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  1. #1
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    Default Welding course for members

    I have been searching through older posts, and noticed a scraping course was run for forum members some time ago and thought perhaps a short welding course for members might also be a good idea. From reading through older posts I note Graham Collins offered some good reading on the subject a while back but there is nothing quite like 'doing', if one wishes to learn or even brush up on past skills.

    I was in the industry for a while many, many decades ago and even spent some time as an instructor, albeit in a different field. My knowledge of past skills has taken a battering over the time I have been free of the industry, certainly my welding skills would bear me out in that regard, but I could certainly use a short 'brush up' course.

    What do you fellows think, any takers?

  2. #2
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    I would definitely like to learn more of stick and tig processes thats for sure.

  3. #3
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    As a self taught arc welder, I'm keen to know what I don't know and improve on what I have learnt through my limited experience.

    Simon
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

  4. #4
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    Once upon a time I was quite a good stick welder, regularly welding up go cart fuel tanks from 16 gauge, expansion chambers, building up gears and so on. These days I wouldn't attempt any of that.

  5. #5
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    I'd say that the place to start may be having a look at your local TAFE.

    Without wishing to be a wet blanket, there are a few things to think about. Firstly, stick is not all that common industrially. Welders either commonly use MIG (or a variant of it) for greater productivity or TIG for better control. While some specialist welding is done with stick I would not consider it a very common industrial process and unless you are a certified pipeline welder, most usually done by a maintenance 'fitter', who may or may not have specific training in welding.

    Then there is the person doing the instructing. As with any specialised vocation, there are welders and there are welders. I've met some gun welders and met some real duffers. With the scraping courses we were lucky that we had Phil, a skilled machine rebuilder who was willing to take all this on in his workshop, we literally had blokes traveling in from all parts of Australia to take part, which leads to the question of facilities. The only place I know that would have half a dozen or so welding power supplies sitting around is ... a TAFE college. Even a high school probably only has one or possibly two arc sets around the place. People could bring their own, but they are heavy and finding enough outlets on a distribution board is an issue too.

    The best thing I can suggest is practice (using reputable quality electrodes). While practicing look (and listen) to the arc. Try things (vary the current; vary your travel speed. Try different edge prep and so on). Ask questions and post pictures here on the forum so that more experienced people can critique your efforts. If you know of a good welder or work in a place that has one, ask questions when you can. Most don't mind answering the occasional question or looking at samples, even if they won't spend an hour or so watching you weld (which is what a welding course would basically be). I've picked up a lot of my welding 'knowledge' doing the things I suggest in this paragraph. I'm not a top welder but these days most of my weld does not have to be ground out and redone. I'm getting better.

    Michael

  6. #6
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    While the notion of a Practical welding course is highly commendable the logistics involved make it a much harder proposition than a scraping course.Micheal has covered only a portion of it but believe me there is more work in the organization of it than the lessons.
    Apart from a suitable venue there a lot of other issues to deal with.

    Location-city or town where to run the course it -depends on where the bulk of the attendees will travel from, southern states are where most members are.Trying to get attendees to agree on a location might be interesting.

    Numbers: It comes back to the venue and the level and amount of equipment available, what they want to achieve, where they are coming from
    Accommodation: Must be close to the venue and close to transport for out of towners.

    Hours spent training will affected by time, type, of course, existing skill levels of participants. Lesson plan hours planned for the course elements can all be swallowed up by just one element if the lesson plan is not followed time wise.

    Insurance: Have the ambos on standby(for you) when getting quotes.Due to the nature of the risk and potential severity of any welding fabrication accident the insurance company will insist on a how when where and why of nearly everything relevant


    Consumables: Practice coupons and electrodes, grinding discs. Humping around the steel and elecrodes required is a PITA.

    The health of participants how many are seniors with pacemakers, who has not got the good vision or who do not even realise their vision is poor.Vision alone makes a huge difference when the rubber hits the road.Just those issues above can be a lot to contend with.

    but there is nothing quite like 'doing', if one wishes to learn or even brush up on past skills.
    There is a reason why people do have trouble with their welding. It has a great deal to do with only putting emphasis on practice and nothing on the very basics.You can train and practice as much as you wish but unless those basic techniques are used you cannot improve .

    I started teaching in 1983 and have probably trained many hundreds of people to weld with the stick over the years. In that time I have observed that if you can not,will not understand and follow those basics, those rudiments of welding, stick or otherwise, you won't be the welder you wish to be.

