"In the world of spuds today"

A place for general potato gun questions and discussions.
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jrrdw
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Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:46 pm

Make sure your metal is really clean, 0.5" in all directions works well. A really good ground as well. Go slow, take your time, relax and practice... You'll get it.
Look if you must.
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Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:09 pm

Cthulhu wrote:Got some practice with the welder by making a tool for the lathe. I've been needing a tool rest more suited towards the carbide tooling I use so I welded this together. The welds have really bad porosity but I believe that is because I was holding the gun at the wrong angle and I wasn't moving consistently enough.
weld.jpg
Either way, it works and I'm getting closer to welding spud guns together!
This is exciting to see. I can't wait to see what future projects you do. You can tinker and do things at your own pace since you own the equipment, which is fantastic.
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Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:58 pm

Definitely give stick a try. It sounds antiquated and imprecise, but I default to stick and TIG over MIG. Before I got my TIG, I used to weld motorcycle exhausts with 1/16" rods. Stick will teach you to weld, if your welds look solid, they will be solid (in most cases). MIG/FCAW can trick you somewhat, a good looking MIG weld doesn't necessarily have good root penetration, to the point of nearly complete lack of fusion. Welding Tips and Tricks on YouTube is your best source, with Weld.com videos a good second (the YouTube channel, not the website).

In regards to your welds, a few things. As Jrrdw said, clean your metal. Bright and shiny, no mill scale at all. Second, you need waaaaaayyyyy more voltage, don't be afraid to give her wa, that's what practising is for. Third, you need a better ground. The clamps that are shipped with all consumer grade machines (including my expensive TIG and MIG machines) are worthless. So either change it out for a nice 500 amp rated clamp, available at your local Hone Despot/generic hardware, or wrap a heap of bare copper wire around it. MIG is a constant voltage process, so it can't automatically crank up the voltage a bit and burn through mill scale to get a good ground.

On torch angle, you want it always pointing to the root of the joint, so perpendicular for a flat weld, 45 degrees for a fillet (what you did) or lap weld. The angle in the direction of travel isn't super critical, try to stay within 10 degrees of perpendicular, pushing or pulling, it doesn't matter too much.

Now, possibly the most important thing, get comfortable and take some dry runs. Set up the joint, get in position and just move along the weld before you start, see if you start wandering, maybe your torch angle gets weird, maybe your wrist gets in a bind or your gloves hang up on something. It's a lot easier to work that out before you start instead of trying to fix it while you weld.

Another important side note, be sure to check your machine is set up for DCEN, straight polarity, electrode negative, call it what you want. For (most) flux core applications, your torch needs to be negative and your earth clamp positive. I'm not at all familiar with your machine, but there's likely a terminal block inside the wire spool compartment, hopefully the manual will tell you how to do it. Other less important things are using the correct drive rollers for the wire, you want the serrated rollers of course.

In summary

1. Be comfortable
2. Watch Jody from Welding Tips and Tricks
3. Clean your metal
4. Good ground
5. Have fun! Welding is my favourite thing to do these days, whether it's crammed inside a truck cab with the TIG and scorched fingers, building cattle yards in the rain with the stick or just throwing frames together with the MIG, it's all brilliant fun. You'll need a bit of patience, but once you get the hang of it, you're gonna love it, trust me.
/sarcasm, /hyperbole
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jackssmirkingrevenge
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Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:53 am

After a lot of woodwork, some nylon straps, a jeep and a little help from my friends, finally got 700 lbs of new tools into my new basement!

Image

Still a lot of tooling to buy but the heaviest stuff is sorted :D
hectmarr wrote:You have to make many weapons, because this field is long and short life
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Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:49 am

Nice. What's the milling machine?
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Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:53 am

That is a beautiful setup! Congrats JSR. That is fantastic. I bet you're going to have loads of fun.
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Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:16 pm

mrfoo wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:49 am
Nice. What's the milling machine?
Lathe: https://www.busybeetools.com/products/l ... eries.html

Mill: https://www.busybeetools.com/products/m ... cx600.html

Chinese stuff but they seem to be better made than most, what with them being branded and having a 3 year warranty.

