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RE: [T3] Welding and Drilling spot welds

<x-charset Windows-1252>Al, you're talking Arc welding, not MIG, right?  In my experience, it would
be difficult to get an arc welder down to a low enough setting to avoid
blowing holes in our 22 gauge sheetmetal.  MIG, no problem.  I've seen some
tools at www.eastwoodco.com for arc welding sheetmetal, so I know it can be
done.  Just haven't ever had success with it myself.  I wimped out and
bought a MIG welder as soon as I could afford it.

The sticking rod thing is indicative of too low a heat setting, which may be
a problem since most stick welders usually don't have a very precise heat

If it's the method you're having trouble with, here's a breakdown on how to
run an arc with a stick welder:

1. with the rod, touch the metal you want to weld, then sweep the rod like
you were striking a match.
2. at the end of that sweeping motion, stop yourself so the rod ends up
about 1/16 inch or so from the metal and the arc should be going.  It helps
to practice on a thick (1/4 inch) piece of metal at first, so you can get
the motion down and remember it.
3. once the arc is going, move along the metal in a zig-zag pattern,
overlapping the edges of the seam about 1/16 of an inch.  You'll have to get
used to this motion as well, and vary the speed of your motion to keep from
building up enough heat to burn through.  You can also change the angle of
the rod and distance from the metal to control heat, but that's another

NOTE that it is much better to get the arc motion down on a thick piece of
metal first.  Once you've got that mastered, it's a matter of changing the
heat settings to match the workpiece.

Eastwood has a welding textbook available, just like the punks at the local
high school welding shop class are ignoring.  I got it, it's a great
referrence for approximate settings for different metals, and most
importantly, the methods.  I MIG welded in the wrong direction for an
embarrasingly long time, because the shielding gas has to flow BACK over
what you just welded.

Eastwood also has a "spot weld drill" that's like a tiny hole saw.  I've got
one, and it works great.  They were about ten bucks when I got mine, IIRC.

Maybe you could sucker Toby into bringing his MIG welder on down.  LMK when
he's gonna be there, and we'll meet up again. ;-)

Jake Kooser

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