MOTORZ TV introduces you to basic welding with the Handler 140 mig welder and other accessories. Learn how to weld in your
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Chris Duke: I am Chris Duke and this is Motorz. Welcome to Motorz. Today, we're going to cross the automotive customization lines and teach you the basics of welding and how affordable can it really be. We're going to cover MIG welding, as it's the easiest to being with, accessories you're going to need to do the job, basic setup as well as some safety precautions and operation.
Learning to weld does not require a degree or extensive schooling. Many people are able to teach themselves how to weld out of their own garage. One of my personal friends, Brian, did just that, and is here today to share some tips and tricks on how to get started with the basic welding setup.
Welcome to the show Brian. Thanks for being here.
Brian Karas: Hey Chris! Thanks for having me.
Chris Duke: Great! We've got a Hobart Handler 140 right here. What's the cool thing about this particular MIG welder?
Brian Karas: Chris, this MIG welder is great. It's a 115 volt unit, it's very portable, and that means you can run it off of a standard outlet in your garage. So it's very easy to get started with.
Chris Duke: Oh, that's cool! So Brian, what sorts of things can I do with this MIG welder?
Brian Karas: Well Chris, this unit is great for automotive and household jobs. You can do things like basic exhaust repairs, auto-body repairs. You can make custom brackets for mounting horns or fog lights and it's also good for other around-the-house jobs, fence repairs things like that.
Chris Duke: Okay, pretty cool. Let's take a look at some of the things we've got here that are going to help us weld.
Brian Karas: Some of the accessories we have here are wire for a MIG welder. We have our MIG pliers. We have a wire brush and hammer for cleaning up welds when we're done. We have clamps to hold our pieces together as we're working, and most importantly our safety helmet.
Chris Duke: Now what's cool about this helmet Brian is, its custom airbrush by Barbara Luck of Rippin Designs. Didn't she do a good job?
Brian Karas: She did an awesome job.
Chris Duke: Now, in addition to all those other things, you're going to need an angle grinder, some extra tips, some nozzle gel, some gloves, and we've got this paintball cylinder, also from Holbart. It's great for portability and it just holds CO2, and it's great, because even on weekends you can get this thing filled up at your local sporting goods store for about $5.
Brian Karas: Very nice.
Chris Duke: Yeah, so let's take a look at how we set everything up.
Brian Karas: So we're going to start first thing here is we have a spool of wire, and this goes right here inside the welder. Now, one of the things to be aware of, this wire is tightly wound. If you're not careful when you go to unwind it, it will unravel and spool up in your face. So you want to have some extra precaution there.
Okay, after mounting and securing the spool as per the instructions, we're going to begin to feed the wire into our welder. Be careful as you unspool this so the wire does not come loose. Cut off any bent ends on your wire and being to feed it in.
As you get the wire through the rollers and into the hose, secure it in place and turn on the welder so we can start to feed it through. Pull the trigger and the wire should feed through cleanly. When it comes out the other end, release the trigger and you're ready to move on.
Brian Karas: Okay, Chris. We've connected the regulator and hose that comes with our welder to our gas cylinder here.
Chris Duke: What kind of gas is in there Brian?
Brian Karas: This is a mix of Argon and CO2.
Chris Duke: Okay. Is it flammable? Is this thing going to blow up the garage, or what?
Brian Karas: No, it's a completely inert gas. It's completely safe. Its function is to provide some shielding around the welding arc as we're working.
Chris Duke: Okay, now what's up with this chart here?
Brian Karas: Well, this is really handy. This helps you pick the right wire and polarity settings for whatever kind of material you're working with. We've gone with a .030 wire today, because we're going to be working with some thinner steel like you might find in typical auto-body applications.
Chris Duke: What's the polarity over here that I see?
Brian Karas: Depending on which wire and gas setup you use, you might change the polarity from electro-positive to electro-negative. It's just a matter of undoing these two bolts here and switching the wires around and the welder lays out which polarity you use for any given application.
Chris Duke: Okay, seems easy enough. Now, there is another thing here called flux core wire, which you can use without gas for small jobs. It does get a little bit messy though.
So Brian, when it comes time to actually do some welding, can I just wear a t-shirt, and some shorts, and some flips flops or what's the deal here?
Brian Karas: Well Chris, it's important we have the right safety equipment. You're going to want a good sturdy leather jacket, pair of gloves, as well as you want to make sure you're wearing something like jeans and some closed-toe shoes or work boots.
Chris Duke: Okay, so basically head-to-toe coverage. And why is that?
Brian Karas: Well, there are two important reasons. One, when you're welding you'll get some hot slag coming off your welds. There is also UV light on the arc itself and you can actually get sunburn if you're not properly protected.
Chris Duke: Oh, sunburn and slag does not sound good to me. So let's suit-up and check this thing out.
Brian Karas: Alright, let's get started.
Chris Duke: Alright. Now that we are all suited up, we are at the final steps we need to perform in order to get it started and do some welding.
Brian Karas: Alright, Chris. Let me show you. We'll start. We'll turn our welder on. Come over here, open up the gas cylinder, you only need about a quarter-turn on this, and we're going to adjust our regulator to get a gas level of about between 20 and 30 here on the regulator. You'll see this needle will go down when we actually start welding. We're starting with some eight-inch thick mild steel. So we've got our wire feed set to 30 and we're starting with a voltage of 2.
Now if we come over here, we've already got our pieces cleaned up and prepared. It's very important when you're doing any MIG welding that you remove any rust or grease or contaminants on your steel. So we've already sanded these down with our angle grinder. We've got a good solid clamp and our ground is attached here.
