My first ever welds!

  1. BirdmanJohn Member

    Ok, I have a few projects in mind that need the ability to weld. Nothing large scale, maybe some car body stuff, maybe some projects up to 3 mm or so, a propane cannister stove is one idea i'd like to replicate. Anyway, I digress ...

    I didn't want to take a punt on expensive gear to start, just something cheap that would weld and I can learn on. So £157 later plus a few wire reels, auto tinting visor, angle grinder etc I have a 'Wolfmig 140x'. Cheap tat I've no doubt but it's good enough for me for now.

    First attempts on low power (setting 2 of 6) produced a lot of spatter as I tried to remember what I'd read here and watched on YouTube. I tried to run a few beads across the surface of some 2 mm steel scraps in between turning up the power to 4 and reducing the wire speed. Then I found a couple of edges clear of splatter and managed to weld the contorted pieces together over the length of about an inch and a half. A pretty horrible and messy weld but it was solid!

    It was then i realized that I had the wrong wire in! After it turned up mid week I had put it all together and just fitted any old wire roll to test the feed mechanism. Needless to say it had flux wire in it and I was trying to gas weld (80/20 argon/co2 mix) So I changed this and also realized that the gas regulator was not turned on enough so I adjusted that until I could hear the whoosh as the trigger is pressed. In spite of these noob errors it had welded two pieced together so I felt like I had a setting that might actually be a base to start from.

    So, I cut a bit more of this 2 mm steel into 4 bits and figured id try putting them back together. Got the copper coated wire in (0.8mm) checked the settings were as before and went for my first ever welds!!

    Here are a couple of pictures ... it's maybe 8 or 10 short welds in total. I'm also uploading an unedited 20 minute video of the whole process to youtube as I type this, so if anyway wants a laugh at my crap welding and ramblings as I try to work out is going on I will post a link when it's finished uploading (might be an hour or two though till its done though)

    Kinda felt like I made some progress but I clearly have a lot to learn about feeling the perfect settings and understanding the welds themselves and what they can tell me.

    So .. over to you guys ... any feedback is welcomed, I'm here to learn and have fun, thanks in advance for any useful comments hints etc etc. The side without the blue discoloration is the side I finished second. The welds seemed better but I could see some copper flecks in them and overall it seemed like there was too much material being laid down and maybe not enough penetration? I don't know, looking forward to your opinions. Thanks in advance and apologies the the later video which is really poor. If you just watch from 20 - 22 minutes you'll get the best views of the welds the rest was in and out of focus. Haha

    Cheers, John
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    slim_boy_fat and garethp like this.
  2. cumbriasteve

    cumbriasteve Moderator

    Cumbria UK
    For a first ever attempt they not bad at all and a lot better than some we see, they are looking cold and sitting high as you have identified yourself so a bit more power will help.

    Did you clean the surface before welding?

    At this stage don't worry too much about spatter being a sign of good welding, there can be a few causes and they can be ironed out as you progress.

    So welcome to the forum :waving: and I have edited a couple of words out which we don't allow. ;)
    Lazeyjack likes this.
  3. gt6s Member

    Newtownards Co Down Northern Ireland
    You are obviously diagnosing your issues quite well. Good luck and keep practicing.

  4. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

    Welcome aboard, John :waving: As the lads have said ^^ , get some scrap, get it clean and carry on with the practising. :thumbup: Can't see a link to your video - is that a 'work-in-progress'? ;)

    I've learned what [little :ashamed:] I know about welding from here [tutorial links at the top of the page are good] and The Tube, and from making my own mistakes :laughing:.

    Lots of very knowledgeable and helpful Members on here willing to share their expertise with us Newbies, so never be afraid to ask. As a bonus, the craic is good-humoured too, it's one of the best forums on the interweb. :thumbup:
  5. BirdmanJohn Member

    Awesome feedback thanks. I did a bit more today. Cut out some small triangles and a square and welded a pyramid, here are some pictures of it finished. Sorry I should have photographed the raw welds. Basically I thought it went ok but i noticed a couple of welds at the end had some quite bad pitting as you can see by the holes left after the clean up. (less said about alignment issues the better haha)

    Answering a couple of questions above from yesterday ... yes the mating surfaces were clean (freshly ground) but i didn't 'v' the joins so maybe that had something to do with the large welds?

    Interesting observations about 'cold' welds. So that means I need more power right? I am a little confused here ... so basically what you are saying is, keep the wire speed where it is at and turn up the juice in stage and see what happens? Does this mean I need to move faster or stick to the same speed because the molten metal will pool better in to the gaps at the higher temp? Thanks.

    Here's a link to yesterdays video too, honestly pretty poor filming effort, its 23 minutes, start at 20 and save yourself a lot of waffle! But feel free to watch it all and keep the comments coming. Thanks again for the welcome and the feedback ...

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  6. BirdmanJohn Member

    Ok, so thanks again for all the advice, still alot to learn! but, already im able to make some stuff out of ... some stuff. Cutlery mainly. Here is the latest. thanks for the advice people!
  7. Ed. Member

    This of all, just a hint, start by welding in the other direction, in other words push weld in the direction that the torch is pointing to, you will find that the weld bead will be flatter and hotter as well.
    BirdmanJohn likes this.
  8. BirdmanJohn Member

    This weekends (unfinished creation) a Jackdaw, my favorite bird. Many thanks again to all who have given me advice and tips. As always, alot still to learn, but i'm getting there. To be able to put something like this together after just a few weeks is amazing. Thank you!

    Part 1 -
    Part 2 -

    Each video is a minute or less :)

  9. herkerg New Member

    I would like to build a fantastic metal art too! Welding could really allow us to fix things and to create something wonderful at the same time. Inspiring thread!
  10. Lordspectre

    Lordspectre If it aint broke, tinker with it anyway

    as a suggestion when setting the welder for every 3.75mm of steel use about 120 amps. Read that somewhere before and works for me....up to about 9-10mm though the rules change more