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Thread: Thoughts on these welds.

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on these welds.

    Hi, This picture is some welds on a tube framed (tiny house) trailer.
    I am not a welder or fabricator, but I just thought I'd ask for other opinions on the quality from a purely visual perspective as I can't do any actual penetration tests. These welds are on cross members, not the main supports.


    Thanks for any help.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    They look cold to me...you'll note they look different from the beads where the main tubing meets the frame rail. These are probably only just holding the cross tubes from moving around more than taking any significant load, but that's just a guess since we can't see the overall structure. If that's true they shouldn't pose a problem.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    The bead on the spring shackle on the right looks a bit cold, too.

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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    I agree with the above, but even mig welds that my old instructor said were "fine" always looked cold to me, and when I turned up the machine to where I liked it, he said they were "whoa hot." (Only ever had a handful of lessons running mig.)

    I suspect they're fine and that if anything, the weldor was concerned about warpage, with all the welds on one side of the cross pieces.

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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    These welds look cold to me, I would be worried about lack of fusion.
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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    From here they look Cold. The danger of point and squirt welding, anybody can do it. I wonder how many folk welded on that trailer? What process? If MIG, then every weld is questionable.

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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Quote Originally Posted by eL0 View Post
    Hi, This picture is some welds on a tube framed (tiny house) trailer.
    I am not a welder or fabricator, but I just thought I'd ask for other opinions on the quality from a purely visual perspective as I can't do any actual penetration tests. These welds are on cross members, not the main supports.


    Thanks for any help.
    First off - I am curious about the tiny house project. Is the frame/trailer/chassis something you already own? Or are you hiring it out to a fabricator? I assume being able to see the bare frame the idea is to start with that then build up from there. I'd be curious what the design entails if you are open to sharing. I've looked in to alternative dwellings before so that subject in general interests me. Have fun with it.

    Secondly - the welds with the arrows look better to me, of all of them just the 3. The welds are smoother against the base metal. This depicts the weld pool "wetting in" to the base metal. If you see a distinct "crater" against the base metal where the bead is this indicates that the arc had too much force and penetrated too much = bad weld if left alone. What you should have is a nice wetting in of the pool against the base metal without any indentation at the bead ("under cut").

    The opposite is true of the colt welds. The ropy appearance of the welds indicates that the weld is not "wetting in" to the base metal. That is where all the "cold" comments come from - the arc was not hot enough to melt the base metal sufficiently to get the filler metal to mix with it in the pool.

    I can't tell much about the ropy looking welds other than they appear ropy. You would have to look at them closer to see if there was any wetting in to the base metal under the rope beads. It is possible there is fusion, but from the camera angle and as far away as the camera is we can't tell that much. For example - the bottom left weld. On the far right side of it (blue arrow) you can see there is some wetting in as wide as the bead is, but the overall bead still appears cold. So underneath the lip of the ropy bead - look at that close and you might find it is stuck to the base metal pretty good.

    In general, though, the welds should all look closer to the 3 red arrow welds.

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  10. #8
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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    They look better than the ones on my neighbors new skid steer forklift frame!






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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Quote Originally Posted by ccogg View Post
    They look better than the ones on my neighbors new skid steer forklift frame!
    That is a fine example of some Gorilla Welds. Strong but ugly.

    I don't think that frame will have any issues. You can see how the welds wet in to the base metal quite clearly. They might not be pretty welds, but I'm sure they will hold fine.

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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    I'll have to respectfully disagree, those may not be pretty, but they are goo
    d welds.
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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Most of the frame welds look cold, a lot of the welds on the NATIT frame(LOL) look like they had a fast travel speed looking at the "ripples"of the bead, looks like they were shot at and missed and sh1t at and hit. As far as strength, they're probably fine. They probably hire welders that can strike an arc and that's all that's required.
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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Might as add these to "6011 6010 side by side."

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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    Most of the frame welds look cold, a lot of the welds on the NATIT frame(LOL) look like they had a fast travel speed looking at the "ripples"of the bead, looks like they were shot at and missed and sh1t at and hit. As far as strength, they're probably fine. They probably hire welders that can strike an arc and that's all that's required.
    They probably hire welders in the Home Depot parking lot every morning.

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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Grind them out and turn up the heat....!!...Best be safe than sorry 😔.

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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vhmtach50 View Post
    Grind them out and turn up the heat....!!...Best be safe than sorry ��.
    Did you read the OP's second sentence? He said "I am not a welder or fabricator".....so no, he's not going to grind them out and turn up the heat.
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  22. #16
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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    The welds that look cold appear to all be in the middle of the trailer frame, rather than along the frame rails, and thus are probably not as important as the welds along the frame rails. Think about where the stresses will be when the trailer is in service. I suspect those longitudinal rails in the middle are just something to support the floor and to give the builder something to nail or screw the floor to. Tacks would probably suffice.

    I wouldn't worry about it. Not everything needs to be built like the blade of a D12 dozer.