And finally, we want to prepare our gun. So you don't want to have too much wire stick out when you begin. Usually about 3/8 inch to quarter inch is plenty. So, I'm going to trim off this excess wire before we get started. Now, all that's left is to put on our welding helmets and give it a try.
Chris Duke: Alright, let's go.
Brian Karas: Okay Chris, so we're going to start by just trying to simple butt weld on these two pieces here. Now there is two main ways you can go about this.
There is what's known as the push technique, where as the name implies, you're pushing the gun past your weld. Or, a more commonly and what's easier to get started with is a pull technique, where we're starting up here and kind of pulling the gun as we go along. So I'm going to demonstrate a pull technique on these two pieces right here.
Chris Duke: Now do you go straight back or do you make a pattern?
Brian Karas: You want to -- as you can see there is a slight gap between these. So you'll see as I move the gun we'll be doing small arcs, kind of tracing the front of our arc and following it along as we go.
We tried to break this weld apart and didn't have any success. That's a very good indicator that we've picked the right wire speed and voltage setting for the material that we're working with.
Had we actually been able to break this apart, it would have been a good indication that this was a cold or inferior weld. The wires feed felt right, so had the weld not stuck I would have increased the voltage a little bit to get a little more penetration into the metal.
Chris Duke: So it's always good to test it out on some scrap metal before you work on the real thing.
Brian Karas: Absolutely! Get a feel for the material you're working for. Get your welder dialed in and then proceed to your actual work.
Chris Duke: Alright, well let's try something a little bit thinner, maybe some automotive type of metal.
Brian Karas: Okay, Chris. So here we've got a couple pieces. This is a 16-gauge sheet steel, typical of what you might find in an auto body application. Again, we've sanded it clean, cleaned it up, and got it clamped down here. Now I'm going to start welding this with the same settings we used on the previous material and see how it works out.
Chris Duke: Alright, let's go for it.
Brian Karas: Alright, let's take a look at what we have with this right here. It looks pretty good from the surface, feels pretty sturdy. Take a look at the back. We see here, it looks like that weld actually penetrated all the way through the steel. Looks like our settings might be a little too high. So I'm going to try turning down the voltage on this and moving the wire speed back a little bit.
Chris Duke: Okay.
Brian Karas: So we'll go back to the front panel of our welder here, move the voltage down to one and I'll move the wire speed from 30 down to about 20.
Chris Duke: So Brian what happened here with this weld? I noticed that it really didn't take too well.
Brian Karas: Yeah, it definitely had trouble. It had some trouble getting the arc started. So that's a good indication that we didn't have enough voltage. I think we we're right to turn the wire speed down a little bit. So we'll move the voltage back up to 2, but we'll leave the wire speed back at 20 and see if we can get this dialed in.
Chris Duke: Alright.
Brian Karas: Okay. One more try and we'll move this back up right between 20 and 30, and it should be dialed in now.
Yup, I'm happy with the results of how that turned out. This underscores why it's very important to make sure you do your test welds on some scrap pieces first. Make sure that you get your settings right before you start working on your actual project.
Chris Duke: Well Brian, that looks pretty cool. I think I've got enough information now to maybe give it a shot myself. What do you think?
Brian Karas: I think you'll do alright Chris. Let me give you a couple of last minute pointers and we'll see how you do.
Chris Duke: I'm excited to check this out. So how does this thing work? How close do I put it? How fast do I go?
Brian Karas: So this trigger here is what's going to start your arc and feed the wire. So we're going to start -- you basically want the electrode touching the metal, slight arc back, let the arc start, and then as you're going forward pulling away, basically just sort of trace the front of the arc as you go along. You'll get a good feel for the speed, and that's pretty much all there is to it.
Chris Duke: Alright, let me have at it. How'd I do Brian?
Brian Karas: Let me take a look. I think, for a beginner Chris, you're off to a very good start.
Chris Duke: It's actually kind of hard staying on line with the amount of darkness the shade gives you and the arc going on, but I think I did alright.
Some manufacturers like Hobart Welders are starting to manufacturing custom looking welding helmets such as these. Okay, I have made -- I added a little bit of extra motors blend to the front here with this flame. But sometimes you need something totally custom and out of this world to make it your own.
I wanted that from Motorz TV. So I got a hold of Barbara Luck at Rippin Designs in Utah and ask for the airbrush something very unique that went along with the show's intro graphics. And this is what you came with.
As you can see, it's got lightening bolts from the intro, the Motorz logo on the front and to we make it even more better, she had these blue flames per my request and a whole bunch of skulls to the top.
If you look closely at those skulls, you'll be as impressed as I am with the amount of details especially in the teeth. She'll pretty much airbrush anything including motorcycles, cars and trucks, guitars, signs and of course helmets. And her prices are much more reasonable than you think. For more information, contact Rippin Designs at rippindesigns.com.
Well Brian, thanks for coming out and showing us a little introduction to welding. I appreciate your time. And I have one more question for you on more common automotive applications with like some thin sheet metal on a fender or something like that. Is the technique any different?
Brian Karas: Chris, the basic technique is the same. You're going to want to turn down the settings on your welder, and you're going to want to basically start with a couple of tack welds and move back and forth around the piece you're working on so you don't build up too much heat and warp or distort the metal in any one area.
Chris Duke: Okay, cool! So is all the information I learned today enough to start working on my trailer or something like that.
Brian Karas: Not quite Chris. If you're going to want to do something structural, like building a trailer or working on a suspension application, we'd recommend you take a course at a local voc./tech. college.
Chris Duke: Okay, sounds good. Well, that does it for this episode of Motorz. For more information on the products we used in the episode, check out HobartWelders.com and of course for more episodes of Motorz, check out motorz.tv. We'll catch you next time.