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Randolph
05-11-2008, 06:17 PM
I was mowing my lawn this past week and the handle on the mower broke. Where the tube was flattened and a hole drilled through it, it just broke in two. I rolled the machine up to the back door of the shop, brought out the welding leads and welded it back and went back to my mowing --- took maybe 10 minutes.
But as I continued with the job I thought, "What do people do who don't have a welding machine?" Of course, I know the answer to that --- they take the job to someone who does. I have welded dozens of the same type of break in my 50 plus years of having a welding machine at my disposal and I will probably weld more.
I still wonder though. My father had a welding machine when I was born and I have never in my life, excepting of course during some brief abortive attempts I made at getting an education, been without the resources of a shop. I hope I never have to find out.
I observed in my book, Randolph's Shop, that the courage of some young people impress me. I even know of some young couples who will get married and try to set up housekeeping without either a welding machine or a lathe. How do they do it?

macona
05-11-2008, 06:31 PM
Most of the population now and even 50 years ago wouldnt know what to do with a welder. In the past people would have taken the item to a repair shop or ordered a replacement part if it was something simple to replace.

Now things are meant to be thrown away after they break. Parts, if available, can be a significant portion of the new cost of the item. Just not worth fixing.

If you dont know how to use the tools there is no point in owning them.

jdunmyer
05-11-2008, 06:38 PM
Randolf,
I've said the same thing over the years: How do people even EXIST without owning a welder, torch, lathe, and milling machine? The latter 2 were added later, but are still relevant. Repair or construction jobs that are literally trivial with such tools are impossible without them.

Too bad for those poor do-without'ers.

wierdscience
05-11-2008, 06:45 PM
I grew up farming in between welding jobs and like you I can't imagine not having access to a welding machine,or oxa.

There was a man in town who grew up in his father's machine and fabrication business,when he retired he sold it off lock stock and barrel.Later he regreted not keeping a welder and lathe after having them around for years.Life is cheaper if you can fix your own junk.

snowman
05-11-2008, 07:26 PM
you are silly, you don't get things so easily replaceable fixed, you just push the old one to the curb.

J Tiers
05-11-2008, 08:37 PM
Hey, I'm no welder, don't own any welding equipment...... DO have a shop. Need to learn welding, but no classes anywhere here.

Having a shop sure is convenient..... Being able to weld would be even better...... I can solder and silver-braze fine, but have only run about two beads with a wire-inert gas welder (and don't like that kind, I think). I've even forge-welded, but not gas or electric welded.

Yes you CAN exist without, but there sure are things that would be easy to weld, and hard to fix or build another way.

wierdscience
05-11-2008, 08:41 PM
Hey, I'm no welder, don't own any welding equipment...... DO have a shop. Need to learn welding, but no classes anywhere here.

Having a shop sure is convenient..... Being able to weld would be even better...... I can solder and silver-braze fine, but have only run about two beads with a wire-inert gas welder (and don't like that kind, I think). I've even forge-welded, but not gas or electric welded.

Yes you CAN exist without, but there sure are things that would be easy to weld, and hard to fix or build another way.

What are you waiting for?Get a 135sp or 175sp Lincoln mig with gas and go for it.If you can squeeze toothpaste from a tube you are half way there.

Anybody can learn to weld in 5 minutes or less,it just takes lots of practice to get good at it.

J. Randall
05-11-2008, 08:56 PM
Randolph, If I did not have access to a welder, I would probably put a splint on it out of flat strap or something similar with some bolts or metal screws, and get back to mowing.
James

rolland
05-11-2008, 09:44 PM
duct tape, there is no excuse for not have a couple of rolls around the house:p

oldtiffie
05-11-2008, 09:58 PM
duct tape, there is no excuse for not have a couple of rolls around the house:p

aka "Gaffer" tape or "100 miles an hour" tape?

torker
05-11-2008, 10:01 PM
I remember those days as a kid.
I was raised in "threadbare" ranching country. None of us had electricity or welders.
They used to drill holes and bolt almost anything they could.
I remember my Dad built a horse rack to fit in the back of his old Chevy half ton so he could haul horses.
He built the whole thing out of angle iron bedframes he found in the dump.
Someone (?) had a breast drill (?) they all used to borrow. You leaned on the thing with your chest and it had sorta bicycle pedals that you spun with your hands.
A buddy or two would come over in the evening and they'd stand outside and take turns drilling holes in the angle iron...probably hundreds of them.
All the time drinking coffee with ..ahem...something else added and passing around a snuff can.
Life was a lot slower paced back then I guess.
LOL! I'll never forget the first guy to get hydro power there. Some bright guy bought an electric drill. That was sort of a big event.
Nope.. I'm not THAT old..this was about 1959 or 1960. For a long time the only power in that area came to the sawmill and the mine buildings near town.
Russ

J Tiers
05-11-2008, 10:02 PM
What are you waiting for?Get a 135sp or 175sp Lincoln mig with gas and go for it.If you can squeeze toothpaste from a tube you are half way there.

Anybody can learn to weld in 5 minutes or less,it just takes lots of practice to get good at it.

