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Thread: welding

  1. #1
    Member bikesrbetr's Avatar
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    welding

    i'm looking to learn basic welding so i can start to build and fabricate bikes, any ideas. i live in the ny/nj area.

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    Do you have vocational education in your area? How about the New York City College of Technology? Give 'em a call @ 718.552.1150. Basic welding shouldn't be too hard to come up with but transitioning basic knowledge into welding bike frames may be kinda tricky. I managed to do it so it's obviously not that much of a stretch. I've seen several frame building "clinics" offered but none I saw were offered cheap.

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    Banned. sngltrackdufus's Avatar
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    Your best bet would be a city college that offers the course of tig welding & brazing.
    That is where i more or less learned & through the 21 years at the profession i have been through several short courses including the one Lincoln offered.Another relevant course(other than city college) that would apply nicely is a course on welding high vacuum tubing.Private vocational schools are very costly.Although you can get low interest government loans they(schools) are generally not worth the cost.

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    well i notice there are different kinds of welding, will arc welding do the trick

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    I think the only people doing arc welding are like the Tiawanese when they slap together those Magna and Mongoose frames for Wal-Mart. Most bike welding I've seen is done with tig (Tungsten Inert Gas)welding because it provides an extremely stable puddle (keeps you from burning holes in that thin tubing) and also allows you to weld non-ferrous metals like aluminum and titanium in addition to steel. I've welded razor blades together before using tig, just to illustrate the level of control you can get with such a setup. That's a very common setup in modern industry so I wouldn't expect you'd have much trouble learning the process.

    Brazing is a great way to build frames, too. I would think of brazing as being closer to an art form than any of the welding prcesses but I may be romanticizing the subject. It may take a bit more searching to find a teacher but I feel it would definitely be worth learning.

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    ARC welding is any electro welding process including TIG (GTAW), MIG (GMAW), Stick (SMAW). Any of these methods can be used to weld bike frames though TIG is far and away the choice for artisan frame builders using arc technology.
    Last edited by NoReg; 04-04-06 at 11:38 AM.

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    Member kapnk's Avatar
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    LOL I just saw someone outside riding a unicycle around the parking lot!

    Anyway, what is the chance of having luck stick-welding a frame together? When I visit my grandparents in another state, I'd kind of like to build myself a bent for when I visit. The catch is that my grandpa only has a stick welder. As far as I know, it is a general purpose welder and most definatly older. I'm guessing turn it to as low as it will go, and just give it a shot, right? Any hints of what rods might work well?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

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    Banned. sngltrackdufus's Avatar
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    Yes, i would like to know that too. along with type of rod manipulation & sequence.

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    Go to atomic zombie, the guy there sticks bikes, and is a certified welder.

    I cut 1/16" rods in half so they aren't so flexible and run them at about 40 amps, but it depends on your machine. At the time I had an ac, which is a comparative nightmare, though you can weld aluminum. It's much easier to hold a steady arc with DC, but since getting DC, it is also a tig, and I haven't tried welding any light stuff by stick since.

    An important point with stick is to clean a lot. Lets say you tack a tube, then you have to clean it. Then you weld from 3 oclock up to 12. Clean again, then weld, 6-9, and clean. You have to removes all the vitrious, and wash and sand at each step. Convenient it isn't, but it can be done.

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    The problem is that running that rod is about right for .060 wall, so if your bike tube is .035, you are oversize. So if you use enough heat to really work that electrode, then you should be burning through or welding on top of the material and not getting good penetration. Delicate business.

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    Banned. sngltrackdufus's Avatar
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    If you encounter "arc wander" you can run a "spider" to your work.It will help a great deal.
    Last edited by sngltrackdufus; 04-04-06 at 04:57 PM.

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    Peterpan1, I searched the atomic zombie site from top to bottom and found your posts most useful! Thanks for the help!

    sngltrackdufus, I've done a bit of arc welding, but entirely on thicker metal. Could you explain the "arc wander" and "spider" stuff to me? When I tried TIGing 1/4" aluminum, I felt like I wasn't in control of where the arc was going, so I guess maybe that was arc wander. That still leaves me wondering about "spider".

    Thanks a lot guys

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    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    www.times-up.org for free (donation) welding classes.

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    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    I agree with all the above posts. Another suggestion is to post this to the framebuilder's subforum of this website. It's newer than this one, so maybe you didn't know about it. Anyway, you can get there from the forums homepage.

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