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Old 02-03-2013, 12:59 AM
LKeithR's Avatar
LKeithR LKeithR is offline there a prize?
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Originally Posted by tansit View Post
..max pulser frequency with minimum foreground amps and a low arc start set in the boot menu plus 4T fuzzy logic trigger through a sequencer. Amperage set point appears to be 65 amps to the casual eye but you'd be lucky to get 3 amps worth of heat out.
Whoa! Are we talking welding here? Or Star Wars? Whatever happened to throw the switch, set the dial and go. I must be falling behind...

Measure twice and cut once...or...wait, was that the other way around?
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:44 AM
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Barn Owl Barn Owl is offline
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Location: San Diego California
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All great advice so far,
I am a welding instructor here in So Cal and I will tell you from an instructors point of view what I look for in a student who I can tell wants to learn.

1. Take notes. You will find that you can go back to these notes years after your class, it will also cement it in your mind better.

2. Don't get frustrated with the learning process. Welding is a muscle memory sport, like swinging a baseball bat or golf club, Eye hand coordination takes time to perfect, and dont worry if the guy next to you is getting it faster than you. it will come to you just give it time, it doesn't help to rush the learning process, you get it when you get it.

3. Get glasses or cheater lenses if you need them. Many students find that they need cheater lenses in their hoods in order to see the fine details of MIG and especially TIG.

4. Arrive to class on time and don't leave early unless your wife is having a baby. This all points to booth time.

5. Ask questions when you are thinking of them, if you are embarrassed to ask when someone else is standing there you might forget to ask again, and you never know the rest of the class is probably wanting to ask the same question.

6. Don't use the same booth every day.

7. Don't use the same hand every day. Much easier to become ambidextrous if you learn now rather than when you have an established muscle memory built up.

8. In MIG welding, know your Voltage, Wire Feed Speed, AND your Amperage. These new welders usually have volts and WFS, a student soon learns to not pay attention to Amps. The truth is that you could have as much as a 50 amp swing depending on stick out, (contact tip to work distance CTWD).

9. Like was said before, get uncomfortable. You cannot turn the building on its side. Overhead does not necessarily mean over your head, it might mean under the table 1 foot off the ground.

10. Don't burn the weld curtains by putting your work too close to them.

11. Don't just clean your booth, sweep the isles and the rest of the shop.

12. Record all of your welding voltages and amperages in your smart phone, that way when it has been 6 months since you have run E71T8 wire, and you cannot remember what your settings were back in school you can get to it right away.

13. Pay attention to what your welding process sounds like. Eventually you will be able to set your machine just by what it sounds like.

14. Your instructor has seen the ugliest crap welds ever welded, don't be ashamed to ask for help to work out the wrinkles, hiding in your booth trying to wing it on your own is a good way to build up bad habbits.

15. Your weld is your signature, it will be around forever. Work to perfect it, even the welds that nobody is ever going to see.

16. When your welds suck people could die. If you have a press in class break your welds apart and look at the root. Just beacuse it looks good from the top doesn't mean it's sound.

17. Arc length, speed of travel, and angle are some of the most important aspects for the beginner to learn, be consistant with all three.

Many more but that should get you started.

"Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. But will they keep it? Or will they in their enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction. Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."

Thomas Jefferson

If you spent 1 million dollars every day from the time Christ walked the earth until now, you still would not have spent 1 trillion dollars!

Last edited by Barn Owl; 02-03-2013 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:20 AM
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H80N H80N is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NE Pa
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Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post
Whoa! Are we talking welding here? Or Star Wars? Whatever happened to throw the switch, set the dial and go. I must be falling behind...
Don't fret Keith.... I am an old timer too... and thought I could walk up to just about any TIG machine... set it up and go... that is till these supercomputer embedded modern inverters came along... my personal transition was downright harrowing.....
(Read as:.... "Pee Your Pants Funny".... to those watching my early stumbling progress..from the outside..)

On modern Computer controlled welders you can indeed fall through the looking glass.. either through your own "fine tuning" of settings or those of a helpful prankster...

