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Old 03-23-2017, 11:49 AM
Eonflyer Eonflyer is offline
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Default Wanting to learn!!!

Hey all just curious if anyone knew of a good way to start learning to weld? Me and my brother want to learn... but are only interested in it as a hobby... not career type. Anyone have any suggestions of a place to go or something to start with? Im located in Western Massachusetts area. Thanks
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:55 AM
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JohnBoy JohnBoy is offline
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get yourself a stick welder, gloves and shield.

Nothing too expensive, and try and find some classes locally.

then get yourself a stack of steel and start practicing.


you can self learn with the internet and practice, or even just lots of practice, but a couple of lessons to start with are great.

Dont start with mig, it's too easy and you'll learn a lot less along the way.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:18 PM
Eonflyer Eonflyer is offline
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Thanks Ill look into it.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:29 PM
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GWIZ GWIZ is offline
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Welcome to the Site

if you are stuck with 120 volts for power?

The Harbor Freight Inverter stick welder does a good job, just stay in its Duty cycle time.

120 volt Transformer "AC" welders below 90 amps are "not" going to be a good choice.
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:27 PM
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Welcome. It is fairly cheap to get started. It can get expensive if you decide you like it and want to do more. I agree with the starting with stick. It is still my favorite process. Like already mentioned, go to youtube and start watching the stick welding vids. You can learn a lot from them.
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:11 PM
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IF you have 230/240 volt power, your choice of used welders is greater. Some small 120 volt inverter welders do OK, but they are a bit pricier. Any 120v welder is going to limit you to thinner stuff.

A couple days ago, I saw what looked to be a fairly nice Lincoln AC/DC 225 stick welder on Craigslist for $100. I was temped to buy it and flip it, but was too lazy to drive over the other side of town.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:35 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Hard to beat a tombstone Lincoln for reliability. I've flooded mine twice and other than a new cooling fan it still going strong.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:58 PM
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All good suggestions. After you've procured a welder and did some practicing, start a thread, here, and post pictures of your work. These guys can tell, just by looking, what you need to do to improve your results. Trust me, I've picked up a good number of tidbits just by following threads here.
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:15 AM
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Eons ago, the dinosaurs welded with SMAW (stick). Then GMAW (MIG) was invented and perfected so everyone could own one... I'm just busting the old-timer's jewels above and I don't disagree with them at all.

I think you should be open to ANY type of welding and let the machine you find first determine what you learn first. But I do think you should learn the science and theory behind a skill first, and a good place to start is HERE. You should be able to spend a few hours learning the basics there and answer a lot of your own questions. I'm sure Lincoln and others have similar resources.

Safety First! Get a good helmet and gloves and do not weld with bare skin exposed--you will get arc-burned. Sparks will fly and catch stuff on fire so be aware of that and try to prevent it. Fumes can kill so you will need to ventilate and not weld galvanized/coated metal indoors or at all.

110v will limit the power of the machine and thickness of metal you weld but you can certainly learn off a 110 outlet. If you find a cheap 220v machine you can run it off the dryer plug BUT NOT ALWAYS! You'll need to know the amps the machine draws as the dryer outlet is a lower amp source and you will trip the breaker or cook wiring. You could always pull the oven away from the wall and use that outlet which is a little higher in amps...

I learned how to weld with Oxygen/Acetylene. But I also used the torches for cutting and brazing. That is an "expensive" in and I wouldn't recommend O/A until later. This was before the easy availability of plasma cutters.

As mentioned, your budget and power source will determine what you buy. Welding will be a very expensive hobby the more you get into it. Scan the classified and CL to see what is available in your area. You can probably find a little buzzbox or fluxcore machine for $100 or so and this will get you started. Then as you learn and outgrow your equipment you can get something better (and much more expensive ).

Good Luck and Welcome Aboard!
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Last edited by mccutter; 03-24-2017 at 11:20 AM.
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2017, 11:44 AM
o7oBaseMetal o7oBaseMetal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eonflyer View Post
Hey all just curious if anyone knew of a good way to start learning to weld? Me and my brother want to learn... but are only interested in it as a hobby... not career type. Anyone have any suggestions of a place to go or something to start with? Im located in Western Massachusetts area. Thanks
I agree with these guys that a stick welder is the most practical welder to start with. The cost to purchase is low as are the consumables.

As a for learning, it depends on what you have access to in your area. The town I grew up in Wisconsin, welding is taught in public school starting in 6th grade as an elective course. Besides that, some technical colleges offer courses for hobbyists. Another option would be to join a makerspace if you have one nearby. I recently joined one for access to machine tools I don't own but they also have welding and cutting equipment and they will teach the basics. http://www.clubmtc.net
Another option is to have an experience d welder show you a few things.
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