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  • Youth welding

    With my shop almost complete and ready to start some projects, my son has been getting more excited to build things and has been helping out a lot. His new welding helmet arrived today. Some small and x-small TIG gloves should arrive soon and then I'll fire up the welders/plasma/OA. I'll need to get myself back up to speed and introduce welding to my 10 year old. Thinking back, I wish I had access to basic metal cutting and welding equipment back at his age. I used to make everything out of wood.


  • #2
    Now for the hard decision: Are you going to teach him how to lay a bead or are you going to teach him why he should use a specific metal, filler and settings?


    I've run into a lot of folks who "know how to weld" who don't understand when to preheat or what materials just don't weld well. It's one thing to get metal to stick. It's something else to get it to do so reliably, predictably and correctly.
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

    Location: SF East Bay.

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    • #3
      That’s a fine looking collection of anodized flashlights!
      When I was that age, all our shop had was a stick welder. My dad taught us. Wasn’t pretty at first but we all got better and our projects got better and more complex.
      That’s a good age to start imparting skills. Your son is fortunate to have that level of equipment to start learning on. Probably better than a good many school shops, unfortunately.

      Sid

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      • #4
        That's great! I took welding in school & at 16 bought a Lincoln 225 AC buzz box & a Uniweld set of torches & small tanks $99 per so for $200 I was off & running. Made a motorcycle trailer to pull behind my '66 short box Chevy van & off to RedBud I went. Redbud on Sat & Pioneer Park on Sundays, did a lot of Hare Scrambles at PP, a turn around the track & 5 miles thru the woods for 3 hours.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by danlb View Post
          Now for the hard decision: Are you going to teach him how to lay a bead or are you going to teach him why he should use a specific metal, filler and settings?


          I've run into a lot of folks who "know how to weld" who don't understand when to preheat or what materials just don't weld well. It's one thing to get metal to stick. It's something else to get it to do so reliably, predictably and correctly.
          We won't be doing any welding that requires preheat. I'll be teaching him how to control penetration and how to avoid undercut. We will also be cutting cross sections into welds to inspect the actual penetration, etc. First I'll just teach him basic tack welding with MIG so he can basically tack things together. Depending on how well that goes, we'll see what's next.

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          • #6
            Start them young. Here's my boy with his helmet on.

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            • #7
              Good to see that he's taking an active interest in metal work and welding in particular, plus it is an interest that you can both share.
              Good on both of ya!

              Try to get him started with the O/A welding first as it will lay down the nuances of puddle control at a pace that he can choose. It will help lay down the foundation for the other processes.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sid pileski View Post
                That’s a fine looking collection of anodized flashlights!

                Sid
                Those are the ones that have batteries in them. The rest of them don't



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                • #9
                  Hmmmmm......
                  Crazy for flash lights???

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sid pileski View Post
                    Hmmmmm......
                    Crazy for flash lights???
                    I'm afraid of the dark I stocked up on them the other day. I know we have many, many more somewhere but the kids keep taking them and they disappear. I gave the kids a pile of them so hopefully my remaining stash will stay in my office for awhile. At least I know where to find a flashlight for a little while.

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                    • #11
                      Ah, a fellow dark sucker collector? Yay! Making custome flashlights is what drew me into machining. By the time I got good at making them, knockoffs from China flooded the market at lower cost than the materials that I could buy.

                      I think my collection is down to around 50 lights or so. Some are collectable, some are just lights with unique features. Some may think think that it's odd to have a $100 flashlight on the kitchen counter just to be able to look in the back of the cabinets. It's just part for the course around here.

                      A few of the home made and modified lights. The two shiney ones were built from scratch.

                      Dan
                      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                      Location: SF East Bay.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
                        I'm afraid of the dark I stocked up on them the other day. I know we have many, many more somewhere but the kids keep taking them and they disappear. I gave the kids a pile of them so hopefully my remaining stash will stay in my office for awhile. At least I know where to find a flashlight for a little while.
                        The first step to becoming free is to admit to yourself you have a problem. Denial is not your friend here. Hello My name is 3 phase and I have a problem. I am a flashaholic!
                        Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                        How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Willy View Post
                          Good to see that he's taking an active interest in metal work and welding in particular, plus it is an interest that you can both share.
                          Good on both of ya!

                          Try to get him started with the O/A welding first as it will lay down the nuances of puddle control at a pace that he can choose. It will help lay down the foundation for the other processes.
                          Thanks! He's probably too young minded for OA or TIG as you probably know they really do require a lot of time and focus before you can really use what you've learned on real projects. Back before I bought all of my welding equipment I went through a complete TIG welding night class at a local tech school and IIRC we spent something like ~8 weeks learning OA and only after we could pass all of the welding tests move on to another ~8 weeks with TIG. I remember it was quite difficult and I was surprised how much skill you need to develop before you could pass all of the welding tests for all of the different joint types/etc.

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                          • #14
                            My dad taught me to weld at around ten. We also got a old Atlas lathe about the same time. First I built a go-kart and a couple of mini-bikes. Dad took a job building some really heavy duty benches to hold precision weighing balances at a site in Chicago. The training facility was in a multi-story building that could hand the weight of the usual marble tables. I was about 12 at the time and wee were building them out in the driveway. A car stopped to complain we were blinding drivers coming up the road. I picked up the helmet to see what the fuss was all about. The guy says "Jessus he is just a kid!" Without hesitation dad says "Yes, and a pretty good welder too, take a look!"

                            I work 160 miles from home so it is tough to get my 14 yr. old grandson into the shop. However this summer he came down with his mom and I let him try welding. Welding with stick using 7018 gave him fits, but he did really well using Tig! I said he had really good hand eye coordination. He said "You know I can juggle three balls at a time Pop!" Might have to get a welder for home yet.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
                              I'm afraid of the dark I stocked up on them the other day. I know we have many, many more somewhere but the kids keep taking them and they disappear. I gave the kids a pile of them so hopefully my remaining stash will stay in my office for awhile. At least I know where to find a flashlight for a little while.
                              Not to derail your welding thread (why does everyone say that, just before derailing the thread?) too much, but are all of those "good" flashlights, as in "somewhat expensive"? Or are the the 2-3 dollar ones you get from the direct from China places on Ebay or Deal Extreme, Bangood, etc?

                              If they are the cheapies, what's your experience been with them? You clearly like them enough to try to saturate the house with them.

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