Welding Practice, The next step

So, I’ve done a bit of welding on steel plates, and I’m slowly getting better, but I want to take the next step, so Off I went to the MetalMart to get some steel.

I had the steel cut into 1m lengths, as it was easier for me to handle.

4x 1m lengths of 25x3mm flat bar is what I came home with.

Getting through cutting the steel into 10cm lengths

The next step was to cut up at least some of my 1m lengths into smaller pieces. I have chosen 10cm as the length for my practice pieces.

3m of steel cut up into 10cm pieces

Initially, I cut only 3 of my 4 lengths into pieces, as I wanted to save some steel incase I found a use for it, but what I did find was that I went through my pieces really fast and had to cut up the 4th piece in the end anyway. I can see myself heading back to the Metal Mart again really soon for more. The only problem is that you can go thru a fair bit of steel (and money) pretty quick! I think I’ll have to try to seek out some scrap steel to practice on.

Anyway, with my practice pieces ready, Its time to do some welding.

After welding most of my pieces, I came to the conclusion that taking notes of what you are doing can help you learn, especially when used with the resources available to you over the internet. I took a few photos of my finished welds for later review, but if you have notes on what you were trying to do

Below are the first couple of welds I’ve tried to look at more closely. Before I had even started welding, I had turned down the darkness on my auto darkening helmet. With it a bit lighter, I was hoping to see more of the weld pool. I had been struggling with making anything out, and after a few welds with the lighter setting, I realised I could see so much more.

Weld #1:

The first weld of the series, starting a bit slow and cold, getting better, and then a crater of a finish.

The back of weld #1, showing the penetration on the plates.

The first thing I realised is how poor the start of the weld is. I came to the conclusion that I have been starting to move forward too soon, and not letting the heat, and the weld pool build up.

Then there was the finish. The dirty crater in the end. I think I was cutting it too soon, possibly because I’ve run out of rod. I need to pay attention to how much rod I’ve got left, and stop before it gets to low I run out, and can’t finish a weld properly

Weld #2:

Keeping my hand steady is where its at.

Shows the penetration of weld #2.

Hold that hand steady!!!! Thats’ one of my goals! Neater, and better. I think next its time to try some fillet joints. Time time time, that’s what I need more of. The welding going to have to wait, as saturday my and my wonderful wife are off to Hamilton Island for our slightly delayed honeymoon! Yea!

Oh, and if you’re waiting to see how I go with the custom exhaust header for my RC car, I hope to get back to it soon. Updates will follow here.

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