Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
8/24/20 8:44 a.m.

Over the years, Carl Heideman and his crew have taught hundreds of people to weld at his hands-on workshops at Eclectic Motorworks. We asked him to share with us his recommended best practices for executing clean, perfect welds every time. The welds in this story were performed by 15-year-old Jack …

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A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ Dork
8/24/20 7:18 p.m.

Good article.  The ‘you can’t see, you can’t weld’ part though probably should have said you can’t “learn” to weld.  My next door neighbor is a professional fabricator.  I’ve seen him lay down a stack of dimes by staring at it for a few seconds, turning his head away, and pulling the trigger.  No helmet involved.  LOL.  

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/24/20 9:29 p.m.

Yeah, I try to do those things. I think one other part is "how often do you do it?" Like many thing, if you only do it once a month or every couple months, it takes a while to get it all back "into the groove" of doing it right. I built the roll cage in my rally car (for the most part) and it's pretty noticeable as to which welds were done early in the cage built and which were later in the build (they're all sufficiently strong welds, but later ones are much, much prettier). 

Next time I need to make sure to do the early welds in places that people can't see as well, rather than in the most visible places lol. 

 

gearheadmb
gearheadmb SuperDork
8/25/20 9:29 a.m.

I'm a big fan of weld.com's YouTube channel. They have a ton of instructional videos on how to be better welder that feel like you're sitting in a class at the vocational school. I highly recommend it if you're like me in that you are an ok entry level welder and want to step up your knowledge and understanding.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/25/20 9:58 a.m.

In reply to gearheadmb :

weldingtipsandtricks.com is my favorite, but weld.com is a not-distant second.

Randy_Forbes
Randy_Forbes New Reader
8/25/20 5:44 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks for the link (and the thermal insulation you left outside my condo door (in Toledo) about 100 years ago)!
randy

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/25/20 10:56 p.m.

In reply to Randy_Forbes :

LOL I saw your name as latest poster on this and thought "isn't that the guy in Toledo with an AH3000?"

slowbird
slowbird UltraDork
2/7/21 9:25 a.m.

I need to know more about the GT40 in the picture.

GM > MG
GM > MG New Reader
4/18/21 2:31 p.m.

Great article, have to start with the basics.

And if your one of the ppl. who doesn't work year round (myself) and is getting back to it as the weather breaks. Few items I encountered over the last few weeks:

Clean and check that Mask. Clean the glass and give the sweat band its tri-annual washing. Hit that Test Button before your start and check those batteries - of course. But remember the Grind / Weld Mode Switch. Or, after your start your first bead and go half blind cause you left your helmet in Grind Mode last year. Wild guess who did that one...

crying

This one important if other ppl. use your equipment.

Check those consumables. Read the Label on the Wire and check your Gas. That tank of C25 you know is full, runs out after the first 3 minutes. Your son has no idea how the tank is empty but that hole in his floor is no longer an issue.

angry

 

 

davidholdeman
davidholdeman None
8/26/21 1:21 p.m.

@slowbird https://drivetribe.com/p/a-legendary-gt40-replica-best-of-OIkPWaieRYGkPeJ5WHmSVA

It's a replica, but I, for one, don't care.

OnTheChip
OnTheChip New Reader
8/26/21 1:47 p.m.

Tips on setting the heat and speed would also be helpful. Sometimes I find it hard to get just right.

 

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
8/26/21 5:05 p.m.

Recently I've been doing some stuff requiring funky positioning with not great lighting, and I'm really thinking about trying to rig up some sort of pen light that clips directly on the torch behind the nozzle. If anyone has done that, or has any ideas, I'm all ears...

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/26/21 7:22 p.m.
OnTheChip said:

Tips on setting the heat and speed would also be helpful. Sometimes I find it hard to get just right.

 

I like to work backwards from that, assuming you're talking about MIG.  It is all about heat management of the materials you are welding to. The goal of welding is to make a puddle of metal that "wicks" into the two pieces you're trying to weld together, and add to that puddle.  So you need enough speed to keep the puddle going, but not so much speed that you're just laying a bead on TOP of the metal instead of INTO the metal.  Current follows from that... obviously if you're burning through, you're putting too much heat into the metal, so you either need to tone down the heat, or you need to pay attention and only weld for 2-5 seconds at a time, let the heat dissipate, weld a little more, etc.  Butt welding stainless will really teach you this as stainless transfers heat very poorly, so all the heat you are putting into the weld will just sort of stay there until you burn through, but you still need a good amount of heat in order to get decent penetration.

It'd be nice if there were an easy rote checklist, but given all the different metal thicknesses, it becomes more of a feel thing that you just have to learn.  Especially if you are welding, say, a thin triangle onto a plate.  The thin triangle will need a certain amount of heat, but as you get close to the point, you're just going to blow it away unless you pause and give it a moment.

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