For the last few decades of my life, welding has seemed to be a skill only in the grasp of those with long of beard and/or depth of wallet. However, after a xmas gift 'welding kit' from the folks and a pile of money on my own part I'm finally going to start welding. Just thought I'd say 'hi' and let everyone know what I'm up to to see if I'm going the right way.
My goal is to teach myself to be a decent gas weldor, maybe graduating to another process later. I suppose I could take a class. However I'm busy helping with a movie production, keeping a house in line, aviation, computer science and about 900 things so free time is never schedule-able.
I read 'Welder's Handbook' by Finch and have started reading a great Hayne's manual. This led me to start with gas, as they seemed to say to learn with that then you'll be able to easily pick up other processes. My stick roomate hates me for not getting a box or mig, but that's how it is. I've leased 1 ea 150 cu ox/c2h2 bottles from local CK. Found some rods, goggles, metal, grinder, vicegrips, etc etc and have enough things to basically weld. My feeling tho is I'll be buying welding stuff until I tip over :)
My home doesn't have a great shop or garage which pretty much limits me to working on weekends, when I have time to drag the mess into the sideyard, work, then put it all away. Nonetheless, I've played a few times. Sunday I did my first weld of two pieces of sheet, and built my first tool! (mech. finger, from Finch's book)
Hopefully I'll be good enough to build my own gas cart soon. That will be fun, and the two-wheeler I'm using now is a hazard!
Well, that's me, now for the questions!
First, when I'm cutting sheet or even thick angle the steel seems to melt back onto itself after I pass, and I have to go back and blow it out again. I admit I might be using the wrong tip, it's whatever one came with the kit. I'm using 20 psi o2
Firebrick: I won't even mention my current welding surface, it's that bad. But the only thing close to firebrick I can find is some of the stuff fireplaces are made of. Will that work? I've called masonry people, welding people, noone knows what firebrick is.
Tank size: I did two 150's, but many times I see a bigger Ox then fuel tank on gas carts. I guess that's a good setup for cutting. For welding I'd figure fuel would be bigger then ox, since acetelyne doesn't compress well, but that's me. What size to you use?
This is for arc, etc but are self dimming helmets worth anything? Finch kind of talked them down, but many people use them.
Finally, are those "retractable hose spools" worth anything in oxyacy kits? They look cool but frighten me for some reason, if that bearing seal decided to leak....
I'm sure I'll come up with more questions later! Thanks a lot for any help!
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