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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Want to learn metal work.

Hi, I read the boards every night at work but this is only my second thread.

Anyway, I am interested in learning metal work. Eventually when I'm out of college I would like to get a classic (to me) stock 1985 Toyota 4x4 and restore it (or should I say have fun trying to restore it). I would like to acquire the skills needed to repair a rusted frame or fab some new motor mounts etc.

So here's my question: What tools will I need besides grinder, welder, and drill press? Most importantly, what type and brand of welder/cutting torch setup is appropriate for this type of work? (I have researched the subject, but to someone who doesn't know the basics, what I've read didn't really help.)

Thanks in advance for info. Mods, if this is in the wrong area, please move.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 07:58 AM
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I bought a Lincoln 135+ for all the small stuff. I have no intentions of welding anything that may endanger my life or other on the road with this welder since it is underpowered. If you are looking into the rebuild/repair aspect of older rigs keep that in mind. It will however make some nice custom sliders, bumpers, etc. I am skeptical of any inexperienced welding on frames, steering, or suspension parts after seeing what can go wrong when a shoddy weld breaks. Once you pick one up you can be the judge of your weld qualitys. The best thing to do is take a tech school class. Not only will you get good direction but you can also try out different welders. If I did it again I would have gotten a 220V but my garage will not allow it without an electrical upgrade. As far as what other tools you need, well you can never have too many. Stick with what you mentioned and just pick up the rest as you "need". A BFH and chisel go a long ways.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 08:18 AM
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One place to check for some classes would be a community college. The CC where i live offers a handful of different skill levels of classes in metal working, from beginer to intermediate. I know some trade schools in my area, tho not speaking for others, want you to sign up for a "program", not just take a class here and there.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I thought about taking a class at the local community college, I'll check that out when I have some money to throw around.

My uncle is an expert welder and he has pretty much every tool there is, but he lives around 4 hours from me.

As far as trusting my own skills when it comes to frame work etc, that's still sort of a fantasy for me (darn American Chopper and Monster Garage for putting ideas in my head.) I can do alot of handy work given the right tools and decent instructions (I'm currently on my third Toyota truck and I've modded all three), but I'm sure I'll never possess the skills to actually restore a vehicle. However, it sure would be fun trying.

I really want to learn how to work with metal because I love to make and build stuff but there's only so much you can do with wood and screws.

Like was stated earlier, more realistic projects for me (after acquiring some decent skills) would be bumpers, rock sliders, and stuff like that.

Anyway, from what I read, a Tig welder is the way to go but they're friggen expensive.

Thanks for the replies.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 11:11 AM
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What kind of welder should I get to Weld Sliders, Bumppers and probably SAS? Something that is 110V, I don't think my garage has a 220V

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TACORICAN
What kind of welder should I get to Weld Sliders, Bumppers and probably SAS? Something that is 110V, I don't think my garage has a 220V
It's not hard to wire 220.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Red
Anyway, I am interested in learning metal work. Eventually when I'm out of college I would like to get a classic (to me) stock 1985 Toyota 4x4 and restore it (or should I say have fun trying
The classic 85. I'm starting to work on one right now, beware of the frame rot when you look for one.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 06:47 PM
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before you buy a welder or any fab tools take a welding class at a junior college, learn there, burn their materials, and learn the basics and practice. then you will understand what tools work better for each situation and it will give you an idea of what you need so you can fab out of your garage
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TACORICAN
What kind of welder should I get to Weld Sliders, Bumppers and probably SAS? Something that is 110V, I don't think my garage has a 220V

Is there an electric clothes dryer in your home??

If so, there is your 240v outlet. Many friends of mine have nice long (50-100') extension cords for their 240v welders. Unplug the dryer, plug in the cord; and you are good to go. Most dryer circuits are 30-40 amps at 240 volts....which is usually PLENTY of juice to run a 240v welder. Check your breaker box and see what the double breaker is rated at for your dryer.

As far as 120v goes...the small wire-feed welder Mike has here is great for sliders and probably bumpers (heck, I modded my bentup bumper with it!), but I would be a little hesitant to do SAS type of welding. Anything steering/life safety should have a good penetration weld; and 120v wont hang IMHO....

"Soupbowl Challenge Winner 2006"

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 08:44 PM
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i am going to also try and learn to weld and plan on doing it the way that was suggested above, community college. i missed my chance to learn metal work while in college because i took ceramics as my 3-D concentration instead of sculpture, dumb dumb dumb ... oh well, at least i got a shit load of ashtrays ... anyone need an ashtray? :P

btw good luck to you on your goal ... from what i've been told about metal work is, its not terribly complex, but requires lots of practice to become talented at it.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2005, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Yep, I'll probably take a class when I get a break from regular classes and after I save some cash.

Thanks for all the info.

Later

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2005, 02:14 AM
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im a fabricator bye trade and did a union apprenticeship and am certified in several different types of welding, i agree on taking a class at a jc, but as far a buying a welder, arc welder is the only way to go, id get a 220 ac/dc machine with a open circuit voltage (ocv) of 75 or higher, the ocv is the most important thing to look for when buying a arc welder, the higher the ocv the smoother your welds will run. another advantage to a d.c. arc machine is it can be set up to run as a tig welder bye reversing the polarities and adding a tig torch and argon gas. do not get a mig welder, in the hands of a trained perfessional a mig welder is fine, but for a beginner they are down right scary, lets put it this way, there is a reason they still weld high rise building with arc welders they are hands down the deepest penetrating welds, if u must use a mig welder use dual shield wire, which is wire with a flux core that also uses sheilding gas, very good penatration. im not saying that mig's are bad they defenitly have their place, but if i want something to be very strong i arc weld it!
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2005, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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That's some good info.

After I read that latest post, I looked around the internet for some arc welders and found them to be around 1/3 the cost of tig welders which is good to know.

However, none of the item descriptions said anything about the ocv. Is there another term used to describe this?

Thanks

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2005, 05:17 PM
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no there isnt, its usually on the welder along with the ampreges and duty cycle, find a welder u like and contact a welding store or the manufacture to get the ocv
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 10:36 AM
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What type of welding do people use to SAS their Trucks and Build Sliders/Bumpers?

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 10:41 AM
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What type of welding do people use to SAS their Trucks and Build Sliders/Bumpers?
MIG.........................
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 03:34 PM
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dont worry with tig now, stick with arc and mig, arc welders can be had for very cheap and a decent mig will run you about a grand or more. i have 6 welders in my shop, millermatic 251 (MIG), millermatic 210 (MIG), Lincon SP135+ (MIG), one gas burning lincon stick, one 220 miller stick and a Miller Syncrowave 250 (TIG), out of all of them i use the millermatic 210 the most, its rated at 3/8 with a single pass but i think thats an understatement, i rarely get the 251 out as far as anything with the truck is concerned, theres nothing on the truck thats 1/2". if you will be using it outside and dont have a garage or shop and buy a mig, probably better off using fluxcore wire, the welds wont be worth a shit if its windy and your using gas. TIG takes way to long if you have long passes, even though you can produce very nice beads with it, just practice with which ever you get at all angles, pick up a welders book or take a class. pick up a plasma cutter down the road if funds allow it, makes very clean cuts, however a good ol' oxy-acet torch will be needed on some thicker stuff unless you spend 10K on a plasma. good luck and have fun

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