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My 14YO hasn't welded before - Welding kit advice please


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34 minutes ago, elbekko said:

I like those R-Tech units, and almost bought one a few months ago, but they'd require a separate electrical feed to be put in, as they puzzlingly don't offer anything 3-phase outside of the very expensive industrial units...

Hope your lad has fun with it!

Most likely because 3 phase in the UK is rarely found outside of a commercial premises. And not needing the power/expense for the lower powered machines. 

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3 hours ago, landroversforever said:

Most likely because 3 phase in the UK is rarely found outside of a commercial premises. And not needing the power/expense for the lower powered machines. 

Yeah, fair enough, but a fair number of welders can be wired up both ways. Maybe that's harder with the inverter type stuff?

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I think it's great that you are allowing your lad along this path - far better for the mind than Xbox.

Safety is a must and much of it has been covered, and to be honest, if you trust him with a grinder then he must have some common sense. I find the grinder to be one of the most dangerous tools in the box!

So safety- welded makes things hot which then burn things like hands and fingers. You can tell him this but he will also learn this himself!!

Next, welding produces heat and hot sparks. These sparks travel and set light to things. Be careful where you weld and what is around you. Sparks can roll under small gaps and onto flammable fluff and rags!! Teaching him good housekeeping on the flammable side of things is important. Also may be worth investing in a fire extinguisher and how to use it.

The next thing is a good dust mask for when he is grinding. The s**t that comes from grinding discs is not what you want to breathe in over the long term.

Where are you based. I am sure plenty of folk on hear could supply offcuts of steel for practice. 

Well done for encouraging your lad and the level of support you are giving him. If you have the time and are inclined, learning to weld yourself may help him and build your relationship (though that sounds ok already with what you have said).

Good luck with learning and I wish you both a happy and healthy new year.

M

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On 12/29/2020 at 2:09 PM, elbekko said:

but they'd require a separate electrical feed to be put in

This is because they need a 16A supply, while a ring main is usually 32A, taking half of that for 1 device is going to lead to you tripping the fuse quite often as all you need to do boil a kettle and run a few over devices on the same circuit and you will reach max load.

Much better to have it on a separate circuit much like other high load devices (electric cooker point, immersion heater, electric shower, etc)

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On 12/29/2020 at 2:45 PM, landroversforever said:

Most likely because 3 phase in the UK is rarely found outside of a commercial premises

My 1950's house must be an exception then as I found out recently that I have 3 phase to the house but only currently using 1 phase.

I hope that new houses now should be also cabled for 3 phase, as the drive for electric cars significantly increase the electrical demand and having 3 phase allows you to go for 11Kw or 22Kw chargers (even the base 7.5Kw takes about 32A from the usual single phase max of 80/100 Amp)

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10 hours ago, zardos said:

This is because they need a 16A supply, while a ring main is usually 32A, taking half of that for 1 device is going to lead to you tripping the fuse quite often as all you need to do boil a kettle and run a few over devices on the same circuit and you will reach max load.

Much better to have it on a separate circuit much like other high load devices (electric cooker point, immersion heater, electric shower, etc)

In a regular house setting, yes, but for the workshop we already had 3-phase pulled everywhere, and single phase for low-load stuff. Would've been silly to put in a whole new dedicated single phase line to multiple spots just for a welder.

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  • 1 month later...

Well... finally landed some 5% CO2 and he's made his first weld.  He's keen.  He's been out there with scrap scaffolding poles, cutting and welding them back together. The first was more bird-sh*t than welding which is to be expected. He gets better.

 

I'm a proud father.

Edited by Landrover17H
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4 hours ago, landroversforever said:

Scaffold poles are usually galvanised... make sure it’s ground back inside and outside before welding as the gas it gives off is incredibly harmful! 

^^^ this, if he wakes up with a hangover/flu tomorrow he'll have learnt something :P

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Little snippet from the internet:

Quote

Personal Protection for Welding Galvanised Steel

First and foremost, proper welding personal protective equipment should be used when welding galvanised steel. This may include welding helmets, gloves, leather jackets, and steel toe boots, depending on what welding process is being used. However, unlike other welding applications, welding galvanised steel will typically require one extra piece of personal protective equipment; a respirator.

