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I'll tell you guys probably the biggest trick to making nice welds is you have to be able to see. Good Helmut with clean scratch free lenses with a magnifier lens if needed. I sometimes tape a small led light on my helmet if need be
That sounds like a good idea. I'm a little surprised that nobody offers helmets will lights mounted to them, although the light would have to be resistant to heat and sparks.
 

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I sometimes tape a small led light on my helmet if need be
That sounds like a good idea. I'm a little surprised that nobody offers helmets will lights mounted to them, although the light would have to be resistant to heat and sparks.
Yeah, having a built-in head light could be handy. A few weeks ago I watched a video where a guy was showing how he attached a cyclist light on his helmet. Here's the unit he was using and it's dirt cheap. So just buy a few in case you break one.

He used this type of material to fasten it.
 

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I am a horrible welder. It is good enough strengthwise but looks like cat turds until I get the grinder out. I just haven't done enough welding to get good at it. I have a good friend who has become an incredible welder, fabricator, and race car builder that I get to do any important and visible welding. He just welded up my 3" Pypes stainless exhaust system and it looks incredible. Polished it for me as well. Looks so good it is kind of a shame to put it under a car.
 

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Thanks James. This sometimes can get a little confusing for a newcomer like myself. What I just sorta caught onto here is that welding without gas, using flux core wire technically isn't MIG,(since the G in the term "MIG" stands for gas) however these inexpensive welding machines being sold these days like the one I just bought from Jegs for flux core welding are labeled and sold as "MIG" welders.
It's mig capable by adding the gas "kit". I have a little Lincoln WeldPac 100 that has paid for itself a thousand times over. I've had it since the mid 80s and other than replacing tips and one wire speed control it's been solid as a rock. Never used gas, always flux core. I don't do much welding/fabing at all these days or I would spring for a bigger unit with a 220v input. I've shocked a lot of people with some of the projects I've used that little machine on.
 
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Yeah, having a built-in head light could be handy. A few weeks ago I watched a video where a guy was showing how he attached a cyclist light on his helmet. Here's the unit he was using and it's dirt cheap. So just buy a few in case you break one.

He used this type of material to fasten it.
That looks like it's worth a try. Thank you.
It's mig capable by adding the gas "kit". I have a little Lincoln WeldPac 100 that has paid for itself a thousand times over. I've had it since the mid 80s and other than replacing tips and one wire speed control it's been solid as a rock. Never used gas, always flux core. I don't do much welding/fabing at all these days or I would spring for a bigger unit with a 220v input. I've shocked a lot of people with some of the projects I've used that little machine on.
Do you find that with the smaller MIG 100 units, you can even weld 1/4" thick mild steel if you use a side-to-side "weave" motion with the gun?
 

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What do you guys think about the advice that I found from a vid from that suggests that for flux wire gasless welding, the metal nozzle be removed to avoid it blocking the view of your work, since the nozzle is said to only be intended for gas shielding?
 

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That looks like it's worth a try. Thank you.
Do you find that with the smaller MIG 100 units, you can even weld 1/4" thick mild steel if you use a side-to-side "weave" motion with the gun?
NO! You can but it does not get hot enough to penetrate like it should that way. I had very good success by making multiple pass welds and running it hot as it will go. The little machine has a limited duty cycle and the machine will shut itself down till it cools a bit but it doesn't hurt the machine just slows you down. I've abused it all day like that before and that little machine welds as good now as it did the day I bought it.
 

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Reminds me of a joke...
Guy sees a help wanted ad for a welder. The ad says $15-30 an hour.
He goes in and the manager gives him some scrap and tells him to go out in the shop and weld them together.
He comes back 15 min later and hands the guy the pieces. One is mis-aligned, has weld boogers all over it and lots of pieces of wire sticking out at different angles. The other is the prettiest TIG weld you’ve ever seen. Like jewelry.
The manager looks at both of them and says to the guy “WTF”?
The guy says “one is a $15 hour weld, the other is a $30 hour weld”.
 

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Baker's Gas & Welding has the best price on the Lincoln 3350 Series Helmet that I've found. They have free shipping on orders of $50.00 dollars. If you are lucky they have a pop-up offering $15-25 dollars off for first time buyers. It only appears at random times. They also have a bundle package available for the helmet at a discount price.

 

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Late to the party.....

Several things to keep in mind while tig welding:

Keep as tight an arc as possible
Lift the torch a bit when feeding rod
Torch angle
Rod angle
Gas cfm
Pedal control
Be comfortable
Clean your material. Then clean it again.
Clean your rod
Keep the molten end of the rod in the gas envelope between dabs
Use the correct size and type of tungsten
Use the correct size and type of rod
Use the correct size cup
Mind your tungsten stick out
If you get a tungsten inclusion or hit it with the rod, stop and replace. You will thank yourself.
Practice, practice, practice. Expect to go through a lot of gas.
7075 and 2024 will not weld. Looks like it does, but it doesn’t.
Speaking of gas, you s/b running a 75/25 argon C02 mix for mig, straight argon for tig.

Been welding for ~40 years, did it for a living for two decades until I became an inspector. Certified aircraft and missile.

Here’s my junk
708632
708633
708634
 

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I’ve got a nice Miller MIG setup. I can stick metal together and make it hold, but my welds are never pretty. Every so often I find the need to stick some aluminum together. I’ve always wanted to TIG, but have never been able to justify the cost of equipment since I’d need to use it maybe once every few years.

That leads to my question: Any thoughts on a spool gun for the occasional aluminum job? I know it’ll never match a quality TIG weld, but is it even good enough to consider buying for those rare instances?
 

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That leads to my question: Any thoughts on a spool gun for the occasional aluminum job? I know it’ll never match a quality TIG weld, but is it even good enough to consider buying for those rare instances?
Spool guns have always been hit and miss. If everything is perfect and the planets align, they work. When they don’t it’s a real mess that will make you cuss.

Had to use one welding up the locks on roll back flat bed wreckers. The drivers would lift the bed before sliding it back, breaking the locks. IIRC it was 3/8” alum angle. First step, carbon arc the cracked weld out, then clean and weld. Pain in the ass it was.
 

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My shop teacher told us tig welding is like gas welding, all you need is a steady hand and control the heat.
 

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Did any of you guys have welding class in high school?
 

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Welding tips and tricks has a ton of videos on all types of welding. The guy is a good teacher
I think he used to be a pipe welder.
 
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