How to "clean" or "prepare" metal
RSS | Subscribe | Contact Us | Advertise | About Us
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 63
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    512

    How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Since Im new I guess its fair for me to ask a simple question that keeps jumping out with different answers. Ive heard so many versions its sick, and figured there's gotta be a difinitive for the forum library.

    What is the proper way to prepare/clean steel, aluminum, and SS prior to welding?
    ThermalArc 185
    MillerMatic 180 w/ Autoset
    Victor Cutskill Oxy/Acetylene
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
    and spite!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In A Nice Comfy Chair
    Posts
    14,927

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Clean rags..
    1 Stainless steel "toothbrush" for each type of metal..
    Acetone..

    Wipe..
    Brush..
    Wipe..
    Brush..
    Untill its clean

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    I have figured out that keeping everyone happy is nearly impossible but pissing people off is easy and fun.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    utcia michigan
    Posts
    1,277

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    what zap said but if its got mill scale on it grind or sand first then do what zap said

    Chuck
    ASME Pressure Vessel welder

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    23

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    why would you clean it?? For nice projects or something, ive just clean it up aftrer im done then paint or do whatevere with it??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In A Nice Comfy Chair
    Posts
    14,927

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Quote Originally Posted by lodogg89
    why would you clean it?? For nice projects or something, ive just clean it up aftrer im done then paint or do whatevere with it??

    The real pros clean it before..
    During..
    After...

    You would'nt work for me very long if you did not clean clean clean your stuff prior to welding..
    Dirty metal = major contamination..
    Major contamination = major problems with me..

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    I have figured out that keeping everyone happy is nearly impossible but pissing people off is easy and fun.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    512

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    That it?
    Grinding, rags, & acetone?
    Any particular type of brushes or just the usual wire 2-3" brushes?
    Theres gotta be a little trick or two to such a simple process...
    ThermalArc 185
    MillerMatic 180 w/ Autoset
    Victor Cutskill Oxy/Acetylene
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
    and spite!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Southern New Hampshire
    Posts
    919

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    That's it my friend now go out and conquer the world!!!
    _________________
    Chris

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    226

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    He did say "stainless brushes", and yes there is a difference. No cross contamination, keep the aluminum brush only for that, and so on...have fun!
    If you don't have the time to do it right, then you definitely don't have the time to do it over.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West By Golly Shelby NY
    Posts
    7,265

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    I wouldn't grind aluminum with a steel wheel. The abrasive in wheels for steel is aluminum oxide, just what you don't want in your aluminum.

    Yeah, for the best weld on carbon steel, grind off the mill scale. The arc will be more inclined to go TO the base metal.

    For stainless, one of those flap wheels work best for me.

    It all depends on the project.

    A mig with C 25 or 6010 stick will weld over the most sin, but its just that, a sin.

    I have had guys tell me to weld right over the paint. I tell em I am not that good of a welder. The truth is I will end up with a crappy weld.

    Rust, grease, OLD welds all have to go before doing the job right.

    A carbon arc gouge or Arc Air works best for me removing old cracked, interrupted or just trashy welds and leaves a pretty good surface for a good weld. All I do is chip any slag that is left. Some times I trim with a grinder.

    David

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    289

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Aluminum cleaning/grinding/sanding/metal prep stuff on it's own.

    Stainless cleaning/grinding/sanding/metal prep stuff on it's own.

    And yet another set for mild steel. I would personally keep two additional sets for mild steel, 1) for the dirty work on dirty metal (rusty stuff, repairs, fences, etc) and 2) for the nice DOM tubing work like gates, soapbox racers, etc.
    ***************************************
    Lincoln AC225 stick welder
    Lincoln HD100 WeldPak flux core wire feed welder
    Three of the cheapest grinders money can buy

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    512

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Great information guys. I just knew that there was more to it than rags and combustables! Anything else?
    BTW: Ive been absolutely amazed at the difference in my work with and without cleaning. Also helps with the learning curve since there seems to be a slightly different "feel". Maybe that's just me, but since I like to do a job the correct way it makes me feel better knowing that there's one more step to the ritual.
    ThermalArc 185
    MillerMatic 180 w/ Autoset
    Victor Cutskill Oxy/Acetylene
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
    and spite!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    23

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    do you guys clean everything you weld?? If i cleaned things i probably would enjoy welding as much, do you clean all types of metals for all types of welding? Im curious about this, tell me more, Where can i buy acetone? Does it come in big bottles?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    4,157

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Yes, clean mild steel, alumized mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum. You get a much better arc and a much nicer weld bead.
    John
    - fabricator extraordinaire, car nut!
    - bleeding Miller blue!

    http://www.weldfabzone.com


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    512

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Quote Originally Posted by lodogg89
    do you guys clean everything you weld?? If i cleaned things i probably would enjoy welding as much, do you clean all types of metals for all types of welding? Im curious about this, tell me more, Where can i buy acetone? Does it come in big bottles?

