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Greetings from a newbie & stick project questions

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  • Greetings from a newbie & stick project questions

    Hello -
    Just signed up - this is my first "real" posting - the first actual one was an intro in the introductions forum.

    I'm a newbie that has just completed a course for adults that want to get into welding as a hobby. It was an introductory course where we got to try everything but spent the most time on the sticks. Torches, Stick, Mig with gas, and tig. I even attempted to run a few beads on some alumimum - as much as a humbling experience as that was, I really liked the tig for it's control, precise-ness, and most of all cleanliness. Being a slow process is ok with me as I'm in this for a hobby and don't mind tinkering away - there's no boss or customer breathing down my back.

    I have a loaner stick welder from a friend of mine - it's a little inverter Miller Maxstar 150S and so I'll be attempting a few simple projects with this process for a while. I'm pretty good at butt joints and T joints but the laps are always messy as I tend to burn away the edge too much. (Maybe I'll design all my projects without lap joints at first ).

    Anyway - on to my first round of questions. I have some steel 1" square tubing, 0.100" thick wall and I want to fab up some little brackets to hang the aluminum extension ladder on the wall of the garage. You can buy these brackets for about 10 bucks but I'd rather spend the money on materials and hours of cutting, grinding and welding and painting's a quick drawing of what I am thinking about -

    I have some 3/32 7018 rods and some 1/8 6013 rods. There will be some simple 90 degree butt joints and a few 45 degree miters but again, just butt joints.

    100 amps good setting to start with?
    should I bevel the edges a little to get more penetration?
    100 amps seems a little high for the 3/32 7018 rods so I am thinking of using the 6013s - any comments on this?

    Any other advice for a rank amateur here? I will probably do a few test joints on some of the scraps after I cut up all the pieces for the brackets to try and get better tuned in on the current for my travel rate etc.

    Thanks and great to be aboard here.


  • #2
    About 85 on that machine for the 7018.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sberry View Post
      About 85 on that machine for the 7018.
      Thanks for the input. Will go with that.

      Had a dig into your website and looked at your shop pics - does that chopsaw station work well for grabbing all the "flingings" from the blade? Is there anything behind the filter, or is that just to grab some of the heavier sparks etc.? Good ideas for me and my garage that I want to keep clean and neat as I embark on this metal-hobby


      • #4
        I agree with Sberry, about 80 to 85 amps for 3/32 7018 is a good place to start. I wouldn't bother beveling the edges unless you wanted to do the extra work for practice. Good welds will give you way more strength than necessary for holding an aluminum ladder.

        You will find that Maxstar to be one sweet machine. I bought a 150STL after using one in a nuke. Can't say enough good things about it.

        I've been welding for over 30 years and still enjoy it as much as when I started. Two things I must add is keep a neat work area and to ALWAYS wear your safety equipment. Doing so will make for a much more enjoyable experience.

        Good luck, Bob.
        Flash me! I'm a welder.

        American by birth, Union by choice! Boilermakers Local 60

        America is a Union.


        • #5
          Don't throw those 6013's away! They make great hooks if you bend them right.

          Miller MM 210
          Miller Dialarc 250P
          Airco 225 engine driven
          Victor O/A
          Lots of other tools and always wanting more


          • #6
            I have improved it a bit since those pics were taken. The filter was just set there to catch some bounce but I make a new "chute" and open up the slot so it funnels the dross right in the bottom of the tank. The chop bench really does work well. I have thought of other variations since though.
            You can see where the old way was hitting the back wall, I make a new sheet metal nose to funnel the sparks down and its much cleaner.


            • #7
              Bob - Thanks for the input. It's great for the hobby folks to be able to tap into 30+ year veterans on these forums with the most basic of questions. Hopefully it speeds up the learning curve and prevents at least a few wasted dollars on materials when the project is underway.

              SBerry - thanks for the pic. Something like that may come in handy as I attempt to do my fabricating in a 2 car garage that has to be kept clean and tidy. I'm going to start doing some searching for people that have used tarps or shields that can fold up like curtains in their garages - that's another area I have to get sorted out before the projects commence.

              Now that I am typing this response, there's another question that I can pose. If I am welding some 1/4" angle onto the side of a piece of box that's 1/8" thick, I have been wondering what setting for the amps I should start with - sized for the 1/4" would tend to burn though the 1/8" material would it not? Should I size the current for the 1/8" at around 125 amps? This is for another little project that I want to tackle once the aluminum ladder is up on the wall on those previously discussed brackets. It's going to be a mobile base for my woodworking machines - jointer, planer and bandsaw - a frame made out of some box tubing and 1/4" angles welded on the side for the casters to mount to. I expect I can get at all 4 fillets around the angle against the 1/8" box tubing so there's plenty of welding to hold it.

              Thanks again folks.



              • #8
                In my shop that bracket wouldn't get welded all the way around, it would get 2 welds at each joint. Here is the weld pattern.
                Last edited by Sberry; 10-31-2008, 08:16 PM.


                • #9
                  I might even make the long leg just a little longer than the front peg so I could reach over the top and drive a couple of deck screws.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sberry View Post
                    I might even make the long leg just a little longer than the front peg so I could reach over the top and drive a couple of deck screws.
                    Too Late ! I already got the steel and cut it up at my buddy's place where he works - they have a huge bandsaw with a hydraulic vice, coolant system, etc. Now that I know how to use it, I'll be visiting him more often

                    I will probably mark the points on the wall and pre-drill for a couple of 1/4 lag bolts and drive them in with the socket wrench anyway so don't need the clearance for a drill. Now if the weather would co-operate I can get into the back yard and weld the pieces. I can see another 10k$ getting spent in the future on a small detached building in the backyard for welding already.......(good thing my wife does not read these forums.....)


                    • #11
                      Long time ago dad was driving lag bolts with a hammer. I asked what are the wench flats on head of lag bolts for? His answer was that is only to remove them.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Roger View Post
                        Long time ago dad was driving lag bolts with a hammer. I asked what are the wench flats on head of lag bolts for? His answer was that is only to remove them.


                        • #13
                          My old man was a telephone linesman.


                          • #14
                            Yes, it was common practice to drive lags with a 4# hammer doing line work especially before the advent of portable power tools.