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Teach myself to weld or take courses at college?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey guys so after watching all of you build your pits and trailers I was thinking it would be pretty friggin cool if I had the know how to build a pit myself. A community college somewhat local to me has a full on wielding program that is obviously geared towards a career in welding they offer certification tests also. 

 

If I were to teach myself I'm not sure if I could borrow my dads Lincoln Electric 125 or if I would have to buy my own gear.

 

I might look into it as a career, seeing as how I'm in the middle of wanting to change my career choices. Here are the courses they offer:

 

 

WELD 39 - 2.0 UNITS - WELDING SHOP MATH
Basic math skills needed for fabrication, print reading, and welding projects

WELD 50 - 3.0 UNITS - PRINT READING
An introductory course focusing on the interpretation of structural steel prints and sketches.

WELD 51L - 1.0 UNITS - ADV ARC WELD SPECIALTY LAB
An advanced course designed to develop specialized SMAW or FCAW skills on plate or pipe.

WELD 52 - 4.0 UNITS - PIPE WELDING FUNDAMENTALS
An advanced welding course with emphasis on open groove pipe joints using the SMAW and GTAW welding processes in all positions.

WELD 53 - 2.0 UNITS - PIPE LAYOUT
Practical and technical instruction is given on techniques of pipe layout, tools, and fittings.

WELD 54L - 2.0 UNITS - ADVANCED PIPE WELDING
This advanced pipe course further develops welding skills in preparation for pipe welding certifications.

WELD 60 - 1.0 UNITS - SAFETY AND THE WELDING ENVIRONMENT
This course is designed to familiarize the welding student with the recognized safety practices of the industry. 

WELD 100 - 2.0 UNITS - WELDING FUNDAMENTALS
An introductory course offering technical and practical instruction on the oxyacetylene, arc and inert gas welding processes.

WELD 120 - 4.0 UNITS - BEGINNING ARC WELDING
An introductory course welding in the flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead positions using a variety of welding electrodes and processes.

WELD 130 - 4.0 UNITS - GAS TUNGSTEN ARC WELDING
An introductory course covering practical and technical applications of the gas tungsten arc welding process.

WELD 170 - 2.0 UNITS - STRUCTURAL FABRICATION
A course designed to develop practical and technical fabrication skills utilizing metal forming tools and equipment.

WELD 200 - 4.0 UNITS - INTERMEDIATE ARC WELDING
A course to advance beginning welding skills with emphasis on vertical and overhead positions.

WELD 210L - 2.0 UNITS - ADVANCED ARC WELDING
An advanced course designed to prepare students to pass structural steel certifications in vertical and overhead positions.

WELD 220 - 2.0 UNITS - CERT./ LICENSING FOR WELDERS
A technical course with emphasis on welding symbols, joint designs, and AWS Structural Code specifications necessary to obtain the L.A. City Certification.

WELD 240 - 2.0 UNITS - ADV GAS TUNGSTEN ARC WELDING
An advanced welding course designed to enhance practical welding skills using the GTAW process.

WELD 250L - 2.0 UNITS - GAS TUNGSTEN ARC WELDING
An advanced welding course designed to enhance GTAW skills in preparation for certification.

WELD 270 - 3.0 UNITS - STRUCTURAL FABRICATION 
An advanced course designed to further develop layout skills on structural plate, beams, channel, and angle iron.

post #2 of 18

Ray, if your Father will let you,go over and practice ,sounds like a MIG welder,that's a wire feed and (some) can use Flux Core wire, this is easy to caych on to,and with your Dad's help,and a few dozen scrap piceces , you'll be able to fabricate what you need. I'm not saying that it easy,just the best cheapest way to learn welding...unless you want to follow that career,then....plan-Bbiggrin.gif.

 

Have fun and...

post #3 of 18

I wish I knew how to weld like some of the guys on this forum. Sure would be handy to have the tools and skills to build my own smoker.

post #4 of 18

I would defiantly try to experiment with your father's welder, if he allows, first. He might be even excited to show you a few things. I know if my kids show any interest I would be more than happy too. 

 

With that type of welder, you really can't hurt the thing.  I learned as i went along building my smoker and my welds became better, the more i did it.  If the setting is correct an the welder, slow any easy is the way to go.

post #5 of 18

You might see what supplies to stock up on to use your dads welder and just start running some beads and see if it is something you would like to invest your time and money in

 

I am a certifed 2nd gen welder but I just weld as a side job to make a little extra cash here and there.

 

here is a good welding forum to check out http://weldingweb.com/

post #6 of 18

I would rather you to go to the college and find out where the lab is and stop in and talk to the instructor and explain what you want to do. He should tell you exactly what you need to do..... As for certifications I would put that on hold. here is a link you could read over about certs.......http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/welding-certification.html     I was self taught and finally went to school ... what a difference.it made... school will teach you how to weld but you will need fabrication experience to go along with it. when I went to school for welding I was surprised how inexpensive it was... take as many labs as you can.....try to keep the classroom to a minimal... we spent about 1 hr a week in class and 36 hrs in the lab.....

 

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good luck and happy smoking an building

 

Joe

post #7 of 18

I am a self taught welder & can put down a pretty good bead. My son went to school to become a welder & is certified to weld with any machine anyway except underwater welding. If you are thinking of a career in welding you must go to school & get certified. If you just want to build a smoker then self taught works & with a welder to practice with I bet it won't take you long & you will be putting down a pretty good bead too!

post #8 of 18

I have a welding certificate and get along well with a low-tech "Buzz Box". Do they have B.O.C.E. in California?  Adult education night courses? 

