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  1. #11
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    aaahhhhh......welding fuel tanks.
    You just had to bring that up didn't ya

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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Northern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by FusionKing View Post
    aaahhhhh......welding fuel tanks.
    You just had to bring that up didn't ya
    Yes, I couldn't resist. I used to be a safety consultant for a large workers compensation insurance company. I had many accounts to visit to set up safety programs and do mock OSHA inspections. Some of the accounts were weld shops. One of them was a company that was very old. It was so old that they had a carbide/water generator outside in a shed. It generated acetylene that was piped to a manifold where the weld stations were. That's old.

    Anyway, they had an accident when they were welding an old fuel tanker truck, the kind that only had two axles. There was a leak in the side and when the welder touched it with his torch, the side blew out of the rear of the tank. Apparently there was a compartment inside into which fuel had leaked. He wasn't killed but it was a serious accident with some burns.

    I also had a British Matchless motorcycle tank welded once when I was a kid in Chicago. The welder filled it with water and left the cap off. The instant that he used a torch on it, it blew a flame out of the cap straight up that sounded like a stick of dynamite. The flame shot about 20 feet in the air and it was hair-raising for sure. After that, he finished the job with no further problems.

    So much for welding fuel tanks. I've tossed a few Harley tanks that had bad cracks in them. It's not worth it.

    I'm well awre that many people on this forum are expert welders and have probably welded fuel tanks and worse. I'm only talking about my experiences and what I won't do. I guess that tanks can be welded safely, but there's always that one time that something happens, if you catch my drift.
    Last edited by Synchroman; 07-20-2014 at 06:12 PM.
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Lake of the Ozarks MO
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    Cool

    I follow you.
    But as far as liability goes....when welding a fuel tank, chances are you're only gonna blow your own head off. Unless someone is gonna hang around and watch. (I don't usually let many jobs get done while people wait).
    Trailers and trailer hitches are dangerous things that only get worse from the day you make them. There are other things as well, such as steering components on about anything. Sending something out of control that weighs thousands of pounds into oblivion is a liability nightmare.
    Welding a wheel isn't as big of a deal as many people make it out to be. When they come to you, all the customer knows is it doesn't hold air. I have been in the tire biz more than once. Worst case scenario is it leaks still. It's not gonna fly to pieces unless you are making it worse than it was and the guy who mounts the tire is dumb enough to let it out the door.
    Every time a tire shop patches a tire they are assuming the same risk.
    If you weld a wheel and it is fine, yet a year later for some other reason a tire on that wheel blows, and that wheel has obviously been welded....it could be your a$$!!!
    Welding is SERIOUS BUSINESS when you do it for money. If you are going to be in the welding business you better KNOW exactly why things broke and how they can fail after you repair them. Or else you can expect to have your butt sued off sooner or later.
    Understanding metallurgy, components and why they fail, insurance liability, combined with how ignorant the general population is..... all in a days work for any welding shop.
    These are some of the reasons why so many of us "old guys" on the forum have a reputation for being grouchy and seemingly negative towards less experienced people at times. Not always trying to be unfriendly. Simply trying to open people's eyes to the obvious dangers, to us, that the average person would never think of. Then there are things that seem dangerous and scary that we have to deal with on a regular basis. Things like basics of electrocution, working with acetylene and oxygen, pressure checking. If these things aren't treated with as much respect as the topics we are discussing here, you can be just as dead as welding a gas tank.
    IMO welding has become much much more commonly dangerous since all the welding machine companies have made so many low priced, light duty machines that makes everyone think welding is easy. All over America it is a DIY society.
    Welding is cool and trendy these days. But because of that, many things are taking place that probably shouldn't.
    I'm sure there are building contractors out there seeing the same trends in their trades as well. Anywhere you shortcut the basics of formal occupational education you're gonna have this.
    Just my opinion from my experience and observations and it is subject to change with time.

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    Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
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    Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

    Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
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    SPEEDGLAS 9100XX

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
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    Fusion King, Very well said.

    I sometimes work on really big gas tanks that hold about 13,000 gallons.

    Its for a company that rents Pumps, tanks, filter boxes, Etc., I never know what one of their customers may have put in one of these tanks so I treat every one as if gasoline has been stored inside.

    Just the other day I was in their yard and they said, can you cut off a plate on a 3" nipple welded to the tank and put a new nipple on, I said, not today, so I opened the port hole doors and brought in my 12" blowers that pump fresh air inside which change the air out every 60 seconds, I'm not talking about a window box fan either, these are blowers with 20' hoses that pump outside air in.

    Here another scenario, If a inexperienced guy tries to do this and he puts the fan inside the tanker, the sparks from the fan motor can cause it to blow up, Its knowing things like this which is required so you don't kill yourself and others.

    Not to mention going another step farther because this is an over flow pipe which is about 30' long so I take a argon tank inside the tanker and slip my argon hose 20' inside the pipe to make sure the pipe is purged before making the cut.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Lake of the Ozarks MO
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    Oh man do I ever hear ya!
    When I do gas tanks I get really pricey. If they don't wanna pay for my pickyness they can simply leak fuel. Or buy a new factory tank.
    Heck, the place I use for metal and braking won't even sell me anything if they know for sure it's on a fuel tank. They suspect but don't ask.
    And it's a cash only no receipts deal too. Plus I have THE correct insurance for the job. Not gonna test it.....no way no how.

    www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
    Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
    MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
    Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

    Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
    Miller 30-A Spoolgun
    Miller WC-115-A
    Miller Spectrum 300
    Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
    SPEEDGLAS 9100XX

  6. #16

    Default

    Getting back to the original question:
    - I don't think that this is as big a deal as people make it out to be. Unless you're piecing together stuff that's thoroughly hammered, typically what comes in is something that was usually driveable and leaking, if it didn't let go completely, it' snot going to after you weld it. The bigger issue is to get it clean and find the whole deal that needs to be repaired.
    - I don't see why MIG with a spool gun is _that_ bad. Most multi piece wheels that are welded were welded using mig... I suppose that they are intrinsically unsafe???
    Mark
    (aka: Silverback, WS6 TA, JYDog, 83 Crossfire TA, mpikas, mmp...)
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    BFH

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
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    Default

    Silver back, I don't agree with you, Back about 12 years ago, Ford Motor company had a problem with tires blowing out.

    If I remember correctly it was the Ford Expedition and I think Fire Stone tires,
    ( Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. ) and they had a issue with tires blowing out and the truck rolling over, It just so happens that my neighbors mom died in one of the roll overs.

    Since it doesn't sound like your a very experienced welder when it comes to dirty aluminum, This might not be the best topic for you to give advise about.

    Regards:

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