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learning to weld

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learning to weld

i really really need to learn to weld but havent got a clue where to start basically to do basic body repairs on my mk1 anyone got any tips on equipment to start with and books or anything that can help.
many thanks will

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Hi Will,

I think you will find there are quite a few people on the forum (me included) who have been in this situation recently so hopefully a few others will reply also with advice.

I think the bottom line from my experience is dive in and have a go once you have read up on the basics. Even better if you can get someone who has some experience welding to show you the basics then it will help loads.

I found a local tech college and signed up for an intro evening course on welding. I would highly recommend this as an approach as you get taught the basics properly and get access to someone who can give advice and feedback on technique as you learn.

The equipment question is a bit of a "how long is a piece of string" type question, and different people will give you different answers. When it comes down to it though a lot of the starter / hobby MIGS from the more well known names are actually the same machine under the skin, often made in the same factory.

Look for good quality second hand units as MIG's are pretty low tech so can last a fair while.

Budget for gas, wire, helmet and ancillaries. I would recommend an auto-darkening helmet if you can afford it (they are not expensive these days).

I found this site to be a good source of info and advice as well:

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/

A quick search of this forum will probably turn up a fair bit of advice on welding too.

Cheers,

Chris

ex '83 Mk1 Golf GTi Campaign owner and missing it already!

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Haynes, Does a Car Bodywork Repair manual which has around 40 pages on welding, from types of welding, techniquesof welding and charts to help you learn and more.

You might find a used one on ebay if your lucky.

vw_tees

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As ChrisB said, best thing to do is have a go, buy yourself a sheet of metal the same gauge as the Mk1's sheet metal (about 2mm IIRC) and you'll quickly quickly work out a technique that works for you

when it comes to welding on the car, make sure you do short, small (AKA spot) welds evenly spaced along the area your welding, then go back and do it again and again until you eventually have a solid continual weld

I got a great little book (yeah know, perfect toilet reading size) from Halfords about MIG welding which had everything I needed to know, I'll have to dig it out and find out what's it called

_________________

'82 Black 1600 GTI - Getting Better

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I can't recommend highly enough getting someone to show you how it's done when you first start. My neighbour taught me the basics and then popped back now and again to see how I was getting on - this was really helpful, and of course free  :D

One other thing is when sourcing metal, especially to practice on, find a sheet metal or machining company near you and ask if you can have some of their off-cuts. They're usually really happy to help you out.

Overall I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it is once you've had a go - I certainly was…

HTH

Rich

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welding

i need to replace the rear arch on my mk 1 so was wondering how hard this was

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I've got an auto darkening mask what i use at work it cost about ?70, it makes it a lot easier to learn as you can see where you need to be right up to the point you arc up and also when spot welding with a nomal mask your forever lifting it up and down. I totally agree with chris B. But all in all you can only be taught so much, the rest comes with experinence,get some scraps and have a play around till you get the hang of it :wink: Also buy a grinder and make sure your work is clean,you cannot weld to rust or underseal – preparation is a must!!!

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I'm just launching into welding as well.
I've bid for an arc welder kit to start with. cheap for beginner and less controls and fiddly bits. less versatile but hey.
There is a course at my local tech but I'd rather jsut get some metal and start. I found a few sites that are really useful.
My MIG welder page

ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/knowledge/articles/list.asp

start here
Shielded metal arc welding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

that Halfords book looks good as well.

good luck.

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Just to add to this thread, this months (Feb 2007) Classic & Sportscar mag has a review on some decent welders (not sure how impartial it is though).

I posted a summary of the review with more details on the migtigarc (MTA) unit (also available under the Portamig brand):

http://www.mig-welding…rum/showthread.php?t=1143

Cheers,

Chris

ex '83 Mk1 Golf GTi Campaign owner and missing it already!

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Been welding for 7 years.. ( most of it on the same car! )

Just found out the other day that I have been using .6mm wire when the welder was set up for .8!  and I have had that welder for 5 years! May explain why I always thought it was a crap welder ( clarke 130Turbo ) compared to my previous Sip Migmate 130DP.

I concur with other points.

  1. Buy a welder and some scrap sheet to learn on.
  2. Auto darkening Helmet.

As well..

  1. Make sure the surface is clear of all rust and debris.
  2. Use weld through primer.
  3. Butt welds are ver difficult, overlap the edges

TT
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