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Fabrication 101 Everyone has to start somewhere and for some, theOFN might be that somewhere.


Fabrication 101 Everyone has to start somewhere and for some, theOFN might be that somewhere.

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  #1  
Old 01-01-2014, 11:11 AM
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jgrov2 jgrov2 is offline
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Getting started in metal fab

Hello fellas
Just looking for some advice on gear to get me started in metal fab. I drive an LN106 hilux and I want to knock up my own bar work being rock sliders and bulbar for winch. I also want to do up the exhaust and intake pipes and later down the track maybe even a tray. I've used stick welder a handful of times ages ago but I am keen to learn and start practising been spending lots of time on welding tips and tricks website
I want to do it myself mainly because I'm on a tight budget and I think it will be cheaper in the long run and for the satisfaction of building it myself

What sort of welder should I be looking for? I'm thinking 190amp gas/gas less mig? I only have single phase power too
What sort of pipe bender should I look for or can I get away without one?
Is there any software that helps design metal fab work?
Any other tools I should be looking for I have the basics and a good drill and angle grinder
Thanks for the help
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2014, 03:45 PM
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JaysinSpaceman JaysinSpaceman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrov2 View Post
Hello fellas
Just looking for some advice on gear to get me started in metal fab. I drive an LN106 hilux and I want to knock up my own bar work being rock sliders and bulbar for winch. I also want to do up the exhaust and intake pipes and later down the track maybe even a tray. I've used stick welder a handful of times ages ago but I am keen to learn and start practising been spending lots of time on welding tips and tricks website
I want to do it myself mainly because I'm on a tight budget and I think it will be cheaper in the long run and for the satisfaction of building it myself

What sort of welder should I be looking for? I'm thinking 190amp gas/gas less mig? I only have single phase power too
What sort of pipe bender should I look for or can I get away without one?
Is there any software that helps design metal fab work?
Any other tools I should be looking for I have the basics and a good drill and angle grinder
Thanks for the help
First off, welcome to one of the best Fabrication forums on the web.

Sounds like you are getting started on the right track.

I would stick with a MIG welder with shielding gas (75%/25% argon/co2 cleaner welds, or 100% co2 cheaper shielding gas that does a good job), 190+/- amps is good. As for brand I would find a name brand that is local to you so that you are sure to be able to get repair parts and consumables.

If you are going to do tube work (bumpers, cage, etc...) then a bender is mostly required. I have no Idea what benders are available where you are so I can't really suggest a brand. Tube software? There is only one choice as far as I am concerned and that is BendTech sold by our own Fabcam right here on the OFN.

Tools:

Angle grinder or three.
Saw; Abrasive, Dry cold cut, horizontal band saw, or true cold saw (my preference is the Horizontal Band saw).
I would also suggest a tubing notcher of the hole saw type for your tube work.
Drill press.
Hand tools; hammers, files, clamps (lots of clamps), squares, etc...
Welding table of some sort, the bigger the better but a 2 foot x 4 foot is about the minimum that I would bother with.

Don't worry about getting all this to start but it is all stuff that makes this work easier and faster. The welding table is a reasonably good early project, just make sure the top is square and reasonably flat. There is a good welding table thread here on the OFN for Ideas.

As for the tight budget thing, you can possibly save some money over having others do the work for you but it ain't going to be cheap with the equipment that is needed. However, if you are looking for the satisfaction of doing it yourself then there is really nothing better then getting out in your garage/shop and building from your imagination. Being able to say "I built that!" even if it is only to yourself is worth all the time, effort and money involved in welding and fabrication. There is little else that gives me the kind of satisfaction that I get from creating something where there was nothing before.

Good luck,
Jaysin
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2014, 05:08 PM
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wyoming9 wyoming9 is offline
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Red face

Welcome to OFN!!

One of the things I could not live with out is a Good Two Stage Air Compressor .

I never got into the tube thing so I can`t get all excited about benders.

One can never have enough clamps

4.5" grinders but grinders are funny with me they need to fit comfortable in my hand or they migrate to the unused tool shelf even if only a few days old.

A name brand welder I am to the point I don`t see any use for welders that are a complete package .

