exhaust systems would come to me for patch up jobs. I got pretty good at welding rusty, dirty old exhaust pipe with o/a and a coat hanger. My mom yelled at me about burning up all her clothes hangers, so I told all my buddies they had to bring their own rod over if they wanted me to weld on their cars! Got several certifications in the early 90's TIG welding aluminum and stainless as I was working in a large glass and window shop building all of their skylights, large fixed windows, and some of the commercial storefront installations. Good fun stuff.

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  • 2 months later...

My Daddy was a Pipe fitter so I used to watch him weld as a kid but he never let me touch his tools. I became a Union Electrician. One day the Union (local 59) put out a notice that they were going to hold there first ever welding class so I signed up the first day. Went to the 2 week class and fell in love with it (strictly stick). A few months later I was on a GM shut down and the outfit I was working for asked if anyone knew how to weld cause there were a lot of Electrical pipe racks that had to be welded up... again I voulintered. Then they asked if I could weld SS... I said sure (there was work in the paint booths), didnt have a clue how to do it but one of my Harley bubs was a welder on site and he gave me lessons on how to set my gas and etc... Away I went.. Aint looked back... I just love it. reciently bought a Lincoln mig welder and now I'm teaching my wife and daughter... they love it! Taught them both how to weld Aluminum just last week.

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Learned welding as part of my apprenticeship as a Blacksmith back in the 80's.Worked the day shift and took evening classes at the local College. Took courses in welding, Fabrication and layout, blueprint reading, math, metrics and mechanics. Courses were three hours a night, two nights a week, and took three years to complete them all. Had to pass them all to get my ticket, as well as complete 7,280 hrs of work. All that to make a level one Blacksmith. Then another two years of work to become a journeyman. Almost thirty years later and still Learning......LOL

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I learned how to stick weld in the Iron Workers apprenticship back in "72". From then on I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Mig machine and taught myself. After that, I bought a Tig machine to weld aluminum and just started after it. When I had a problem, I got in the books and asked all the questions I could.

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Well, I'm still learning and doubt I'll ever stop. But as it is, I'm teaching myself arc and hoping to move onto Mig in the semi-near future. Mostly, I've just been reading books, reading forums and practice, practice, practice. I've gotten pretty good with making strong welds and avoiding burn throughs, but the welds are still pretty ugly.... all things with time I guess ;)

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I had a semester of welding in college, but nothing til I had bought a tombstone and asked a welder friend how to do it. He gave me scrap rod and I got busy welding drums together to make a pontoon raft. I turned those drums every which way sorting through the piles of rods looking for those that were alike. :) mystery metal in the finest sense. I did mostly horizontal with one drum sitting on top of another but tackled all postion including laying over the drums and welding upside down. Had try it all.

Now I use MIG most of the time but still burn the sticks as needed. And am still trying to be a welder.

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