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Pops

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Most of your problems will NOT be solved with machine set-up. Sorry, that's just wrong.

At one point in my life I had many certifications. These were required to work in power plants. My welds were xrayed, inspected, and destructive tests were mandatory.

Setting up a machine is nothing compared to what you are faced with going forward. Welding is a free form art and your biggest contribution to a poor weld will be feed rate. Period. This requires practice. Period.

As you work your way around a thin wall tube you will discover inconsistencies in the appearance of the weld bead, and you have to be good at reading the weld bead to know what works and what doesn't.

A stack of dimes is an expression that's used frequently in tig welding. That look is not required but does tell a story of a welder who has mastered feed rate. The dime look exists because the feed rate and filler input is so consistent the freeze lines are visible and evenly feed. A freeze is what happens every time you stick filler in the puddle and pull it away. The filler cools the puddle every time you stick it in.

It's easy to hold the torch at proper depth. It's easy to stick filler in a pedal consistently. You challenge will always be feed rate, or movement of that torch.

I've been to two welding schools and both schools had us do drills to practice. Simply floating a torch and moving forward is poor welding, drills build muscle memory. An example of a drill would be a "forward & back, forward & back, forward & back". 1 step forward and 1/2 of that step back.

I could write until I'm blue in the face, it won't help. You jest need to practice consistently and regularly. Like any art.

Looks like we had the same job at one time. I also welded boiler tubes building power plants for about 15 years and also a lot of repair jobs on the older power plants, paper mills, chemical plants, etc. Journeyman Boilermaker and Millwright. Also worked at a high rigger in building the power plants and power plant stacks up to 1268' and done free climbing of TV and Radio towers.
 

Chris In Marshfield

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Also worked at a high rigger in building the power plants and power plant stacks up to 1268' and done free climbing of TV and Radio towers.
Is that the Indian in you? I remember reading stories in Social Studies class back in grade school about the best high-rise construction folks in NYC were the Native American folks because they had a natural comfort with high places. Could be (sub)urban legend for all I know, though. That was the 1970s. :lick:
 

Little Scrapper

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Looks like we had the same job at one time. I also welded boiler tubes building power plants for about 15 years and also a lot of repair jobs on the older power plants, paper mills, chemical plants, etc. Journeyman Boilermaker and Millwright. Also worked at a high rigger in building the power plants and power plant stacks up to 1268' and done free climbing of TV and Radio towers.
The only thing about it I really miss is welding thin wall small diameter pressure switch tubing. It was like art to me, extremely rewarding.

Now that I own my own plumbing business those days are long behind me. If I had to recert I'd probably fail. Ya just kinda lose your mojo. I might pass 6g, ah who am I kidding, I'd probably fail that too. Lol.

Ya really gotta weld frequently for great welds.
 

Pops

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Is that the Indian in you? I remember reading stories in Social Studies class back in grade school about the best high-rise construction folks in NYC were the Native American folks because they had a natural comfort with high places. Could be (sub)urban legend for all I know, though. That was the 1970s. :lick:

True, of all the people I have worked with in high rigging at least 90% had major Indian ancestry. Not only NYC but all over the nation. I was doing high rigging at the time of the Vietnam war and for every hour on the job it was far more dangerous than being in Vietnam at the time. Lots of my fellow workers got killed. On average you have a close call about every 4 months of being on the job. Contrary from popular opinion, a large percentage have college degrees. I have been on jobs where I was the only one without a degree of one type or another. Lots of mechanical engineering degrees. When you are putting 150 Ton loads 400' high, everyone has to know what they are doing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow_Island_disaster
I finished up on a overhaul of one of the air heater on one of the old boilers about 3 days before this happen. I know a lot of the men that was killed. Just about wiped out the Steele family.
At the time you don't think its effecting you , but I still have nightmares of close calls and of my fellow workers getting killed.
 

Little Scrapper

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I never did the big stuff like that, that's pretty intense Pops.

I know what I don't miss, the dam heat in the tunnels and pipe chases.
 

Pops

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The only thing about it I really miss is welding thin wall small diameter pressure switch tubing. It was like art to me, extremely rewarding.

Now that I own my own plumbing business those days are long behind me. If I had to recert I'd probably fail. Ya just kinda lose your mojo. I might pass 6g, ah who am I kidding, I'd probably fail that too. Lol.

Ya really gotta weld frequently for great welds.
Very true. Like you, my good welding years have been long gone. I couldn't pass a simple plate test now with stick. Just don't have the eyesight and even doing the 4130 aircraft tube tig welding, if I'm in a little strain my hands start to shake. On most boiler jobs when I was young, I usually was put on the tubes that was in the hardest position to weld.
 

Little Scrapper

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Hey pops, isn't something how the welding machines have changed. You're older than me so you've seen more. I can't belive how these little 50 pound machines weld, truly amazing.

You and I have had hundreds of pounds of just cables drapped off buildings.

It's really mind blowing. 1,500 bucks and you have a world class machine for a hobbiest. It's crazy! Schit used to be so heavy we used cranes to move them 50 feet. Lol
 

Little Scrapper

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Auto darkening helmets! I have permanent whiplash.

