Welding Tin Cans...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Seguin, Texas
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    170

    Welding Tin Cans...

    Hi...

    I'm one of those old guys that believes that practice is the best way to learn something; so I've been practicing on Tin Cans in the hope that I can learn how to weld sheet metal at some point down the road. (Don't have any scrap sheet metal to practice on just now.)

    I took a bunch of cans, and tack-welded them end to end using 3/32" 6013 rods at 30/40 AMPS with my Lincoln 225/125 AC/DC welder.

    The cans held together well when I took the entire column and beat it against my Railroad Baseplate Work Bench; so I guess I did something right; but I'd like to know if any experts/old timers out there have any advice on a better rod, etc.

    I did have several spots where the arc burnt through the cans; but for the most part, the job came out pretty well had I wanted to make myself a smoke stack.

    Thank You !

    Ed VA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NH no mo - MA now.
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    1,595

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    When you say "tin cans" I presume you are referring to food cans - canned vegetables, soup, dog food, etc. We all call 'em "tin cans" because a century ago or more they were made from tin. Today most are steel except for aluminum beverage cans. Most are plastic coated inside and out except for those in which the contents are especially acidic like sliced or diced pinapple. Those cans are galvanized inside. In either case you will get best results if you clean the coatings off the inside and outside of the metal before welding.

    With the thin metal you will also get best results to use GMAW or preferred GTAW processes.

    Can you post some photos?

    -Mondo
    Member, AWS
    Lincoln ProMIG 140
    Lincoln AC Tombstone
    Craftsman Lathe 12 x 24 c1935
    Craftsman Commercial Lathe 12 x 36 c1970
    - - -
    Ask for a wrench and someone will offer you a grinder.
    I'll just keep on keepin' on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Seguin, Texas
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    170

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Hi Mondo; and Thanks for your quick reply.

    I can't post any pix due to my camera having been... "Lost" by my grandaughter. Sorry !

    I didn't clean anything off these cans; but there was a pretty good mix of all types. All I have to work with is my Lincoln, and a small Clarke 95E Crackerbox welder that isn't much good except for lighting the coal in my forge.

    What is GMAW and GTAW by the way ???

    Thanks !

    Ed VA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    60

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Quote Originally Posted by edv7028 View Post

    What is GMAW and GTAW by the way ???
    I'm sure this has been discussed over 1000 times here, but here goes:

    GMAW= Gas Metal Arc Welding
    GTAW= Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

    or on other words

    GMAW=MIG (metal inert gas) welding; I feel should be called MAG (Metal Active Gas) since most of time you use CO2 in a mix with argon when MIG welding.
    GTAW= TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Dansville NY
    Posts
    5,156

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    A smoke stack??!! What is it going to be used on?

    As already said a MIG unit would be best for welding those together. You'll find that the cans you described make a lousy smoke stack. Sure it will work for awhile but you'll find that they will rust out within a year especially at the weld points.

    If your looking for some good metal to practice your stick welding on drive around on trash day and see if anyone is throwing our some steel bed frames. Its great steel to practice your stick on. You'll also find that the steel also makes good framework for work/welding carts.
    Co-Own CNC shop:Miller :1251 plasma cutter, MaxStar 700 TIG/Stick, & XMT 456 Multiprocess Welder.& 2 Hypertherm HPR260's Plasma Cutter

    Sorry I had a bad stroke but now I am back.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Seguin, Texas
    Posts
    170

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Hi Specter... (Gunships from Vietnam days ???)

    Anyway, I done rebar, T-Posts, and Railroad Baseplates because they're free/cheap; but wanted to practice on something thin and light, therefore the tin cans.

    I've made a Tractor Beer/Tool Carrier, Back Porch Frame, Forge Stand, and Tool Box stand all out of Rebar, and T-Posts. I've also made my Work Bench out of Railroad Baseplates.

    Thanks for all the advice you guys have given me; but I still need to get more practice on something thin & light.

    The smokestack will be used on a Barrel Heater/Stove for use under my work awning in the winter; and possibly over the forge. It's okay if it has to be replaced every few months or so because the cans are always in the trash here.

    Thanks !

    Ed VA

  7. #7
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    Aug 2008
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    If you haven't already, give it a go DCEN with the DC side of the machine. It seems to have less of a tendancy to burn thru.

    AND GO LIKE HELL. LIKE SOMEONE WAS COMIN' AFTER YOU WITH A GUN

    And maybe a pretty wide wash bead to keep the heat away from the thin edges

    Now ya got me thinkin' I might dig some dog food cans out of the trash

    I have a feeling I'll wind up makin' em look like swiss cheese
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Seguin, Texas
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    170

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Hi FarmerSamm...

    It's not really fun, because it takes a really light touch to keep from burning through the tin; but practice makes perfect, so I've got a LONG Way to go ! Have fun !

    Oh yeah... I was using DC+ on this practice run; and it worked pretty well.

    Regards, & Happy New Year !

    Ed VA

  9. #9
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    Aug 2008
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Hey ED, I got the cans Found some old 5/64 6013 to try with. I'm gonna let it warm up a little more outside first.

    SWISS CHEESE BY AFTERNOON
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

  10. #10
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    forgot the pics
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

  11. #11
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    ED, YOU'RE AN ANIMAL How do you do it??

    I never had such a disappointing experience in my life. There ain't enough of my can to take a picture of

    The only thing that worked was a fast drag at 30amps DCEN, but if you missed starting the arc it was all over. Either side of the lid ring and it was all over.

