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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Woodhaven, Queens NY

    Default New with lots of questions.

    Hey guys,

    New guy here. I'm just learning to weld and I actually made my first bead today. I'm taking a beginners class in Bklyn at a place called 3rd ward. Its okay I guess. I'm not looking to get certified and itís only just for my own knowledge.

    I do have some projects that I want to work on primarily for my race bike. I have a 97 Gsxr 750 that I use on track days and I would like to repair it myself instead of buying all new parts every year. I have collected a number of broken parts and always thought that if I could just learn how to weld I could repair some of the broken bits and reuse it instead of shelling out more money.

    Here is a photo of the kind of work I would like to do. Itís the sub-frame of my bike. So here are some questions. The bike is mainly Aluminum, some parts are cast but for the most part like in the photo its square tubing. Iím not sure what alloy exactly, I thought it would be 6061 but I then learned that 6061 doesnít bend well and would crack so I donít know what it is.

    Here is a little about myself. Like I mentioned before Iím just learning to weld and have a small 1 car garage with a cement floor and small driveway behind my apartment that I plan doing my welding. I only have access to 110V since the owner isnít interested in making changes to the current voltage in the garage.

    1. What type of aluminum do you guys think it is?
    2. What kind of welding was used to make the initial weld?
    3. Would I be able to MIG weld this type of tubing or do I have to TIG? The reason for the question is that I couldnít find a TIG welder that would work off of 110V which is all I have available.
    4. Since I have a small space, with 110v and limited $$$ what would be a good machine. I was thinking of a MIG with a spool gun. Is that the right machine set up?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    How much money do you have to spend? A dynasty200dx might be just what you need as long as you aren't planning on doing too thick of material. Especially since you only have 110 available.

    It will work on 110v no problem, but won't be able to weld at maximum amps (which is 200 for this machine) It is extremely portable though, great with aluminum, and can run on 110. Sounds perfect for you! Won't take up much space and is light, so it's easy to move around.

    However, if you don't have that much to spend, a MIG might be the best bet for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    How many circuit breakers control the outlets in the garage? Are they all on one?

    If there are 2 different circuits feeding the garage, and they are on separate poles of a 120/240 volt service, you can make a special extension cord to power one 240 volt outlet from two 120 volt outlets. No wiring changes needed.

    About the 120v mig welder thing...

    Don't bother welding aluminum with it. It's almost a complete waste of your time. Aluminum requires A LOT of heat to weld. I haven't seen a 120v mig welder that could adequately weld aluminum cans without a great deal of skill on the part of the operator.

    I would also recommend that you spend a great deal of time destructively testing the welds you make before you weld anything related to the frame, steering, or suspension on a race bike.

    What I'm about to say, I say with the utmost respect.

    Would you volunteer to be the first to fly in an airplane that's welded by a guy "just starting out" and without the ideal welder?

    The only difference is that neither the FAA nor the 6 o'clock news cares about your bike. If either weld breaks, you're gonna die. The same result in both cases. Except the bike will not have an exhaustive investigation by the NTSB and the there will be no front page news story announcing the cause of structural failure due to a weld defect.

    Get really good at it before you trust your life to it.

    80% of failures are from 20% of causes
    Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
    "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
    "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
    "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Woodhaven, Queens NY


    Hey Guys,

    thanks for your input and of course I'm going to test out those welds on scrap pieces before getting on the back of anything I weld together.

    We did some testing yesterday at my welding class. I know that TIGing is harder than MIG but I did MIG two pieces of 1 1/4 rectangle tubing together than placed one end in the vise then smashed it with a mallet. The weld didn't break though.

    The instructor said it was a good weld but I had to practice a lot more and TIG wasn't going to be so easy and would take a lot more practice to master. He mentioned that I wouldn't want to ride anything I have TIG'd at least until I mastered it for a while.

    So for now I'll be doing a lot of non-structual welds and doing a lot of test on different welding techniques.

    I looked up the Dynasty200Dx and the maximum thinkness of aluminum is 1/4 which is more than enough. The parts i'll be welding will be thinner than 6mm. The frame that I posted is mostly the thinkness I will be welding which is less than 6mm. I think it came to 5.6 or something like that, I don't remember exactly but anything larger I think I would just tack then get someone with a stronger TIG to finish the welds.

    Well thanks so much for the information and I'm sure that I'll have a lot more questions to ask, hopefully you guys will be able to answer them.

    As soon as I get some things done i'll post some photos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Woodhaven, Queens NY

    Default Even more questions????

    Still couldn't buy the 200 yet but I found a Oxy/Acetylene Kit from Harborfrieght for a decent price $300.00. Are these tanks big enough or will I be running out of gas? I will be welding square and round aluminum tubing and may even try my hand at welding up some tubing for a exhaust. By the way can I use aluminum tubing for exhaust tubing or does it have to be stainless steel? This is what is incuded.

    Complete gas welding accessory kit including 20 cubic ft. oxygen tank and 10 cubic ft. acetylene tank.

    Chrome plated brass torch assembly with turbo lever
    Welding tip
    Cutting torch with 0-3-101 tip
    Oxygen and acetylene regulators
    Dual line braided hoses
    Check valves
    Spark lighter
    Rugged poly carrier

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    greenfield new hampshire

    Default be careful with a mig

    i always give this advice to people just starting out, this is my opinion only, i have never heard of any one else comment on this so take it for what its worth, when learning, apperance is a factor, i tell people, with a stick you can gooble up a big mess and actually have it hold together, (sometimes) with the mig you really have to pay attn. lack of fusion is a huge concern, you can lay down a bead that looks great, to the novice eye, but in reality, if welding 2 pcs. together, it can fail, reason being, with a wire feed, especially a mig you can actually weld to the weld and have it roll up onto the weldment and look some what ok, i am also new to this forum, this is a wonderful place to ask, what ive noticed is all these guys and gals really like to help, good luck, stay with it, it takes time but it is well worth it .............kevin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by ricracer16 View Post
    By the way can I use aluminum tubing for exhaust tubing or does it have to be stainless steel?
    It can be carbon steel doesn't need to be stainless, but I'd stay away from aluminum for exhaust.
    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Homemade Water Cooler
    130XP MIG
    Spectrum 375
    60 year old Logan Lathe
    Select Machine and Tool Mill
    More stuff than I can keep track of..

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