X9 Owners & Riders Club

Other Bikes and Scooters => Bike Fettlers Shed => Topic started by: JCX9 on September 08, 2008, 06:09:34

Title: Welding
Post by: JCX9 on September 08, 2008, 06:09:34
Questions for those of you here who've got experience with welding scooter frame/components etc;

What's your recommended basic setup for the general types of welding that might need doing on a scoot, what's your weapon of choice?

Any useful online resources for someone who might be interested in getting a rig and eventually "learning the trade" for home use, so to speak?

Speak and be heard, oh Masters!  :D

Title: Re: Welding
Post by: Dave Milnes on September 08, 2008, 10:37:44
The most versatile to learn to use is a MIG, but 'easy' is hardly the right description. All welding requires a lot of practice and steady hand to eye co-ordination to feed the rod in while moving along.

MIG has the advantage of different gases and rod types but the small domestic sets come with little bottles about the size of a small drinks flask and they are totally inadequate. What you need is an O2 bottle from a local pub which is like a diving bottle, and with a conversion easily done to the regulator can be charged with CO2 or Argon/mix for MIG use. You can weld mild or stainless or even alloy with the right wire and gas.
You also don't need such a dark welding shield so aren't working 'blind' as much. You can tell whan a MIG is working right by the sound of the spark, it should be a steady fizz. The rod feed speed needs tweaking so the rod feeds in at the correct amount as you progress along the seam and this takes a lot of getting right and you have to avoid manually moving the gun closer.

Domestic electric arc sets are really quite good and the secret to a good weld is a decent rod. Getting the balance of power to rod size is the key so you weld rather than blast holes, or just leave slag and flux everywhere! Mild and stainless are fine but good stainless rods can be quite expensive and are best not stored for long periods or they seem to get damp and hard to strike. Always weld uphill so the flux runs down away from the rod.
You also need to be very careful not to strike without the glass shield or you can easily get a very painful eye (like a migrane) caused by the bright spark burning the retina.

You can't easily weld thin plate like car bodywork with arc, but MIG excels in this but isn't ideal for thick material and deeper welds where ultimate strength is needed.

The Clarke models sold at Machine Mart are best value and very good tackle for light domestic use.

Gas welders are like MIG but you have to be careful of local regulations about storage of large gas bottles on domestic premises and they are hardly inconspicuous, especially when a big wagon arrives to deliver top-ups.

Title: Re: Welding
Post by: JCX9 on September 08, 2008, 23:12:33
Thanks for the info, Dave.  What sort of power range would you recommend?  100-200Amps?


Title: Re: Welding
Post by: Winterhawk on October 12, 2011, 10:51:14
The best sort of set is a mig as Dave has already said. There is the option of going with a "no Gas" set up. These machines use a special spool if wire with a flux component that shields the arc from the air. For small jobs they are pretty good and ideal for the home mechanic who does very limited amount of stuff.
For most of the work you will encounter on scooters you don't need much more than 100 amps,but as with all welding on vehicles be especially careful around fuel tank, fuel lines etc and remove the battery before welding otherwise you might cause some damage to the electronics on a bike.
Arc-eye or the flash from a arc is dangerous and very uncomfortable. In mild cases it feels like a eye ful of sand and your eyes will stream. An old treatment for this is to make a cup of black tea, let it cool then use an eye bath and bathe the eye with the cold tea... I think it's something to do with the tannin that soothes the eye. I always have some on standby when welding incase I catch a flash.
The best sort of mask to use is one that darkens when you strike an are then clears when you stop welding. They are reasonably priced now.
Welding is something you get a feel for.. A good arc sounds like bacon frying..and make sure what you are welding is clean..

Title: Re: Welding
Post by: Bazza on October 26, 2011, 20:37:08
I know you guys were chatting about welders etc...I've just seen this currently on offer - http://www.aldi.co.uk/uk/html/offers/special_buys3_21512.htm

Prob pants but for the money, may get you out of trouble once or twice? Thought I would share it with you...

Title: Re: Welding
Post by: solorider on February 08, 2015, 14:51:45
For anyone considering a mig welder a no gas welder is better for outdoor use, the wind will blow the gas away, but a auto shielding mask is no good on an sunny day as the sunlight will make it go dark and stay dark, but for general use they are OK, but a no gas mig runs hotter so isbharder to get a decent weld and will tend to blow holes more readily, as to gas MIGs there are 2 types of gas, co2 and argo shield, co2 is a hotter weld and not as clean, argo shield is cooler and easier to get a clean and decent weld.