I like the split power source and feeder working on vehicles and horse trailers so much easier to position the feeder to not fight the gun all the time.
__________________
Some days it takes longer to pick which welder

then to do the welding
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2014, 01:58 PM
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PDANKracing PDANKracing is offline
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Angle grinders: Higher amperage is better, I use a dewalt 10 amp, works nicely. At the very least, find one that has the trigger away from the spinning head.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:44 PM
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Bonehead Bonehead is offline
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I have a complete shop, so it is hard to say which tools I would do with out. However a good friend of mine has a tubing bender, wire feed welder, (with mix gas) , and a couple of angle grinders, along with a small amount of hand tools, and has turned out some very quality work.
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2014, 03:49 AM
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jgrov2 jgrov2 is offline
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Thanks for the reply guys
Forgot to mention i live in brisbane australia lol
Im on the look out for a welder first i think thhe rest can wait
Im going to be mainly operating out of my garage so just amass my pile of tools one at a time but definitly thanks for the advice guys i didnt even think of a notcher
The first thing i want to tackle is air intake pipe for the engine and an exhaust
So the plan really is to buy straight pipes and mandrual bend pipes and just weld all the parts together :)
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2014, 07:59 AM
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jgrov2 jgrov2 is offline
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what do you guys reckon of this welder
http://www.cigweld.com.au/product/di...lding-machine/
is it enough to get me started?
what size tubes you guys using I was thinking 1010 steel with 1.5 inch diameter not sure what size wall size thanks
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2014, 01:24 PM
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alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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^^^ My AV [Avast] said your link is malware.
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2014, 07:31 PM
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jgrov2 jgrov2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysFlOoReD View Post
^^^ My AV [Avast] said your link is malware.
Thats pretty weird just google it if your worried
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2014, 07:44 PM
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alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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I did google it and it still came up malware. Perhaps it is the AV definitions being used or perhaps the site got hacked.
The little bit of searching I did suggests that that welder is made at the same facility that Clarke welders are, in Italy. Fairly good reviews on forums. I used a smaller lincoln welder for a number of years and did fine. Preheat and multiple passes for the thick stuff. I'd say it's probably good for learning on.

Richard
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2014, 09:03 PM
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Chocflip201 Chocflip201 is offline
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In my opinion, if you are going to buy a welder, buy one that is bigger than you need. Get a full 220 V welder capable of 3/8"+.

For me I'd rather spend the extra up front and not have to buy a new welder in a year when my projects are too much what a little welder could handle.
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2014, 09:15 PM
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jgrov2 jgrov2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocflip201 View Post
In my opinion, if you are going to buy a welder, buy one that is bigger than you need. Get a full 220 V welder capable of 3/8"+.

For me I'd rather spend the extra up front and not have to buy a new welder in a year when my projects are too much what a little welder could handle.
understand where your coming from but at the moment im in a rental property and only have 10amp plugs and i cant really run any 15amp cable in this house landlord is a scum bag
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2014, 09:53 PM
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Chocflip201 Chocflip201 is offline
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Are they going to even allow you to weld there?

I bought my miller 250 (220V full size welder) capable of 20+ amps, which I have done 1/2" single pass with no problem, used for $300.
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2014, 09:56 PM
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Chocflip201 Chocflip201 is offline
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I'm in rental property right now too and I won't bring my welder here because i don't want to be liable for anything that would happen to the property.
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2014, 10:10 PM
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jgrov2 jgrov2 is offline
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what do you think is going to happen to be held liable for? lol Im just doing a bit of welding in the garage with the doors open. you must be in america because the cheapest miller 250 I can find is $1800 here used
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:15 PM
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Chocflip201 Chocflip201 is offline
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I don't even want to have welding spatter burns on the concrete from molten slag falling off, or grinder shavings/spark dust all over. But I have a small shop 15 miles away that I can fab as much as I please there.
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  #17  
Old 01-09-2014, 10:45 PM
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jgrov2 jgrov2 is offline
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fair enough i dont think my landlord would even notice the house was already in an ordinary state when we moved in, didnt even have a phone line? so i doubt ill have any dramas
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