    I need more cans. I need more cans

    Edit... And screw that wash crap, you have to stay on the lid ring
    Last edited by farmersamm; 01-05-2009 at 02:53 PM.
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

  12. #12
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    Dec 2008
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    Battle Ground, WA
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    283

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    FarmerSam,

    What did you spill on that Keyboard?? I am amazed it still works! By the way I think we got the same table! (I would give you some more Dog food cans but my stupid little rat dogs won't eat anything but fast food from the fridge!!! My newest one now thinks he owns the shop too! came out, jumped on the welding table and peed on my scrap aluminum (what is a guy to do)

    Tim
    A rich man is not the one who has the most but instead one who needs the
    least
    .
    Retired IUEC local 19
    AK Bush pilot,
    Chaplain CMA Chapt 26
    victor torches
    Miller110v mig
    Dynasty 200dx (new in Dec 08)
    Hypertherm PM-45
    MM-252 (new 2/09)

  13. #13
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    Nov 2008
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    Seguin, Texas
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    170

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Hi FarmerSamm...

    ME ??? An animal ??? I wouldn't even THINK about eating Canned Tamales ! He-he Even when I was in Vietnam, I only ate a minimum of those I cooked for Christmas Dinner in an old Ritz Can.

    As I mentioned... I only "Tack Welded" my cans in about 6 to 8 spots around the perimeter, and it wasn't easy in the beginning. I did manage to hold an arc for about 3 to 5 seconds though without burning through the rims. I had those Hobart 3/32" 6013's and set my Lincoln 225/125 AC/DC on 30 to 40 Amps... Lowest Possible Range. Maybe it's the machine !

    Even when i tried my old Clarke 95E down around 20 to 30 Amps, it would stick most of the time, or burn a hole through anything I touched with the rods.

    Hey... I'm retired ! I have all the time in the world to mess around with these silly little projects of mine so long as the weather permits; and the family isn't asking me to BBQ or take them somewhere.

    Keep at it Farmer. If nothing else, it just provides an outlet for any cussing you might feel like letting out ! He-he

    Regards,

    Ed VA

    P.S.

    That IS a "Used" looking keyboard you have there Farmer. I'm guessing that you do your welding right in front of it ! He-he

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Western PA
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    edv7028, see if you can find some 1/16" 6013, and give it a shot on DCEN

  15. #15
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    I'm gonna do this if it kills me
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

  16. #16
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Hey Farmer...

    Remember your sign-off phrase.... Any day above ground is a good day ! Don't over stress yourself ! He-he

    Ed VA

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Colorado
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    1,462

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultrachop View Post
    My newest one now thinks he owns the shop too! came out, jumped on the welding table and peed on my scrap aluminum (what is a guy to do)

    Tim
    Dog soup.
    9-11-2001......We Will Never Forget

    Retired desk jockey.

    Hobby weldor with a little training.

    Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

    Miller Syncrowave 250

  18. #18
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...




    Pedigree and Tamales, that had to be one he11 of a supper. Kinda like chili??



  19. #19
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    Aug 2008
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    It's up to y'all to figure who ate which
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

  20. #20
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    Northern Cal., Shasta County
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersamm View Post
    It's up to y'all to figure who ate which
    Prolly the same stuff, different wrapper!!!

  21. #21
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    8,502

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    That nose knows the good stuff

    He ate the dog food
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    "Any day above ground is a good day"

  22. #22
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    Central California
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    3,768

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    My newest one now thinks he owns the shop too! came out, jumped on the welding table and peed on my scrap aluminum (what is a guy to do)
    Isn't that what HF is for? You let him get used to doing it on something in the shop that you don't care about, but yell at him for it every time anyway, then one day hook the stinger to it, have the HF turned on, stand by the foot control, and just wait for him.......

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Battle Ground, WA
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    283

    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    As long as he doesn't crap on my ground lead and pee on my Harley tire, I will keep him around! Friends still are amazed that I like this little fur ball?

    Back to welding, I think I will weld up a dog dish holder that won't tip over? Better yet if I just weld all the cans together in a circle they won't tip, right farmersamm?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    A rich man is not the one who has the most but instead one who needs the
    least
    .
    Retired IUEC local 19
    AK Bush pilot,
    Chaplain CMA Chapt 26
    victor torches
    Miller110v mig
    Dynasty 200dx (new in Dec 08)
    Hypertherm PM-45
    MM-252 (new 2/09)

  24. #24
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    Nov 2008
    Location
    Seguin, Texas
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Hi UltraChop...

    Gee Man, I remember when every movie with a Harley in it had the owner with some kind of snake wrapped around his neck, and the guy or girl was a vicious, killer or everything that walked or moved on earth. With that little white poock on your bike, I've lost my childhood illusions ! He-he Nice looking little tamale filling though !

    You should have at least put in a couple of "Grr's" here and there in your post ! He-he

    Regards,

    Ed VA

  25. #25
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    Re: Welding Tin Cans...

    Ed,

    You must be thinking of the girls I hung out with before I got married to the sweetie I have been with for the last 31 years? She wanted me to get another German Shepard----GRRRRRRRRRR

    Tim
    A rich man is not the one who has the most but instead one who needs the
    least
    .
    Retired IUEC local 19
    AK Bush pilot,
    Chaplain CMA Chapt 26
    victor torches
    Miller110v mig
    Dynasty 200dx (new in Dec 08)
    Hypertherm PM-45
    MM-252 (new 2/09)

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