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Welding General Information
General information on welding types, methods, and helpful tips and tricks. I just started this page on 5-8-07 so I'm still contributing to it. This page is sloppy and poorly organized, and I will get back to it later.
12-19-07 Updated this page some.
So you wanna learn to weld? Arc welding is probably the most common type of welding. Welding takes practice and attention to detail. My welds are still improving.
There are many different types of welding: arc, GMAW (gas metal arc welding), TIG (tungsten inert gas), MIG (metal inert gas), etc. etc. I will touch on the different methods of cutting, brazing, and the different tools you might use.
Cutting tools: angle grinder, bench grinder, chop saw, band saw, hacksaw, abrasive cutoff wheel, magnesium electrode, plasma cutter,
Welding thin metal (16 gauge) with an arc welderWhen arc welding thin metal one must be especially careful to properly cut and fit the metal pieces together. Even the smallest gap will take a ridiculous amount of time to fill in with metal. The rate at which metal can be applied is very slow. Gaps in the fitting of the metal together increases the welding arc gap. Which in turn means the tip of the electrode and the surface of the metal becomes much too hot causing the metal to vaporize. Most welders refer to this as 'blowing holes' in the metal. How else can this happen even without a large gap in the fitting? As the temperature of the working metal rises it becomes softer, because metal is a good conductor, the heat transfers rapidly throughout the rest of the metal (as you weld the metal naturally the surrounding metal gets hotter). Naturally if the metal is hotter than it would need less heat input from the arc welder to acheive the same result as when the metal is cold. This phenamonon is good for a deep penetrating weld on heavy gauge metals, but bad for thin metal because it causes obvious shrinkage, warpage and vaporization of the metal.
In order to combat blowing holes (vaporizing the metal) in your workpiece. You can do the following:
Warping is a major consideration when welding thin metal.
Arc welding tip: When coming to the end of your weld break the arc fast. Doing otherwise will cause the metal to form a weak crystaline structure which ultamitely means a weak weld that could possibly be a point of failure.