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How to weld thicker material

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  • How to weld thicker material

    I am a beginning welder and have bought the Hobart 100 to learn with. The parameters for this machine recommend a maximum thickness of 3/16 inch. My question is if I wanted to weld a little thicker metal say 1/4 inch is that a good idea? When I was doing research on this machine I read things like this machine will weld thicker metal "if you know a little about welding" so I am wondering how this would be done with decent results so does this mean stacking welds or some other method to do this. My first project is to build a table where I will need to weld 1/8" tube to 1/4" sheet steel and I want to do it the right way so your input is valuable to me. Thank you for your advice.

  • #2
    Depends on the application of what you are making, because some welds need to have the full strength of the thickness of the material being welded, and some welds just need to keep things together in a static condition.

    The maximum advertised thicknesses are already assuming expert experience and ideal conditions. Beyond that, it just means even more so, AND with multiple pass welding, which has interpass cleaning and other needed techniques added.

    If you are just making a table for yourself, using material at hand, just do it. What's the worst that can happen?

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    • #3
      "My question is if I wanted to weld a little thicker metal say 1/4 inch is that a good idea?"

      Well I've heard of worse ones? But it does depend... For instance, if you go swimming with sharks big enough that you look like a bait fish, is that a good idea? Probably not. But if they were small, or not many, as Mac suggested, what's the worst that can happen?

      Fact is, most mild steels have a tensile strength of around 56,000 pounds per square inch. Most weld metal 60-70,000 pounds per square inch tensile strength.

      "When I was doing research on this machine I read things like this machine will weld thicker metal "if you know a little about welding" so I am wondering how this would be done with decent results so does this mean stacking welds or some other method to do this."

      That's me, I know a little bit about welding. So, grind all surface, set the volts to high, crank the wire speed and with assumptions made you're welding with a small diameter self shielded flux cored wire, I'm sure you can weld with in the limits of the max. rated power source out put enough to melt and fuse into 1/4" materials. You just won't do it for long periods of time due to a short duty cycle at max. voltage settings. You didn't mention much in that regards and so I'm saying yes, but...?
      You might also find as mentioned, a need to multi-pass your welds to achieve greater filling as you would be better off running more smaller hot passes, the one big hot short one. Each pass refines the previous passes grain structure.

      "My first project is to build a table where I will need to weld 1/8" tube to 1/4" sheet steel and I want to do it the right way so your input is valuable to me."

      Then practice. Post pictures, ask questions. Break a few samples. Then think about a square inch and how much you've deposited. Using my favorite simple math, if one square inch is good for 60K psi tensile strength, divide x 2. Shrink the 1"x1"x1" down to a 1/2"x1/2"x1/2" ...15k psi, down to a 1/4", 7500 psi. 1/8" 3500. So...pulling things apart...you might assume then that a small tack 1/8" x 1/4" long could hold in tensile, some serious fusing power.

      That was a simple analogy, don't hold it as fact, but it's not all fiction either.
      I think you should tell us more. Fact is you can bevel to prep allowing to penetrated deeper, if you require greater material surface area strength then what can be achieved with fusion alone, but it will still come down to proper settings, technique to insure proper fusion.

      I'm sure you can do it.

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