Figured I would start a thread on welding, It does play a big part in advanced home brewing right?
Welding is cool, almost as cool as home brewing, and ts fun to share skill and knowledge with others that may find it valuable.
Helping bluesman build his brutus 10 is valuable experience for me cause I will be building my brew stand next. Not exactly sure what design I am gonna go with yet but I can tell you that the Brutus 10 is a real nice design. Most likely gonna go that way.
Haven't been brewing but for less than 3 years, been welding for 25.
Here is a brief tutorial on some welding processes that some may find helpful.
One of the most simplest and earliest types of welding is Gas Welding or Oxy-fuel welding
as it is sometimes called.
You use a torch that burns a fuel, often acetylene. There is then the addition of oxygen which vigorously increase combustion. These gases are brought together in a tip which concentrates the flame to a point. Allowing you a great deal of control over concentrated heat. When joining two pieces of steel you have maintain a gap from and between the two pieces of metal being joined. Once you have created a molten pool over the joint. then you add filler metal by dipping a welding rod into the pool. By maintaining your travel speed over the joint evenly and dipping filler metal consistently you will form a "beed" as it is known. How consistent your travel speed, and dipping is will determine how nice your finished weld looks.
Oxy fuel cutting is kinda the same thing. Oxygen and fuel are mixed to a tip. Once there is a molten pool you hit an oxygen jet. This adds more O2 that really sets off combustion and blows the molten metal away. This is the sparks you see flying when someone cuts with a torch. Again with travel speed one can make an amazingly clean cut cause the flame is so concentrated.
If I am not mistaken before gas welding there was only forge welding. This involved heating two pieces of metal up till they are in a plastic state and then hammering them together.
There are a few other common welding processes. MIG welding,
M.I.G. is an acronym standing for metal inert gas. It is an electrical arc process. The metal is the filler wire which feeds through a gun from a spool. The wire serves as the electrode that carries the current/ ark to the grounded work piece. The inert gas shields the molten weld pool from the regular atmosphere. The weld pool needs to be shielded because molten metal will become contaminated and turn porous and brittle among other things when exposed. There are many different types and mixes of shielding gases depending on the metals and alloys being welded. Most commonly used for steel welding used is a mix of 75% Argon with %25 C02.
MIG is the easiest type of welding to learn for the beginner. If you maintain a good gap with the tip and maintain a good gun angle between your joint and keep your travel speed consistent you will lay down a nice weld. With a little practice it is just like running a bead of caulk. Stick
welding or SMAW shielded metal arc welding
This is a form of arc welding where the electrode and the filler metal are one and the same. The electrode is shielded by a specially formulated flux that is coated onto the electrode. With this process you have to "strike" an arc much like you strike a match. Once you are able to maintain an ark gap you will start to form a molten puddle. The electrode becomes consumed as you move along and form your weld. It takes some practice cause you have to move closer as the rod becomes consumed.
My favorite welding process is TIG Welding
, it stands for Tungsten Inert Gas.
With this electrical arc process the current is delivered to the work via a tungsten electrode. The tungsten is non consumable and does not melt in the process. Tungsten is used because it melts at a very high temperature (about 3400 degrees). Much higher than most base metals. For most metals a point is carefully sharpened onto the tungsten and it allows for a very concentrated arc. With this concentrated arc a skilled operator can make very small precision welds.
Just like with MIG welding there is the use of a shielding gas but for the filler meta,l this is added to the weld pool manually the same as with Oxy-Fuel welding.
Also for most precision TIG welding projects you need a foot pedal. The current (heat) needed at the weld pool will fluctuate so the perator has to compensate with the control of the pedal.
TIG welding is a highly skilled process and takes a lot of practice to learn. Mostly because you have to use both of your hands and your foot. Also every type of metal behaves differently and requires different techniques.
Any other welders here?
Its also important to remember that welding can be very dangerous. Electric shock can kill. You have to protect your skin and eyes from the light cause it will burn you. Never look at the arc with out the proper shaded lenses and a face shield.
Well you know. Ask a pro before you go right into it.
It also helps to know a little bit about this stuff if you intend to hire a welder to work on your brew gear.
Lets talk welding.