CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

What are the main differences b/t Flux vs Stick vs MIG vs TIG?

Just curious what kind of applications are best for each of those technologies?

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl

Tester

LOL, good answer.
There’s lots of great information about welding on the internet… and, for that matter, at the local bookstore. Safety mandates that you learn about the subject somewhat in depth before playing with it. Failure to do so could result in loss of eyesight and other injuries, including illnesses caused by such things as inhaling zinc from galvie. It’ll also result in poor welds and lots of wasted materials. I won’t bother to mention the obvious dangers of playing with highly combustible gasses and ignition sources.

I think the gasses used for MIG and TIG welding are sort of the opposite of “highly combustible”.
You have a better chance of setting dirt and rocks on fire than setting argon or an argon/carbon dioxide mix on fire.

Granted, the “I” in the middle means “inert”, but you’ve missed the point. Welding can be very dangerous. It’s essential to do the research before playing with it.

Also, welding is an art. Expect to burn a large number of sticks before you get good at it. It’s not as easy as it looks.
Self darkening electronic lenses are a real boon for arc welding. You’re not totally blind until the arc is lit. Also remember that it’s not just your eyes that need protection. No bare skin should be exposed to the intense ultraviolet rays that come from that electric arc. It only takes minutes of exposure to give you a serious sunburn. One person I know had to go to the doctor after welding on an oilfield pipeline because he had this mysterious pain in his genitals. The doctor looked at it and said “you’re sunburned”. It turned out that his pants had split and let the rays burn his private parts.

Oxy-acetylene does involve highly flammable gasses but hardly anyone welds with this stuff anymore, it’s mostly used for brazing, heating nuts red hot so you can break them loose, and for metal cutting. This too is not as easy as it looks. I stand in awe to those who can make a nice smooth cut in inch thick steel with a cutting torch. Most people make jagged ugly cuts or worse yet ugly cuts where the steel rewelds itself together behind the cut. It’s hard to move something slowly at an even speed. Most of us manage to do a series of small jerks with stops. Try it with a pencil sometime. Draw a straight line moving the pencil as slowly as you can without a series of stops and starts.

I too have seen this, and it ain’t pretty.

I can always tell when our shop’s main welder is welding aluminum with an arc welder by the color of the light it gives off. Pink!
And when he welds copper, it gives off a greenish light.

My first welding experiments were with Brass brazing rod I brought home from work. I found that I could melt it using a simple Propane torch. I think the first thing I brazed together were two nails. In no time I was making my own pegboard hooks. Not sure if I was getting the right penetration for building plane wings but my curiosity fuse was lit. Next I bought an arc welder from Sears. Then went to the local supply house and bought a couple of different number rods. I had all the scrape steel I needed from work. I was running beads in no time. If you can’t figure out how to lay a nice bead within 20 rods then maybe you should just remain in your current cubicle type job. Again you may not have the qualifications to be welding on the Oil Pipelines but you sure as hell could repair that shock absorbor flange on the family car. And besides if you’re the one fixing your own stuff who really cares how pretty it looks.

I was wondering if the auto darkening welding helmets were around back in the 70’s when I learned to weld, it looks like they came out in 81, from wikopedia, If I start welding again that would be first on my list. What percentage of welders you see use them, I would guess many places they would be mandatory.

If you’re welding outdoors in direct sunlight, you can pretty much see what you are doing through regular non-auto darkening helmets before striking the arc but once you use auto darkening helmets, you’ll never go back. They’re not even that expensive anymore and there is a dial you can turn to adjust the degree of darkening.

Even when they are not in dark mode, the glass lenses block the ultraviolet rays that injure your eyes. You can even watch arc welding through a glass window because ordinary glass blocks UV. This is fortunate because otherwise florescent and mercury vapor lights would give you a sunburn.
Cameras and microscopes that use UV light need special quartz lenses to pass the UV light.

As do Light Off Detectors for the afterburners on military jets. UV transmission characteristics for even optical glass are poor. Fused quartz lenses are necessary for detection of low level UV.

That’s kind of harsh, the way you worded it

Not everybody’s a quick study, as you seem to be

Some people need a little longer to figure things out. And some of these same guys turn out to be excellent

One size does not fit all

2 Likes

Once you get good at laying a nice bead on a flat piece of steel, try it overhead.

1 Like

As long as it isn’t structural, OK. I’ve known self-taught guys that welded trailer frames and such that I wouldn’t want to be driving behind…

Ordinary “plate glass windows” do not block enough UV to be safe. Float glass attenuates only about 40-50% of UV at 300nm and passes smaller amounts below that with total cutoff around 260nm. I wouldn’t recommend viewing ANY welding through that type of glass. A polycarbonate lens in safety glasses is better at blocking UV than window glass…but the glass doesn’t block the high intensity visible wavelengths much at all and that can also damage your eyes beyond recovery.

I agree and strongly, strongly advise against anybody trying to observe welding through a plate glass window. To do so would be extremely dangerous. You’ll seriously damage your retinas.

Yeah got to give it the BFH test. I would trust a HF jack stand before some rookie welder home made jobbies.