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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    The welds that look cold appear to all be in the middle of the trailer frame, rather than along the frame rails, and thus are probably not as important as the welds along the frame rails. Think about where the stresses will be when the trailer is in service. I suspect those longitudinal rails in the middle are just something to support the floor and to give the builder something to nail or screw the floor to. Tacks would probably suffice.

    I wouldn't worry about it. Not everything needs to be built like the blade of a D12 dozer.
    I had to laugh when I read the last statement...doin what I do and bein the way I am I build evrything like a tank thats gonna go through a nuclear war. I welded a dog onto plate today to push another plate down maybe a half inch, the kid helpin me was beatin his brains out with a 8 pounder tryin to get it off, finally i cut it off with the torch. Dammit Popeye you didnt want that one comin off did ya? No I said but I dont wanna get hit in the balls if it breaks off when Im bulldoggin that plate down either. That happened to me once and it didnt feel good at all

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  26. #18
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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    The welds that look cold appear to all be in the middle of the trailer frame, rather than along the frame rails, and thus are probably not as important as the welds along the frame rails. Think about where the stresses will be when the trailer is in service. I suspect those longitudinal rails in the middle are just something to support the floor and to give the builder something to nail or screw the floor to. Tacks would probably suffice.

    I wouldn't worry about it. Not everything needs to be built like the blade of a D12 dozer.
    My dad taught me to do everything to the best of my ability. Those welds don't look like they were done to the best of someone's ability. Quality control was lacking.
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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    My dad taught me to do everything to the best of my ability. Those welds don't look like they were done to the best of someone's ability. Quality control was lacking.
    I dont believe they have a QC department there...the old miner who i was buildin thoem old mine buggies for would ask me if I thought it was good enough. He would say... what do YOU think? In other words YOU are your quality control. Been thta way my whole life .


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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopdogg View Post
    I'll have to respectfully disagree, those may not be pretty, but they are goo
    d welds.
    Which welds are you taking about? The OP's I agree should be ground out and done by someone with more experience. The welds on the skid steer plate are ugly but have enough heat that they look to have fusion. TRAILERS, especially ones that will be pulled on public roads (as opposed to say a farm trailer) for some reason seem to be at the top of the list of builds for brand new beginner weldors. As pointed out some of the cross member welds look OK but need to remember MIG is famous for cold lap where the weld looks good but has very little FUSION into the base metal. Weld is usually good on one side and not the other.(This is the reason Lincoln was so late to get into MIG! They were working on Innershield self shielded wires) Another problem which may or may not be the problem is newbies buying too small of machine for the job. They want to learn to weld and see a deal on a 120 volt Mig/Flux-core and figure it will serve their purpose to learn welding. A course at a community college or even hiring an experienced welder for even a couple hours will cut the the learning curve way down. You can read all the books and watch all the video's but there is no substitute for arc time. Most (140 amp rated) 120 volt Mig are good for about 1/8" material and up to 3/16" with a more experienced weldor. Too many owners figure thay can get away with 1/4" cause it's only a little thcker. WRONG. Better to have more than you need and tern them down than try to push too small a machine. In an emergency 1/4" could be done if the base base metal was pre-heated to almost turning color. Not red hot but not far from it. Not really practical for any projects requiring more than a 2or 3 short welds.

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  30. #21
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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Another problem which may or may not be the problem is newbies buying too small of machine for the job. They want to learn to weld and see a deal on a 120 volt Mig/Flux-core and figure it will serve their purpose to learn welding. A course at a community college or even hiring an experienced welder for even a couple hours will cut the the learning curve way down. You can read all the books and watch all the video's but there is no substitute for arc time. Most (140 amp rated) 120 volt Mig are good for about 1/8" material and up to 3/16" with a more experienced weldor.
    Another thought to add to the point on the 120v welders out there -

    Line voltage.

    I had this problem with my 120v flux core machine (century 80, transformer, from the 90's). I've welded in a lot of places and getting a good voltage supply to the machine can be a challenge. Here for example - I was working on a project a couple years ago and had the welder running off the garage circuit. The arc performance was terrible. I tried a few things - cleaning up the ground connections and cleaning the tip out, for example. Still had issues. Then I got an extension cord and ran that to another outlet on a different circuit. Problem solved. Moral of the story is there were too many other devices (lights, fans, etc) running on the same circuit that was trying to power the welder. Once I got the welder isolated to the only thing drawing power from the circuit it ran great. When you are max'ed out on what the machine will do and it is drawing the most current from the circuit any drag down in that circuit voltage will significantly affect the heat in your welds. If you are already riding on the very edge of what you can do with that size machine and the circuit doesn't support it - you can't weld. Just going off the numbers and "well the box says it will do 3/16 so I'm good". No you're not. That is where experience helps - if you knew what the performance should be and you have the machine set to get you there but you're not getting there - something is wrong. What is it? If you don't know how do you recognize it and fix it?

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    Re: Thoughts on these welds.

    Usually a 20 amp breaker is required for 120 volt but have heard some need a 30. Then you you have to worry about the supply wires being large enough. Not saying 120 volt machines don't have a purpose. There are a lot of auto body and muffler shops, etc. that use them.

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