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Re: Welding

Subject: Re: Welding
From: "John T. Blair" <>
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 20:50:54 -0500
At 04:28 PM 3/10/00 -0500, you wrote:
>On to my next new adventure.  I am going to have a go at learning how to 
>My intent is to use this primarily (at least in the beginning) for truck 
>and car panel repair, patching, etc.  I do have a couple of old donor cars 
>that are ready for the scrap heap and I thought I would practice on them at 
>Now for the question.  What type of welding should I start with - mig, tig, 
>arc, ???.
>After that is determined, I will work on equipment.


   I went through the same delema.  However, I lucked out in that my father
has both gas and a heavy duty arc welder.  But for doing the sheet metal
you really want a MIG welder for several reasons:

1. It is a lot cooler and doesn't warp the panels as bad. 
2. The shelding gas makes for a lot cleaner weld than if you use flux core
   in a "wire feed welder" with out the gas attachment.
3. You want it to have totally variable heat and wire speed.  This way, you
   DON'T have to learn to control you motions as much, the welder can 
   do it for you.  If you get a MIG with the preset settings, you will find
   that it is either too hot or too cold, or the feed is too slow or fast
   so you will have to adjust you speed to compensate.
4. I suggest that you get a rig that will take the 11# wire spool vise the
   3# spool.
5. I also suggest that you get one of the self darkening lenses.  The biggest
   problem for a novice welder is once you position yourself to start the 
   weld, then drop the face shield, you will inadvertantly move the electrode
   and be welding up a storm in the WRONG place.  The auto darkening lenses
   let you see through them and get positioned.  When you strike the arc, they
   darken.  Works great.

I purchased a Lincoln SP100 with the gas bottle, and regulator, face 
mask, auto darkening lense.  Total investment about $800.  A lot of money,
but boy, it has sure paid for itself!!!!

Then you might want to think of a portable (not the 5 foot bottles)
oxy-acetaline rig.  There are many times when you NEED heat, such as
trying to bend some heavy steel, or cut something.  But for most of
your work, an air nibbler and or a GOOD saber saw should do the trick.


John T. Blair  WA4OHZ          email:
Va. Beach, Va                  Phone:  (757) 495-8229

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