Author Topic: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help  (Read 1622 times)

Offline phillamb168

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Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« on: April 25, 2011, 12:30:03 PM »
So, Blichmann and Sabco make some pretty things, but they are way too expensive for my taste. So I've decided to fabricate my own brewstand. I have a little bit of TIG welding experience from shop class about a decade ago, but that's not enough and is a different technique from what I can gather. I tried doing a join this evening and it didn't hold up, but I know I can get better fairly quickly. So the question is, anybody have any tips for doing arc welding on steel? Note that this is NOT stainless steel, but regular 'ol steel, not sure of the composition.

thanks!
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Offline speed

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2011, 04:00:41 PM »
you say arc welding, is this d.c. with a stick? eitherway go slow and move the stick in a circular motion as you pull it down the seam.

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2011, 10:08:30 PM »
you say arc welding, is this d.c. with a stick? eitherway go slow and move the stick in a circular motion as you pull it down the seam.

Yeah, I've got what's basically a huge inverter with an electrode/solder bit on one end and a ground on the other. I think I'm gonna buy a little piece of sheet metal to practice on before I get the tubing.
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Offline euge

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 10:27:26 PM »
I remember reading you need to get the right rods for different types of steel.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 05:34:23 AM »
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 08:13:05 AM »
There is a metric crap load of welding videos on youtube....

You can start here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqOdCpJOlcM&feature=fvwrel

And keep clicking the related links.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2011, 09:53:46 AM »
Yup -- all signs point towards me needing to practice making little circles.
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011, 10:34:08 AM »
A couple things that helped me, instead of doing circles, you can do the letter "c". To get the right speed, listen to your arch. It should sound like, of all things, bacon frying. (bonus points for the Weaze for incorporating a bacon comment in the welding thread) Also, when you are starting your arch, don't hit the electrode on the metal, but swipe it, like you are striking a match.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 01:10:06 PM »
A couple things that helped me, instead of doing circles, you can do the letter "c". To get the right speed, listen to your arch. It should sound like, of all things, bacon frying. (bonus points for the Weaze for incorporating a bacon comment in the welding thread) Also, when you are starting your arch, don't hit the electrode on the metal, but swipe it, like you are striking a match.

Yeah, I've heard a bunch of people say the match-striking thing is easiest. I went to the hardware store today and got a 10x20 piece of flat steel to practice doing my welds on. I also bought 4 2-meter pieces of 30mm steel tubing (square, I dunno why they call it a tube). Each one was nearly €30! BUT, GET THIS - I was the last customer and the checkout lady must have been somewhere else, because I told her I had four but she only scanned one. €100 savings FTW, that's gonna be spent on homebrew for sure.

This brings up one more question... Since I'm doing a brewstand (single tier, possible two-tier, not 100% decided yet) is 30mm/~1" going to be big enough? It sure seems strong, but we're looking at upwards of 100, 150 kilos maximum load and I don't want that much hot water, flame and steel to come crashing down on my flameout hop addition.
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2011, 04:30:25 PM »
I would say it will be pleny strong. What thickness is it?
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Offline EHall

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011, 09:50:18 PM »
'instead of doing circles, you can do the letter "c". '

kinda like when you're pulling yer pud?!  ;D
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2011, 12:07:13 AM »
I would say it will be pleny strong. What thickness is it?

2mm or 1/13th of an inch. Also, an important question. When I attach the ground clamp, is the steel 'live' or is that only when I touch the electrode to it?
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2011, 10:35:44 AM »
Only when you tuch the electrode. That is what completes the circut.   1/13...you had to throw a strange one at me....That sounds a little thin to me. I would feel better with 1/8, or even better yet, 3/16. Honestly, I feel like crap right now, stupid cold, and my brain can't even get around 1/13, but it just sounds thin.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2011, 11:05:20 AM »
1/13" would be a little more than 1/16" and a lot less than 1/8".  Seems awfully light to me but I haven't welded anything in almost 30 years.  Anything holding your brew kettle will need 4 legs under it and bracing, for sure.

Paul
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Steel fabrication: Arc welding help
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2011, 11:31:07 AM »
That's exactly what I was thinking. a good bit thinner than 1/8. Personally, I would be a little nervous about it. I would eiher use 2" of the same thickness, or go 1/8 of 1". If it were me, I would go for the 1/8, because thinner material is a lot harder to weld, especially if you are learning. It'll be full of holes.
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