When welding galvanised steel, a respirator is required so that the zinc oxide fumes from the galvanising are not inhaled. Inhalation of zinc oxide fumes can cause metal fume fever. This acute overexposure to zinc oxide through the respiratory system causes flu like symptoms that can be severe. Chronic overexposure to zinc oxide can result in death. It is also wise to weld in a well ventilated area, even when using a respirator.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh, ah... never occurred to me. And someone said too? I thank you all very kindly for wading-in. He ground down the outer, but certainly didn't do the inner. Mind from what I could see, first welds et al, nothing much penetrated right thru' anyway. Looked more like a black 'birdsh*t  washer'  than any weld,? Only I'm thinking the galv would have got hot enough to atomise into the air and be toxic. If he had any effects he didn't complain. That's not to say... and it's still stupid.

Seems 'Proud father' is still capable of messing this up? As I said, post lock-down I've found an old boy, a retired welder. More usually I'd have him stand over him from kick-off.

Edited by Landrover17H
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I don't know what the quality of scaf tubes is like. I'd find a local fabrication place and see if you get get some off cuts. Certainly when I learnt to weld, it was way easier doing straight runs than it was trying to work round a pipe too. Gives you chance to try different settings and see how each affect it whilst being more consistent.

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Laying a bead on flat 3mm sheet offcuts first , then a lap joint in the same material , then fillet welds in the same and then butt joints .

Galv'd scaffold tube is just about the worst thing to start with. Apart from health risks , contamination of the weld pool with molten zinc will pretty much ensure a bad weld. As a seasoned welder joining galv'd pieces are right at the bottom of my list of joints I can trust. Your local motor factor can supply sheets of steel for sill repairs etc probably up to 2mm and as Ross says a local fab shop scrap bin will provide plenty of scope.

You have provided some top quality kit so try and give him the best scrap available

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In addition to the above comments - 1" by ~3mm flat bar is cheap as chips from steel stockholders and very easily chopped (or folded :ph34r:) to fit in the back of the car. I always keep some flat bar, some 6/8mm round rod and a bit of 1" angle & box kicking round as it's very cheap and always handy.

As others have said, there's plenty that's far easier than trying to weld round crusty scaff tube - if you read through my thread on the welding course we did in the evenings at Basingstoke college you'll see the exercises they were giving us to practice, maybe your lad could replicate them:

 

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Now that he's got going we have context to some of the hints and warning given here. We're in Bedfordshire and I can't wait to get the boy under the wing of a very kindly pro near Ampthill. Meantime he's also going in for a bit of geekdom messing with Macbook Unibody Laptops, and Linux installs, this when he's not sleeping or eating me out house and home. Then again, that's a 15YO for you, and we were much the same at his age.

 

I'm going to set out to get some  proper scrap, and now with context, take the advice. He's young enough to have time for making the odd mess, and make way for me not knowing one end of welding from the other. He'll get there.

 

Edited by Landrover17H
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Well I am a plater , ie fabricator in todays speak. No matter what your buying buy a good machine , it will last him his lifetime.  The cheap machines will have problems with wire feeding in mig . Thats a fact buy if you can afford it a oxford mig maker 330 it gos right down to 15 amps single phaze and you can weld up to 15mm and  plate or thick dependant on experience. They guarantee spares for 20 years   These Chinese inverters like r tech are carp  they wont last. If you get a good welder oxford ,lincolin ect. They will last and your sons will learn a lot faster on a good machine. Gas go to boc and ask about the voxzone deal / hobby welder £60 bottle rental for a year and £60 is refill. Spend about £1000 on a welder, I know its expensive but it will pay for itself.  Spend a few hundred and all you will get is wire feed problems  and your son will learn nothing. Mig is easiest to learn stick is the cheapest but not suitable for cars ect.

Andy

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See if you can find a place that has box section offcuts. You can just weld on the side, put two ends together for but joints, put one on top of the other for fillets. Tel the company you are using them for your lad to practice and you will throw the scrap back in after welding and you will likely get it free. If they think you are making something they might be more likely to charge.

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