Old dog learns new trick...Welding!

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by silverbear, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Gear,
    In this hobby as well as any other endeavor you'll find different ways of doing things and often opposing opinions. It all depends on what works for you. Your neighbor may well be correct, or simply telling you what he has experienced which is obviously different than what I have. Neither of us are wrong...just different. :)

    Your advice is always respected and anyone reading this should make his decision based on what he believes is right and more importantly, what works for him.
    Tom
     
  2. b-rad

    b-rad New Member

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    always inspiring SB.. I agree with 2DOOR .. this is our hobbie and what works for you works for you.. I just completed my second tank with a no gas wire welder that I bought years ago to fix an axle on my at home bosses garden cart. reading this thread about pressures,gasses etc,etc means nothing to me..I"m just a little thick I believe !! But WE can make a tank that doesn"t leak..I practiced on 18 ga. metal because I knew I would have to know how to fill a burn through..and I was right (for me) persistance and patience and lots of grinding off screw ups got me to this tank on my first attempt..every welder friend I have would disown me from watching me weld.. just another step in the journey that brings us to that feeling of riding down the road with the wind blowing across what once was hair

    [​IMG]
     
    #42 b-rad, Mar 21, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  3. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    That's a good looking tank! If you don't weld well, then you're a good grinder. Ha!

    Yes sir, I will end up with a gas tank that fits in the frame and both holds gas inside and holds paint (to hide the welding and grinding) on the outside. Slow and steady, persevere! Thanks for the encouragement. Your tank is an inspiration.
    SB
     
  4. Mr.B.

    Mr.B. Well-Known Member

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    Wow SB,

    Glad to hear you're taking on a new skill set!

    Congrats!

    -Kirk
     
  5. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    The Good, The Bad And The Ugly...
    I spent a couple of hours this afternoon outside the Tinsmith's Shop finishing up the welder cart and practicing welding. I started out with some real ugly boogers and had trouble not veering off to the left or right. I'd focus on staying straight and then forget about speed and either go too slow or too fast. Focus on speed and forget about how close the tip was to the weld and the angle of the tip in relation to the weld surface. I also discovered that my body position... feet, wrist and arm all had an impact on the welding. To the observer it doesn't look like much is going on, but for the beginning welder there are a number of things which are all new going on at once so that it is easy to forget one thing while trying to remember another.

    I am reminded of how it takes time for the body to learn things and remember them so they no longer need to be focused on. A long time ago I was first a competitive swimmer, then an instructor and later a swimming team coach. I've taught a lot of young people how to swim and some how to swim very fast. Today I am kind of like the beginning swimmer, at first simply overwhelmed at being in the water. As an instructor I knew that a new swimmer has to focus on one skill at a time and practice that skill enough times that it becomes automatic and the body remembers on it's own. It becomes a habit, you might say. So for one lesson I might focus on breathing and the position of the head and chin in the water. in through the mouth, out through the nose. A thousand breaths later and the body remembers how without thinking about it. So it is with the kick, the arm stroke, hand position, foot elevation, body position. Try to think about each thing all at once and it is hopeless, but give the body a chance to learn and remember one skill at a time and eventually it all comes together.

    And so I remember that and tell myself to be patient and not even try to think of all things at one time. Even in those short hours today my hand and body coordination improved. I could see significant improvement on my last welds from the first ones. I find this very encouraging. I know I have a long way to go yet with many more hours of practice before I am making good welds, but I'm giving myself reason to think I will get there eventually. There really is no teacher like experience. Dan could tell me this and that and demonstrate, but in the end it was the good, the bad and the ugly which led to progress. You have to do it. And do it over and over again. So I will be patient with myself and offer my own encouragement, taking heart at small accomplishments.

    The cart is together and I will have it painted tomorrow, put the wheels and axle back on and it will be ready to give service for many years to come. I welded something useful. How about that!

    Dan is going to get the metal for the gas tank next and some scraps of the same gauge for me to practice on. He's thinking about some fairly heavy stuff, 12 gauge I believe, to make it less likely that I will burn through the metal. He's going to see how the 12 gauge bends and decide from that whether or not we need to go lighter. I know that I'll make mistakes, have places which will need grinding down and re welding and maybe re welding again. Someday I'll have this welder set up for gas, but for now the welds will be flux core.

    No doubt I could do better if I spent more time practicing before starting on the tank, but I am aware that I have a month before I'll be packing everything up and returning to Minnesota for the next six months or so. I have two goals to accomplish before leaving. One is to get the Indian Hiawatha running and roadworthy. The other is to at least have this steel tank for the Panther tacked together with mounts, bung and petcock in place... and if time permits have the tank all done minus the paint.

