Tag Archives: how to weld

    • Eastwood Live Beginners MIG Welding Demo Q&A- We Answer Your Questions!

      Ever wish you had direct access to an Eastwood Expert to show you how to Do The Job Right?....Recently we held a Live MIG welding Demo where I showed some of the basics of MIG welding and how to correct subpar welds. During the demo we offered a live chat room where an Eastwood Expert answered some basic questions and I also answered some live during the demo. We did run out of time and missed answering some of the questions, so we decided to offer them up here. If you have a question or suggestion for a future Live Demo, please drop us a line!

      -Matt/EW

      1. vmwhitaker Any chance of getting a DVD of this program?
      A: Unfortunately we won’t be offering a DVD of the program, but you can watch the video on our YouTube page: Click Here to Watch

      2. JPower6210 8 - 10 what?
      A: 8-10CFH indoors for general sheet metal or light duty fabrication work. You will need higher gas flow for hard to reach joints, weld positions, heavy fabrication or also outdoors.

      3. waynearny How about some examples of sheet metal weld techniques?
      A:Thanks for the request, we’ll try and work sheet metal welding into our next demo.

      4. leonzak Can you demo sheetmetal?
      A:Thanks for the request, we’ll try and work sheet metal welding into our next demo.

      5. Michaelaw If I am working on car, do I need to worry about gasoline fumes from the tank?
      A: The simple answer is yes. But, most automotive fuel systems are closed and should not be leaking much if any fuel fumes. If you are welding near an area that has a fuel line, or is prone to fuel fume leakage, we suggest shielding over sealing the area and then covering it with a welding blanket.

      6. rwhca if you were to buy one welder for automotive restoration -- MIG or TIG?
      A: For general automotive work MIG is most definitely the best all around machine. TIG welding is very nice and produces clean, slag-free welds, but it requires a lot more technique and preparation to get a clean weld.

      7. TerryJOMT When you ran that last bead, did you move the arc in a circle or a U shaped pattern?
      A: I moved in a circle pattern with the welds in this demo.

      8. amsoilguy Are there guidelines for settings based on metal thicknesses?
      A: Yes, each machine is different and usually there are settings printed on the machine with baselines for each situation. Remember these settings are WITHOUT an extension cord. Also remember settings can change with size of the wire being used.

      9. rubber2theroad see, what's the spray on product name Matt was recommending for flux
      A: I was referring to our Eastwood “Anti-Spatter”. It can be found here: http://www.eastwood.com/ew-paintable-welding-anti-spatter-14-oz-aerosol.html

      10. toddgaron On the gas setting 8-10 CFM or L/min
      A: 8-10CFH indoors for general sheet metal or light duty fabrication work. You will need higher gas flow for hard to reach joints, weld positions, heavy fabrication or also outdoors.

      11. Mreship Thank you, can we talk about a 135 versus a 175 machine?
      A: The 135 can do the majority of your general autobody repair and light fabrication. With proper joint preparation you can do some heavier fabrication, but major chassis and suspension fabrication would be required to use the 175. Additionally the MIG 175 can weld aluminum with the included spoolgun.

      12. rmvlt1100 can the 110 volt welder be used for chassis work?
      A: It all depends on what you’re welding. If you prepare the joint correctly and have correct technique you can do some light to medium duty chassis work. The MIG 175 would handle most all chassis work on an auto with ease.

      13. oneill7777 How do you determine volts & wire speed when welding 2 different thicknesses of metal?
      A: This would more be a matter of technique. I’d adjust the settings to weld the thicker of the 2 pieces and then you want to favor your puddle/heat onto the thicker piece to avoid burning through the lighter gauge piece of metal.

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    • TIG Welding Custom Air Ride Struts With TIG 200

      I've gotten into the mindset where I like to try and custom build or DIY as much as possible when building a car. While more and more small niche companies are making specialized parts to "bolt-on" your project, it's easier than ever to build a "custom" vehicle. Nothing beats being able to show off your ride at a show and have people notice all of the one-off modifications and parts. In the end I spend less money, and I don't need to wait for "custom" parts to show up in the mail. It's one of my secrets to completing project cars so quickly.

