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Gas welding newbie questions

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  • Gas welding newbie questions

    When you get a nice little puddle going in, say 3/16ths, how often do you dip the rod? When I first started, a lot of my beads kind of looked sunken and sad. Lately though I tried dipping really quick (like playing a drum or something) and they look a bit better.
    The books I read on this are helpful but leave a lot up to the imagination.

    I also tried some brazing tonight. Oxy/acy makes the bernzomatic I used to work with seem like a soldering iron! Whats the metal thickness you can get away with on that? It's obviously not a penetrating process like welding, however I did get some big parts to stick together.

  • #2
    JEFFM, How often you need to add the filler wire depends on the size of the wire,thickness of the base metal,tip size,type of joint,& so on. I would say fot 3/16 metal you are using a size "o" tip & 3/32 filler wire. Not everyone welds the same, but after you get the puddle going try dipping about every second or 2.
    100% penetration can be done with oxy/acet welding,but it takes some practice.
    Brass brazing takes a bit of practice also. You don't need to add the filler as often & an oxidizing flame should be used for brass, neutral flame for mild steel welding, & a caborizing flame for silver soldering. Hope the info has helped some. Good Luck
    John C


    • #3
      tip size

      FWIW, Victor recommends a size 000 for 1/8" and 00 for 1/4". The 0 will certainly work, but it will take faster movement.


      • #4
        I know the rate is a pretty variable thing but thanks for the ballpark. Originally I think I was going too slow, now I'm going to fast :/ I'll try again!
        I was under the impression that the rod was to be the same thickness as the base. But that's from the book so who knows.

        Maybe I'll put up some pics of my "work", that might help?

        BTW, I have a Harris Model 85 with a #5 in it, so the Victor numbers mean nothing to me :/ Thanks anyway. Are Victor's better? I noticed the oxygen valve on this thing is already shot, or needs adjustment, or something. It's only a month out of the box with probably 24 hrs use.
        Last edited by jeffm; 01-30-2003, 01:12 PM.


        • #5
          tip size

          Here is a link to Harris that lists tips and metal sizes:

          Don't think Victor is better, but in Texas it is Numero Uno. Seems Harris has always been a Northern brand. If the torch is that new, it may be covered under warranty.


          • #6
            Why do you think torch has bad O2 valve?
            Take it back to dealer and they will fix or show you how to fix problem. On a well used torch it is common to tighten valve packing nut a little. That will add a little drag to valves turning making it harder to knock off setting and seal valve stem leak. Only close valve enough to stop flow will give longer life.


            • #7
              bad O2 valve / humor

              Roger - pretty much what you said, there is no longer tension on the O valve. Bumping it slightly can turn off the oxy and then surprise!!- flame thrower!!
              It came as a gift in a kit which is unreturnable, and the dealer is 400 miles away. I haven't had time to look at the valve but will. It doesn't sound like a scary fix.

              Thanks for the help, and thanks everyone. All I can give you in return is a laugh, like a pic of some early beadwork....

              Some of these look ok, some I know what went wrong, most of them still confuse me to this day


              • #8

                ... or my first lovely bend test! :P
                I did two of these. The first almost bent into a U then split. This one made it to a U but cracked slightly, and wouldn't have made the bend back! Oh well, we'll get there.


                • #9
                  O-A welding

                  Jeff, I bought my first Oxy-Acetylene torch set from Sears in 1970. It came wih a great book, "The Oxy-Acetylene Weldor's Handbook" , now long out of print. You can find used copies for under $10. It would be worth finding. There wasn't a stray piece of mild steel anywhere I went, I scarfed it all up for practice. Made my first cylinder cart entirely w/ O-A welding. Gave it away years later, but wish I had kept it now.

                  If you want to try to find a copy of the book, here is where I found a replacement copy:

                  The Oxy-Acetylene Weldor's Handbook, 6th ed. by T.B. Jefferson.


                  • #10
                    Your gas welding kit should have strange old style multisize spanner wrench with wrench openings for every hex nut on your torch, hose couplings, and regulator couplings. The old ones even had square hole for Acetylene cylinder valve.


                    • #11
                      cope, thanks for the book reccomendation, I'll check it out when I have a spare moment!
                      Right now I'm reading Welders [sic] Handbook by Finch and a Haynes welding techbook. Glad you mentioned building a cart, that's still the first big thing I want to build ))

                      Roger, I fixed the torch. Reading the book again, I found out I'm an idiot, tightened the pack valve and it's all great.


                      • #12
                        Still having trouble

                        I've been messing with my gas kit weekly for over a month, just trying to get good but am still having problems.

                        The thing I notice the most is bowed beads (they look sunken into the weld on top).
                        And the last night I tried something odd happened, when dipping the rod metal clumped on the end of it, forming a little foot on the filler rod. Wierd! Since it was 20 degrees F at the time, all I could figure was the rod was cold and metal was freezing to it from the puddle.... anyone see this before? It quit when I tried a thinner rod.
                        I also have a sneaking feeling my gas mix might be wrong. I've been working from the open-to-interpretation b/w flame drawings from books but after reading how to adjust it somewhere else, I found out I might be oxidizing slightly. Typically I open up the oxygen until the blu/white cone is under a quarter inch from the tip. However I emtied a tank so I can't try again for now

                        This is all pretty vague, yes but if any could help I'd appreciate it greatly. I really want to start some projects but not until my skill is sound. I've also thought about asking the local welding shop to gas weld some coupons so I can see what to shoot for. If it helps I can take a pic of my last try and post it. Thanks all....


                        • #13
                          get the book

                          Jeff, the book I recommended is in black and white, but it cvlearly shows the different flame characteristics. Check bookfinder. When I bought mine it was the only copy I found, but I re-searched and found several different ones. Should run less than $10.

                          Click on this link for a list of copies available: