Difference between revisions of "Pledge: Welding Equipment"

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Paid: '''£470'''
Paid: '''£470'''

Revision as of 19:33, 6 December 2011

Quite a few people think it would be handy to join more heavy weight bits of metal than you can manage with a soldering iron or brazing torch.


Red welder

There are two electric welding sets in the space. There is a basic red arc welder (on loan from spooq) and a larger blue MIG (I think) welder.

There is enough PPE for one person, two if you can find another pair of overalls. Steel toecapped boots are highly recommended.

Individuals could practice arc welding with the stuff we have at the moment. One on one teaching could be done with the stuff we have at the moment if you are careful. The important part is safety, someone who can operate the equipment safely can teach themselves basic welding by practising.

The small red welder is usable. There are some 1.6mm and 2.5mm welding rods for mild steel in a plastic tube. Please close the tube, welding rods absorb moisture.

Welding screen

A freestanding folding welding screen has been constructed from fire doors. It can stand by the wood store without taking up a lot of space. It could fall over in some configurations and is very heavy. Please have at least two strong people move it. It needs a bit more work on the feet. The materials were free. It could be replaced with something better.

At present to carry out welding, as well as using the welding screen, a suitable area should be cleared of anything that might get damaged or catch fire, about 8 feet in all directions from the welding position should do.

Russ thinks the current welding screen is ok for some welding but possibly not adequate for teaching. Others think it will do fine. Trying it out a bit more may help reach a decision.

There are some smallish mild steel bars and some thin steel plate on top of the red welder. It can be used for practice, the first attempt to weld a bar to a plate resulted in a very poor weld due to inexperience and because the plate melts before the bar gets hot enough.

MIG welding is not the best method for joining thin material to thick material (brazing or oxy-acetylene welding is better) but you can do it by first building up the thickness of the thin material using stitch welding to avoid "blowing through", then do another run of weld to actually join the two pieces together.

Some acceptable welds have been made joining some thick chain to the end of a steel scaffolding pole. Note : practice on thick stuff. Practice even just running a bead along a surface without attempting to make a join. Thin stuff is hardest.

The welding equipment pledge hit it's target a few weeks ago but nobody has got around to collecting money. Mailing list discussion last stopped at a suggestion to talk to t0m.

In the hackspace spirit of "don't complain, fix it" Billy produced the welding screen and AJP sorted out the small welder and purchased the minimum PPE and consumables to start practicing arc welding.

There are a few hackspace people with welding experience and a few people who would like basic welding training.

More scrap steel to weld would help. It would be handy to have enough PPE for a second person; mask, overalls, apron, and a second set of ear defenders to wear while using the angle grinder.

We have one automatic welding mask and one welding mask that is always dark. The automatic mask is a lot nicer to use.

Welding practice

Could we find some fire resistant fabric material that could be hung from hooks on the ceiling/some sort of ceiling curtain rail to use as a welding screen?

It would be good to have some semi organized general metalworking training including welding. This could be an hour or two with someone competent covering basics like cutting metal (marking out, what sort of saw to use), joining metal together (drilling&bolting, tapping threads in screw holes, welding).

To use the MIG welder we need to determine how to provide a supply of shielding gas (see options below).

The items

 * A small MIG welder
 * Personal Protective equipment (At least 1 mask, apron, gloves)
 * Additional stocks of wire & gas for welding with.

The PPE is likely to set us back as much as a small welder initially, but it's entirely reuseable if/when we get a larger welder, and entirely essential. (Setting yourself on fire is not amusing - I speak from experience here)

I think we also need a ceiling-mounted welding curtain to protect other peoples' eyes - these seem to be about £50-60. We'd probably want to curtain off the far corner in the dirty shop. Russ 10:29, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Not sure what welder was targeted but these are 250-300 for anything above the really minimal. It's hardly ever worth buying at the bottom of the range .. though an offer at Lidl, Aldi, Costco etc. might be worth looking out for if this welder is only a stepping stone to an industrial one.

Things we have already

  • enough PPE for one person, almost enough for two people; blue overalls, two pairs of gauntlets, two welding aprons, two welding masks (one automatic).
  • some 1.6mm and 2.5mm welding rods and a bit of mild steel that can be used for practice with the red welder.
  • a welding screen made from firedoors (please be careful when moving it, it's really heavy)
  • regulator for disposable gas bottles for use with blue welder
  • spare tips etc.
  • gauntlets [1]
  • angle grinder
  • simple (non-automatic) face shield
  • a couple of bottles of gas (in the drawers under the mill) (for use with blue welder)

Things we are planning to buy

Discuss further, this is smaller than the firedoor screen which Russ thinks isn't big enough and dosn't seem like great value for money.AJP)

  • Automatic head shield, variable - £50 x 2
    • One has been bought in the same auction where we got the PCB unit. Takes two AAA batteries, putting a couple of batteries in it made the viewport allow light through. It has been used with the control at 3o'clock. Present batteries may last a month or two.
      • My helmet will change to darkened if I look full at a nearby striplight. Try this if you want to gain confidence that you're not going to be blinded. It may be necessary to adjust the sensitivity / delay controls.
  • Welding Leather Apron - £9 x 2 - There is a leather apron and gloves already, which spooq bought for metal-casting, so we can use those.
  • consider buying another pair of ear defenders and another pair of overalls
  • Total Target - £223

Extra things we may need / consumables

  • metal to weld. Please keep a lookout for some random bits of mild steel for people to practice with. Preferably not zinc plated due to toxic fumes when welded.
  • More grinding disc's for the angle grinder (Phil or AJP may get around to bringing some in, you can remind us).
  • Could we find some fire resistant fabric material to make a welding screen that hangs from the ceiling?
  • gas price comparison
    • small disposable - approximately 5 mins use for ~ £15
    • welduk refillable - approximately 3.5 hours use for ~ £40 + ~ £40 carriage + initial purchase of cylinder ~ £90
    • albee / air liquide - approximately 3.5 hours use for ~ £40 + initial purchase of cylinder ~ £100 if you can find a local supplier
    • Another similar alternative
    • rental from the bastards at BOC. Approx £70 per year bottle rental and £30 per Y-size (5000l, ~7 hours) refill
    • pub gas - needs a friendly landlord to divert a bottle of CO2. Cost unknown. Do NOT use Nitrogen/C02 mix. Note that C02 will give a dirtier weld than Argon/C02 mix but should be a lot cheaper for practice purposes
  • static masks for onlookers / trainees http://www.welduk.com/Details.asp?ProductID=102
  • bucket of sand - there is a "members" box full of clean silica sand around - check under the table near the 3-in-1 and do not use the red sand!
  • clamps etc. [2] [3] I have some of those clamps which I will drop into the space once I find them. I also have magnetic angle blocks, again they will need finding! --Nigle 21:13, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Bits that wear out are the tips (make sure they're the right ones for the model of welder and the wire size being used) be careful not to cross thread them when fitting a new one, and the teflon wire liner (although that SHOULD last a good number of years!)


  • £50 --t0m 09:27, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
  • £20 --Russ 10:29, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
  • £20 --Harry 10:39, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
  • £20 --Jonty 10:51, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
  • £100 -- Steff 09:57, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
  • £20 --Solexious 23:23, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
  • £20 --Teabot 17:06, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
  • £20 --zts 22:31, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • £20 --tobycatlin 09:11, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • £20 --amx109 13:41, 13th October 2010 (UTC)
  • £20 --tomwj 14:17, 13th October 2010 (UTC)
  • £20 --Olfin
  • £0.01 --dsikar -- PAID 23:44, 13th October 2010 (GMT+4)
  • £20 --mars
  • £20 -- kkal
  • £20 --SamLR 13:39, 13 October 2010 (UTC) paid (in 2010, wiki updated 2011)
  • £10 --Kevin
  • £40 --V21 08:49, 31 August 2010 (UTC) paid (in 2010, wiki updated 2011)
  • £20 --Andy Cousins paid (in 2010, wiki updated 2011)
  • £40 --spooq Paid!
  • £10 --Ciarán -- PAID

Running total: £540.01

Approximate target: £450 (inc VAT + most delivery)

Paid: £470