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MIG welding Chromoly 4130

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  • MIG welding Chromoly 4130

    Hey guys, I'm new here, so don't hang me right off the bat. I'm a decent and field experienced welder, and my uncle approached me with a job. He wants me to fly out to Chicago for a week and weld his airplane together. Now, I own the Hobart MIG 130, and all the specs meet up with the thickness of the Chromoly, which is all below 0.053", and I want to know if this is possible for me to do this. I plan on welding with Er70S-6 Wire and pure Argon gas. Again, thanks!!!!

    DairyFarmer

  • #2
    Oh, and the airplane is a Whitman Buttercup, so top speed is around 70 mph and is NOT a big plane at all; can barely fit two people

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    • #3
      You might want to be real careful about undertaking this. That type of work is usually handled by a holder of an FAA Airframe and Powerplant certificate. Check into whether this is required before you go for it. That plane is classed as a Light Sport Aircraft.

      Qualified A&P guys. Note the one on the left....

      Click image for larger version

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      Last edited by canoecruiser; 12-16-2012, 11:31 PM.
      CanoeCruiser
      Harris dual-stage O/A
      Lincoln AC/DC buzzbox
      Hobart IronMan 210
      Lincoln PowerMig 135
      Miller 3035 spoolgun
      Thermal Arc 185
      Thermadyne Cutmaster 52
      Angle grinders, vicegrips, the usual suspects
      Two hands, tired body, not enough time...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by canoecruiser View Post
        Qualified A&P guys. Note the one on the left....

        [ATTACH=CONFIG]35360[/ATTACH]
        He looks more like a plumber to me!

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        • #5
          Well, I will be earning my Welder's License in a year, so how then do I obtain that certificate from the FAA for Airframe and Powerplant? Oh, and my original question was, can the MIG welder do the job? If not, what do you recommend for a TIG welder?

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          • #6
            The requirements are defined in FAA Part 65 "Certification: Airmen Other Than Flight Crew Members" Subpart D-Mechanics.

            Check with any of the schools that train Aircraft Maintenance Technicians. You can also check with the Experimental Aircraft Association as to what is required. Or go to any of the larger General Aviation airports that have service facilities and ask around. I would post links but they seem to be moderated away as of late. Google can help you find the relevant material.

            To be honest, if you have to ask what type of welder is suitable for airframe construction, you need to get formal training in the field. I am not and never have been an A&P and my professional experience around aircraft is mostly limited to unmanned vehicles. It does not have to do with airframes but military and space-qualified electronics systems. While I know my way around aircraft (and am employed by a major aircraft manufacturer), I would not think for a second that I am at all qualified to bring a welder near an airframe. And I do occasionally weld on ground-support equipment. I do not know enough about airframe maintenance/fab to recommend a particular process for a vehicle with a crew. Not trying to be a jerk, it's just the truth.

            Believe me, the FAA is serious as a heart attack about anything that falls within their purview.

            You can obtain the knowledge and certs to do the job right but it won't happen overnight. If you become certified and pursue it as a career field, you can count on steady work and make a very good living. Given that you have some welding experience, that is a plus.
            CanoeCruiser
            Harris dual-stage O/A
            Lincoln AC/DC buzzbox
            Hobart IronMan 210
            Lincoln PowerMig 135
            Miller 3035 spoolgun
            Thermal Arc 185
            Thermadyne Cutmaster 52
            Angle grinders, vicegrips, the usual suspects
            Two hands, tired body, not enough time...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DairyFarmer5 View Post
              Well, I will be earning my Welder's License in a year, so how then do I obtain that certificate from the FAA for Airframe and Powerplant? Oh, and my original question was, can the MIG welder do the job? If not, what do you recommend for a TIG welder?
              What kind of Welder's License and what state?

              Comment


              • #8
                Our teacher says it's basically a basic welder's certification so we can work at Whirlpool, DS Brown, and GROB. Ohio by the way

                Comment


                • #9
                  Found some good links...

                  I dug around a bit. The Light Sport Aircraft category makes it easier to build your own (or your uncle's) plane. For welding 4130 airframe tubing: http://members.eaa.org/home/homebuil.../articles.html.

                  Class schedule and locations: http://www.sportair.com/schedule.html.

                  The finished aircraft will of course have to be inspected but for this category of plane you don't need to go the A&P route. TIG appears to be the process of choice and maybe you can work out a deal to get a TIG welder out of the deal, if you don't already have one.

                  Now let's see if the links get through.......

                  EDIT: Maybe swap off welding for some flying hours towards a pilots license. That would be a sweet deal.....
                  Last edited by canoecruiser; 12-18-2012, 07:04 PM.
                  CanoeCruiser
                  Harris dual-stage O/A
                  Lincoln AC/DC buzzbox
                  Hobart IronMan 210
                  Lincoln PowerMig 135
                  Miller 3035 spoolgun
                  Thermal Arc 185
                  Thermadyne Cutmaster 52
                  Angle grinders, vicegrips, the usual suspects
                  Two hands, tired body, not enough time...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Swapping the flight hours isn't going to work; my uncle lives in Chicago, and I live in Ohio. But thanks for the links!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Okay, so I did a little digging, and the aircraft I'm welding is EXPERIMENTAL, so from what I've read, it does not need to be welded by a certified airframe welder

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DairyFarmer5 View Post
                        Okay, so I did a little digging, and the aircraft I'm welding is EXPERIMENTAL, so from what I've read, it does not need to be welded by a certified airframe welder
                        Unless, like most people, you're a little concerned about putting your life in the hands of someone who may not know what they are doing. How about cutting medical costs by having a heart-valve replaced by someone who does surgery as a hobby? Results are very certain if an engine detaches or tail assembly breaks off at 500 ft. Most experienced and qualified ordinary weldors would not do this job, without specialized training, because they couldn't live with the consequences. Why are you still considering it?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm very surprised that the US FAA allows it. They are super-strict and extremely cautious. The accident rate attributable to welding defects must be very low, but you only need one to have a bad day.

                          The FAA (and for larger aircraft the NTSB) investigates reportable accidents involving aircraft. If it's your own hide at risk the rules definitely are looser. Personally I'll stick with the big boys products if it goes >1 foot above ground level.
                          CanoeCruiser
                          Harris dual-stage O/A
                          Lincoln AC/DC buzzbox
                          Hobart IronMan 210
                          Lincoln PowerMig 135
                          Miller 3035 spoolgun
                          Thermal Arc 185
                          Thermadyne Cutmaster 52
                          Angle grinders, vicegrips, the usual suspects
                          Two hands, tired body, not enough time...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm attending TIG welding classes in Georgia perhaps, and my uncle really doesn't have another choice but me. If he did have another choice, I'd hand this off to someone else

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DairyFarmer5 View Post
                              Our teacher says it's basically a basic welder's certification so we can work at Whirlpool, DS Brown, and GROB. Ohio by the way
                              Bet I know where you ar going to school at and your instructor(s)......
                              So little time...So many machine tools.........
                              www.flipmeisters.com

                              Miller, Hobart & Lincoln TIG/MIG/-
                              Hypertherm Plasma (Thanks Jim)
                              Plasma-Cam DHC (coming shortly)
                              Harris OA
                              Too many motorcycles.............-
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