Which welder should i use to build a airplane frame?

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Aug 16, 2021
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Millbury, Ohio.
It would seem I need a better understanding of the heat treat process for stress relief. I have seen how Oxygen/Propane can cut steel, so it will doubtless get it up to cherry red. My thought was that all one had to do was bath the welded area with heat into a nice warm red/orange glow and then gradually back the heat away and let it cool. It is argued that one will go through more propane, but it's still cheaper than Acetylene and far more readily available.
 

TFF

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Memphis, TN
Cheaper until you end up using multiple bottles. For just heating, it will do it but if you won’t have the option for good welding. It’s also going to use four times as much O2. Getting the job done is the most important part. If that fits the plan, do it. It’s just not the most versatile.
 

Chris.r.Ingram

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Nov 13, 2021
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Just get a smith airline torch.
you can get the torch, hose, regulators , tips and everything in a nice kit for about $300.
They’re almost idiot proof, cheap to use, cheap to replace tips and will weld anything you need.
Or you can spend a few grand on a tig machine, then have to get a pedal, gas bottle, regulator, tungsten, collets, collet holders, gas nozzles a foot pedal and then waste a couple hundred dollars of tungsten to learn using the thing.
I teach welding for a living, trust me, a properly set up SmithAirline torch will have no larger of a heat effected zone on thin wall tubing than a TIG weld and in the proper hands no one will know it wasn’t a tig weld.

I looked the other day, the little Miller TIG machines my guys use at my training facility and their power plants cost over $11000.00!
 

geraldmorrissey

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Aug 11, 2008
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Check Cyberweld. They have everything Smith. I bought my whole welding rig from them. Great prices and service.
Gerry
 

Chris.r.Ingram

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View attachment 124463 One thing I can recommend is that when you get your regulators, remove the low pressure gauges and instal some that will read from 3-10 psi clearly. Most commercial oxyfuel sets, especially the O2 reg won’t allow you to accurately dial in the low pressures required. I generally keep both my regulators set at 3-5 psi. The new gauges are about $20 bucks each.
This one from McMaster is for acetylene. Can get cheaper from elsewhere.
 

geraldmorrissey

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Aug 11, 2008
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Here what I bought,
Smith AW1A torch $160
2 Tips for above $92
Heating tip. $77
Lightweight hoses $117
Flash arrestors $62
Smith 2 stage regulators $474
25' gas hose. $30
Misc $40
Total. $952
I plan to make my own cylinder cart as a weld project. Still need cylinders and safety gear.
All from Cyberweld with free shipping. Could save money with less expensive regulators. Most people will tell you a gas welding rig is cheap but quality costs a little more.
Gerry
 
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Joined
Aug 16, 2021
Messages
86
Location
Millbury, Ohio.
Thanks for all the advice guys. After reading up on the subject it's apparent that O/A is superior in every category. I'll probably do what Gerald did. I collect tools and I'm always disappointed when a tool breaks or otherwise fails to perform because I cheaped out and didn't get what I should have. I already have an old Lincoln 225 tombstone. Between that and a gas setup like Gerald is suggesting, I believe I can accomplish most anything I'll need to do in my shop.
 

Skypilot053

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Nov 8, 2021
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Use of propane and O2 to stress relieve the heat affected zone should be very doable. As the flame can reach 3000 F Acetalynee and O2 reach 4000 F To achieve Annealing and normalizing take precise temperature and fairly long stable temperatures with a slow cool down. But reducing the stress adjacent to the weld at the edge of the heat affected zone can be done with a neutral flame that gets the entire area to 1100 degrees dull cherry red for a few minute 3-5 and 1 tube dia or more away from the weld heat affected zone will significantly reduce the chance of cracking. Temp above 1300 do start to affect the chemical make up especially if the flame is not neutral. The reduction in cracking probably has more to do with generating a mor uniform streets across the whole joint zone and moving the heat affected zone away from the weld joint where the load is not a straight axial load along the tube than the amount of stress being relieved within the metal. But it works
 

Fiberglassworker

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May 28, 2021
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If you just want to heat up tubing for stress relief, or to heat up the tube to straighten up the little kink caused by welding a tee joint then the prest-o-lite acetylene torch, straight acetylene gets the tube warm enough and saves on oxygen costs.
 

J.L. Frusha

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Feb 17, 2006
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Luling, Texas
Probably going to get this portable machine, after all, I live on a farm...


1656759050113.png
Anyone have an opinion on wire guns? Looking at getting the Ready Welder II Mil-Pack to go with the Fronius...

Model #10000MDP-CS “Military Pak”
NEW (GSA) NSN #: 5130-01-522-1379
 

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J.L. Frusha

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Operative term being "stick"...
The spool gun can be powered by a stick welder. The stick welder, being battery powered may make for a better portable power supply for the spool-gun, than lugging 2-5 automotive batteries and needing multiple chargers. (base for the spool-gun being 18VDC). Adaptability for different materials is important for a farm, but also, the wire fed MIG is beneficial for welding aluminum.
Neither one being Oxy/Acetylene, if I'm welding Aluminum, it'll probably be in the shop, so I don't need to lug that cart everywhere, unless I need to cut, as well. Should make for a fairly portable setup that can weld Aluminum for the the ultralight I am trying to build, as well as an adaptable rig for the farm.

No, I am not an experienced welder, but I have one handy that can help me set up and do my own work.
 

challenger_II

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Jul 15, 2009
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Fisher County, Tx. USA
While wire welding has been used in airframe construction, it isn't the preferred method. And the folks doing the deed are very well practiced in the art. They also have the equipment to NDI the welds, to ensure proper penetration. For those of us less talented, gas and TIG are the best options.
 
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