      This weekend I started tackling a project that is a perfect example of this topic. Currently I'm fitting one of my project vehicles with air ride suspension. A few sites offer high-priced, "bolt-on" kits, but they still aren't a true bolt-on affair. These kits also are way out of budget for this particular build. The first big piece of the puzzle are the rear air shocks. Since this is a small vehicle, I'm tight on space and opted to go with Air Lift Chapman style air struts. These are close to the same dimensions of the original rear suspension, but they need a mount solution where they meet the rear axle beam. Niche companies do sell accessories that allow you to bolt the struts on with out breaking out the welder. But the cost to buy them, and wait for them to be made, and arrive to me; I could've saved time and $150-$200.

      I decided to take a pair of worn out, original rear shocks and cut the bottoms off with the end links and use my Eastwood TIG 200 to mate them together. Luckily the Air Lift rear air struts came beveled at the bottoms to make a nice valley to lay the filler rod in. I also ground a small bevel on the original shock bottoms.

      I then set my TIG 200 up on a 110V outlet and set the output at the pedal to be a max of 120 Amps. I decided to use an .030 filler rod to produce a small, tight puddle that wouldn't protrude from the joint too much. I found myself hovering the pedal around 75% which was about 100-110 Amps. The results were pretty good given that I am definitely still a beginner to TIG welding.

      In the end I spent about an hour total modifying these air struts, and saved myself a significant amount of money and wait time. If you do this a few times even on one project, you can see how you've quickly paid for your welder, and have the satisfaction of having parts you made yourself!

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    • Watch and Listen to your MIG Welder, It's Telling You Something!

      When learning to MIG weld, one of the biggest things you can do is to listen to the sounds your welder makes when welding; and also knowing what the error is when looking at a weld. Once you understand what to look and listen for, you will notice your welds improving dramatically.

      A properly adjusted MIG welder should sound like it is frying up bacon when laying a bead. You want a nice sizzle with little "pops and spits". The final weld should be relatively flat and even throughout. Above you can see some examples of MIG welds. The first weld has our MIG 175 settings dialed in pretty good. Notice how the bead isn't protruding from the work surface too much, and the bead is fairly uniform in width. The backside of the work piece will show a nice outline of where the weld penetrated properly into the metal.

      On the second bead we turned the wire speed up way too high. You can instantly tell the difference in sound and look of the bead. You can also feel it in the MIG gun when welding. The problem here is that the welding wire is coming out too fast for the surface you are welding on and the heat settings you are using. The wire is hitting the surface and not melting into the metal fully. You will feel the wire pushing back on the MIG gun because of this, and you will hear a lot of random popping from the welder. Lastly, you can see in the picture that as we moved along the welder just made individual "globs" but no puddle was formed. With this weld you won't see an outline of the weld on the backside of the metal as it hasn't penetrated into the metal. This is very bad, and is a weak, dangerous weld.

      The third bead we did quite the opposite, we turned the wire speed far too low. When you do this you will notice a pronounced "hissing" when welding. This will sound like you have a gas leak. You will also notice the wire burning before it even gets to the surface and the inability to move the puddle. You can see in this example the puddle started, but as soon as you move a little bit, you lose the puddle and the welding wire isn't coming out fast enough to keep up and add to the puddle. Because of this you can see the arc was still present, but the puddle didn't start again until we stopped moving and let the puddle form. This is also a weak, unsafe weld, and should not be used.