    See you next Saturday in the Tinsmith's Shop.
    SB
     

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  6. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    You're getting there, SB. Just keep practicing.
    A comfortable position goes a long way toward making pretty welds, especially in the beginner stages. Find a position that gives you good arm support for the hand holding the stinger; a place where wrist action is easy and no strain needed to keep everything you mentioned, speed, arc length and consistant feed. Once you master those basics, and you will, you'll find you can weld in any position, even upside down.

    Master that MIG machine then we'll get you going on TIG. You'll love that :)
    Tom
     
  7. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    Looking good sir. As Tom said you have to be comfortable to weld properly. Guess we better start saving up for the tig welder. That would be fun to master.

    Can't wait to try my new toy and see if it makes me a better welder like they said it would.

    Steve.
     
  8. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Thanks for the encouragement you guys. Steve, you're already an accomplished welder. Today Dan and I stopped by the machine shop where he is employed and showed me some of the very cool big boy machines there capable of making other machines. He also showed me the small Miller welder (model 135 and 115 volts) hooked up to gas which he uses occasionally for the things he fabricates there. I counted a total of six wire feed welding machines in the shop including three tig welders. He did a weld with the Miller and it was so clean and regular... no spatter or slag to clean up. I can see why everybody prefers the solid core wire with gas. Steve, may your new Lincoln be everything you hoped it would be and thanks again for letting me use the Hobart to learn on this winter.
    SB
     
  9. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    Silverbear,
    Glad your putting it to good use. Thank you for the complement but I consider myself a passable welder but far from great. Every where I looked on the internet they said this welder would make me a better welder. I hope.

    Kind of like the doctor who replaced my knees when he said "You'll be up dancing in no time". All I could think at the time was thank God for that because before the operations the girls used to ask me not to.

    Steve.
     
  10. MEASURE TWICE

    MEASURE TWICE Well-Known Member

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    Silver Bear has jumped through the hoop:)

    Nice to see that new welder in use and a project ready for paint!

    For something I have in the works:

    I'm not yet sure if I will want to try filling in the pre-drilled holes in the steel angle brackets I am using on my jack-shaft mount so that I can drill at the right place that works for the project.

    I thought of tring to find metal brackets without the holes and drill all the holes myself, but it was the weekend and hardware store only has so much.

    If there are some tips on how to do this or direction to some online info would be much appreciative. It is around 3/16 inch or less thickness I think for what I have. If it is galvanized, I’m not sure, I have to check. I know that grinding off coating is necessary for good weld.

    I have the thin profile gas mask that can fit under the weld hood and got it at the weld shop.

    The galvanized metals has zinc in it and I hear that makes a poisonous gas, not that regular steel meant for welding gives off beneficial gas for your health, but this is worse. Stainless steel has chromium that is carcinogenic if breathed and have not welded that, but again I'd use the mask.

    I suppose if necessary I could weld and fill in one side part way and then turn over and weld the other side grinding off smooth. As a way to check on some practice stuff for this I could use the angle grinder with cut off wheel and slice through the area I weld filled the hole to get a profile view of what happened inside where otherwise I would not see.

    I know if I were to drill through an area that has voids internally then the bit would most likely break. If used with bad weld and drilled and used it would crack when I put bolt through and torque down the nut, so I want to learn methods that help.

    MT

    Pictures of the brackets attached
     
    #50 MEASURE TWICE, Mar 26, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  11. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    Those brackets are galvanized.
    When I welded up the holes in my rear sprocket I ground off the galvanized coating on both sides, drilled the holes slightly over sized to remove the coating in the holes themselves and rosette welded the holes closed. Finished them off by grinding the welds smooth on both sides and painted the center of the sprocket black to protect the raw steel.
     
  12. MEASURE TWICE

    MEASURE TWICE Well-Known Member

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    rosette ... to mean start at sides to get adheison and then spiral around to center?

    MT
     
  13. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    Pretty much, yes. Imagine drawing a flower on a piece of paper by moving the pencil in overlapping circles without lifting the pencil off of the paper. That is how you move the weld arc. You don't spiral from the outside of the circle inwards, but rather in little circles progressively going around until the large circle is filled in. This way you will not get any voids in the weld and excellent penetration into the base metal, assuming you guided the arc far enough into the base metal. If you do it quick enough you won't end up with a large mounded weld, but even if that happens, a grinder is your friend.
     
  14. MEASURE TWICE

    MEASURE TWICE Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that clarification.

    Today I made some progress on my stacked double jackshaft brackets and found I needed to cut some of the bracket away on one of the four to clear a carb and its manifold adapter part I made. I can cut some of the adapter and so with it trimmed down it should clear.

