Welding

Hi all,
Realistically, what is the thinnest gauge of steel one can satisfactorily weld using an arc (stick) welder before blowing holes makes it next to impossible? (I'm not talking about some time-served, fully skilled, coded bloke with all the certification; just an experienced DIYer.)
ta
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On 13/11/2018 18:19, Chris wrote:

I'm a very bad welder. I can just about manage to weld 1/16" without making too much of a mess. BTW it helps to back the thin work with a thin layer of dry sand held in place by thicker stuff.
Bill
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ily

ded

About 2mm in clean steel using an inverter welder. I can manage 1mm but it gets a bit messy and needs a lot of grinding. My old oil filled transformer welder not anywhere near as thin.
I've just got a small argon bottle and a TIG gun, it will do much thinner but I'm so slow with it, I only managed about 3 linear inches of weld and got through half the bottle (a refill is £25 IIRC), I think the big problem was doing it outside where the slightest breeze blows the shielding gas away, I'm much betyter with oxyacetyline.
AJH
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On Tuesday, 13 November 2018 18:19:22 UTC, Chris wrote:

Car metalwork is no problem, except where it's rusted to thinneess. That's well under 1mm, but I don't know what size.
NT
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On Tue, 13 Nov 2018 11:22:44 -0800, tabbypurr wrote:

You must be up to code and have all your certificates and whatnot, then. No way would I attempt anything under 1.6mm with arc and I've been welding on and off for 40 years. Rusty, thinning car metalwork is unquestionably a job for MIG or oxy.
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With a stick welder, rather than MIG?
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 13/11/18 18:19, Chris wrote:

A mate I know could do 2mmm with relative ease (Landrover chassis) but 1mm was tricky if possible at all.
Does it have to be stick? MIG is very easy even for a careful novice to get a half decent weld on thin metal.
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On Tue, 13 Nov 2018 19:34:47 +0000, Tim Watts wrote:

Good to hear!

Yes, I have a MIG right next to the arc welder (on loan if it be needed). But the question I'm asking is about ARC, not MIG.
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On 13/11/2018 20:55, Chris wrote:

MIG is ARC.
To avoid ambiguity say 'stick'
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We had a woman working at our place who on the day of her retirement announ ced she had spent the war years welding Churchill tanks so we brought her d own to the workshop to have a go on "Ol' Sparky" . It was like a duck to wa ter as if she had only stopped the day before, if only I knew of her before especially when I looked at my miserable efforts.
Richard
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On Wed, 14 Nov 2018 02:15:10 -0800, Tricky Dicky wrote:

Remarkable. I *always* find if I've not picked up an electrode for 18 months or more I have to waste at least a dozen or so rods getting the feel for it again. And it's always the same two mistakes I initially make: making a pass too quickly and not tucking the rod in sufficiently. Clearly she's a natural born welder; I'm not! (I normally get the current right straight from the get-go within 5A either way though).
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On 13/11/2018 19:34, Tim Watts wrote:

I can't do thin stuff with MIG, I end up squirting a length of wire through the hole that I've just made. I do much better with an inverter and rods. (This is the little £90 chinese unit from Lidl).
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On 13/11/18 21:48, newshound wrote:

It's also dependent on the MIG machine. Me and another mate co purchased a Cebora MIG - not expensive, but used real CO2 gas (not gasless) and it was a joy to use. I taught myself and I could get some pretty nice weld beads on 1-2mm metal. I successfully welded up my mum's disability scooter (3-4mm metal) too with careful grinding to a bevel and multiple passes).
Smooth wire feed seems to be the key, followed by a good range of current control.
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I think we're clones, not only do you have horses but your welding is like mine too! :-)
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On Tue, 13 Nov 2018 21:48:15 +0000

When you're working near the limit with MIG you can pulse it rather than applying continuous power, but that can result in a discontinuous weld or poor penetration. Button welds (spot welds made with a MIG) can be a useful technique if you don't need a continuous seam.
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On Thursday, 15 November 2018 03:27:48 UTC, Rob Morley wrote:

.
there's also the bitumen & coal dust trick to get 'continuous' welds.
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On Tuesday, 13 November 2018 19:34:52 UTC, Tim Watts wrote:

Metal thickness depends a lot on arc current, a lot of arc welders just don't go very low. And skill. And what joint you're trying to make etc.
NT
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3mm or thereabouts.
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That depends on your skill. Everyone told me that the slotted Dexion square tube was too thin to arc weld, but they were wrong, if you know what you are doing it arc welds fine;
And similarly, I was shocked speechless at what a complete and utter obscenity a mate of mine, a farmer, made of the full rack for his Landrover, using 1" square RHS.

I learned to weld by doing it, no instruction let alone certification.
So the short story is there is no simple answer to your question, it depends on how good your welding skills are.
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87213 wrote :

I have numerous items made from arc welded Dexion, that thickness is easy. I have welded car chassis members too, but I would never attempt bodywork panels with an arc welder, it is far to thin.
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