Praise the lord and pass the instructions to the factory reset menu.........

I have Miller Dynasty 350DX & Dynasty 200DX ... Plus a MM350P.....
SOoooooooooooo...... have found myself in the woods more than once... with no choice but to go.. "factory default reset" to get myself out of the befuddlement.....
the machine was doing WHAT????....
and ...
if you are LUCKY enough to have an audience while mired in this dilemna... there will always be at least One helpful rube who will say...

"Why Hell.... Thought you said you knew what you were doin...??"
........while sadly shaking his head...

This is a great thread and deserves to be kept track of... I will keep tabs on it and refer beginners.... GOOD SOLID FOUNDATION.... no hocus pocus...
(especially like Barn Owl's list...)

Great to see that tansit has not only a well developed sense of humor but also seems to have absorbed a significant amount of welding knowledge...
Hope he continues to share his adventures and viewpoint with us

I got a REALLY GOOD LAUGH from this one.... Enjoyed the wit as well as the content...

TIG volt meters make great altimeters. During a qualification at one job I was recorded at 12.0 to 12.2 volts with an average of 12.1 over 10 hours. I want to say around 7 or 8 volts is around the time tungstens get trashed. Some guys in class had a hard time with depth perception on aluminum once it glosses over. Voltages slowly start to drop as the torch gets closer and closer to plunging in the puddle. Fun to watch as you shout "PULL UP!"

Some of the OJT pranks used on me with a Maxstar 200 water cooled TIG rig included: all power off to both the machine and separate cooler, manifold argon off, flowmeter off, purge system wye valve and bias controls off.

Some pranks used in retaliation were usually max pulser frequency with minimum foreground amps and a low arc start set in the boot menu plus 4T fuzzy logic trigger through a sequencer. Amperage set point appears to be 65 amps to the casual eye but you'd be lucky to get 3 amps worth of heat out. I never do pranks that are dangerous or damage the product/equipment.

I've heard about people having their tungsten replaced by Hastelloy filler material which has the same matte grey look as tungsten but melts right away. Tip properly ground to maintain appearances of course.

I've also had filler snatched right out of my hand because I use a cheater feeder with .045 TIG wire. I had just dipped and retracted only to discover that my filler had magically disappeared mid-weld. Recomposing myself I took my time to prevent crater cracking and ramped down like normal. [/COLOR]
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Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain..

The more you Know, The Better you Know, How little you Know (old Estonian saying)

Last edited by H80N; 02-03-2013 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:44 PM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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Location: Indian Bayou and Lake Charles, La.
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Don't fret Keith.... I am an old timer too.
God forbid the membership in general realize just how old the majority of us actually are/is.

2. Don't get frustrated with the learning process.
Probably the most important point to drive home over and over. FWIW, just how many of us will actually set aside just that much time for 'learnin' and not expect results like we were getting back when we were burning a few pounds of rods/wire/filler before lunch.

In this day and age, who really has that kind of patience. Hell, it used to be that you had to take an extended break, clean up, walk to the house to even use the phone. Much less have instant access to millions of words and videos on the www like we do today.

Personally, I see it this way, "your only going to be as good as your patience will allow you to become".
God, if you would grant me one request through Prayer, please help me be the Man my Dog thinks I am. Please.

Quoting "The Hunt". "A man will walk into hell with both eyes and arms wide open. His dog will know better."

I never thought I'd live long enough to become a grumpy old bastard. Here I am, killing it!
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:23 PM
o7oBaseMetal o7oBaseMetal is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Hannibal, WI is my home away from the road.
Posts: 446

Originally Posted by tansit View Post
Stay hydrated during long burn sessions. The arc is just for show, look at the metal. Learn to use fixed shade hoods, weld one handed when necessary, and put yourself in uncomfortable positions. TIG regularly needs to be left handed in my experience. Always check your equipment before you weld, even if you just turned around .
This is good advice. I would add that, if the weld REALLY matters, make it as easy for yourself as possible; when it kinda matters but doesn't need to look perfect, use it as an opportunity to practice difficult, awkward position welds.
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