One thing I'm going to have to get used to us working in imperial rather than metric, less intuitive for me.
Moonbogg wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:53 am
That is a beautiful setup! Congrats JSR. That is fantastic. I bet you're going to have loads of fun.
Thanks! Looking forward to getting back into the game of home projects :)
hectmarr wrote:You have to make many weapons, because this field is long and short life
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Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:52 pm

Nice acquisitions, and quite a big step up from the Sherline.

You're going to like those. 8-)
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Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:34 am

jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:53 am
After a lot of woodwork, some nylon straps, a jeep and a little help from my friends, finally got 700 lbs of new tools into my new basement!

Image

Still a lot of tooling to buy but the heaviest stuff is sorted :D
wow I want the same
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jackssmirkingrevenge
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Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:15 am

Thanks Al!
Gippeto wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:52 pm
Nice acquisitions, and quite a big step up from the Sherline.
It is! At first I was just going to move the Sherline from work to home. I realized however that even though I now have access to the great outdoors, I still hadn't moved away from the "pen gun mentality" so to speak and the Sherline's limited envelope was one of the reasons.

Apart from that, now that I have a foot firmly in the powder burning door, I needed something that can deal with harder materials and there's only so much an aluminum alloy frame can take.

Give me a couple of weeks to collect the missing tooling and I hope to be churning out some proper big bores just in time for spring as the snow begins to melt :)
hectmarr wrote:You have to make many weapons, because this field is long and short life
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Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:31 am

Tooling up will get ya lol.

But the shopping is fun. ;)
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Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:59 pm

Purchasing my own property has definitely opened the flood gates :D

While you're here, what style of milling vise would you recommend? Is a tilting swiveling vise like this actually useful or am I OK with something more basic for now?

I've always mostly used the latter for the Sherline and hardly ever used the tilting column, in fact that latter was more of a pain as it would get misaligned over time.
hectmarr wrote:You have to make many weapons, because this field is long and short life
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Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:36 pm

jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:59 pm
Purchasing my own property has definitely opened the flood gates :D

While you're here, what style of milling vise would you recommend? Is a tilting swiveling vise actually useful or am I OK with this for now?

I've always mostly used the latter for the Sherline and hardly ever used the tilting column, in fact that latter was more of a pain as it would get misaligned over time.
I'd go for the latter, accuracy on those tilting clamps will be disappointing in that price class. If you can find one, I'd prefer to obtain an old quality vise cheaply (maybe with some restoring work) over buying a budget vise. The accuracy of your parts is very much dependent on the quality of the devices used to hold them in place.

This one is slightly more expensive, but looks way more precise to me. It's very much like the vices I use in the workshop. Also has some nice triangular cutouts in the jaws for clamping round parts.
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Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:21 pm

I actually have the 4" version of that tilting vise from BusyBee...it's a Groz, and quite nice really. It does suck up a lot of the z height though, and only gets used VERY rarely.

I bought one of these a few weeks back, after looking at it in the Edmonton store. https://www.busybeetools.com/products/4 ... ex-cx.html

Had to de-burr the edges and make a brass thrust washer for the vise screw. It's not a Kurt, but I find that I like it a lot.

The 3" vise lab linked to would also be a very good choice, although I'd personally prefer a 4". But...$$$...and having been burned on one milling vise, I won't buy them without laying eyes on them first.

Would also suggest you get a set of parallels if you don't already have.
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Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:21 am

That's a nice looking vice right Gippeto! Also has some proper weight to it, which usually is a good sign. How's the upwards travel on the moving jaw when clamping down hard on a workpiece?

The one I linked to has the benefit of the vise screw claming downwards, preventing the jaw from tilting when it is tightened. It's rather small though, 4"or 6" would be better.

Also, do you own a dial indicator? You'll really need one to properly align the vise with the machine X-axis, and to check the flatness of the bed relative to the X and Y slides.
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