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Old 02-05-07, 01:19 AM   #1
The Beard
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Welding Recomendations???

I want to weld two frames together and am in the market for a welder. Does anyone have any recommendations for types of welding (tig, mig, oxy acetaline), or deals they have found? I will not be doing any really serious welding so it need not be top of the line type of welder.
Thanks in advance if you can help
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Old 02-05-07, 01:21 AM   #2
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Just stick with mig welding, nice and simple plus it's all you'll need.
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Old 02-05-07, 10:29 AM   #3
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I like oxy.It's been used for over 100years and you can do a lot of differend things with it.But their are times I wish I had a mig/tig type welder.I do have a high voltage ******* box but it's too hi amps for bikes.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:47 PM   #4
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is there a minimum amps i should get?
any useful features?
i was looking at something like this
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/mig-welders.asp
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Old 02-06-07, 12:03 AM   #5
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I use a 220v arc welder, it is pretty tough to weld anything that isn't a thick huffy/sears/schwinn tube, but it gets the job done. It is all I have at my disposal, so I make due.
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Old 02-06-07, 01:20 AM   #6
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TIG is hard to weld, and you'll need shielding gas. It offers the best penetration, highest quality weld, but it takes skill. Unless you plan to practice alot, and waste some dough on shielding gas and welding rod, you'll probably really butcher the job if you try starting on Tig, and will probably wind up blowing holes through your tubes.

Mig, too, requires shielding gas, which costs money for the gas and the regulators. However, there is flux-core MIG, where the flux creates its own shielding gas, protecting the weld. MIG is pretty easy to learn, but you do have to know what you're doing, especially where vertical welds are concerned, and setting up the system to get proper penetration.

The cheapest welding setup is an arc welder. You can probably pick them up for around $70 at Harbor Freight or eBay, and the only expense is the welding rod. This is usually only used for steel, however, and is only of limited use on aluminum.

If you haven't already, I would recommend taking a course at your local community college. For around $50, you get great instruction, and will probably get about $500 of free electricity, welding rod, materials, etc. to practice on. Above all, get good welding safety gear. Its not worth going blind over, or burning a hole through your forearm, because you don't realize the dangers.

Good luck.
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Old 02-06-07, 08:20 AM   #7
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Flux-core mig in my experience is not that great. My suggestion would be is to get a brand name (Hobart,Lincoln,or Miller etc.) with snap settings at the farm and barn or Home Depot.Personally I have a Miller 120 (just plugs in a wall outlet) it has variable temp. settings but im fussy that way and do a fair amount of welding from time to time.Go to a welding supply house they sometimes take in trades and refurbish them and resell them at great deals. My last suggestion is mig with gas thats what works for me. Good Luck and have fun, playing with bikes is what i do for fun btw.
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Old 06-03-07, 02:07 PM   #8
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My only experience welding has been making a bike rack with a big ancient stick welder, seemed workable. MIG may be great, but they're way, way out of my price range... What I'm looking for is something that's OK for assembling various cheap bike frames I've been piling up, and it has to work on 115v.

Scouring pawn shops, I've found a 115v stick welder for 70$, it has a 50-70a switch on it and it says 20%@50A, 10%@70A. Looks like about the lowest end you can get as far as welders go, but would this be OK for bikes? And if not, why so?
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Old 06-03-07, 04:45 PM   #9
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I had a 115 volt Century welder with a 50 and a 70 amp heat setting. It did amazing things, but was limited. If you want to weld bicycle tubing, you will likely want to weld for about a quarter of an inch or more and then let it cool. This is so the metal does not get too hot and you blow holes in the tubes.

You can start the bead at a precise point by getting some one-quarter inch carbon rod at a welding supply shop. Peel back some of the copper covering. Place the tip of the carbon rod where you want the bead to begin. Cross the electrode over the carbon rod. Pull your helmet down. Slowly draw the electode back so the tip of the electrode moves onto the carbon rod. An arc will start. Move the arc down the rod and onto the metal.

The performance of a small welder can be maximized by improving the ground clamp. If nothing else, clamp the bare cable to a shiny spot on the tubing with a Vise-Grip plier.

5/64 inch electrodes will probably do a good job for you. I always liked type 6013 rods. 5/64 inch rods are not always easy to find, but do exist.

Eventually I wanted to weld heavier materials and bought a 230 volt stick welder with infinite amperage variation. It is powerful enough with a long enough duty cycle to use a homemade carbon arc torch for brazing.

For bicycle frames, I would recommend making a sleeve to cover the joint and brazing it in place.

A good auto-darkening helmet helps a lot. Get a Lincoln and avoid Harbor Freight's house brand if you want your eyes to last a lifetime.
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Old 06-03-07, 09:43 PM   #10
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ditto on the 6013 rods.

I have taught welding and can do mig and tig but what if have in my garage is a lincoln buzzbox stick welder and a homeowner's oxy acet. rig. I find myself wanting little.

You will have to do a LOT of reading, have someone show you, or take a class. Otherwise you will spend more money in wasted rods and material. It does add up when you have a bunch of half burned rods on the floor.

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowl...icles/list.asp

start in the how to section.
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Old 06-03-07, 09:46 PM   #11
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forgot to add...

Make sure you understand the safety aspect. Never hold the rod directly while welding and never hold both leads at the same time. People do die of electricution.

Make sure you wear safety glasses, even under the hood. About the time you raise your hood is the time that slag starts cooling and popping off. Uber hot welding slag stuck to your eyeball is no party.
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Old 06-04-07, 01:25 AM   #12
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I'm using a 115v lincoln flux core wire feed. It gets the job done, but isn't nearly as nice as the stuff they had at the high school where I took my welding class.
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Old 06-04-07, 03:38 AM   #13
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I prefer oxy-acet as well.

I could bore you with specific reasons--but basically it's this: most home-builder people tend to use thinner metals--1/4" or thinner. With a small $300 oxy-acet torch, a few sizes of tips and some practice, you can weld any thickness (or combination of thicknesses) darn near perfectly, from tin cans all the way up to 1/4" thick steel. No electric welder you can get for $300 will do that.
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Old 06-04-07, 08:35 PM   #14
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TIG welding wouldn't be so tough if you can actually see what your doing half the time. Is all welding like that? Where you'll position the welding rod in the exact location you want to weld, then quickly flip over your dark dark mask and start blasting away. I could barely see what I was doing.
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Old 06-04-07, 08:49 PM   #15
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Eventually you get used to it, I did. If you want you can get an auto dark mask if you can deal with everything looking green.
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Old 06-04-07, 09:13 PM   #16
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Fillet brazing with oxy-acetelene is the traditional way of joining steel tube frames. It's worked pretty well for over a hundred years.
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Old 06-04-07, 11:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 531phile
TIG welding wouldn't be so tough if you can actually see what your doing half the time. Is all welding like that? Where you'll position the welding rod in the exact location you want to weld, then quickly flip over your dark dark mask and start blasting away. I could barely see what I was doing.
Ummm..... a decent TIG will cost $1500.00 or so. Most people who are willing to spend that much will cough up another $100 for an auto-darkening mask.
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Old 06-04-07, 11:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waldowales
Fillet brazing with oxy-acetelene is the traditional way of joining steel tube frames. It's worked pretty well for over a hundred years.
I see this a lot where people buy the little MIGs and then they find out that the things don't work that well. They get lousy penetration and burn holes in thin metal.

My point is not that "all MIGs are bad", just the cheapo ones are.
If you spend $700 for a MIG it will have good heat control and it will generally work as intended.
If you buy a $100 110V MIG, it probably won't.
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