Okay, new discussion: welding

Discussion in 'Tube and Fabric' started by Medic9204, Sep 24, 2005.

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes Forum by donating:

?

Which way to weld 4130 steel?

  1. Acetalyne/oxy

    61 vote(s)
    39.1%
  2. Mig

    14 vote(s)
    9.0%
  3. Tig

    80 vote(s)
    51.3%
  4. Other

    1 vote(s)
    0.6%
  5. Acetalyne/oxy

    61 vote(s)
    39.1%
  6. Mig

    14 vote(s)
    9.0%
  7. Tig

    80 vote(s)
    51.3%
  8. Other

    1 vote(s)
    0.6%
  1. Sep 24, 2005 #1

    Medic9204

    Medic9204

    Medic9204

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Williamsport, Pennsylvania
    Okay, I'm about to learn how to weld but need suggestion and ideas of which method to go with.

    I'm welding 4130 tubing and sheet steel for the fuselage.

    What's best? gas, tig, mig, arc, something else?

    ALL opinions are welcome, and I'd appreciate reasonings.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2005
  2. Sep 24, 2005 #2

    dustind

    dustind

    dustind

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Saint Michael, Minnesota
    There are some good discussions on this forum as well as www.canardaviationforum.dmt.net

    I do not know so all I could suggest is searching this forum and google.
     
  3. Sep 25, 2005 #3

    BD5builder

    BD5builder

    BD5builder

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    IMO for something like a tube and fabric fuselage, i would go with TIG. But thats just my opinion from what little welding experience i was required to get with all the different versions. If ya check out the AC43.13 online it gives a pretty good description of welding techniques and preparation.
     
  4. Jan 6, 2006 #4

    jetblackaircraft

    jetblackaircraft

    jetblackaircraft

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    The BEST method for your application is TIG. The easiest to learn is MIG. MIG welding your frame might work out alright, but like I said, the BEST method is TIG.
     
  5. Jan 7, 2006 #5

    Spinnetti

    Spinnetti

    Spinnetti

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dallas TX, USA
    Well, 'Best' means different things to different people. bad welding by any process is dangerous, and good welding of the wrong process or wrong rod for the material is still dangerous.

    I've seen many folks say that gas is the best to learn as you can easily transition to tig, which I think makes the most beautiful, and most controlled welds.

    Pretty much all steel planes were welded with gas until tig (Heliarc) came along. You can get excellent results with gas, and its cheap to get a welding setup. There is some debate between gas and tig about the larger heat affected zone using gas welding vs. the lack of 'normalization' from tig welding for 4130. Check out the miller welding site for more info. (I'm no expert but did weld professionally for a few years).

    I weld gas, mig and tig. I'm best at mig (from many years practice), like tig the best (still learning), and usually just use gas for cutting off stuff and heating things up.
     
  6. Jan 7, 2006 #6

    jumpinjan

    jumpinjan

    jumpinjan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Dayton OH
    I'm pretty much convinced that TIG is safe and no normallizing is required because we are using a thin wall tubing. Some preheating might be needed if working in cold shop conditions. Lincoln has a small amperage TIG (185) and it has a better range (5-185) than the Miller (10-180). I'm going to buy the Lincoln and I very happy with my MIG 185 that I had for 5 years now. Read this about rod specifications:
    http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowledge/articles/content/chrome-moly.asp
     
  7. Jan 9, 2006 #7

    wally

    wally

    wally

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    926
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    southwest TN.
    If I could afford it, I would buy a TIG machine. It makes welding aluminum a breeze. A nice machine will set you back close to a $1000 or more

    What I have is a cheapie oxyacetylene torch from harbor freight $100. I had to purchase the bottles from the local distributer ($250) but refills are then cheap. It will do the 4130 welding you need to build most any homebuilt airplane part. And it is really not hard to learn either.

    You can use MIG to build the trailer to haul the plane to the airport but I would NOT use it for building the airplane itself. 4130 alloy steel that is normally used does not like MIG.

    You can buy aluminum gas tanks already made for several airplane designs or form the metal and then have the local shop TIG weld it.

    Wally
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2006
  8. Jan 9, 2006 #8

    CAB

    CAB

    CAB

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
  9. Jan 23, 2006 #9
    Got a question. I am new to building so please no snickers, What is the best way to attach formers to a welded frame when using aluminum for the outer skin?
     
  10. Jan 23, 2006 #10

    Craig

    Craig

    Craig

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jupiter, Florida
    Tabs and formers

    Orion Vick -
    I welded small tabs with 3/16" holes to the tubes in the places where I wanted them, then bolted or welded "L" shaped pieces to rivet the aluminum skin to. The ones around the cockpit look like partial bulkheads, which indeed they are. I also used the tabs for things like the skin, floors, instrument panel, stringers, turtleback, etc.

    Some of my aluminum skin was drilled on 1" centers for brads, and the aluminum nailed to the stringers. Small holes - about #70, as I recall. The stringers (1/4" x 1" spruce, gives the fuselage it's curvey shape) are bolted to the tabs.

    To hold the tabs in place while welding, I used a stiff piece of about 1/4" dia. copper wire, with a clamp on each end. Put one clamp close to the place where you want the tab, they tab in the other clamp, and bend so that the tab is where you want it.

