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Thread: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

  1. #1
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    Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    Hi, I'm Sara. I suppose this will be an introduction as well as questions.

    I'm not new to welding, I've been doing it since I was 14, or maybe a little younger, not sure. I'm 19 now. 2 years ago, I took 5th place in the state for steel and aluminum TIG welding. I reside in michigan. I'm no pro, but I'm not a newbie by any stretch.

    I currently am employed by a company that makes aluminum radiators for Be Cool radiators. Long story short, I basically get called in every so often as part-time help. I'm paid $8 an hour for $14 an hour work, AND I was without work so long that *insert long exasperated sigh* I had to get a job at the only place that was compatible with my school hours. McDonalds. There's nothing here in michigan. Nothing that I can justify, at least. (There's a few businesses that have questionable practices, and will fire me on the spot if they find out I'm going to school for art and not welding.)

    I have been so out of my groove, that I am unsure whether or not I can do a 4G stick weld. Senior year of high school I used to show off by doing 2G, 3G, and 4G welds one handed, then switching to the other hand, then looking away from the weld to talk to the kid I was teaching. I am so off my game that I had to look up what symbols meant what position.

    I want to make a profit at home, and i just want to make some cool stuff. I've been drawing up blueprints for years, but never had the opportunity to start on any projects. I figure, since I'm moving across the country soon I'll need a small-ish welder to practice with.

    What I'm really looking forward to is dropping my resume at this weld shop in the city
    I'm moving to. They only do brass sculptures, and that just sounds like a barrel of fun.

    So my questions are:
    1) What reading material (digital or paper) would you suggest for me to re-educate?
    2) Do I put a higher or lower tensile strength weld on the bottom? aka...7018 rod welded over 6010, or vice versa?
    3) What would you suggest as a cheap machine to buy for home? I don't think I'll settle for anything less than a AC/DC TIG. Lincoln 225 is my favorite, but way out of my price range.
    4) any other suggestions? I might post more as I remember things.

  2. #2
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    6010 root, then 7018. Ill let the other guys talk to you more about welders.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    If a PT-225 is out of your price range, you can always buy used. Check your local craigslist and the paper especially - in this bad economy, businesses are sinking and their equipment is going to auction. You never know, you may find a 225 cheap
    Fire!, Fire! Oh wait, that's my torch...

    Lincoln PT-225 TIG
    Lincoln 175 MIG

  4. #4
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    Craigslist rocks, I found a great little 3 yr old miller thunderbolt xl ac/dc for $350, new ones are almost $600, granted the only tig I can do with it is with a field torch, but that's all I've ever really used. Best of luck getting what you want, but you may have to just get what you need
    - If you can jump across it you can weld it! - anonymous old boilermaker

  5. #5
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    I'll have to keep the craiglist stuff in mind.

    Now that I've spent some extra time in pretty much every site that sells new welders, I think I'm going to have to save up some cash. The expensive machines are the only ones that fulfill my personal needs. I'll be looking at shelling out 2k, give or take, for a new machine. Used is a different ball park.

    I now regret spending 4k on computer equipment. I won't be able to use any welder in my michigan home anyway, though. The electrical is so old that the breaker box has 4 breakers, and no room to expand. The wiring is insulated in asbestos. There's not a single 3-way switch in the house. There's only 2 outlets that are three prong in the entire 3 bed/2 bath home.

  6. #6
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    Be a mechanic.
    *insert welding gibberish here*
    Mandy

  7. #7
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    Welcome to Weldingweb Sara. It is nice to hear from another female welder; Ls1TA (Mandy) is one of our only ladies on the site. As for a welder, maybe since you have so little electrical available, start out with a Miller Passport, or a Maxstar 150. They run on 110v, and do both tig and stick, though it is only DC welding. But its' a start, and you will have a lot to buy over the next few years chasing it from hobby to job, and beyond.
    I wish you all the luck in the world getting started!!
    And then, after so much work...... you have it in your hand, and you look over to your side...... and the runner has run off. Leaving you holding the prize, wondering when the runner will return.

  8. #8
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    I heard woman are generally better tig welders than men.

    If I could do it all over again I would've focused on tig and stick because pipe welders make all the cake! If you're willing to travel there is a ton of opportunities available for you! I prefer sub contracting because my coordinator handles all the paper work and all I do is show up to take the test and find out when I start working. Easy as that, but there is traveling involved.

  9. #9
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    I was leaning heavily toward a used Econotig before I ran into a used XMT304...
    I shoulda got the tig machine, that's what I need to practice, but the XMT is fun with airarc!
    Decisions!
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

  10. #10
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    wait a minute

    Did someone say you can Tig with an AC/DC stick machine?

  11. #11
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    Re: wait a minute

    Quote Originally Posted by ctmike View Post
    Did someone say you can Tig with an AC/DC stick machine?
    You sure can. You just have to pick up a field torch, its the one with the gas valve on the handle. You won't have the foot pedal to control amperage or gas flow but That's what I use in my shop. That's what we used on boiler tubes out on the job site, pipefitters also use them in the field, cheap way to introduce yourself to TIG.
    - If you can jump across it you can weld it! - anonymous old boilermaker

  12. #12
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flux core View Post
    I heard woman are generally better tig welders than men.

    If I could do it all over again I would've focused on tig and stick because pipe welders make all the cake! If you're willing to travel there is a ton of opportunities available for you! I prefer sub contracting because my coordinator handles all the paper work and all I do is show up to take the test and find out when I start working. Easy as that, but there is traveling involved.
    I did a little of TIG when I was in school. I liked it, everyone made it sound like it was a btch, but it wasn't. I should of took pictures, now that I think about it. I just a rythym going like -build, dip, move -build, dip, move -build, dip, move-. But I still like stick the best.
    *insert welding gibberish here*
    Mandy

  13. #13
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    Where are you moving to?
    Ed Conley
    http://www.screamingbroccoli.com/
    MM252
    MM211 (Sold)
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    Lincoln SP135 Plus- (Gone to a good home)
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    Beer in the fridge

  14. #14
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    Move up a little. Making it look like a little row of dimes.
    *insert welding gibberish here*
    Mandy

  15. #15
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    Woah, been busy lately and didn't get a chance to check the forum. Thanks everybody.

    TIG can be a b*tch, but I've taught some people who just catch on instantly. I was not one of those folks. took me a few months to get a good groove going.

    I'll be moving to Sacramento. There, I will have a much better electrical system.

  16. #16
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    Re: Hi, I'm new. Have a few questions.

    Hey Sara... I just picked up a Maxstar 200 DX off of Craigslist. There are good deals out there but you have to be patient. Check the Port Huron list, there was a Maxstar 150 STL on there a few weeks ago. Have fun in Cali... Where in Michigan are you?

    Have a Good Christmas day

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