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  • Beginner Welder Needs Advice

    This summer I am taking my first welding class with the intention of getting my certifications and degree for employment. Prior to this class I have never even soldered, let alone welded.

    Anyway it is a Structural GMAW class. So we are working on V-groove butt joints. I completed the vertical up, vertical down, and horizontal welds and passed the bend tests with ease. I am having a very hard time with the flat position. I can't see my puddle properly. I have tried adjusting the height of my table, angle of my head in relation to the nozzle and weld, and even thr direction I am welding. I tried dragging and pushing both left to right and right to left as well as to and away from me. Nothing I try works.

    I know welding can be uncomfortable and I get that that. I am not aiming for comfort, I am aiming for consistency. It seems that when I can see my puddle my stickout goes out the window, or my angle or my speed. I just can't dial everything in.

    How do you guys weld in the flat for joints that makes it easier for you? Any advice is certainly welcome.

  • #2
    What type of light are you welding in, this can have an effect on how things show up through the shield.
    If you can handle the other welds OK , this one will come together with practice.
    Last edited by R W; 07-18-2012, 06:30 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ckmo2010 View Post
      I know welding can be uncomfortable and I get that that. I am not aiming for comfort, I am aiming for consistency.
      Just FYI, comfort is consistency when learning.

      *Are you looking directly over the weld and the smoke is getting in your way?

      *Is your headgear set properly for your head and you are looking through the lens on an angle creating a thicker (darker) lens?

      *Are you trying too hard? This is actually a normal reason... Relax and be comfortable

      *Have you tried a different helmet with the same settings and switch back?




      When you learn to weld, then you can learn to watch the joint not the weld. I usually day dream if I do a lot of welding. You just learn to do it right, it becomes natural.

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      • #4
        ha the flat is my hardest weld also. make sure you are comfortable, and your using stick? i usually angle the rod slightly away from bead so its like im pushing the weld into the bead or maybe giving it slightly longer heat. may also want to crank up your heat to about 125-135 for 1/8" rod. a flat position needs a little more to burn out the impurities. on a job without a remote tho you need to find temp that works in all positions so you aint wasting time going back and forth to the machine. rule of thumb i was taught is to take size rod example 1/8 invert fraction and divide. 1/8" rod = 8<>1= .125 so around 125 amps is your starting heat on 1/8 and adjust from there. im just structural welder. the pipe welders such as drpipe may be able to help you more

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        • #5
          Originally posted by beamwalker View Post
          ha the flat is my hardest weld also. make sure you are comfortable, and your using stick? i usually angle the rod slightly away from bead so its like im pushing the weld into the bead or maybe giving it slightly longer heat. may also want to crank up your heat to about 125-135 for 1/8" rod. a flat position needs a little more to burn out the impurities. on a job without a remote tho you need to find temp that works in all positions so you aint wasting time going back and forth to the machine. rule of thumb i was taught is to take size rod example 1/8 invert fraction and divide. 1/8" rod = 8<>1= .125 so around 125 amps is your starting heat on 1/8 and adjust from there. im just structural welder. the pipe welders such as drpipe may be able to help you more


          GMAW. (mig)....... op wasn't asking about stick welding.

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          • #6
            I crank it way up for flat, if you are trying to weld this the same as vert up its way too cold.

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