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Thread: Hello from Mississippi

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Okolona, MS
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    Hello from Mississippi

    Hello everyone,

    I've waited for a long time, but I've finally been able to enroll in an introductory welding class this summer at a community college. I've been soldering printed circuit boards as an electronics hobbyist for a long time, but I've never so much as struck an arc with a welder. Hopefully, I can turn that into something of an advantage, since I've not learned any bad habits to have to "unlearn" in the class.

    From the syllabus, it appears that we'll be learning SMAW or stick welding, so I thought that I'd pick up a home shop stick welder to practice what is taught in class. I originally was going to buy a new Thunderbolt AC/DC power source, but I found a used Dialarc 250 for only $100 more. It is a later model, in relatively good condition, but somewhat dusty as it did some service for a mining company. I want to clean it up fairly well, but I'm first going to have to check to see if it has any capacitors that can light me up if I'm not careful.

    At any rate, I'm really looking forward to learning how to weld. From the DVDs I've watched (Wall Mountain), it appears that there is a LOT to learn, and I'm wondering if I can keep it all straight. It may be like driving a car, in that at first, everything requires conscious thought, but eventually some operations become automatic, freeing the welder's mind a bit to focus on other aspects of the process. Still, though, what little I've seen thus far has given me a real sense of respect for those who do this and make it look easy.

    I appreciate the opportunity to join this forum, and I hope to learn a lot while I'm here. Many thanks to those who work at hosting, moderating, and answering questions.

    Carl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Andover, Ohio
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    Re: Hello from Mississippi

    Carl welcome to the forum.
    Lincoln A/C 225
    Everlast P/A 200

  3. #3
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    May 2015
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    Okolona, MS
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    Re: Hello from Mississippi

    Thank you! Glad to be here, and I'm ready to get started.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Illinois
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    Re: Hello from Mississippi

    Welcome ! Did you purchase a hood yet ? A auto darkening hood makes learning easier and saves lots of frustrations. It's nice to get the rod in position at the joint instead of striking left, right, top, bottom, or just all over the place. A fixed shade is what most of us old guys started with. A auto hood is awesome for fine detailed work .
    Good luck in your learning.
    Oh, we will be happy to help you spend money.

  5. #5
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    May 2015
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    Okolona, MS
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    Re: Hello from Mississippi

    Hello,

    Sorry to take so long to reply. I did get a hood, a Speedglas 9100 XX from Cyberweld. I also picked up some gloves and a cloth jacket. Tomorrow, it's off to Georgia with my wife in order to pick up a Mobiflex fume extractor from a fellow in North Carolina. (That did a good job of helping me spend money for this paycheck and several to follow...)

    All of that is for my home shop, since I'm not sure if I'll be able to use my own hood or jacket at school. I plan on having the hood, gloves and jacket outside in the car for the first day of class, and I'll go get them if we are expected/allowed to use our own equipment. However, I do still want to learn a bit about getting ready and nodding a fixed-shade helmet into place, in case I need to at some point. (And it seems like the "real welder" thing to do.)

    Class starts Monday, and I hope to at least start striking an arc and running a bead of some sort very quickly. I grew up with the '70s version of the Internet, which was a set of encyclopedias. My grandmother bought me a set of Popular Mechanics "Do It Yourself" Encyclopedias, which was a compilation of articles from the magazine spanning (I think) the '40s and '50s. In them, there were instructions for building your own arc welder (!), and a quick summary of welding techniques with pictures of good and bad results. Ever since reading that article and others, I've wanted to learn how to weld. (And that was about 40 years ago. I've finally gotten "around to it.")

    What I hope doesn't happen is that I spend a bunch of money, and wind up with a pile of stuff gathering dust. However, it doesn't look as though that will happen, since from what I can gather, welding is addictive, at least for hobbyists. It would seem to be a great job as well, but I'm sure that just like any other form of work, there are days that professional welders wonder why they ever got into it.

    Thanks for the reply and the advice. I'm sure that I'll have a lot better idea of even the questions to ask after I actually start doing this. It's almost like those books I've read and DVDs I've watched about riding a unicycle. All of that information is of no consequence until I actually get the nerve--or lose the good sense at my age--to get on one and try.

    Thanks again,
    Carl

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Mississippi
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    Re: Hello from Mississippi

    Good luck on your welding adventures! I am in Hattiesburg, MS. The welding path took me to a lot of places and I am still learning! Its a career choice though. Some dig it and some don't, but in the end it is a skill and trade you wont forget.

  7. #7
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    May 2015
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    Okolona, MS
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    Re: Hello from Mississippi

    Thank you! I'm from the northern part of Mississippi, but for the times that I've been to the southern part, I've really been impressed with how friendly everyone is. My wife and I spent a couple of days in Summit, and then a couple in Wesson a year or so later.

    From what I can tell, I really am going to like welding. Yesterday, we spent quite a bit of time using a cutting torch, and for several of the cuts I tried, some (unwanted) welding was involved as well! Hopefully, we'll start joining metal tomorrow.

    CW

  8. #8
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    Apr 2015
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    MS
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    Re: Hello from Mississippi

    Good luck neighbor. What school are you attending?
    SA-250 TMD
    Squarewave 200
    Thunderbolt AC/DC
    1951 G.E. welder

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Okolona, MS
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    Re: Hello from Mississippi

    Hello,

    I'm taking the Maintenance Welding and Metals course from Itawamba Community College. The class is part of the Industrial Maintenance curriculum, and is being taught at the center in Belden, MS. We'll cover oxyfuel cutting, stick and MIG welding, and perhaps a bit of plasma cutting. We won't get to TIG welding, and it was pointed out that we certainly won't be able to call ourselves welders when the class is over. However, we will at least have had some exposure to the types of welding that we might be called upon to do. My main goal was to get an introduction to welding under the guidance of an instructor. ICC does offer much more extensive welding training, but enrollment in the program is quite limited, and thus very competitive.

    Thanks for the reply,
    Carl W

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