    For floors, instrument panel, cowling pieces, etc, I slipped a "U" Tinnerman nut over the hole in the tab to take a #6, 8, or 10 Type "B" sheet metal screw, depending on what I was fastening on.

    Hope that this helps.
     
  11. Feb 19, 2007 #11

    jany77

    jany77

    jany77

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    california
  12. Feb 19, 2007 #12

    wally

    wally

    wally

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    926
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    southwest TN.
    If you are building a steel tube fuselage like the Baby Great Lakes, buy the oxyacetylene torch kit - also from Harbor freight. $100. I bought one a couple of years ago and it works just fine. There will be a lot of times you need to heat and bend metal and you cannot do that with just a MIG machine. And MIG isn't really the right way to weld 4130 steel. It works beautifully on mild steel, some types of stainless and some aluminum but don't use it for 4130.

    Plan on buying your oxygen and acetylene tanks from a local gas distribuitor. Expect to pay another $250 or $300. Refills are cheap after that. An oxyacetylene rig will last many, many years when taken care of. And once you have it, handier than a shirt pocket.
    Good luck,
    Wally
     
  13. Feb 20, 2007 #13

    Midniteoyl

    Midniteoyl

    Midniteoyl

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    500
    Location:
    Indiana
    Ahh... buy both a TIG and Oxy setup...but not from HF. TIG the 4130.
     
  14. Feb 20, 2007 #14

    AlRice

    AlRice

    AlRice

    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boca Raton, Fla
    For a TIG, you want to go with a big name like Miller or Lincoln for reliability and service. I doubt if the HF TIG will last through the whole fuselage before burning out. Also, if you plan to weld aluminum, the inverter type TIGs won't do it, you need DC- output for steel and AC output for aluminum. You can usually find used Millers and Lincolns on Ebay.

    Recommend you either try out TIG and O/A at Sun N Fun or Oshkosh or take a Sportair workshop. You get to burn up all kinds of metal and get all your questions answered at the same time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
  15. Feb 21, 2007 #15

    Peter V

    Peter V

    Peter V

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, a cheap inverter won't, but if you want to spend $$$ there are 250 amp inverter TIGs that are great for aluminium. You just wont find them for under $2000. :dis:
     
  16. Sep 2, 2007 #16

    Mike Armstrong

    Mike Armstrong

    Mike Armstrong

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    near San Diego
    One of the reasons I went to Osh this year was to settle, in my mind, the question of Gas vs TIG for welding 4130. Several lectures and hours of practice welding later, I decided on Gas. I could have flipped a coin early on however after attending Budd Davissons long lecture in which he described in detail the pro's and cons of both technigues and his preference for the age old, tried and true Gas, my mind was finaly made up. My last couple of days there I concentrated on Gas welding steel tube at the workshops with old timer and younger experts showing me the ropes. By the end of the week I felt pretty comfortable that I could continue to practice on my own at home. I ordered Kent Whites 4130 Deluxe Kit #3 as soon as I got back. His equipement and videos are excellent, I recommend them (as many others at Osh recommended his kit to me).

    I agree that both techniques work well for 4130, but I'm also glad to finaly have the question of which to use settled in my own mind.

    http://tinmantech.chainreactionweb.com/html/kits_4130.php?cart=7ec3cbf0902ccadb50b3ad49c4fe4967


    Mike
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2007
  17. Dec 29, 2007 #17

    planecrazzzy

    planecrazzzy

    planecrazzzy

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    13
    I'll keep this simple....If you TIG , you need to aneal the area with a torch...

    "NEW GUYS" ....might as well weld with Oxy/acet.

    That also TEACHES you how to TIG...:ban:

    OK , I'm done...
    Gotta Fly...
    Mike & "Jaz"
    http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/mikepierzina/
    ( ASME CODE & State(s) Certs- MIG,TIG,STICK,Sub Arc, Pulse,Dual Shield,Metal Core )
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  18. Dec 30, 2007 #18

    Mike Armstrong

    Mike Armstrong

    Mike Armstrong

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    near San Diego
    Thanks Mike.
     
  19. Dec 30, 2007 #19

    Mad Man Mike

    Mad Man Mike

    Mad Man Mike

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Buckeye AZ
    I havent read all of the posts --but this topic has been discussed many times over the years. I weld with all -- I prefer MIG -- many say it cant be used on Aircraft--Tell that to American Champion Aircraft --they used it exclusively for years to build their airframes
     
  20. Dec 30, 2007 #20

    planecrazzzy

    planecrazzzy

    planecrazzzy

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    13
    Kolb aircraft also use MIG....

    But "I" had to re work the whole frame due to the "Cold lap" starts....

    At the time "I" did the repairs....I didn't have my TIG yet....

    So I used my MIG ( SP100 ) but before each weld....

    I'd grab my craftsman instant start propane torch....and sweat the tubes

    that prevented cold lap starts.....

    Some of the other guys with Kolbs , had gotten the frames "powder coated"

    and later , because of cold laps..Rust would leak down....

    That's bad....with flexing...the weld can only fail.

    They say...Weld what yer BEST with...
    .
    .
    .
    Gotta Fly...
    .
    .
    .





     

Share This Page

Group Builder
arrow_white