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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default Welder For FIRST Robot

    I am on a FIRST robotics team and would like to start welding our robot frame. Which welding setup should I use? The welder should be relatively easy to learn to use. High school students will be using it. We will need to weld aluminum and steel. The setup needs to be affordable. Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    267

    Default

    Welding Aluminum is not quite so easy as steel, nor is the equipment cheap. You could try a MIG welder with a spoolgun. At minimum you'd need something like the Hobart Handler 190/spoolgun combo that runs about $850. Better yet would be a 210. You would need two different gasses, one for steel and one for Aluminum. Units of this size would be OK for 1/8" Aluminum. Don't count on welding thick stuff. Do you have access to 240 volt power?

    You might be better off finding a sponsor locally who can help you and provide access to equipment.

    Are you a team mentor? I did that for about 5 years for Team 975. Interesting times.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Southeast PA
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by robobuiler View Post
    I am on a FIRST robotics team and would like to start welding our robot frame. Which welding setup should I use? The welder should be relatively easy to learn to use. High school students will be using it. We will need to weld aluminum and steel. The setup needs to be affordable. Thank you for your time.
    Just came across your post, albeit a little late. I'm the welding mentor for FIRST team 1640. We weld our robot frames and other parts and tools. Feel free to ask any questions you might have. I can share my experience.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    267

    Default

    I don't think the OP will be back. Interest from team members waxes and wanes.

    My older son co-founded Team 975 and went on to study mechanical engineering at VCU. The younger one was on the team for 5 years beginning in 7th grade. He's a welder and machinist now. Too bad we only had a wood shop when we were building robots, LOL.
    Miller stuff:
    Dialarc 250 (1974 vintage)
    Syncrowave 250
    Spot welder (Dayton badged)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Southeast PA
    Posts
    19

    Default

    I got involved with 1640 three years ago when a mentor I knew learned that I could weld, and asked if I might help, because the team wanted to weld but was struggling with it. To make a long story short, I got them straightened out with the right equipment and guidance, and we now have a very capable welding 'program'. http://wiki.team1640.com/index.php?t...BOT_IX_Welding

    Now knowing that our aging 225A MIG with spoolgun is an excellent machine but will not last forever, I've entertained seeking sponsorship from Miller in the form of maybe a new machine? But I can't seem to find much about Miller sponsoring any FIRST robotics teams. I have to believe Miller would be glad to indoctrinate young people into the 'world of Blue'. The sponsorship application is formidable, so before I go to the trouble of filling it out, I'd like to find out what the chances are of getting the support I'm looking for.

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