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Old 02-01-2013, 05:17 PM   #1
rklinck
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Default Learning to Weld

So, I would like to build a single level brew set up at some point in the future. Something like this: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/propane-single-tier-direct-fired-rims-build-385867/. I am generally handy and enjoy designing and building things. Unfortunately, I do not know how to weld (I tend to build things out of wood). Any suggestions on how I can best go about learning to weld? And, from looking at Home Depot's website, I have seen that there are vast differences in prices of welding equipment. Is there some level of rating or power that I would need to be able to weld steel bars like in the above link?

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Old 02-01-2013, 05:25 PM   #2
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What type of welding do you plan on doing (stick, mig, tig)?

I would suggest mig, or wire welding. I would also suggest the highest capacity welder you can afford, and your power supply allows.

There is much information to be tapped online about how to do it. Also look into a vocational or trade school in your area. Many times the instructors are personable and may offer you tips to help you out.

You should be very sure of what you are doing before putting many pounds of hot wort and water on a sculpture. If something fails, that could get ugly quick. I'm not trying to scare you off by any means, I say go for it. Just take some precaution and happy welding!

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Old 02-01-2013, 05:25 PM   #3
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I've had some friends learn how to weld from a local community college class. Not sure how official you want to be with your training, but if you have a little money to spend, it would be worth it.

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Old 02-01-2013, 05:30 PM   #4
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Welding takes a lot of practice to get good at, especially if you don't have anyone to teach you. If you can get a class at a local junior college, it would probably save you a lot of pain and agony of trail and error. However, it's totally doable on your own if you are handy. I would check out some of the resources from welding giants like Miller or Lincoln, they have instructionals on what makes a good bead, and a lot of welding forums also have lots of tips.

Since you want to weld material under 1/4" thick, your best bet for the money is going to be a MIG welder WITH a 75/25 Argon/CO2 mix. Welding with a flux core setup, while cheaper, gives you a hell of a mess, and it's hard to weld thin material (you will blast right through too easily). I recently bought a Hobart 120v MIG welder, and I couldn't be happier for my application. It does anything up to 1/4" with enough adjustments for what I need. I welded my 3-tier tower with it using 16ga box tubing.

It's going to be hard to put together a set of gear for less than $1000. A decent welder will cost at least $500, factor in a welding mask, solid wire (usually .030), welding tips (a new welder usually comes with a few), welding gloves, welding tank, regulator and hose, and welding clamps/magnets, you are looking at a pretty penny, unless you can find someone to get it all from second hand.

Here's a link to the welder I have, for the money it's a great buy.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/hobart-handler-reg-140-mig-welder-3812040

You don't need anything bigger than that.

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Old 02-01-2013, 05:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewsit View Post
Welding takes a lot of practice to get good at, especially if you don't have anyone to teach you. If you can get a class at a local junior college, it would probably save you a lot of pain and agony of trail and error. However, it's totally doable on your own if you are handy. I would check out some of the resources from welding giants like Miller or Lincoln, they have instructionals on what makes a good bead, and a lot of welding forums also have lots of tips.

Since you want to weld material under 1/4" thick, your best bet for the money is going to be a MIG welder WITH a 75/25 Argon/CO2 mix. Welding with a flux core setup, while cheaper, gives you a hell of a mess, and it's hard to weld thin material (you will blast right through too easily). I recently bought a Hobart 120v MIG welder, and I couldn't be happier for my application. It does anything up to 1/4" with enough adjustments for what I need. I welded my 3-tier tower with it using 16ga box tubing.

It's going to be hard to put together a set of gear for less than $1000. A decent welder will cost at least $500, factor in a welding mask, solid wire (usually .030), welding tips (a new welder usually comes with a few), welding gloves, welding tank, regulator and hose, and welding clamps/magnets, you are looking at a pretty penny, unless you can find someone to get it all from second hand.

Here's a link to the welder I have, for the money it's a great buy.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/hobart-handler-reg-140-mig-welder-3812040

You don't need anything bigger than that.
It's times like this that I wish I still lived in Texas. I knew plenty of people there who know how to weld and I could've gotten them to help me out with the build and paid them in beer. Not so much in D.C. I'm starting to think I may be better of designing the structure and paying a local welding shop to build it for me. Unless I can find other uses for the equipment, I can't imagine that doing the welding myself will end up saving me any money. I guess I will just have to be content to do the rest of the build myself.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rklinck View Post
It's times like this that I wish I still lived in Texas. I knew plenty of people there who know how to weld and I could've gotten them to help me out with the build and paid them in beer. Not so much in D.C. I'm starting to think I may be better of designing the structure and paying a local welding shop to build it for me. Unless I can find other uses for the equipment, I can't imagine that doing the welding myself will end up saving me any money. I guess I will just have to be content to do the rest of the build myself.
Yea, I know what you mean. On the other hand, once you know how to weld, you tend to find a million ways that you can use the skill for fabrication. Next thing you know, you are coming up with all kinds of new gadgets...
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:55 AM   #7
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I'm going to jump in, MIG with shielding rocks!! But you don't need it. A flux core welder with a role of flux core and a face shield from northern tool will run less than 200$ and that will let you weld up to 1/8" mild steel. Its not that hard, have some scrap to weld before you start your stand.
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200403263_200403263

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:17 AM   #8
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Not at all trying to change your mind, but have you seen the "strut" builds around here? I was pretty much gong to try to figure out a welded rig like you are until I saw those.

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Old 02-02-2013, 11:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewsit View Post
Welding takes a lot of practice to get good at, especially if you don't have anyone to teach you. If you can get a class at a local junior college, it would probably save you a lot of pain and agony of trail and error. However, it's totally doable on your own if you are handy. I would check out some of the resources from welding giants like Miller or Lincoln, they have instructionals on what makes a good bead, and a lot of welding forums also have lots of tips.

Since you want to weld material under 1/4" thick, your best bet for the money is going to be a MIG welder WITH a 75/25 Argon/CO2 mix. Welding with a flux core setup, while cheaper, gives you a hell of a mess, and it's hard to weld thin material (you will blast right through too easily). I recently bought a Hobart 120v MIG welder, and I couldn't be happier for my application. It does anything up to 1/4" with enough adjustments for what I need. I welded my 3-tier tower with it using 16ga box tubing
It's going to be hard to put together a set of gear for less than $1000. A decent welder will cost at least $500, factor in a welding mask, solid wire (usually .030), welding tips (a new welder usually comes with a few), welding gloves, welding tank, regulator and hose, and welding clamps/magnets, you are looking at a pretty penny, unless you can find someone to get it all from second hand.

Here's a link to the welder I have, for the money it's a great buy.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/hobart-handler-reg-140-mig-welder-3812040

You don't need anything bigger than that.
X2 - I am a beginner welder, just learning and the above is great advice.
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