I figured stick welding would be easier for me to learn...... I didn't like the way the wire welder worked....

torker
05-11-2008, 10:05 PM
JT.. you may want to think of what an old welding instructor told me..
"It takes most of these guys at least four months to learn stick welding... I can teach a damm monkey to run wire in five minutes"

J Tiers
05-11-2008, 10:26 PM
yeah, but this monkey has been soldering and silver brazing for 40 years..... he knows a little about how molten metal runs etc......

And he gets really poinked about not being able to see what's happening past that ^%$# fat nozzle, and the way the wire just flies out of the thing with little control, etc....

Right or wrong, Mr Monkey does understand the basics of stick welding (but has very little practice at it), and can't get wrapped with that wire deal.

Plus, stick takes less fancy equipment, another big plus that Mr Monkey considers good.

Mr Monkey is willing to consider that he may be wrong, but.......

Doozer
05-11-2008, 10:39 PM
...Yeah, and I see so many MIG weld beads in the surface with no penetration all the time. I recently did not buy a trailer for sale for that reason. The seller was a MIG jockey, and it showed. The fenders would have probably fallen off.
My dad had an AC stick, then a DC unit, then a MIG. Later in life, I bought an AC/DC Tig, and I can see the usefulness of each type. I would not trade my ThermalArc 185 for anything.
...And a 9" SB lathe and a Clausing 8520 mill is the minimum that any self respecting household should have. OK- maybe a drill press instead of the mill, but don't try to mill on it. And don't mill on the lathe either. It is like trying to drive coast to coast with a Yougo.

--Doozer

PS- I bet Mr Monkey would like TIG

torker
05-11-2008, 10:48 PM
LOL.. I don't know but Mr. Monkey is pretty damm funny :D ... even if he is allergic to squirt guns.

bruto
05-11-2008, 10:59 PM
aka "Gaffer" tape or "100 miles an hour" tape?Alas, not any more. The stuff that passes for duct tape these days is awful. Years ago a friend of mine was in the film business, and he would give me partial rolls of true Gaffer tape left over from jobs. It's a world of difference!

Note to J. Tiers: If you are not afraid to do some intensive self-teaching, or to take a course, I'd recommend an oxy-acetylene rig first, because it's so versatile. Slower and a little trickier than arc for fabricating big stuff, but for general shop work and repairs, you have it all. Cut, braze, weld just about any weldable metal of any size, free up rusted parts, etc.

As Torker says, though, MIG is really easy to learn, and easy to make good strong welds with. I taught my son the basics years ago in an afternoon. We welded up a bunch of scrap rebar and pipes and straps, and then subjected them to destructive testing with a sledge hammer until he could consistently come up with a weld that was both neat and impossible to break.

edited to add: It is true, though, that it's hard to see what you're doing with mig. I have, more often than I'd care to admit, lost track of where I thought I was, and flipped up the helmet to reveal a nice looking bead whose only flaw is that it's not over the joint.

Mike Burdick
05-11-2008, 11:00 PM
Kinda funny thread...:)

It seems that every time I visit the local True Value Hardware Store there's someone in there that is asking the salesman how to fix something. The salesman's advice is sometimes pretty scary... glue guns, duct tape, assorted bolts and screws...and whatever else he can come up. :eek:

Sometime I get softhearted and tell the guy to stop by my place and I'll fix it for free. Yep...that's one way to make a lifelong friend - which sometimes is not a good idea.;)

gnm109
05-12-2008, 01:05 AM
I've been welding for long time. I think that welding goes hand in hand with being a machinist. Certainly you can be a great machinist without doing any welding but sooner or later you'll need to have something welded, even if it's only your lawnmower as mentioned above.

There are some great welding machines available nowadays. I have a Lincoln SP175plus wire welder for mild steel and a Miller Syncrowave 200 TIG/Stick for aluminum and stainless and so forth. I can't imagine paying someone to do some welding that I could do myself.

My 2 cents.

Frank Ford
05-12-2008, 02:55 AM
A little anecdote:

Some 40+ years ago I granulated from the University of Kalifornia (thanx, Arnie) system. On my first day as a dormie (in those ancient times all undergrads had to work off a 2 year sentence in the dormitory) my brand new roomie walked in as I was screwing a small vise to the meager desk provided in our cell.

Bill (whom I still contact occasionally) asked, "What ARE you doing?"

My reply was terse and nearly incomprehensible to him.

I said, "What?"

He was as much amazed that I "needed" a vise as I was that he didn't. . .

Randolph
05-12-2008, 07:49 AM
Frank,
Your anecdote rings a bell. I was a freshman at NC State in 1957 and I had a vise and a Bernzrite (sp?) torch in my dorm room. Probably one of the reasons I was never a sophomore.

RobbieKnobbie
05-12-2008, 12:47 PM
I live in a suburb of a big eastern city (philadelphia). While I wouldn't call it a wealthy area, there is a fair ammount of money floating around. The mentality around here is 'throw it away and get a new one.' So if that mower handle broke on my neighbor, the whole thing would be out by the curb within 3 minutes and he'd be at home depot in five.

For a while I used to get exciited when I saw a perfectly good mower by the side of the road, but anymore it's not worth the effort to stop. I'd take it home, fix it up, and then what?

jstinem
05-12-2008, 01:48 PM
Gaffer's tape is NOT duct tape. Gaffer's tape is Much Better, Much more expensive, and you only get it a stage supply shop.
Try it and never use duct tape again unless your working on an air duct.