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Thread: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

  1. #1
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    Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Hi! I've always wanted to be able to try to do some light welding. My GF bought me a welder for my birthday, and just now went and tried it out. My first time with flux core.

    Once I ground the welds down, I could tell I need a LOT of practice!

    Tried rotating the file all sorts of ways before uploading it, and all I can get is either 90 degrees counterclockwise or clockwise from the original.
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    Last edited by Hot Fingers; 1 Week Ago at 07:45 PM.

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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Welcome to the forum. What welder, what wire, what wire size, etc.. Need to see pics. of welds before they are ground but have the slag chipped off so we can help you improve.

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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Thanks Dave. I have the Harbor Freight Titanium Unlimited multiprocess welder.

    Right now, I have ALL the problems, lol. At first it was too hot, wire speed too fast, then too slow, then not hot enough after I adjusted it. I didn't keep a steady distance between the torch and the metal, lol. About the only thing I got right was the polarity for flux core.

    But I'll upload some more before grinding next time!

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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Your material looks like it could be aluminum. We need all your setup info as Welder_Dave pointed out.

    Obviously you have a lot of porosity which indicates you need to clean/grind to shiny metal. Since you said you are using fluxcore you must not be holding the puddle. The best advice for new welders is Look at the weld puddle, not the arc. Guide the puddle to both sides. Good fit up is essential.

    Post all info and more pictures. You will soon be making progress!

    Welcome to the forum.
    Burt
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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Quote Originally Posted by wb4rt View Post
    Your material looks like it could be aluminum. We need all your setup info as Welder_Dave pointed out.

    Obviously you have a lot of porosity which indicates you need to clean/grind to shiny metal. Since you said you are using fluxcore you must not be holding the puddle. The best advice for new welders is Look at the weld puddle, not the arc. Guide the puddle to both sides. Good fit up is essential.

    Post all info and more pictures. You will soon be making progress!

    Welcome to the forum.
    Thanks! It's just the steel from lowes. I did use a cutoff wheel to make the six pieces and ran a flapper disc over the edges before I welded them. Setup was:

    2" square 1/8" thickness steel sides
    outside corner welds
    HF Titanium Unlimited MP welder running off of 120
    0.030 flux core wire that came with the machine
    Wire speed initially at 250 and voltage at 18, per the chart for the first few edges, then I backed it down because it looked like maybe I blew through a little piece of one of the edges. Wire speed at 240 and voltage at 17.

    Thanks a bunch for the tip about holding the puddle. To be honest - that was my first time to attempt to weld (aside from one time long long ago with a stick and a non-auto darkening helmet). I was not holding the tip a constant distance from the joint for sure.

    I talked to one of the welding instructors here at the local trade school about any weekend classes or seminars or whatnot that they might be putting on so I could go attend some, but with the way things are right now, they're not doing any programs just yet.

    Thanks again!


    Oh, and I do plan to have a breaker added in the garage so I can run the 240v. I also need to find a welding extension chord that's rated better than what I can find at Lowes or Home Depot.
    Last edited by Hot Fingers; 1 Week Ago at 08:52 AM.

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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Start with the basics and then it’s just a lot of hood time practicing. Having 220v will help. There are several good threads about proper extension cord sizing in the Electrical forum.

    Proper preparation and fit up, then as you are already doing, start with door chart and adjust from there. Work on consistent angle and stick out. Listen for the bacon sizzling sound. Watch the puddle. Then examine your beads, cut/grind to see penetration and any porosity, make adjustments from there.

    Soon you will have an “aha!” moment where it comes together. Then from that point keep seeking how to improve. Challenge yourself on each joint.

    This forum has a lot of great information and members to help you. Also check Jody’s Weldingtipsandtricks.com.
    Burt
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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Thanks, Burt!

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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Welcome! The steel at Lowes and other big box stores or anywhere that sells smaller pieces is EXPENSIVE, determine what you need/want and buy at a steel yard, lou will save big bucks. 17 volts may be too cold.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Hi Caveman! Thanks for the tip! When I go to buy the steel for the welding table, there's a metal yard here I will go visit for sure!

    Here's some pre-grinder welds. Had some sputtering going on today, but I went a bit slower and tried to watch the puddle and it seemed to work much better.

    When I did grind the second cube, I noticed much less gaps (the second dice I did today is the one on the bottom of the photo - or the left of the photo if I could get them to rotate).

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  10. #10
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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    One thing to pay attention to is your contact tip to work distance, abbreviated as (CTWD).
    Check to see if the contact tip is recessed, flush, or putside of the nozzle. The distance between contact tip and nozzle can have a tremendous effect on the weld.
    There are plenty of charts and literature that show what the CTWD is supposed to be for the type of wire,etc.
    If I am not paying attention to what I am doing, that distance can vary and I seem to be able to hear how the arc sounds different.

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  11. #11
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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Lots of progress but can always learn and improve.

    I would go back and re-weld those gaps. Grind out any contamination and go over those places again. Those die are too nice to leave like that.
    Burt
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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Thanks Burt and PSA! Definitely always ready to learn something new. Trying to get comfortable doing little things like this before I build a table.

    Found a no-name Craigslist vise and fixed her up. $50 vise and $20 sandblasting.

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    Last edited by Hot Fingers; 1 Week Ago at 07:23 PM.

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  14. #13
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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Nice vice!!!!

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  16. #14
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    Re: Hi! New to welding and first welds!

    Welcome from the High Dezert!!
    Welds last longer than Love...

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