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Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

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Re: Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

Postby TimmyTheClub » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:57 pm

Thanks everyone! Yes, that was my other thought. I want to do as much as i can on my own, since i completely rebuilt my truck, and want to be able to say i did almost everything, but the recovery points i will likely just take to the local fab company and have them process it through, but i will complete the rest of it myself.

I just ran my first test T-weld on a scrap of 3/16, hit both sides of the T, and it holds my 280 pound frame jumping on the 3"x3"x3/16 T. I would think that that is acceptable for an $89.99 harbor freight welder :)

I know the welds aren't the prettiest in the world, but... not to bad for my first attempt at real welding, instead of just hitting fast spot welds on body panels for my truck
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Re: Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

Postby homeboy » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:17 am

Looks not too bad. If you want a big visual improvement and much easier cleanup try a light coat of anti-spatter spray. My old mantra. Just dampen the area -don't need a lot. I don't know if they are all the same but I get mine at TSC in Canada and it works awesome. :ugeek:
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Re: Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

Postby TimmyTheClub » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:51 am

I definitely was planning on getting some when i started on my bumper build, i just did not want to waste any on practice, until i get better at the beads.
is it safer to run a strait bead, and then a second bead over the top of that to the top layer? better penetration, or just wasting material?
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Re: Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

Postby ex framie » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:01 am

Pam cooking spray is apparently a great anti spatter without the noxious fumes.
This is pure here say on my part as we don't get Pam over here.
Still it gets mentioned on most welding forums I visit, for a couple of bucks its worth a try.
Then you can post your results, worse case, you have something to stop eggs sticking to your pan.
Pete

God gave man 2 heads and only enough blood to run 1 at a time. Who said God didn't have a sense of humour.....
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Re: Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

Postby homeboy » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:44 am

I heard of the Pam spray but never tried it. My concern was cleanup because almost everything I make is painted. The spray I use costs $6 a can and I used less than one can on a complete utility trailer build. It is paint compatible by the time I do my paint prep--wire wheel etc. it pretty much disappears and I have had no paint issues over many projects. When I started using it I felt that the weld appearance actually improved and cleanup is just a zip with a wire wheel. My take anyway- :ugeek:
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Re: Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

Postby cj737 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:12 am

TimmyTheClub wrote:is it safer to run a strait bead, and then a second bead over the top of that to the top layer? better penetration, or just wasting material?

Stacking beads over beads doesn't improve your penetration, it only adds build up. Penetration comes from your root pass, strength comes from cover passes (overlapping and offset to increase the width).

If you are seriously considering fabbing your own bumper as a first welding project, then you might want to understand the forces encountered during any collision. Your 280 pound frame jumping on it isn't even close to the 3 tons of truck and force created by inertia. So let's just get that out there-

If you want to truly understand the penetration you're getting, perform a fillet weld on some material of the equal thickness as your bumper. One side only. Let it cool, then cut it in sections, 1" long. Polish it and etch it. That will reveal the "penetration" and also show you where you have voids in your weld due to improper technique, heat, or fill.

For a first bead, sure its fine. But its not even close enough to be good enough to weld a safety product in my opinion. Have someone you know that is a competent welder, help you. This should not be a "wing it" project.
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Re: Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

Postby TimmyTheClub » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:38 am

Thank you for your honesty. Unfortunately the only person I know who i thought was a competent welder, i found out is nothing more than a drunk who talks a big game. I am going to do a rear bumper first, and i have a hitch on the truck, which is what will be stopping any car that rear ends me, so i will give that a try, and see how it holds up to trees and other impacts i encounter when driving off-road. when i go to do the front, I may just take it in, as that will have to withstand the most force. it will be a winch mount and also have the 1/4 inch hoops.
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Re: Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

Postby TimmyTheClub » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:42 am

I guess i should also be a little more clear on what it is that i am building. here is a link to the company that sells what i am buying for a bumper kit. https://www.movebumpers.com/
I figure this will give the best idea of what i will be working with. I have a 98 Chevy K3500
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Re: Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

Postby cj737 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:01 am

I completely understand what you're building and why you're undertaking it. I just can't stress enough the importance of it being welded properly.

If you can essentially weld the bumper from the "backside" also, then I might even suggest you stick weld it (given your limited power sources) and then wire weld the front for aesthetics, grind that flush, and then you can paint it. This way, you'd have better strength, and a fully welded in piece.

My opinion, new welders that opt for wire feeders do so as they are easier to weld with. This is true. But that belies the fact that wire welders are also not as strong as Stick or TIG welding. So you end up defeating yourself somewhat in terms of the objective (strength and safety) to achieve your goal (DIY). This is NOT to say it can't be done properly and fully safely with a wire welder, it can. But that requires someone with experience in welding and the proper gear.

Since you are limited to 110v, I believe that the gauge of steel you are working with is outside the capability of your equipment for a single, full penetration pass, even two-sided. I would never rely on multiple passes in this situation to achieve sufficient strength, only to increase the strength. But multiple passes also create weakness away from the welded seam. So its a Catch-22.

This is all I'm saying. I have no wish to disuade you or discourage you, or demotivate you. Simply to encourage you to understand the importance of what you're undertaking and the steps to having it be safe, affordable, and allow you your DIY pride. :) If it fails, quite possibly a lot more than your pride is at risk of injury.
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Re: Begginer question: welding 1/4 inch steel to 3/16th

Postby PeteM » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:12 am

The talk about penetration can be deceiving. A good weld only has to be approximately 30/70 mixture of parent metal to filler metal, and a 1/4 to 3/16 weld does not need some super deep Heat penetration.

If you can make a weld to size with good fusion (wet toes) it should be fine. Its a bumper, not a sky scraper. If you hit a tree and it falls off, you get some more practice.
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