Sunburn your eye balls. Don't miss that much either.
 

Pops

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Hey pops, isn't something how the welding machines have changed. You're older than me so you've seen more. I can't belive how these little 50 pound machines weld, truly amazing.

You and I have had hundreds of pounds of just cables drapped off buildings.

It's really mind blowing. 1,500 bucks and you have a world class machine for a hobbiest. It's crazy! Schit used to be so heavy we used cranes to move them 50 feet. Lol
You are not kidding , pulling welding leads and pulling welding leads all over the huge building. Yep, the new stuff is great. The old Miller 8 pack, 8 machines in one large pack weighed something like close to 3 tons if I remember correctly. I have an old Miller 250 amp,AC/DC industrial welder in my shop. Weighs about 700 lbs. But its a great welder.

Always tried to take care of my eyes and never burned them. I have taken other welders to the hospital before. The worse place for getting your eyes burnt is when several welders are welding at the same time inside of a tank.
 

Little Scrapper

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I was a teenage just trying to find my way in this world. Had such good mentors who taught me, and more than just welding. They are all gone now, makes me kinda sad. They had tons of character and integrity but were still pretty tough on me. Good guys though, I miss those conversations about life in general. The laughing. The tricks they'd pull.

Now they make you do aerobics each morning, wear blaze green outfits, tons of rules and regs. When that stuff started happening I moved to other avenues within my trade. It's a good thing I'm self employed because I don't think I could handle that stuff now.
 

Pops

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I was a teenage just trying to find my way in this world. Had such good mentors who taught me, and more than just welding. They are all gone now, makes me kinda sad. They had tons of character and integrity but were still pretty tough on me. Good guys though, I miss those conversations about life in general. The laughing. The tricks they'd pull.

Now they make you do aerobics each morning, wear blaze green outfits, tons of rules and regs. When that stuff started happening I moved to other avenues within my trade. It's a good thing I'm self employed because I don't think I could handle that stuff now.
Same with me, I DON"T do aerobics each morning and I'm NOT a team player, I did more than my job required, but what someone else does is their problem, not mine. Once you work for yourself, you can't look back.
 

Kevin N

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These new invertor welders are awesome. I would like to have one but I have no real reason to buy one. My current shop machine is a Miller 351 Syncrowave I bought in 1994. It has never been worked hard and I've never had any trouble with it. In 1979 when I got out of the military I bought a brand new Miller Dial Arc 250 HF. It was an awesome machine and still works great as my brother has it. I bought the syncrowave because I thought the square wave welder would do a nicer job on aluminum. It did, but not that much better. A couple of years ago a friend had a Miller Dynasty 200 DX in his shop for a trial basis. We played all day with that machine and I wanted one. It's so much easier for a home shop guy to get tooled up with a kick azz welder now and the price is lower than I payed in 1979 and ten times the welder. One luxury item I have fallen in love with is my Miller wireless foot pedal. It will spoil you quick over dragging that that pedal with a cord all over the place, especially when welding a fuselage on a rotisserie. On welding hoods the expensive Speedglas hood I have is inoperative. The 40 dollar Harbor Freight Auto Darkening hood I replaced it with has been great for three years now.
edit: My son and I took our 1941 P.U. truck to the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville,KY last weekend. Just like Oshkosh they had show specials on Millers and Lincolns. I was very tempted but chickened out. Maybe next year.
 

Little Scrapper

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I was blue through and through until one of my Migs died. I was so pissed at the series of events that followed I swore I'd never buy another Miller.

I replaced it with a 210 mp which is multi process, but I only use it for mig. The 200 is amazing, the average hobbiest will never need more than that. Lincoln builds a great welder.

Kevin, your have great welders, the 200 would probably just be a waste of money for you.
 

Kevin N

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Yeah, I don't need another welder and I know I won't be wearing out the one I have. My Mig machine is an HTP, it's 23 years old and works like brand new. Many uninformed people think they are another chinese welder and they are not. Their Mig's are made in Hungary and their Tig machines are made in Italy. My plasma cutter is a loaner from a friend. If and when he wants it back I'm buying an HTP plasma.
My only Lincoln machine is an old AC Tombstone. Bought it at a farm sale. I'm making my son drag some 6011 and go old school, just so he knows how we used to do it.
 

Little Scrapper

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Chris, we're all waiting on a weld sample here. Don't worry about what it looks like, it's an art form, it's all about improvement over time.
 

Chris In Marshfield

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Me, too! :) Turns out the 220V jack I have in the garage is of the 30A variety, but my welder has a 50A plug on it (different shape). It'll do 115V, but I live in an older house, and the circuit that feeds the garage is shared with the kitchen, and it's only 15A. Couple that with an extension cord, and I think it's just asking for a "lackajuice" condition. So I went to Menards and bought a new 50A plug to replace the 30A one, as well as a 10ga extension cord made for welders. And yes, I checked with my electrician brother to make sure the wiring was compatible and codeworthy! :)

I think tonight will be a good opportunity to get things set up to give it a go. I also wanted to get some work done on the plane this week, so I spent yesterday on that (and yard work). Someone told me not to forget to work on the plane, having shiny new toys to play with. Great advice. :)
 
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