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I could use a little guidance

 
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rykymus
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Joined: 24 Jul 2009
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Location: Stockton, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 9:17 am    Post subject: I could use a little guidance Reply with quote

Hey guys,

Getting ready for my first build, picking up my tank on Sunday. Looking at buying the tools that you all suggested. I've got 2 questions though.

First, ARC, MIG, or TIG. I have very little experience in welding. 25 years ago I did some Arc welding back in college. (Building scenary in the scene shop.) I also did some cutting with acetylene. Last year I rented a MIG machine from HD to do some mods to my firebox. (Let me tell ya, those beads were scary.) Funds for this project are short, most of which are going towards tools. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy I was leaning towards Arc simply because it's cheaper, and although it was 25 years ago, I have more time with a stick than a MIG. (Don't even know how a TIG works.) Any suggestions?

Second, what's the best way to cut steel? I know I can do it with an acetylene torch, but don't really want to drop a few more hundred on that right now. Any alternatives? (I don't know of a place that rents out acetylene torchs.)

Thanks
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killin time ff
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as a welder goes do you have 220 volt access or only 110 volts? How much will you use it after you are done with your project? How thick is the metal you are using? The first cooker I rebuilt I used a $100 cambell hausfield mig welder. Not the best by anymeans but it worked cause the metal was thinner. To me MIg welding is easier. Like my shop teacher told me twenty..... many years ago it called mig welding cause a mokey can do it lol.
Again as far as cutting , how thick is the metal. You can get a grinder and put cutting blades on it, which you can also use wire wheel and grinding disk on. Or you can use a recipiting (sp) saw with metal blades.
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rykymus
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

killin time ff: Thanks for your reply. I don't know the thickness of the tank, as I haven't picked it up yet. I was planning on using 1/4" plate on the firebox. I probably won't use the welder for anything other than making racks and doing small mods here and there after the build is done. It will probably be a few more years before I get to make another cooker. (I'm pushing my luck with the misses building this one.) Like I said, I was leaning towards the stick welders cuz of the lower cost. Would rather put the money into the cooker than a welder that won't see much use after she's done. But I'm still a little worried about buying an arc unit that is under powered. Is it okay (structurally) to make multiple passes when trying to weld metal that is a bit thick for the welder you're using?
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killswitch505
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I donít know how much you plan on spending I know mig is a little more forgiving then stick my father is a welder so I learned at a young age and grew up around it so its been ez for me (Iím no pipe fitter) but I just bought a new torch set (victor journeymen II) and it was 700.00 and that was a really good deal (eBay) normally over a grand do you know any welders most of them are more then willing to help with little charge
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killin time ff
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im using a lincoln 125 (think that is the model) mig welder. Dont have easy acess to 220 volt. It is a 110 welder. If I remember it was $350 at lowes when I bought it. Yes you can make multiple passes to make a weld if needed. Im no expert welder by any strech, most of what im going by it was I taught in high school. And like killsitch said MIG is alot more forgiving the stick. If besides the firebox all you are doing is racks and such I would personally go with a Mig setup.You can use the gasless setup and the cost is not as high. The welds are not as pretty with gasless but that is where the grinder comes in to play. haha.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_2961-1703-K2479-1_0_?productId=1082349&Ntt=lincoln &Ntk=i_products&pl=1&currentURL=/pl__0__s?newSearch=true$Ntt=lincoln $y=6$x=35

looks like the cost has gone up a little since i bought mine.
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killswitch505
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah it did killin time I bought that same welder for the our place at the lake and it was only 350 that was a year ago but it is a good little welder. rod vs. wire flux core is cheaper then rod I believe but if rykymus can score some free rod I would go with Lincoln Electric 220-Volt AC-225 Stick Welder but then you have to use ac rod and most welders use dc rod so damn im not any help thatís why I should not have said anything lol sorry rykymus but when you talk welders I say break out the check book and get ready to spend some money and damn gas is up I just had to fill my bottles K.A.M.please help this guy because i think your way better then i am at givin advice
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killin time ff
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

K.A.M. is the man. there is no question about it.
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Wreckless
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The AC rods do a pretty good job.
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bud-wie-ser
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have the campbell hausfield 110v wire feed welder. It works great for thin metal, and with multiple passes you can push it up to 1/4". Also easier to use than stick IMHO. The only thing you have to keep in mind with a light duty welder like this is you have to give it a break once in a while. It isnt rated to weld 100% of the time and has to cool off.

Most of the cutting you need to do you can probably get done at your metal supply place. The ones you have to do on site you can get away with using cutoff blades on a small right angle grinder.

Good luck with your project!
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Wreckless
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bud-wie-ser wrote:
I also have the campbell hausfield 110v wire feed welder. It works great for thin metal, and with multiple passes you can push it up to 1/4". Also easier to use than stick IMHO. The only thing you have to keep in mind with a light duty welder like this is you have to give it a break once in a while. It isnt rated to weld 100% of the time and has to cool off.

Most of the cutting you need to do you can probably get done at your metal supply place. The ones you have to do on site you can get away with using cutoff blades on a small right angle grinder.