    You can get Acetone at any hardware store (ie: Freddy's, Home Depot, Lowes, auto stores, and/or any paint shop). Usually comes in 1 litre and 1 gallon cans.
    ThermalArc 185
    MillerMatic 180 w/ Autoset
    Victor Cutskill Oxy/Acetylene
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
    and spite!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    utcia michigan
    Posts
    1,277

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Quote Originally Posted by lodogg89
    do you guys clean everything you weld?? If i cleaned things i probably would enjoy welding as much, do you clean all types of metals for all types of welding? Im curious about this, tell me more, Where can i buy acetone? Does it come in big bottles?
    yes i clean every thing before i weld ,braze or solder

    Chuck
    ASME Pressure Vessel welder

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    23

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    i will have to pick some up and try this, i will let you know how it goes.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    512

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    REMEMBER:
    dont store the rags in a "pile" as the schtuff is EXTREMELY flamable and is known to spontaneously combust! Let it "air out" away from your work area and open the rag up so it can off gas quickly.
    LASTLY:
    Dont try to weld your can of acetone to your project.
    ThermalArc 185
    MillerMatic 180 w/ Autoset
    Victor Cutskill Oxy/Acetylene
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
    and spite!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In A Nice Comfy Chair
    Posts
    14,927

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Are we done with this yet?

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    I have figured out that keeping everyone happy is nearly impossible but pissing people off is easy and fun.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    23

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    ofcourse were not done with this thread, i havent learend enough yet. Okay, i bought a gallon of acetone, and stainless wirebrush, i will test this out and see how it works, maybe post a before and after pic of my work, no making fun though, im new at this.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    68

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster
    The real pros clean it before..
    During..
    After...

    You would'nt work for me very long if you did not clean clean clean your stuff prior to welding..
    Dirty metal = major contamination..
    Major contamination = major problems with me..

    ...zap!
    Apparently you've never worked for a construction company. Things don't always clean up as nice as you want and you don't always have time. Xray quality welding is neccessary for everything. Dave

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In A Nice Comfy Chair
    Posts
    14,927

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Apparently you've never worked for a construction company
    Maybe not but I fix stuff that cant be repaired in the field..
    Dont be too quick to judge others capabilities too fast..my friend..for now..

    Even if it was -20 and with a wind in my face at 50 mph.. clean has to and will happen..
    No matter what you state..

    I'm a pro...are you?
    and there is many here that will agree with me..
    This is what seperates "us" from "them"

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    I have figured out that keeping everyone happy is nearly impossible but pissing people off is easy and fun.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    middle tennessee
    Posts
    1,788

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster
    I'm a pro...are you?
    and there is many here that will agree with me..
    This is what seperates "us" from "them"

    ...zap!
    I am "them" most of the time at work because that's what they want You can only argue a point so much and in the end they are the boss. I do actually clean my stuff more than any of the other people though. But when I'm doing work for myself and others I do it right
    Dewayne
    Dixieland Welding

    MM350P
    Lincoln 100
    Some torches
    Other misc. tools

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Gillette, Wy
    Posts
    591

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    I wonder... how about alcohol? Isopropyl is cheap... Just a thought

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    512

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal


    What we need are hugs...who's gonna start?

    I can think of numerous excuses to do a quality job, but cant think of many to do a lousy job. Its true that there are many jobs out there that are of the mode of "get it stuck together", but I dont consider that welding.

    I dont know if alcohol would strip oils like acetone does. Anyone with other ideas as to how to clean metals for welding?
    ThermalArc 185
    MillerMatic 180 w/ Autoset
    Victor Cutskill Oxy/Acetylene
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
    and spite!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Northern Cal., Shasta County
    Posts
    6,825

    Re: How to "clean" or "prepare" metal

    I dont know if alcohol would strip oils like acetone does. Anyone with other ideas as to how to clean metals for welding?
    Everything has it's goods and bads. Isopropyl is good I guess. I only keep a bit of that in the shop. It evaporates so fast it's not much goof for heavy removals. It's best for what it is intended for, topical skin treatment.

    I keep a gallon or so of denatured alcohol, usualy methyl, around. It won't harm most plastics so that's a plus, but one oddity is it doesn't blend well with deisel and/or kerosene. If it doesn't blend well I assume it won't clean much better.

    I generally use a lot of the laquer grade thinner/solvent. It is generally a mix of around three of your favorites so works well for a host of tasks. It will harm many plastics so some caution is required. It's evaporation rate is a little less than acetone and many alcohols.

    Another usefull cleaner is ordinary de-oderized mineral spirits (paint thinner also). It's cheap, evaporates slow and it will blend and solve most any oils and greases as well as pitch. Plus it isn't as harsh on the hands and has a much higher flash point than the other options. I use it often as a first assault on heavy oil and grime. Then follow up with laquer thinner as needed. This combination also works well for cleanup before and after painting too.

    If nothing else cuts it I dig out the acetone. It evaporates so fast you gotta be quick.

    So in my shop at any given time I will have quite a hoard of cleaners

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
RSS | Home | Penton Media | Contact Us | Subscribe | For Advertisers | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement