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Thread: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

  1. #26
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    Starting neatly is sometimes a problem, especially if you have a small machine that does not deliver enough amps to start nicely. I have done a lot of welding with tomb stone machines making stairs and rails in high rise buildings. We used to use 1/8" 7014 because it is a forgiving rod. 3/32" rod is not practical. 7014 contains titanium which seems to be effective as a welding rod. I did a lot of box tubing with it for ornamental iron work.
    Thanks, William! I had done better with 7018 than 7014 with practice beads on flat metal, and since 7018 is stronger anyway, I decided to start trying with that. I think I've done enough with it that I'll notice more differences between different rod types than before, so I'll certainly try some 7014, which I only have in 1/8" anyway and you've already answered that one!

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    Welding thin stuff with an ARC rod is somewhat problematic. That is not what it was designed for. TIG is what you want. Get a little buzz box and have some real fun. You can do that in a suit and tie. I have done it in a suit and tie so I am sure.
    What I want to do is get really good with TIG. That's the end result of my journey though. From what I've seen, I don't think I could find one experienced welder on these forums that doesn't know stick. I figured stick must be easier than TIG. For these reasons I started with stick welding. I figured it should be good for putting together some tools stand for the garage, and then I might branch out to TIG with a little bit of experience under my belt.

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    I did a lot of 1/8" decking, lap welds and but welds with backing, using 7018. They are fun and easy. But when you try filling in voids that occur in box tubing especially overhead and vertical it gets a little dicey. Something like George Carlan's string of curse words came spewing out of me a few times on hot summer days, I could not tell if the burning was the sweat, the leathers pinching me or if it was hot balls of metal.

    I would use very low amperage and keep the rod on the deck, and just rock the rod back and forth about 90 degrees, letting it burn and move at its own pace. Favoring the solid edge just a bit, not the cut edge. You will probably have to drag it a bit (angle the rod back at the puddle) which is not what you are supposed to do for 7018. So get a TIG welder. You need dry rods, you really should have a very good machine. A lot of guys are telling you stuff that works with a three phase DC generator welder, a large gas or diesel DC generator welder, or a big AC powered power DC rectified supply. Those tombstones can be frustrating as heck. Especially after they heat up. That is why the boss switched to 7014 because we would just take the little tombstone up and down in the stairwells. The 7018 in a building that just had a couple thousand tons of cement poured is a damp and humid place, that 7018 on thin wall just does not like.
    My tombstone does do DC as well as AC. I noticed in some videos even from WeldingTipsAndTricks that when showing simple no frills stick welding, he had a voltage boost on his welder for starting and when getting too close during a bead. I don't have that, but I do have a brand new AC/DC tombstone which people say is good for just plain old stick welding. I hope everyone advising is taking into account that that's the machine I have, and not a fancy one with many settings.

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    You will blow some holes but most of the time you can just keep going. And then go back and fix the holes when it cools down.
    I'm quite sure my technique of going round and round holes until they fill in is probably wrong. It doesn't work all the time either!

    Thanks for the help,
    -- Dunn
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  2. #27
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    Turn your welder up. When set right, 7018 will pretty much weld stringers on it's own. CC instructor used to clamp the lead in a vice just below the stinger loaded with 7018. Help it strike the arc and walk away letting gravity do the work.
    I saw that in a video, I think from WeldingTipsAndTricks. All of this looks incredibly easy when the experienced are doing it, but many things are that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    What size rod and amps are you running?
    3/32" 7018 running at 95 amps DCEP on 11 gage (.120") tubing 1-1/4" square, and some other tubing sizes but all that wall thickness so far.

    I do notice in videos, such as the one I'll post a link to at the end, that from the spatter and the things I've read, the amperage surely is set just a little too high in many of these videos. Yet in every one of them, the second the weld is done and the slag just lifts gently off with the chipping hammer, the area around the weld is as smooth as a baby's butt. The miracle of video?

    Thanks, Boostinjdm who's not Jim
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    There's a lot of talking (which I appreciate), but you can click around or just look at the very very beginning to see the spatter I'm talking about...

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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Your main problem appears to be you don't know how to make a proper bead yet and you're try to weld things together anyway.

    For the class I teach, all students start with an 8"x8" flat plate, 3/16" or 1/4" thick depending on rod size.

    Fill the plate with beads that half overlap so the plate top comes out flat.
    Some kids need to do both sides, then both sides again at 90 degree to the first set of beads before they "get it."

    .....some kids do it a few more times....lol

    After that, learning joints is much easier.

    Btw, the flat plate exercise gets repeated for horizontal.
    For vertical, and overhead they do the exercise in a 2"x2" piece of angle iron.
    Last edited by MinnesotaDave; 05-27-2017 at 12:20 PM.
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  4. #29
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Your main problem appears to be you don't know how to make a proper bead yet and you're try to weld things together anyway.

    For the class I teach, all students start with an 8"x8" flat plate, 3/16" or 1/4" thick depending on rod size.

    Fill the plate with beads that half overlap so the plate top comes out flat.
    Thanks, Dave. I did start with flat welds on plates and that's how I deduced that I had more luck with 7018. (I didn't have as many sticking problems on flat plate as I did when trying to weld inside a 90 degree corner.) I found a place with scrap metal that doesn't provide three day weekends to its employees for Memorial Day and got there before noon. For 8" plates I got four feet of 8" x 1/4" which will give me six plates, the same with some 2" angle iron. I also got some more 11 gage tubing for practice. Around here it was 75 cents a pound for this stuff, some clean, some rusty, some straight, some bent. I have no idea if that's a good price...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Some kids need to do both sides, then both sides again at 90 degree to the first set of beads before they "get it."

    .....some kids do it a few more times....lol

    After that, learning joints is much easier.
    Ok, the way I figure this is, the worse I am at this, the more youth I will gain. I'll still try to get it in one pass though.

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Btw, the flat plate exercise gets repeated for horizontal.
    For vertical, and overhead they do the exercise in a 2"x2" piece of angle iron.
    So, after some wire brushing and cutting, I'll have plates enough to practice three types of electrodes in flat and horizontal, same with angle iron for vertical and overhead. I got 1/4" thickness to practice with 1/8" electrodes so I'll be saving my 3/32" electrodes for the 11 gage tubing I want to weld later. In 1/8" I have 6011, 6013, 7014, and 7018. While 6013 is often recommended for learning, I know I'll want to be able to weld with 6011 (or 6010 but I have 6011), most will be with 7018, but maybe 7014 which is highly recommended by the learned folks in these forums. When I get to using the 3/32", I only have 6011 and 7018 but William McCormick also recommends avoiding 3/32" so I think I'll be fine with my available choices.

    Whew! I will now go do some Minnesota Masterclass Metal Melting Machinations.

    Thanks,
    -- Dunn
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  5. #30
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Your main problem appears to be you don't know how to make a proper bead yet and you're try to weld things together anyway.

    For the class I teach, all students start with an 8"x8" flat plate, 3/16" or 1/4" thick depending on rod size.

    Fill the plate with beads that half overlap so the plate top comes out flat.
    Some kids need to do both sides, then both sides again at 90 degree to the first set of beads before they "get it."

    .....some kids do it a few more times....lol

    After that, learning joints is much easier.

    Btw, the flat plate exercise gets repeated for horizontal.
    For vertical, and overhead they do the exercise in a 2"x2" piece of angle iron.
    This. Weld up a couple more pads to help you be able to follow lines, and watch the puddle. Next I would try and do some lap joints. 1" flat bar is pretty cheap material to use
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  6. #31
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    I just saw this thread. A couple of random comments and I'll let you guys continue.

    1) Your original question about wrapping corners. I try to wrap corners whenever what I'm building is going to have a rough life. Cracks often start at corners; no use giving them a weak spot to help them start. I don't necessarily go from middle of flat to middle of flat, though. Something more like 3/4 of the way down the length of one flat to 3/4 of the way down the length of the next one, for example, can make more of the length of the bead be under your easiest area to see and control.

    2) As you have surmised, your question is well ahead of your abilities. I'm glad to see people not jumping hard on you about talking about building a trailer with welds like those on the pictures. Not that they wouldn't be right, but rather that it doesn't help to crucify beginners. It wasn't that long ago that any new person wanting to build a trailer was well and truly tarred and feathered here, way beyond what was necessary. A simple, "Don't do that yet -- people could get hurt by your current level of ability" would have sufficed.

    3) That said, I'd suggest that if you want a trailer soonest and cheapest, you'll be money ahead to buy a mass-produced one. No harm to building one yourself if it's just a life goal of yours, just recognize that the level of skill needed is fairly far removed from the level you currently have. That oft-repeated saying of, "It's not pretty, but it'll hold," is best translated as, "It'll hold until it doesn't." If it isn't pretty, you should redo it or keep learning until it is. Not a slam on you, just the way I see things.

    4) When you're ready to build it, your weld beads will be straight, consistent in size, have no undercut, and a lot smaller than what you currently have. There will be no globs, and you won't be creating holes because you'll have a feel for the needed speed and consistency. You walk a fine line with thinner materials between blowing holes and getting good penetration.

    5) You mentioned a few posts up that you're welding with a Tombstone and it lacks adjustability, and that we should take this into account. I do know that a lot of stuff has been built with these machines, but I have personally never run one. If it's truly not capable of producing sound welds on 1/8" material with normal rods, you should probably do some searching for a machine that can. Some experienced guys with Tombstones should either agree that it can't do what you're trying to do, or set the record straight and place the blame on the hand holding the stinger, not the machine.

    6) I know you're going to Youtube because that's where people find info these days, and that's OK. But there are a lot of people propping themselves up as professionals on YT that aren't. The gospel is more easily found at your local welding shop than a guy you don't know on Youtube.

    7) It might be worth taking a welding class from your local community college this fall. Shouldn't be too long before signup time begins. You won't learn a LOT of the stuff you need to do it for a living or even as a hobby, but the instant feedback from flesh and blood is going to be worth it for you.

    8) Go look at the setup you have in post 24. Your comments about the tube disappearing are right; you should try not to lay material out like this, where you're forced to weld directly into the cross-section of one edge. The horizontal tube needed to be set forward, or the top vertical piece set back, so that at least the width of a weld fillet extended past where the top vertical tube intersected. That way you would've had a heat sink for the weld at that edge. The edge of a piece of material burns away much faster than the face of another piece of material. It's possible, and desirable, to weld two edges together at times, but they're almost never set up like you have there. They're either set up to create a "V" which is filled by your weld deposit (on 90 degree butt joints), or they're set up with a bevel or gap to be filled on straight joints.

    9) Good job with wanting to accomplish your trailer goal. Now that you have a tiny bit of "experience" holding a stinger, you can go to a trailer sales place and take a good look at how things are laid out, what materials are used, and maybe why some joints are laid out like they are. Most trailer places aren't hiring the most skilled workers, so the joint layout is often as much for weldability as it is for design strength. When you eventually reach the point where you can weld well enough to build a roadgoing piece of equipment, you're also going to want to understand a lot more about layout and design. Some of this will come from simple experiences such as the faulty layout in post 24; others will make sense to you as you go if you have a mechanically-inclined mind, and the rest will come by asking good questions. Good luck.
    Last edited by tbone550; 05-27-2017 at 09:03 PM.
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  7. #32
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    I'll second the idea of taking a semester at a local community college. You get a lot of bang for your buck there. It'll cost you more in consumables and materials to learn on your own than a semester of community college will cost.

    Also glad to see you are practicing before you try and weld a trailer together.
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    mr tbone excellent thank you clifton

  9. #34
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post

    ... <snip> ...

    Btw, the flat plate exercise gets repeated for horizontal.
    For vertical, and overhead they do the exercise in a 2"x2" piece of angle iron.
    Howdy again, Dave,

    I have a question for you from the ignorant. Why, for vertical and overhead, is angle iron used instead of flat plates? Is it too hard in those positions, even for the experienced, to hold a straight line with no joint to follow? Or, wait, without a joint the puddle won't stay up?

    Thanks,
    -- Dunn
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  10. #35
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    I just saw this thread. A couple of random comments and I'll let you guys continue.

    1) Your original question about wrapping corners. I try to wrap corners whenever what I'm building is going to have a rough life. Cracks often start at corners; no use giving them a weak spot to help them start. I don't necessarily go from middle of flat to middle of flat, though. Something more like 3/4 of the way down the length of one flat to 3/4 of the way down the length of the next one, for example, can make more of the length of the bead be under your easiest area to see and control.
    Thanks, T-Bone! So, that means going the length of one full side without that length stopping or starting on a corner. If you're doing that, do you tack at that convenient place of transition on the sides, or do you tack on the corners and just run over it when welding the beads?

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    2) As you have surmised, your question is well ahead of your abilities. I'm glad to see people not jumping hard on you about talking about building a trailer with welds like those on the pictures. Not that they wouldn't be right, but rather that it doesn't help to crucify beginners. It wasn't that long ago that any new person wanting to build a trailer was well and truly tarred and feathered here, way beyond what was necessary. A simple, "Don't do that yet -- people could get hurt by your current level of ability" would have sufficed.
    Actually, I haven't yet really developed a wont to build a trailer -- my first post was just very ambiguous because I stated in the first sentence that it seems paradoxical that most people want to build a trailer out of tubing and choose a method (stick welding) that's hard to weld tubing with. I didn't say that what I wanted to build right away were mobile tools stands until the fourth paragraph.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    3) That said, I'd suggest that if you want a trailer soonest and cheapest, you'll be money ahead to buy a mass-produced one. No harm to building one yourself if it's just a life goal of yours, just recognize that the level of skill needed is fairly far removed from the level you currently have. That oft-repeated saying of, "It's not pretty, but it'll hold," is best translated as, "It'll hold until it doesn't." If it isn't pretty, you should redo it or keep learning until it is. Not a slam on you, just the way I see things.
    After I get a few tool stands/carts done, I do want to build a special type of derrick for lifting heavy objects in the garage, then for my truck. My goal is to have the knowledge and ability to build things that do bear weight, things that do have mission critical welds. For this reason, any advice for trailer building that I get is extremely valuable and extremely welcome too!

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    4) When you're ready to build it, your weld beads will be straight, consistent in size, have no undercut, and a lot smaller than what you currently have. There will be no globs, and you won't be creating holes because you'll have a feel for the needed speed and consistency. You walk a fine line with thinner materials between blowing holes and getting good penetration.
    That's just what I'm after, and why I went right out and got the scrap material for the exercises Minnesota Dave assigns to his students. I would like to have the talent, so even if there would be an affordable machine that removes the need for good welding ability, I wouldn't want to take that shortcut. I'm sorta old-school that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    5) You mentioned a few posts up that you're welding with a Tombstone and it lacks adjustability, and that we should take this into account. I do know that a lot of stuff has been built with these machines, but I have personally never run one. If it's truly not capable of producing sound welds on 1/8" material with normal rods, you should probably do some searching for a machine that can. Some experienced guys with Tombstones should either agree that it can't do what you're trying to do, or set the record straight and place the blame on the hand holding the stinger, not the machine.
    I've been assured in these forums that the tombstones are great stick welders for stick welding, if that's what you want to do, stick welding ;). I had an old AC one but got a brand new AC/DC one, I installed a dependable power source, and I got new high-quality electrodes. I did all of this so I could be absolutely sure that if I ended up with misplaced inconsistent splotchy globby porous welds, it could be for one reason and one reason only. I'm at that point right now in my troubleshooting :D.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    6) I know you're going to Youtube because that's where people find info these days, and that's OK. But there are a lot of people propping themselves up as professionals on YT that aren't. The gospel is more easily found at your local welding shop than a guy you don't know on Youtube.

    7) It might be worth taking a welding class from your local community college this fall. Shouldn't be too long before signup time begins. :) You won't learn a LOT of the stuff you need to do it for a living or even as a hobby, but the instant feedback from flesh and blood is going to be worth it for you.
    I have already been perusing the college catalog. I once took some machining classes at the local community college and in one of my first milling operations, the mill was making a terrible noise (but I didn't know anything was amiss). A couple of people came running over quickly to shut it off and explain to me what was wrong. If I had just put a mill in my garage and started working from books and YouTube without taking the classes, I could have thought this was normal and wrecked my mill pretty quickly. This goes through my mind as I try to learn welding from the web and books. This is also why I post pictures of what I'm doing, and people here are being very helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    8) Go look at the setup you have in post 24. Your comments about the tube disappearing are right; you should try not to lay material out like this, where you're forced to weld directly into the cross-section of one edge. The horizontal tube needed to be set forward, or the top vertical piece set back, so that at least the width of a weld fillet extended past where the top vertical tube intersected. That way you would've had a heat sink for the weld at that edge. The edge of a piece of material burns away much faster than the face of another piece of material. It's possible, and desirable, to weld two edges together at times, but they're almost never set up like you have there. They're either set up to create a "V" which is filled by your weld deposit (on 90 degree butt joints), or they're set up with a bevel or gap to be filled on straight joints.
    Thank you! I will post drawings of what I intend to build here before going ahead with it. I truly appreciate all the help I get here and find that help quite necessary. I probably especially will when you see what sort of lifting devices I hope to fabricate.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    9) Good job with wanting to accomplish your trailer goal. Now that you have a tiny bit of "experience" holding a stinger, you can go to a trailer sales place and take a good look at how things are laid out, what materials are used, and maybe why some joints are laid out like they are. Most trailer places aren't hiring the most skilled workers, so the joint layout is often as much for weldability as it is for design strength. When you eventually reach the point where you can weld well enough to build a roadgoing piece of equipment, you're also going to want to understand a lot more about layout and design. Some of this will come from simple experiences such as the faulty layout in post 24; others will make sense to you as you go if you have a mechanically-inclined mind, and the rest will come by asking good questions. Good luck. :)
    Thanks for taking the time to help me, T-Bone. You're absolutely right, I look at the way things with metal frameworks are made much more now than I used to, whether in the real world or online.

    -- Dunn
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Quote Originally Posted by achirdo View Post
    This. Weld up a couple more pads to help you be able to follow lines, and watch the puddle. Next I would try and do some lap joints. 1" flat bar is pretty cheap material to use
    1" thick, so I get used to building up weld beads, or 1" wide so I can cheaply practice a lot of lap joints? Thanks, achirdo!

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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    For financial benefits. get some 16 or 14 g tubing at 3/4 or 1 inch sq.. Cut 3 to 4 inch coupons. Start using them wall to wall and welding between them. This will give you the effect of thicker metal and give you the feel of welding the thin stuff. It will also allow you to feel/practice how to weld on the thicker parts of the metal and wash the puddle over to the thinner. It will also give long seems to weld. You can even do tees by laying one on top of the other off set. Thus you have 2 tees you can perform, front and back.

    You are practicing so many different Joints. Butt joints and edges will give the most problems. Tees will be easier.

    I stick weld thin stuff regularly with 3/32 7018. Find the puddle and concentrate it on the heaviest metal. Depending on joint construction, the Heaviest part will be a corner or the flat surface Then washing the puddle up to the thinner edge.

    Butt joints are different since both parts are equally thin.

    You will get the hang of it and run some nice beads on thin stock. I posted some examples many years ago when I used to make lots of A/C cages from 1/16 x1/2 and 3/4 tubing.

    Good Luck

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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Quote Originally Posted by dunn View Post
    1" thick, so I get used to building up weld beads, or 1" wide so I can cheaply practice a lot of lap joints? Thanks, achirdo!

    -- Dunn
    1" wide and maybe 3/16 or 1/4 thick. Around here I can get 20' for around $15. That's what the school I went to used for practice pieces
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  14. #39
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Since you are just starting out, 6011 or 6010 is a great all-purpose rod. It puts a very small amount of slag out so you are not fighting it. You have the ability to weld downhill with it also. I would couple that with 6013 or 7014 as a second pass over the same weld. The more experience you get the less you will need to bother with a second pass as you will be able to do a fine job in one pass comma but since you're just starting out I would recommend the two pass method. The first time welding over at joint is your first pass and it will fill in all of the gaps. Clean it up let it cool and then go over it with a filler Rod like a 6013 or a 7014. Once you gain more experience 7018 would definitely be the go-to rod. I have Built Trailers hauling everything from golf carts to backhoes and all of these rods will do the job just fine if you take the time to make sure that each weld is a good weld.

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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Quote Originally Posted by dunn View Post
    Thanks, William! I had done better with 7018 than 7014 with practice beads on flat metal, and since 7018 is stronger anyway, I decided to start trying with that. I think I've done enough with it that I'll notice more differences between different rod types than before, so I'll certainly try some 7014, which I only have in 1/8" anyway and you've already answered that one!



    What I want to do is get really good with TIG. That's the end result of my journey though. From what I've seen, I don't think I could find one experienced welder on these forums that doesn't know stick. I figured stick must be easier than TIG. For these reasons I started with stick welding. I figured it should be good for putting together some tools stand for the garage, and then I might branch out to TIG with a little bit of experience under my belt.



    My tombstone does do DC as well as AC. I noticed in some videos even from WeldingTipsAndTricks that when showing simple no frills stick welding, he had a voltage boost on his welder for starting and when getting too close during a bead. I don't have that, but I do have a brand new AC/DC tombstone which people say is good for just plain old stick welding. I hope everyone advising is taking into account that that's the machine I have, and not a fancy one with many settings.



    I'm quite sure my technique of going round and round holes until they fill in is probably wrong. It doesn't work all the time either!

    Thanks for the help,
    -- Dunn
    I have many hours on an AC only Lincoln Tombstone welder. They are not magical, but they will definitely do the job for you. I have never used the DC version of the tombstone welder, but I am assuming that it is roughly the same quality as their AC only.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  16. #41
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    Re: Square/Rectangular Steel Tubing Start & Stop Points

    Quote Originally Posted by plumbing101mike View Post
    I have many hours on an AC only Lincoln Tombstone welder. They are not magical, but they will definitely do the job for you. I have never used the DC version of the tombstone welder, but I am assuming that it is roughly the same quality as their AC only.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Same here, they work fine. When I got out of the Air Force in '94, the first job I got that needed a lot of welding had only an AC Lincoln buzz box. Built a lot of stuff for them including a roll-back wrecker.
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

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    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

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