Got started this weekend!

  1. rickoty Member

    Messages:
    32
    Fife Scotland
    Well I had my first go at welding this weekend. I got my welder all set up and went to halfords and got a couple of little CO2 bottles, they don't last long do they!

    My mum was throwing out an old metal bunk-bed so I took the frame cut it up and attempted to weld it into all kinds of weird and wonderful shapes! Started on some flat bits first..... unsurprisingly, I'm not very good!:D

    I think a large part of my problem was the fact that I can't see a thing out of my welding mask. It's an old flip down thing that's been in my garage for years. I literally can't see a thing untill I start welding, then I see a green spark and the red glow of the molten metal. The only indication I have that I've blown a hole is the red glow dissapearing.

    And I can't see well enough to see where I'm going or how far away from the metal I am! A bit of a disaster.

    I think possibly because of this I was holding the tip a bit far away. There was more of a machine gun sound rather that a burning fire. I turned the wire speed up till it pushed away, and also so far down that very little happened at all really.

    Only a couple of my 'welds' looked like continuous lines, most were kind of blotchy. Could the machine gun sound and blotchy lines be because I'm too far away from the metal and the wire is breaaking contact?? This is pure speculation on my part... does it sound plausible?

    I did get some metal joined to other metal so I'm calling it a successful first attempt!!:D Roll on next weekend so I can have another shot.

    Unfortunately I think it will be next month untill I can affford a new mask. At least thats plenty time to find one eh?!

    Sorry for the essay but I'm pretty excited about it all. :) :)

    Rick
     
  2. malcolm

    malcolm Hej!

    Messages:
    8,871
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Post some photos of your welds and we'll sort you out.

    A machine gun sounds like the wire speed it too high for what you want to weld. Crackling bacon has been cited as a good sound, but even that isn't quite consistant enough. Sizzling bacon maybe? Mmmm. Can someone post some bacon butties up - I'm getting hungry now.

    Try resting the shield on the workpiece. Then it'll never be too far away.

    For the welding mask - there are lots of different types. A number 10 is good for general lightweight MIG. I'm reasonably sure I can see more than you do with my number 10 so it might be worth checking you have the right filter. They aren't expensive. It ought to be possible to see the weld puddle getting a bit angry with too much heat before it blows through.
     
  3. rickoty Member

    Messages:
    32
    Fife Scotland
    I can't get pics up just now because I got a new phone and can't transfer pics yet. And I don't have a digi camera at the moment.

    I was scared to rest the tip on the workpiece incase I welded it there!
     
  4. Hyster Member

    Messages:
    8
    Dundee, Scotland
    Hi Rick,
    Just a thought also make sure the surface you are welding is clean, no paint or dirt.

    I see you live in Fife, somewhere like Cromwell in Glenrothes will probably be able to sell you a replacement glass.Should be cheaper than a whole new helmet.

    Good luck.
     
  5. malcolm

    malcolm Hej!

    Messages:
    8,871
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    You're in Dundee Hyster. Cool - that's my old stomping ground. I went to the Harris!

    rickoty - Don't worry about resting the shroud on the workpiece - it's insulated. True enough though if you touch the tip against the metal it'll get stuck. The ideal is the shroud held just off the metal by maybe 5mm.
     
  6. rickoty Member

    Messages:
    32
    Fife Scotland
    Thanks, I'll see about a new glass, hopefully I'll get a bit closer next weekend!

    I made sure it was all pretty clean with the angle grinder. One thing though, I have a few questions about the earth.

    I saw on your guide Malcolm, that you got a new clamp because yours was a bit past it, mine seems the same , I gave it a clean up with some sandpaper but I've ordered a new one off ebay. Is it important that it's really close to the area being welded? And also is the workpiece live when you weld? Is it safe to lean on? Or is just the area between the earth and the tip live?

    I remember playing against Harris Academy at rugby when I was at school.
     
  7. malcolm

    malcolm Hej!

    Messages:
    8,871
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    It's fine to lean on the surface you are welding so long as you don't lean on the hot bit. MIG is low voltage.

    Metal conducts well so the clamp doesn't need to be close to the part you are welding. It does need to be on a clean bit of metal though.

    I remember rugby. It always seemed to snow when we were playing. :rolleyes:
     
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