    I when trying to make a curved cut I did not plan it out so well. I know with the smaller Dremel wheel cutter it would have gone well, but I know that I don't want to heat up the small Dremel power tool when I have an angle grinder; the bracket metal is quite thick. I got too close for the hole I will use to mount with bolt. I'll probably get another bracket and make a bunch of V slices with a cutter and then go at it with grinder to smooth all with the bigger powerful angle grinder.

    I looked at the part and thought of it possibly put a bolt through it and also weld it both, but would be a bit crude. So if I can save this for practice and see about putting metal back on an edge where it got to close a shave. You know like the Wallace and Grommet Claymation Movie;)

    MT
     
  15. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Although no welding was involved today, we did make some progress on the fabrication of the gas tank to be welded. From cardboard patterns I had made Dan cut out the two side pieces of what will be an in frame tank for my 1950 Schwinn Panther. Before grinding and sanding the edges, he tack welded the two pieces together at each end so they would match each other.

    I took the Panther with me today wo that we could check for fit. The side pieces were a little snug, so we took a ride to the machine shop where Dan works during the week to use some big boy machines.

    Using a side grinder Dan took the height of the tank down a bit and then used a stationary disc sander to finish off the edges. Please note the monster lathe in the background. This is a serious machine which I paced off to be between 16 to 17 feet long.
    (cont.)
    SB
     

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  16. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Next up was to place bends toward each end of both side pieces so that they will taper in, giving roughly a coffin shape when viewed from above. Dan chose to use fairly heavy steel for the side pieces, feeling that I would be less likely to burn through welding with heavier steel. The sides are 12 gauge, roughly 1/8th inch thick. The top and bottom pieces will be somewhat lighter.

    The sheet metal brake in Dan's home shop was not up to the task of bending such thick steel, so he utilized one at the machine shop, making the bends by eye, but modeled after similar dimensions used in the prototype tin gas tank we used in making a copper gas tank for a Worksman frame earlier this winter. The Indian Hiawatha thread details that tank.

    So now we have the foundation of the Panther tank made; the two side pieces which determine both the side profile and the shape viewed from above. See you next week in the Tinsmith's shop.
    SB
     

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  17. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    12 gauge? Wow. You shouldn't burn through that, SB and it might even shield you from small arms fire, just in case you get into a furball confrontation with the bad guys. :)

    Take your time and tack weld then connect the tacks. You should be good. If in doubt about the tank's ability to not leak let me know. I have a good source for tank sealant that works and is impervious to ethanol gasloine.
    Tom
     
    #57 2door, Apr 1, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  18. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    When I saw those photo's the term, plate steel, came to mind. No need to worry about dropping the bike and putting a hole it the tank.

    Steve.
     
  19. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    We made some good progress in the Tinsmith's shop today. During the week Dan took the side pieces in to the machine shop where he works and cut two pieces of steel to use as inner supports, like baffles inside the tank which were tack welded at each corner. Now we have the skeleton of the tank.

    I cut two slits at the bottom of each support piece to allow easy flow of fuel from one part of the tank to another.

    The top and bottom pieces are 18 gauge steel, a challenge to cut with tin snips, but Dan did it. A metal cutting band saw would work nicely or you could use a saber saw.

    Dan started with the top piece at the rear end of the tank where he made a tight bend so the top piece goes under the tail of the tank.
    (cont.)
    SB
     

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  20. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Next up Dan made a bend for the other end of the tank using a piece of steel to hold the top piece to his work bench. The bend could have been made in his brake, but he wanted a more curved bend to mate up with the side piece, so did it by hand. With that bend completed he cut excess material away and checked for fit.

    I had imagined more pieces involved and fewer bends, but Dan is making this tank as easy for me to weld up as possible and with fewer welds. I had pictured something more crude as my first welded tank, but thanks to Dan's expertise this is going to be a great tank.

    Before the next shop session I'll get the acorn nuts for inside the tank, bung and fuel outlet. We're planning to tack weld the acorn nuts in place and try sealing them up with solder from the inside. Should work. Why not? Once the steel acorn nuts (for receiving bolts holding the mounting straps in place) are tack welded and then soldered, and with a hole made for the bung we can tack the top piece in place. We can then make up the bottom piece, affix acorn nuts for the bottom strap and make a hole for the fuel outlet. Then tack weld the bottom in place and from there on I'm on my own.

    Dan has made this easy for me to be successful with this first steel tank. It may feel a little like cheating, but I'm still learning and the next time I make up a gas tank I'll know how to do the whole thing on my own. See you next time in the Tinsmith's shop.
    SB
     

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