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CAPTAIN AWESOME®
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I learned mig followed by stick and really ran with those for years in my youth. Then I was lucky enough to learn brazing and I think that helped immensely with my progression to TIG. Brazing taught me how to read heat and materials and stick taught me to move uniformly. Both were good for understanding filler

I don't/haven't thought top awful much about dexterity because I shake like a mother all the time (I blame caffeine dependency) but am somehow able to get myself in a zone for welding, shooting, etc.
 

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BLACK BELT
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7,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,642 ·
when i took welding in community college it was pretty solitary. we had "class" where the instructor would do some demos and such then we were off to our cubicles to practice for the rest of the class. we def spent more time actually welding than being lectured in a group.
Sounds like this class. One day of lecture & demos, three days of welding per week. Should get about 3 hours of welding time per class. Everyone gets their own cubicle.
 

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BLACK BELT
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7,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,643 ·
Is the class MIG and TIG? I always heard that if you learn oxy/acetylene welding first then everything else is easy. My metal shop teacher tried to teach me oxy/acetylene welding in HS, but I fked that up really bad! A few years later I had a certified welder friend teach me the basics and rules to live by with MIG and I got the hang of it quick. TIG is a whole different animal. I really struggle with it. I think I lack the fine dexterity. Interested to hear how your class goes!
No MIG and no TIG. Intro class is o/a and stick welding. O/a is definitely similar to TIG (without the pedal). Strong hand moves the puddle, weak hand dabs the filler rod.

I think 99% of new welders lack the fine dexterity. Plus, the only thing they do to improve is more welding. With so many things going on, it takes years to get good. Some never get there.

I stopped cursive writing after elementary school. Not great dexterity with my strong hand, but not bad. Weak hand is totally retarded. I developed a tool specifically for increasing bilateral fine dexterity, timing, and speed. Works the hands separately or together. I've only done a little, and it's helping. Also using a regular pen to try and draw perfect beads holding the pen in different ways. If I can't draw them, I definitely can't weld them. Also trying to write sentences with my weak hand. I use a metronome for consistent speed, rhythm, and to push faster.
 

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BLACK BELT
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7,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,647 · (Edited)
Good to hear from you Larry!

First welding class last night. Didn't learn anything. Just gave us answers to the safety test and basic info.

I could already have COVID. Instructor had his mask down for the whole class. Said it fogs up his glasses. Small classroom, no windows, door closed. A couple of people wearing welding respirators which filter about 99% - except they have an exhalation valve, so their unfiltered breath comes straight out into the room. No social distancing.

I know too much so it makes me crazy. Got to get through 4 more lecture nights. Lab is more open. Next semester in 4 weeks. No lecture, just lab. TIG lab, and I might be able to do what I want. They also have basic metal fab machines.

Will be melting metal tonight.

I'm not a man of faith. But, I have to believe in myself, and my N-95 mask.
 

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BLACK BELT
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7,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,648 ·
Well, the instructor came in tonight with a nice fitted mask. Too bad he had it hanging down all night. If he could figure out to squeeze the metal piece around his nose, it would be fine. I'll try to find the right words to let him know. Other offenders came in with masks without valves. Unfortunately, at least half the class had their masks down under their noses all night.

On his own, the instructor offered me a work station with just one other person, instead of two.
I already talked to a young dude wearing a good mask and I took the very last work station, so I wouldn't be sandwiched between two.

I also got a Miller shade 5 face shield because my Lincoln goggles don't fit perfectly with the N-95 mask. Only wear it when welding, but it's a COVID thumbs up.

By the time I got to start welding, class was almost over. Threw down my second bead after they called for clean up.

First problem is I need more light. Lost my soapstone line on both trys. Only have an 00 tip to use, which seems big for 16 gauge steel. The tip of my cone was 3/4" to 1" away from the puddle. Tomorrow, I'll use less acetylene than recommended. I noticed the instructor doing it and he had a tiny cone.

Instructor said my beads are no good because he wants concave on top and convex on the bottom. My bottoms are flat. Not enough penetration.

But, not one hole. And some kinda-sorta dimes in there. I'm happy. Need to make 6 proper beads to finish this first project.



 

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BLACK BELT
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7,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,649 ·
Should have said that those are fusion welds (no filler rod). Filler rod is a couple of projects away.

Looking online for some kind of small light I can use at my work station. May have to be battery-powered, which sucks.
 

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Is my bike ok?
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15,043 Posts
What's up, Pete?

You using a number 5 shades lens? O/A flames are intensely bright, often brighter than electrical welding. The 5 might not be dark enough so everything is washing out, like pointing your camera lens at the sun. No 5 shade is ok for cutting and some low temp soldering, but a darker lens may actually help you see better. Fume buildup on the lens seems like not a big deal, but it can block your vision more than you'd think. Keep it clean as possible.


Also, I don't know how your instructor expects you to create a bulged up bead with fusion welding on flare plate with no filler. The whole point of fusion welding is preventing buildup of weld bead. Without a seam to fuse ( which would help you since you could follow the cut edges easily) you are just melting the parent metal and it's got nowhere to go. Two 1/8" flat coupons stood up like a teepee ( naturally creates a slight gap) is the classic setup to learn fusion with a torch. I'm really confused. He expects you to build up a bead on flat plate with no filler rod?

Ask him for a demonstration. If he can pull it off, I'd love to see it. Good luck, man 👍
 

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BLACK BELT
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7,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,651 ·
What's up, Pete?
Yo, my dude! Where you been?

Maybe I didn't explain it right. On the top of the 16 gauge steel, he wants the bead concave. Like the pic I posted. But, on the bottom side of the plate, he wants the bead to be convex. Mine was flat on the bottom.

So, I need to let the puddle sink down, but not make a hole. And he wants the entire bead to be uniform from start to finish on top and bottom. Definitely not easy for a beginner.

Tonight, my beads were mostly shit. Didn't take pics, and threw my coupons in the trash. Figured out some good stuff, though. Adjustment of the flame is critical. Too weak- takes forever to start the puddle, and it hardly moves. Too strong- burns right through.

Figured out I need a reasonably hot flame, and a torch angle closer to 30 degrees. 45 degrees pushes down on the puddle too much.

Not much instruction in the class. Reminds me of my military training. No read one. Just see one and do one. Keep practicing until you do it right.

Looking forward to Monday!
 

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BLACK BELT
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7,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,653 ·
Not sure why I'm talking about welding school in my bike thread, but I don't care. Supposed to lead to a one-off fuel tank for this bike.

Potentially good news. Spoke to the instructor because next semester is long, and I'll only be (TIG) welding about 3 hours per week in the advanced lab class.

Asked if I could get into the final class for welding certification. Also just a lab, no lecture. Gave me the thumbs up, even though I'm not taking any of the classes for certification.

Instructor is lacking with the COVID, but he has a good heart. So, I moved up from 3 to 6 hours per week next semester.👍
 
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