      The fourth example is a common mistake when you first begin welding. In this bead we left the shielding gas bottle turned off, and attempted to run a bead without the aid of shielding gas. When this happens, there will be an extreme amount of popping and hissing, as well as an excessive amount of sparks and slag flying from the work area. The shielding gas cleans the weld puddle and keeps contaminates from entering the weld and making it weak. Here you can see the weld is very porous and much darker in color. Keep this in mind when welding. If you see a weld like this, make sure you check that your gas bottle is turned on, the tank output pressure isn't too low, and the tank isn't out of gas. DO NOT attempt to use anything you have welded without shielding gas, all of those pores are imperfections that will make the weld weak.

      Now go out in the shop, set up your welder, turn the music down, and listen to what your MIG has to say. It has a lot to tell you!

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    • Practicing TIG Welding.

      This is a lead in from some of our other "beginners TIG welding" articles. Once you have started getting your technique and hand positions down on a piece of flat metal. Then make sure your beads are looking satisfactory (and uniform) and then you can move to laying some welds on a simple butt joint. The key when learning, is to make sure you have the two pieces clamped together tightly before welding. The larger the gap in your butt joint, the harder it will be for a beginner to fill the joint, and make a nice weld. I like to clamp the piece at both ends, then put small tack welds on each end before running your beads. Make sure you watch your puddle as you weld the joint, and be sure it doesn't get too large and start blowing the gap apart. First try running beads on these joints in between practice runs on flat metal. Eventually you will start to mimic your better weld beads from your flat stock to your butt joints.

      Remember Practice Makes Perfect!

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    • 5 Beginners TIG Welding Tips

      More so than MIG and ARC welding, TIG welding requires a lot more practice to be proficient in. There are a lot more ways to control the arc, puddle, and final outcome of your weld than with a MIG welder. Here are 5 tips that are essential to keep in mind when learning the basics of TIG welding.

      1. Cleanliness- TIG welding unlike other types of welding requires a very clean surface to produce a clean arc and nice welds. Make sure you are cleaning the work surface extremely well before you weld. For aluminum and stainless we like to use a dedicated stainless brush for each type of metal we are welding on. DO NOT use the same wire brush you use to clean rust and scale off of your chassis! You will find the more time you take cleaning your work area before welding, the better your final results will be.

      2. Choose the correct Tungsten- Depending on the surface you are working on, you may need to change out your Tungsten. Traditionally green tungstens are used for aluminum and red for steels, but some people prefer the red tungstens across the board. We suggest trying the "traditional" use of each before making a decision. Believe it or not, it's possible to use too small or too large of a tungsten for the thickness material you are welding. By using too large of a tungsten you will have to turn the heat up far too much to strike an arc and could risk warping or burning through the workpiece. On the other side, using too small of a tungsten can cause damage to the tungsten from being overheated. Below you can see an overheated 1/16 tungsten.

      3. Touch the Tip, Regrind- This is one of the most frustrating parts of learning to TIG weld, as well as one of the hardest to obey. If you happen to touch your tungsten tip into the puddle, even for a split second, you have contaminated it and you MUST regrind the tungsten. You will know if you have done this because the arc will start to wander badly, as well as a it will be difficult to keep a focused arc on the metal. Below is a picture of a tip that was just touched for a split second, notice the sharp tip now has "splits" in it.

      4. Keep up productivity- There are a few things you can do to keep you welding longer, and without interruption. Distractions and interruptions will make a beginner easily forget what they have just learned and will make it more difficult where they left off. A few things can be done to optimize your time learning to TIG. A big one is to keep extra Tungstens ground, and ready in case you contaminate one. Also keep any pieces you plan to weld cleaned and in arms reach. Lastly, keep plenty of extra filler rod in a close arms reach (it goes quick!).

      5.Grind your Tungstens Correctly- A common first-time error beginners make is to not correctly grind their tungstens. Make sure you are grinding the tungsten length-wise, and as even as possible. Grinding the opposite way will make for an unpredictable arc that tends to wander on the workpiece. If you aren't using a tungsten sharpener, we suggest using a dedicated bench grinder to only grind tungstens on, otherwise your tungstens can be contaminated if using an all purpose grinder.

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