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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 03-23-2007, 01:47 PM
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Exclamation Fabrication 101 forum

Many of us have learned our fabrication from our fathers, friends and maybe from shop class in high school. A growing number of our members haven't had these opportunity and are looking at theOFN to help get them started.

Getting started is the name of the game. Cutting, bending, banging, welding and maybe even throwing metal is what we are all about. Assembling, bolting and tuning we also enjoy. As a community we have said we don't care what you fabricate, as long as you are fabricating.

As an example; many of our new members and guests are brand new to fabricating, they may not know the difference between an arc and wire feed welder, the benefits of either, and which one they should use or purchase. I would like to become the community that gives back to our roots and give these guys an easy resource to come back to. Maybe all of us will learn something as well. I know I will and on every new thread.

Post up your own questions. Keep them as basic as you can. I will be also posting up question from time to time to keep this forum moving for our friends.

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Old 03-23-2007, 06:48 PM
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Awesome idea Cris...
How about:
-How to properly set up:
-Oxy-Acetylene torches
-Gas on Mig Machines
-Choosing Mig wire
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:10 PM
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yeah i know many people who don't know the proper pressures for oxy cutters and just crank away at the bottles.

here is a tip for most newbies.

If you are buying a MIG (metal inert gas) machine just look inside the machine where the wire is loaded and there will most likely be a table of what size wire and what wire speed you should be using for specific materials. This table is not set in stone but is a great starting point. That is one of the first things i do when i use a new macine to help get it dialed in!

IMO .035 is the most universal wire size for most of us off-road fab'ers do. It is very verstile and most machines are set up to use it fro mthe get go.

Also, a cheap and easy updgrade for a new welder is to purchase a good ground clamp. Your ground is everything and most welders come with crappy clamps. New beefy clamps are CHEAP and well worth looking into.

Well i could probably type all night about MIG welding so i guess i'll just leave it up to people to ask questions :-)
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Old 03-24-2007, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Also, a cheap and easy updgrade for a new welder is to purchase a good ground clamp. Your ground is everything and most welders come with crappy clamps. New beefy clamps are CHEAP and well worth looking into.
Has anybody used or uses a magnet ground clamp? is it worth it? My clamp is starting to get weak and will need one soon.
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Old 03-24-2007, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by fabcam View Post
A growing number of our members haven't had these opportunities
That's me... I started learning by necessity when my first car broke and I didn't have the money to pay someone to fix it. Over the last 8 years (and 7 cars) I've figured most mechanics out (except transmissions...) and have the confidence to replace and repair stuff.

But now that I've got a Jeep, I want to really start building stuff on my own.

I've got the basics, MIG, Chop Saw, Tube Notcher, Grinders, etc. But the problem is I don't really have the confidence that I'm doing things properly, and when safety starts becoming a concern... it's just not cool to guess and hope.

I'll be checking this often to really learn the difference between a pretty weld and a strong weld. Proper structuring techniques for cages, armor, etc. Any tip can be useful and helpful in its own place...
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Old 03-24-2007, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by KILLER"B"468 View Post
Has anybody used or uses a magnet ground clamp? is it worth it? My clamp is starting to get weak and will need one soon.

THEY SUCK!!!! my welding shop carries them but told me they wont even sell them and highly discourage them. The structural steel shop i used to work in had them and i they are just plain not worth it.
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Old 03-24-2007, 12:37 PM
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what does everyone think is the best starting point for a true newbie that we could use as a first topic? I personally think it should be what tools to buy to get started...brands types, and what the next step up would be as you progress......

that is the basics of all this fab mumbo jumbo anyways...tools!
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Old 03-24-2007, 09:29 PM
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Even though I am not a avid fan of monster garage. Check out I believe the title is How to weld da*n near anything. Put out by the Monster garage people. (jessie James) It hase alot of information that is hard to find all combined. And Easy to read Like metal types and processes. Tig rods and filler material.
There is a bunch of tables in the book that helps out the basic fabricator.
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Old 03-24-2007, 09:41 PM
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i have that book, it is good, it has a few simple projects with step by step pictures and instructions. One project is how to build a torch cart. another about how to build a suspension bracket. There are some more complicated projects like repairing a winshield frame.

The best book in my opinion is "the metal fabricators handbook". It is published by HP books and has some GREAT info about everything from ho wto build a fuel tank to rollcages, tools you should buy etc. It is probably the most esintial book for a newbie :-)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:51 PM
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bent

I know you've probably been asked this question a thousand times, but here goes. What types of benders are you guys useing. I'm new to this forum but I like what I see so far. Thanks in advance. Jef
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:56 PM
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I personally use a model 3 with no hydro just good 'ol human power. I like the bends it produces.