 

I reality, there isn't much to it, other than knack/control which comes with a little practice.

 

Rod selection is basic as is output. If the rod sticks...you're not hot enough. If the steel melts....you're too hot.  Lincoln has it all on the cabinet. Get a manufacturers' pamphlet from the welding supplier's shop. I worked with a welding shop full of higher tech equipment but for what you want, you already have on hand.

 

One thing......do NOT breathe in the fumes and keep a fan going if you can.

 

For another thing.....do NOT weld on concrete or you'll be picking grit out of yourself.

 

Stick your toe in, before you jump in over your head.

 

Rich

post #9 of 18

I'm also a certified welder/fabricator of 15 years. Self taught welding may be very frustrating at first, but once you make that wire sound like "sizzling bacon", you'll be just fine. Although Lincoln welders differ from better made welders, they work just fine. Set your Amps on about 20, and wire feed to between 185 and 205, get some 1/8", 3/16, or 1/4 plate drops, and pull the trigger. Again you want to move slow and steady, and listen for the weld to sound like sizzling bacon. Good luck and ask questions here if you need any help.

 

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for input gents, I appreciate it. If I can re-qualify for a fee waiver I might enroll in the "101" college course just to see what they have to teach & career opportunity.

 

I smoke it what would be a good home use unit? From my very limited research I have read the big 3 are Lincoln, Miller/Hobart. Like I said earlier my dad has a Lincoln 125 HD and I think he's hoping I take a course to teach him something new, he's self taught. He runs it gas less.

post #11 of 18

We only use Miller welders, they are tried and true the best on the market. We have one of these that we use on the road, and I have one at home for personnel use. You may think it's pricey, but you could weld smokers all day long with this gem. Miller.

 

post #12 of 18

Raymo,

I am a self taught newbie to welding and am loving it! My dad had an old "buzz box" when I was a kid that he taught me the basics on ...it was enough to get me interested.

The more you practice the more confidence will come. The biggest thing I noticed is when I am welding is to be confident. "I can weld this! Noo Problem!" Is what I tell myself when I am starting a new project. Helps me calm myself and I do a better job. Plus the nice thing is with metal you can cut it apart and redo it if need be. Your angle grinder is going to be your BEST friend for awhile...buy a decent one, with good quality cutting discs,grinding wheels, wire wheels and  flap discs.

 

I have a Hobart 125 E-Z welder. I got it from toolking.com ....it is a remanufactured one. An Old member BBQ Engineer recomended it to me when I was starting out and it works awesome.being a reman it saved me alot of money and I have yet to figure out what was wrong with it. Works flawlessly. If I would have had the extra dough I would have went with abigger model, but this is working for me.Also the best advice I can pass along about this welder is to replace the cheap sheet metal grounding clamp that it comes with. Buy a nice heavy duty brass grounding clamp. I need a small spot of bare metal and it has a good ground. Makes any good welding machine a great welding machine!

 

Good Luck and Have Fun!

 

SOB


Edited by SmokingOhioButcher - 11/24/11 at 1:30am
post #13 of 18

Miller owns hobart now and the parts are interchangeable.... If you want to go mig I suggest the 220v model hh190 http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200482378_200482378 

 

The 110 units Just dont have enough power in my opinion

 

I have hh187 they dont make anymore and its a great little unit.... I use it mostly with gas.....

 

Joe

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks again guys, a wealth of information you are giving me. I'm not sure if I can swing getting a 220v line in the house. Renting from my father in law but having him change things in the house is practically impossible.

 

Also after seeing my Lang my dad was saying a stick welder is the way to go if I wanted to build a big o' bbq pit. Do you guys agree?


Edited by raymo76 - 11/24/11 at 7:56am
post #15 of 18

Which ever way floats your boat. .....In the end......it's done.  For that matter, you can even use JB Weld.third.gif

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hahaha that made me laugh. We talked about it over thanksgiving dinner and I mentioned if I can get that fee waiver i'll definitely take the intro course and he thought that was cool.

post #17 of 18

I own a Miller 250 with a spool gun, and would not trade it for any welder on the market!!!

I keep a large spool of steel wire in the main welder, and swap out aluminum and stainless spools in the gun.

Also, the gun has a 25' lead, so I don't have to keep moving my welder around.

The whole setup cost me $1,500 Brand New, and was a SMOKIN' DEAL!

 

A decent 220v 180amp welder will cost $600+, and you will still have to get tips and a tank of gas.

The Spool Gun is a great accessory, but not necessary for making a smoker.  It really is handy for welding aluminum.

 

Look at the "Duty Cycle" of the welder.  The cheaper welders have an aluminum wired transformer, and don't perform as well as the copper wired transformers, found in the more expensive models.  This does not mean they won't weld, it just means you have to rest the welder, and let it cool down for a period of time, before you can weld again.

 

I bough my first wire feed welder from a local pawn shop, used it for a year, and sold it on Craigslist for a profit.  It was a 110v 135 amp Snap On welder, that was made by Hobart or Miller behind the scenes.  It was a little light for what I was doing, so I stepped up to a larger unit, with a longer duty cycle.

 

Check out Craigslist for a deal, but make sure you can test it out before you take it home.

 

 

Todd

 

 

No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

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post #18 of 18

Hi,

 

I agreed with you. Any way, your points of view make me thinking about some thing for my project.

 

Pls try to keep posting. Tks and best regards

 

Apart from that, this link below may be useful: How To Become Welder


Rgs


Edited by tua022012 - 3/13/12 at 7:20am
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