The amazing strength of a few tack welds
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2007
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    Wadsworth Ohio
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    The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    Short pointless post BUT. I put 4 light tacks on a big chunk of steel. When I placed the tacks I envisioned having to move the piece so I put them in easy to access areas for the grinder. Once everything else got tacked up the access was not so easy. I could still get to one of them cleanly the other 3 I could hit but not completely. Point is after prying and hitting with the BFH it finally gave up. My god they were stuck together. I understand most people over build everything because who knows what the customer is going to do to it once it leaves your shop.
    Dave Reber
    Wadsworth Ohio

  2. #2
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    Mar 2011
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    Western Washington
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    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    Yeah, I know what you mean. I used to do good tacks and got tired of not being able to 'adjust' them ... so I started putting tiny tack welds on repairing railing the drawback is now when I tack em' and have to move them they usually move just about to where I need them and *pop*... then I have to tack em again

  3. #3
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    Aug 2004
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    North Central Indiana
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    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    I made this sod cutter a few years to take to the cemetery to trim around our family's headstones. The handle is 1" EMT. I opened the end of the EMT up just enough to get it started over the 3/4" black pipe handle stub, I laid the angle iron flanges over the end of the welding table then proceeded to pound the handle on. It fit so tight I could only drive the handle on 3" but the tacks withheld the hammering like they were solid welds.
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    Last edited by tackit; 06-11-2018 at 09:39 PM.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2016
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    Mackay, Queensland, Australia
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    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    No! I disagree - not a pointless post at all. Many who believe they can weld, just fail to understand that there is also over-welding.

    It is a refinement of any operators skill when he can at last judge not only how much weld bead to apply, but where,which electrode to use and at what stage of the assembly procedure to place the tack.

    A tack welded assembly can be in many instances, fit for purpose. I have a 25 year old bench that is assembled using tack welds only, the thought at the time being was it was only needed for a limited time and then broken down to transport it when I moved. Turns out that the movers said no leave it in one piece.For twenty years beyond that time, my bench took all I could throw at it.

    The point I would make is that more weld is not necessarily stronger. In instances jobs are overwelded as operators have no confidence in their skill and mistakenly believe more is better. Overwelded distorted weld jobs are ugly things indeed. More power to you for highlighting this practice.

    Bravo! Good post.
    Thanks for taking the time making it.
    Ozwelder
    Last edited by Ozwelder51; 06-12-2018 at 12:09 AM.

  5. #5
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    May 2014
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    Central Wa. state
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    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    The thing about tack welds that drive me nuts is when you want a weak one, it takes a hammer to readjust. When you need a strong tack... it drops a heavy piece on your toe when you look away.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2011
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    Western Washington
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    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    The thing about tack welds that drive me nuts is when you want a weak one, it takes a hammer to readjust. When you need a strong tack... it drops a heavy piece on your toe when you look away.
    Ain't that the truth

  7. #7
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    Jun 2007
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    Wadsworth Ohio
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    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    The thing about tack welds that drive me nuts is when you want a weak one, it takes a hammer to readjust. When you need a strong tack... it drops a heavy piece on your toe when you look away.
    Yes that has happened as well.lol
    Dave Reber
    Wadsworth Ohio

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    297

    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    The thing about tack welds that drive me nuts is when you want a weak one, it takes a hammer to readjust. When you need a strong tack... it drops a heavy piece on your toe when you look away.
    LOL yup

    I usually look at cars/trucks to compare. My "good enough" barometer is 10x what an auto is built with and they hold up well over time. Some of the dinky welds on frames and suspension parts still surprise me yet I seldom if ever see or hear of failures. I do lean to the more the merrier when it comes to welding though so almost everything I weld up is full perimeter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lockhart,Tx (BBQ capitol of the world)
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    496

    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    Tackit,

    That just goes to show that everybody's eye sees something different.
    I don't see ANY "tack" welds any where in the pictures you posted!
    And I'm guilty of over welding everything!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    3,068

    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    There is a section in the Lincoln handbook on weld placement and failures due to poor placement. More is not always better.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    297

    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    More? What is more

    More strength? More flexibility? More weight? More penetration? More filler? More support?

    The application of more is the key, and to know when and where to apply more to the work. More thought is usually the best first approach

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Georgetown, Texas
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    1,714

    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    When I hang a gate, some weighing as much as 400#, I block it up high on the open end to allow for flex and put a good, large, 7018 tack on both hinges and take the blocks out. I usually swing it the full rotation to check for level before welding it out. If it's wrong I only have a tack to cut out and adjust. I've never had one break and fall yet. I never trust mig tacks much but I do trust a 7018 tack.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    392

    Re: The amazing strength of a few tack welds

    Downhand, I like your comparison to automotive construction. All those spot-welds seem sort of like tacks, never thought of it that way before. But for that matter, steel construction was done quite successfully by riveting for a long time, and aluminum aircraft still are riveted, which doesn't create a continuous joint either . . . .

    You learn to exercise judgement. With T-joints, for example, sometimes you want to put in enough passes to where the weld is of equivalent thickness to the thickness of the two pieces of basemetal, so 1/4" plates would get a 1/4" weldment. But sometimes you just know that your root pass, properly applied to a good fit-up, will be plenty for the job. Or even something less than a continuous root pass, just skip-welds.

    I'm with the other guys, Reebs; good post! It IS amazing how strong some tacks can be. Or how strong some UGLY welds can be, and how often bad welders get lucky (maybe the answer to that is the welder-friendly and forgiving nature of mild steel).
    Last edited by old jupiter; 06-12-2018 at 08:10 PM.

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