Welding question

I finally got a welder along with a helmet and gloves, do I really need to buy a welding jacket or is there something else (cheaper) that you
guys use?
This is the welder...
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200332691_200332691
Thanks!
Jeff DeWitt
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Stick/Mig/Tig? I picked up a leather apron that is real handy. There is also a long leather sleeve thing you can get to slide up your arm before you put your glove on. That's handy, too. Don't wear polyester or nylon anything when welding. No sandals either <lol>... Sneakers will usually get burned laces of you weld a LOT, but that's doubtful.. Get a half dozen of those welding magnet things... They are handy. Welding Vice-Grips are nice. I don't have a jacket. If I am welding lot I toss on a denim long sleeved shirt. Get a spray can of Pam (or a pump can if you can find one). I spray the mig tip with it every once and a while and it really helps keep the weld splatter out of the tip. Buy a box of replacement tips and a tip wrench.reamer to keep the nozzle clean and free of slag. Is your helmet an auto darkening type? Does the helmet dark lenses have a clear lens cover over the dark lens? I'd get a few extra clear lenses to replace the old ones when they get morked up. Get a bunch of scrap stuff and go practice. Practice makes perfect. A vo-tech evening welding class will really, really help you a lot. Good luck! Jeff

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200332691_200332691
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Jeff,
I don't use a welding jacket with MIG if I am welding standing up or sitting. I have rather long welding gloves which protect part of my arms. Now if you weld are welding overhead, you might want to consider a jacket......I usually wear one then. Don't wear a shirt made out of the synthetic/man-made fabrics that can burn and melt onto your skin.
Did you get the bottle and regulator so you can run shielding gas? Or are you going to use the flux core wire? The flux core is easier, but not as nice a weld IMHO. If you are welding outside in a breeze, it is much easier to weld with the flux core versus the shielded wire.
How dark is your lens? I had a heck of a time at first MIG welding thin sheetmetal at low amps because I was using too dark a lens.....just flat could not see the arc well enough to tell where I was going<G>. Ended up at a #9 or #10 shade lens IIRC. Then I smartened up and got a auto-darkening hood with an adjustable shade setting. Whole lot easier for someone like me who can hardly walk and chew gum at the same time<BOSEG>.
Suggestion if you have not welded sheetmetal a lot.......get some sheetmetal the same or close to what you will be welding, and have it sheared into pieces. Take these and just start welding them together different ways (butt weld, flange weld, plug welds) and than beat/pull them apart to check your penetration. Vary the feed and amps to determine good settings. Then when you have gotten good at these pieces, jump into your 'real' project.
Paul
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R1Lark wrote:

The welder came with the regulator and hoses, but no gas bottle, it also came with one spool of flux wire and one spool of regular wire.
I don't know how dark the lens is, it was the cheapest helmet Northern Tool had (the second cheapest was out of stock)... it IS really dark though, when I was first playing with the welder tonight I couldn't see a thing until the arc fired, but it was getting dark too.
I've got some sheet metal to practice on, it's my old hood that blew open. Not only can I practice with it but it's also good stock for doing some repairs. Your suggestion about practicing on it is a good one.
Thanks!
Jeff DeWitt
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Jeff, Take Paul's advice, buy the automatic darkening helmet. It makes it so easy to strike an arc and to keep it going.
Henry
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Henry
"Jeff DeWitt" < snipped-for-privacy@nc.rr.com> wrote in message
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"Leathers" will protect you from slag and ultra voilet exposure which is a real hazard with any type of gas welding. Don't let the "dull" blue light fool you...
JT
Jeff DeWitt wrote:

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200332691_200332691

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wrote:

Jeff, I have been a hobbiest arc welder for many years. I have usually done my welding with hood and gloves while fully clothed. I have made lots of little holes in my clothing which have tended to piss off my wife. I bought a leather welding apron. She's happy, I'm happy. What more could you ask?
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Another vote for the auto-darkening helmet. It's a tremendous labor-saver. Also, it frees up your spare hand to clamp a part or do other chores connected with the weld.
I don't use a welding jacket. Once in a while, I get a burn from a hot spark. Problem with jackets is; sometimes you get a hot spark inside it, then, woo-hoo, you are stuck with it.
I usually wear sneakers, and often get slag burns on my ankles as a result. It simply doesn't bother me that much, except I get a lot of socks that are holey on the topside.
Cowboy or engineer boots, with the legs of your pants pulled OVER them, would make a lot of sense. Choose boots that will be comfortable if you sit cross-legged on the ground to work on something low.
If I am under a vehicle, welding overhead, sometimes I will pull an old tarp over me to protect me from slag.
You can make good MIG welds using just CO2 as shielding gas. MIG mix gives you less spatter and slightly smoother welds, but it's much more costly. Because CO2 is liquid in the cylinder, a tank holds much more gas than the same size tank of mix. You will end up grinding most of your welds, anyway, so the "better" weld you get with mix means a little less grinding, that's all.
Once you get used to this tool, you will wonder how you ever managed without it.
Gord Richmond
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Just remember that this is a 20% duty cycle welder. That means you can weld for 20% of the time before you have to stop and let it cool down. 12 second per minute. 12 minutes per hour.
You can probably go further than that, but if it gets damaged from overheating, they will probably not warranty the repair. One thing you can do to help speed things up is put a box fan blowing on the welder (but not blowing toward you when you are welding). Every little bit of cooling helps. Ditto on the auto darkening helmet... But practice with the settings first so you get the right shade, and the right delay. Good thread! Jeff
This is the welder... http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200332691_200332691 Thanks! Jeff DeWitt
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I bought a cheap suede jacket at a second hand store. I only use it when I'm welding under a car though.

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200332691_200332691
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Hi Jeff, Your welder is pretty good for smaller jobs, and the suggestion to go to a community college course is great if there is one near you. Also, Harbor Freight Tools has a lot of low cost accessories for hobby welders, really good autodarkening helmets, good gloves, I use an apron when welding that I got there, as well as a good welding hat that I wear to keep hot sparks from lighting my hair on fire. Good luck. PS If you wear bifocals, you will need some special glasses when using an autodarkening helmet, since you can't look down through the lower glasses lens to see up close when welding. If you do, you can't see out the lens of the helmet. Get a good cheap pair of glasses with your close up Rx in the whole lens.
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