No question is a stupid question, this is the forum for people with questions so don't be timid in asking something. When i started welding i didn't even know you were supposed to adjust teh wire tension and struggled for months with my welder! Everyone starts somewhere hahahahha
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by balterbuilt View Post
..... When i started welding i didn't even know you were supposed to adjust teh wire tension and struggled for months with my welder! Everyone starts somewhere hahahahha
Psst... how do you know its adjusted correctly? How tight is too tight or loose too loose?
Always wondered but well... never asked
Thanks.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Rokcrler View Post
Psst... how do you know its adjusted correctly? How tight is too tight or loose too loose?
Always wondered but well... never asked
Thanks.
when adjusting tension you should just be able to stop wire feed with your fingers. open the cover grab hold of wire with index, middle and thumb. pull trigger. if you can't stop the feed your tension is to tight. you don't want it to loose either though. tighten until you can't stop it, then back off slightly.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:19 AM
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I have found that the deeper on gets into fabrication the deeper the need for resources becomes. So when it comes to books I find that a must have is one called.......... The Machinest hand book.
Unless your a full time machinest the general garage fabricator really dosen't need the latest edition I think there is about 27 editions made. But it covers things like, threading, hardwear, welding, materials and gearing just to name a few. Also has alot of conversion tables and the math to do just about anything.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:21 AM
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basically you want to shoot the wire into your hand and have it ball up into a "birds nest" of sorts. adjust until you get to that point then give it an extra 1/8 of a turn or so and check it once in a while until you feel it's where it should be. If you have the tension too loose the wire will burn up into the tip of the MIG gun while your welding. I good starting point would be to put the tension a little under halfway and work from there.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:24 AM
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Oh, and on books, i like these...

the monster garage series, cause they are colorfull. They are helpful, bu for me more just entertaining.

"the metal fabricators handbook"

"Chassis engineering"

"Machinery's Handbook" which i don't understand a word of!!!
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2007, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teufel View Post
when adjusting tension you should just be able to stop wire feed with your fingers. open the cover grab hold of wire with index, middle and thumb. pull trigger. if you can't stop the feed your tension is to tight. you don't want it to loose either though. tighten until you can't stop it, then back off slightly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashmetal View Post
I have found that the deeper on gets into fabrication the deeper the need for resources becomes. So when it comes to books I find that a must have is one called.......... The Machinest hand book.
Unless your a full time machinest the general garage fabricator really dosen't need the latest edition I think there is about 27 editions made. But it covers things like, threading, hardwear, welding, materials and gearing just to name a few. Also has alot of conversion tables and the math to do just about anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by balterbuilt View Post
basically you want to shoot the wire into your hand and have it ball up into a "birds nest" of sorts. adjust until you get to that point then give it an extra 1/8 of a turn or so and check it once in a while until you feel it's where it should be. If you have the tension too loose the wire will burn up into the tip of the MIG gun while your welding. I good starting point would be to put the tension a little under halfway and work from there.
Thanks guys.. The thumb/index finger is what ive been doing.. Yay! ive done it correctly..
Ok, how bout setting up torches
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:09 AM
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I know you've probably been asked this question a thousand times, but here goes. What types of benders are you guys useing. I'm new to this forum but I like what I see so far. Thanks in advance. Jef
There are all type used here....Pro-tools, JD, JMR.....Check out the bender review in the review section....and you can decide what is best for you...
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  #19  
Old 03-31-2007, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Rokcrler View Post
Thanks guys.. The thumb/index finger is what ive been doing.. Yay! ive done it correctly..
Ok, how bout setting up torches
torches...

There is a lot to talk about when it comes to torches. First you will want to find out what size tip you are working with. Size 0 is the smallest and it relates to the size the oxegyn hole is. The center hole must be clean if not you will get an odd shaped flame and will lose cutting effiventcy, it's like having a clogged MIG gun tip, you wont get teh correct gas flow.

As for gas pressure (psi) you should start with 7 psi on the gas guage and 20 psi on the oxy guage. Don't crank up the acetylene! No welding torch of any size in the world benefits from excessive acetylene pressures. They can only flow so much so it is unessesary. As for the oxy, 20-40 seems to be acceptable.

Once you have your guage pressures correct you want to go to the torch itself. To light the flame crack open the gas valve (and i mean just Crack open, maybe a quarter turn). Light the gas with your stricker and open the valve more until your suity flame just disapears. Now open the oxy valve and bring the flame back towards the tip until the small holes in the tip are about 3/8" long. This should be a good starting point. The flame should have a good conisistant sound.

Now to test your flame get a piece of steel, preferably a thick one. 5/16-1/2" would be nice. To start your cut place the torch near the steel so the tip is maybe an 1" or so away from the surface. The metal will start to glow red. ONce a small metled puddle has been created you can blast away with the paddle trigger. You will not be able to cut until that small puddle has been created.

BE SURE TO WEAR TORCH GOGGLES AND GLOVES WHENEVER USING A TORCH! Good footwear is also important (flip flops and torches don't mix, ask me how i know).

That's about it off the top of my head. Anyone else can throw in any info

-balter
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2007, 04:44 PM
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There are cutting tips smaller than 0, I've used 000 and I think there may even be a 0000. The smaller tips of course are good for lighter material and also for doing detailed cutting on a little heavier material. For instance I've used the 000 for doing detailed cutting on 1/4" with excellent results. For pressures 8# on the acetylene and 21# on the oxygen is what I use for most tips and materials.
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