    At this point in time I am assembling notes specifically aimed at helping people to weld by reading the notes, looking at the diagrams and looking at some quality video links. To have people armed with the knowledge or at least be able to refer back then apply it during their practice is the goal. It is a different approach but I am confident it shall work.

    I did the same for mig years back and the copy is still over at the woodwork side. They too can be copied and brought over to this forum in a sticky if that is what members want. Some of our members a have already had a look at the MMA notes and already given positive feedback.The intention is to ask a few more of our longer term member welders to peruse the notes and also give feedback.

    The format change from MS Word to the forum pages will be a challenge in itself so I ask, please be patient.

    Cheers
    Grahame

  7. #7
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    I must admit I had thought of most of those problems, just a thought on my part and no guessing as to who I was adressing the post. I have read all of Graham's post in regard to welding, sadly reading and doing and on different plains. I also find welding for hobby and welding for work quite different.

    My skills ran out years ago and I am now plagued with terrible welds. Could be due to age, eyesight, shakes or all of the above. But, as I said it was just a thought.

  8. #8
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    I agree with MG's and GC's points.

    Back in 1977 I did a night school TAFE course at a country farm school workshop for one evening a week for a year (36 weeks). Only on stick and I think I paid less than $100 for that course. After a few weeks we all learned by making stuff which was great. All we had to supply our own steel and any rods outside the basic ones available at the school.

    A few years later I borrowed a BILs Transarc 120 which I managed to hang onto for about 20 years! I did a few small projects with it but eventually I had to give it back and bought myself a $99 CIG Bunnings special which I had for a few years. That welder was a POS, but hey what did I expect to get for $99 - 4 rods and then I had to stop for 20 minute or so till it cooled down. I drank a lot of coffee using that welder. The torch and earth clamp and leads were also rubbish and I replaced them fairly early on in the piece. I also added some big heat sinks and a fan which extended the duty cycle to 4.5 rods - whoopee!.

    A couple of years later and while chewing some welding fat with another (boilermaker BIL) I mentioned the grief I was getting with the CIG $99 special and he said come on over and borrow his small Rainbow Inverter - he had 5 welders at that time. Better still spending an hour with him was the best thing I did as he was an excellent teacher and he was able to correct a lot of my bad habits I had fallen into.

    I used the Rainbow for a couple of years ad it was a a joy to use but eventually I had to return it. Then I bought my own token tools machine. This also had TIG. Boilermaker BIL was busy but I managed to get one of the Mens shed welders to come around to my shed and set me up with TIG. This guy was also a very good instructor, he had been a welding inspector for years and then a TAFE instructor and was still a gun operator. I still refer to him from time to time.

    Spending a couple of hours with a good welding teacher (note I said teacher, some welders are gun at welding but may not be able to teach) is a good way to get some inside knowledge about what and how to do (and not to do) things. So maybe look around for a mens shed with a decent welding setup (they don't all have this) and see if you can work with or watch the welding gurus at work.

  9. #9
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    A workmate, now deceased, was a pipe welder long before I met him, he had occasion to use my gear every once in a while, I marvelled at his expertise with a stick. At the time I only had a CIG AC welder, second welder for me, I bought it around 1982 and only sold it a couple of years ago when I bought a CIG inverter. I also have a Mig which I really can't be bothered with.

  10. #10
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    I bet that even with an AC supply he could do some pretty good work. I sometimes say to people that I'm an amateur and need all the help I can get, which is why I try to get the best tools I can at the time. The really good guys can do wonders with equipment that you and I would pass up as not worth even keeping.

    Michael

  11. #11
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    onanonanon this would be a great example of why its a good idea to have an accurate location in your profile, for all I know you could live around the corner from me and maybe I could come around and give you some pointers. But with your location listed simply as Oz, well that doesn't exactly make it easy for any member that might be inclined to help you.

    Maybe update your location and you never what might come of it.

    Cheers Andrew

  12. #12
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    I have updated my info, why its still showing oz is a mystery to me but I'll revisit my info again.

  13. #13
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    If it was in Melbourne I'd be interested in Stick, Mig, or Tig as I have never tried Tig and I'm self taught at the first two.

    I can glue to bits of metal together but it aint always pretty.
    ..Live a Quiet Life & Work with your Hands

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSEL74 View Post
    I can glue to bits of metal together but it aint always pretty.
    Ditto...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by onanonanon View Post
    I have updated my info, why its still showing oz is a mystery to me but I'll revisit my info again.
    I can see your up date on my screen.I am at a loss to explain to you why you can't see it it on your screen.
    Grahame

    Onanonanon location.jpg

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