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Old 12-03-2023, 02:12 PM   #1
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I need to learn to weld...

The bumpers I want come as a you weld it kit. I have zero skill in the welding department.

Probably something I should have learned in high school but I was too busy turning wrenches and chasing girls...

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Old 12-03-2023, 02:51 PM   #2
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You can pick up a wire feed pretty cheap these days.
If you don't have scrap metal to practice on you can usually get some drops or remnants pretty cheap at the metal supplier. Or go to the recycle center and rummage around for some scraps.


I had a repair shop and we had a seperate dumpster for metal, some locals would stop by occasionally and ask to check for anything salvageable. I had no problem with it as long as they asked.
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Old 12-03-2023, 03:59 PM   #3
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I've got a college friend that is a fairly decent welder. I don't want him to do the job, but I am wondering how many beers it would take to get him to teach me the basics of welding...?
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Old 12-03-2023, 04:36 PM   #4
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As many as it takes - just guessing here ! lol -
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Old 12-03-2023, 08:13 PM   #5
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Wire feed welding is pretty easy. Most welders have a chart inside the wire door that will give you the right heat and wire speed for the material thickness you are working with.

Have your buddy help you for a few beads, practice on some scrap, and get cracking.
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loper View Post
Wire feed welding is pretty easy. Most welders have a chart inside the wire door that will give you the right heat and wire speed for the material thickness you are working with.

Have your buddy help you for a few beads, practice on some scrap, and get cracking.
Spot on. No teacher needed. Youtube will suffice, or just go for it. It is not rocket science to weld but it's art to make it look good. That's what comes with lots and lots of practice. So they say. I'm far from that apparently.

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Old 12-04-2023, 12:25 PM   #7
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Some local supply shops probably have classes. General Air in CO has some excellent MIG courses that are well worth the $50-70.

I used a DIY bumper kit on my old Land Cruiser to learn. Just know the limits of your machine. My little 110V one ran out of mustard when it came time for the bigger pieces (think swing out spindle, hitch steel, tow hooks). Some of it I did multi-pass, but most I just borrowed the in laws 220V machine (which I now have one of myself).

Just be a little extra careful when it comes to things like winch trays or recovery hooks as a failed weld there can be costly, but I wouldn't let it deter you. I used the hell out of the bumper I built - wheeling, towing, you name it, and it still held. Vans are a bit heavier duty though.
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Old 12-04-2023, 09:20 PM   #8
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If you are feeling frisky the Miller Millermatic 211 does 120 and 240V and has auto-set, where you set the thickness of material and then just start squirting. I wasn't a believer in auto set until I got my Miller Multimatic 220. Holy smokes. It is awesome.
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Old 12-05-2023, 09:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dbhosttexas View Post
The bumpers I want come as a you weld it kit. I have zero skill in the welding department.

Probably something I should have learned in high school but I was too busy turning wrenches and chasing girls...
MOVE bumper?

I had the same issue with typing....spent the entire semester in high school typing class looking at girls.....little did I know I'd be sitting in front of a keyboard for the next 40 years.....

I can't weld either, but I've had a cheap Lincoln stick welder (now sold) and I picked up a used 220V harbor Freight MIG set setup with a gas bottle for $60 years ago. It's kind of like a gym membership......isn't doing much good sitting in the garage collecting dust.

As mentioned there are loads of youtubes to watch.....and it's not rocket science....

I weld stuff that's not structural and have a welder that I use who is amazing ..pretty much 100% TIG..and affordable. I found him through the local metal supply house where I buy materials.
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Old 12-05-2023, 10:33 PM   #10
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I am no pro but I am getting much more proficient. I started with the Mig 140 that runs on 120 but burned it up while reinforcing my trailer hitch.

https://www.harborfreight.com/mig-14...put-57863.html

I traded it in (I always get the warranty) and upgraded to the 170 that runs on 220/120VAC. It will weld much heavier material easily up to 3/8"

https://www.harborfreight.com/weldin...put-57864.html



This is a pretty capable machine that you can get for under $200 )after registering)

The pulsed TIG is a big plus and it is also stick. This would complement a descent MIG machine. MIG will make you feel like a pro the fastest.

https://www.vevor.com/tig-welder-c_1...p_010354932216

https://youtu.be/YwV6V26M7F0

I'm not sure if you are only doing mild steel, but I bought the spool gun for MIG Aluminum.

https://www.harborfreight.com/150-am...gg_q=spool+gun

This is also a great little stick welder; it only weighs 10 lbs. If you get good you might be able to weld a bumper with it but more than likely will need a fair amount of grinding to clean up your welds.


I love it for doing welds out in the yard where I can't (or won't want to ) drag my gas bottles. I think I have seen people run these off of a generator with no complaints. Great for the farm. Requires 120VAC/20Amp

https://www.harborfreight.com/weldin...der-64057.html

https://youtu.be/SfkJO-D6Vf0

The attached welds were done with little rest and way exceeded the HF 140 120V MIG welder duty cycle for 3/16" material. The MIG 170 at 220VAC far exceeds this.
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