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Arc Welding 101: Hot rods and MIG

November 7, 2014 | By Marty Rice

Q: Can gas metal arc welding (GMAW) be used on motorcycles and hot rods? A: Yes, but it takes a lot more than just running a good bead. The popularity of cable TV fabrication shows with the likes of Jesse James, the Teutuls, and Boyd Coddington has generated a lot of questions about GMAW....

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Arc Welding 101: Thoriated tungsten and its alternatives

November 6, 2014 | By Marty Rice

Q: In "TIG welding--An overview," you said you used 2 percent thoriated tungsten until you heard about the health risks. What are other options? Does cost vary significantly (not that cost should matter when it comes to health or safety)? My fabrication shop runs 14 gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)...

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Arc Welding 101: Uphill MIG

November 5, 2014 | By Marty Rice

Q: What patterns is used in uphill gas metal arc welding (GMAW), and what amperage should I use on 0.25-in. plate using 75 percent argon/25 percent carbon dioxide shielding gas? Where I work—I build farm equipment—there’s no need for uphill welding, so I like to practice at lunch. August F....

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Arc Welding 101: How to motivate a welder

November 4, 2014 | By Marty Rice

Many people have asked me how to motivate welders in the shop. The following are some ideas. Money. If a shop doesn’t pay well, it won’t attract good welders. Health benefits and a 401(K) plan show that a company cares about its employees. Safety. Shops must be safe to work in; every worker,...

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Arc Welding 101: Best practices for aluminized steel

November 3, 2014 | By Marty Rice

Q: Which process, filler rod, and shielding gas work best for welding aluminized steel? A: Aluminized steel resists fire, heat, corrosion, and oxidation. It’s used in many applications, such as weather shielding and exhaust systems. Steel is hot-dipped in an aluminum solution, which provides...

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Arc Welding 101: Preparing for an overhead certification test

October 31, 2014 | By Marty Rice

Q: A carpenter friend of mine has taken some night-school welding courses and needs help getting certified in overhead welding. He uses steel beams to support the homes he builds and would like to weld them himself. How should he prepare for and take an overhead welding certification test?...

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Arc Welding 101: Hands-off MIG education

October 30, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I recently bought a gas metal arc welding (GMAW) machine, and I’ve also just completed a beginner’s welding course at the local college. Unfortunately, the basics don’t explain enough about the controls, such as voltage, wire speed, and stickout, and how they affect the weld penetration,...

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Don’t underestimate MIG welding skills

October 29, 2014 | By Karl Hoes

Plenty of welding training programs start with gas metal arc welding, or MIG welding, because it’s fairly easy to start laying a pretty consistent bead—under very simple and consistent conditions. As a result, most people look at gas tungsten arc welding, or TIG welding, with its need to use both hands while simultaneously operating a foot pedal, as a more complicated welding process. In a large-scale metal fabricating operation’s world, those people would be wrong.

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Arc Welding 101: Determining correct gas ratios

October 29, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: For years we have used 75/25 argon/carbon dioxide during gas metal arc welding (GMAW). I was told by my supplier that I needed to change to 90/10. Will one gas mixture provide better welding penetration than the other? Most of our work is mild steel (A-36), 0.1875 to 0.25 in. thick, although we...

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Arc Welding 101: Finding the 'best buy'

October 28, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I’m looking for a Consumer Reports-type study on gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) machines. As a small-business owner, I would like to know what would be the best buy. Have you done any reports on welding machines in terms of best makes and models? Glenn H. A: To answer your question, no, I...

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Arc Welding 101: Preweld cleaning tips for TIG

October 27, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: My primary function is to go into commercial kitchens and gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW) stainless steel that is covered in grease, dirt, and dust. In open areas I can grind the grease off, but I have a problem in tight corners that I can’t get into with a grinder. Can you recommend any cleaning...

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Arc Welding 101: API 1104 qualifications

October 24, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: What is the procedure to qualify welding procedure specifications (WPS) as well as a welder to American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard 1104, Welding Pipelines and Related Facilities? What tests are necessary to qualify? A: Your questions are good ones. I often receive similar questions...

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Arc Welding 101: A WPS lesson for beginners

October 23, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: Recently I was given a weld procedure specification (WPS) from a contractor to review. It’s still lying on my desk. Do you have any tips for a beginner like myself on how to review a WPS? Habeeb R. A: It’s time to pick up that WPS off your desk and give it a good, hard look. The first...

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Arc Welding 101: Earning D1.1 compliance

October 22, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: The company I work for has welded steel to make web truss frames for steel buildings for 20 years but has never been certified in any way. Some bids that we see require certification from a national organization. Do you know what our best approach should be to becoming certified? Larry S....

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Arc Welding 101: Tackling trailer troubles

October 21, 2014 | By Paul Cameron

Q: A routine preventive maintenance inspection on a steel flatbed trailer revealed cracking in the main frame beams. The trailer was purchased through a distributor, so it was returned the next day. We asked the manufacturer to send a qualified representative to inspect it and send us a proposal...

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