Good luck with your project!

Agree bud.., I have a plasma cutter and a oxy/acet torch but the consumables from either, depening on the job, are at times less cost effective than a cutoff wheel which also sometimes gives me a nicer edge with less cleanup. Just score the cut approx 3/4 of the way and break the edge thru the rest of the way for a nice edge. A $2 wheel will get me thru approx an 8 ft cut on 1/4" plate. I save the consumables and set up hassles of the plasma cutter and torch for holes, hard to reach places, and large volumes of cutting. No warpage from the cutoff blade either.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26 10 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus, in my books you are the perfect candidate for 225Amp A/C welder new or used. You have some knowledge and experience welding stick and funds are low. I would not waist my time with low high rods that say A/C, some machines just do not like them. You can weld out the entire cooker with 6011's and 6013's. With practice you can gouge out a decent hole with the machine as well. Although I would look at getting an inexpensive O/A set up. and get your bottles on a 99 yr. lease from a welding supply company.
Harbor freight has a set up for around 140.00 The bottles I am not sure of price. You can also use a grinder and cut off wheel or a chop saw
Do not cut yourself short on the welder the little 90 and 120 Amp 110 volt. stick welders are only going to frustrate you.
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seattlepitboss
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27 10 1:10 am    Post subject: Re: I could use a little guidance Reply with quote

rykymus wrote:
First, ARC, MIG, or TIG. Any suggestions?

Second, what's the best way to cut steel?

Thanks


MIG is the best way to go. Buy a Miller, Lincoln or Hobart quality MIG welder used for a decent price, use it wisely and take care of it, and you'll be able to sell it for about the same $$ when you're done.

Here are some ideas for cutting steel:

abrasive blade on a skilsaw
sawzall with metal cutting blades
worm-drive saw with Tenryu blade or equivalent
angle grinder with cutoff blade
oxy/fuel torch (could be acetylene, propane, MAPP ..)
plasma cutter

If you have no skills and no money but want to build a smoker you should build a drum smoker (UDS). If you have money but no skills you might want to take a welding class where you can use their tools & equipment to do your project, plus they'll teach you the skills. If you have money and skills you just need a find a plan and then to execute on it.

Good luck, pal. Post back here.

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rykymus
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27 10 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all for your replies. I sure do appreciate hearing from those who have "been there - done that." I've found two or three Lincoln AC225 units on Craigslist for $100 - $200, so I'll probably go that route. I think I'll try the cut-off wheel on the grinder first and see how that goes before I think about a torch. (Although I do remember lovin to use that torch back in college! Cool )

Thanks again, and I'm sure I'm going to have more questions as we go. But I promise I will provide lots of pics along the way.
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Wreckless
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27 10 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus wrote:
Thanks all for your replies. I sure do appreciate hearing from those who have "been there - done that." I've found two or three Lincoln AC225 units on Craigslist for $100 - $200, so I'll probably go that route. I think I'll try the cut-off wheel on the grinder first and see how that goes before I think about a torch. (Although I do remember lovin to use that torch back in college! Cool )

Thanks again, and I'm sure I'm going to have more questions as we go. But I promise I will provide lots of pics along the way.

Good choice on the Lincoln. Works well for the price. On the off chance it needed to be said, cut with the angle grinder pulling away from you. It may shoot sparks at you but the the kickback that will probably occur the other way around is a lot less desireable IMHO
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ckone
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27 10 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will second the skill saw with metal cuttting blades, makes a nice cut and easier to control than the angle grinder. You will want the cut off wheels for the grinder too though.
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softail
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27 10 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rykymus wrote:
Thanks all for your replies. I sure do appreciate hearing from those who have "been there - done that." I've found two or three Lincoln AC225 units on Craigslist for $100 - $200, so I'll probably go that route. I think I'll try the cut-off wheel on the grinder first and see how that goes before I think about a torch. (Although I do remember lovin to use that torch back in college! Cool )

Thanks again, and I'm sure I'm going to have more questions as we go. But I promise I will provide lots of pics along the way.


Might re-think that one. I was using a 4"x1/16" wheel on 1/4" last summer. It got bound up....I have had many good experiences, but not this time! Shoulda got stitched up. Damn 4.5" Makita grinder got caught in the kerf...then straight to the inner calf. Not a good experience. happened real quick. Funny thing. been doing this stuff a looooong time. Yeah, I knew it could happen. Just seemed, at the time, to be so under controll, a short cut.......BAD DECISION ON MY PART!
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daddywoofdawg
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27 10 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And spend 10-20 bucks on a face shield! and eye protection.Had a wheel blow up on me last year found a piece of it 20 yards away embedded in a wooden shed!
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Wreckless
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27 10 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daddywoofdawg wrote:
And spend 10-20 bucks on a face shield! and eye protection.Had a wheel blow up on me last year found a piece of it 20 yards away embedded in a wooden shed!

Ditto! I have gotten in the habit of using my hood with flip up lense for a shield, just one less thing for me to search for when needed and one less thing to purchase tho the shield is probably under $15, so agreed DWD, gotta have something
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