Where To Buy Metal For Welding
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Welding is one of themost durable ways to connect pieces of metal. It's used foreverything from car parts to fences to building structures. Whilemost metals do best when welded to similar materials, welding ofdissimilar metals is also possible in some cases, depending on themakeup of the metals and the welding process used to fuse them.
As the most abundantmetal on earth, aluminum is used in a variety of applications.Aluminum has an unusually great ability to resist corrosion, whichmakes it durable and less prone to damage over time.
The material is used ina wide variety of industries, many of which require welding forcertain materials. You can find aluminum in all sorts of vehicles,from cars to airplanes. It's also used in buildings, especially inplaces where its lightweight and durable features are prioritized.
Aluminum welding worksbest with stick welding, gas metal arc welding, and AC-TIG welding.Not all aluminum can be easily welded, however. Certain grades ofaluminum weld more easily than others. Some require extra care,including filler materials that help the materials fuse together.
Perhaps the most commonmetal used in welding projects, steel has many qualities that make itideal for this process. Steel is relatively cheap, which makes it apopular choice. It also has a high tensile strength, which means thatit can withstand a great deal of stress before it breaks.
As an alloy, steelcomes in several different forms. Welders use stainless steel, carbonsteel, and low-carbon mild steel, depending on the project. Mildsteel is especially ductile, which makes it easy to weld. The morecarbon steel has, the more effort it takes to weld, though weldingcarbon steels still happens with the proper equipment and methods.
Steel welding workswith most welding types, which is another reason it's a popularmaterial. Methods used for steel welding include stick welding, fluxwire welding, gas metal arc welding, resistance spot welding, andDC-TIG welding. AC-TIG welding is not typically used with steelparts.
Cast iron is, asexpected, a type of iron. Often, the term cast refers tomaterials that have been shaped for a particular purpose. As amaterial, cast iron has a relatively low melting point, which makesit a great candidate for welding.
Many other materialsare routinely used in welding projects. Magnesium alloys, brass,copper, and titanium are common. Unlike aluminum, steel, and iron,which can all be welded using basic stick welding, these metalsrequire more specialized methods.
Magnesium alloys can bewelded with AC-TIG welding methods. Brass and copper respond best toDC-TIG welding, as does titanium. These methods require specializedequipment and safety measures, so only qualified, experienced weldersshould handle them.
Which metal you usedepends on the project and what welding methods are available. AtSam's Welding, Inc, we offer both in-shop and mobile weldingservices. Contactus today to make a plan for your welding project.
Zielinski: Any welding or manufacturing business owner needs to be outgoing and not scared of rejection. You need to have an uncontrollable desire to succeed and enjoy dealing with people. As I wrote in my book many times, people buy from people they like, and that is a fact of life. To succeed in this or any business, you need to like going out to introduce yourself to potential customers, spending countless hours bidding on contracts, and after all that, your efforts may not pay off for a long time. Besides being a people person, you need the creativity to come up with new or innovative business ideas that nobody else is doing. Any business in general is a gamble, and you need to keep a laser-like focus on the ultimate goal, which is locking in contracts at all costs!
Zielinski: It all depends on where they are starting from and the industry they want to service. Since this is a tough question to answer, I will give a couple of examples: starting a one-person mobile welding business and starting a metal fabrication shop. The book also covers starting a manufacturing business.
A One-person Mobile Welding . I would say you should at least be able to pass a 6G E6010 open root with an E7018 fill and cap welding certification, and a stainless 6G open root TIG all the way out certification. At the very minimum, you should be able to pass a 4G welding cert.
A Metal Fabrication Shop. If you are starting a one-person metal fabrication shop, you might be fine with a 3G MIG and stick certification. In this case, the business is more about fabricating and building products.
Independent Contracting. This is the best case and easiest way to get started as a welding business. It is as easy as hiring yourself out as an independent contractor to local businesses that need temporary help. All you need is the right insurance and basic personal protective equipment (PPE). For under $1,000, you could become profitable in just a few days.
Mobile Welding Business. This type of business typically becomes profitable in about six months. A lot of expenses need to be recouped before you see a free and clear paycheck. Your costs are the vehicle, welding and cutting equipment, insurance, living expenses, and advertising. You need to remember that the more you spend on equipment, the longer it will take to turn a profit. You can buy a used rig and equipment and cut your break-even point by a significant amount of time or spend $100,000 on a rig and take years to break even.
If you are planning to open a welding business, you need to develop a business plan. Most welders think business plans are a waste of time. The truth is, a business plan will give you a very good idea about how much money and time you need to establish your business.
Contractors earn more, but hiring them actually saves the business money and affords it the freedom to hire as many workers as needed. Contractors typically are aspiring welding business owners and are highly skilled.
The hourly rate can be difficult to determine because of the many different areas and skill sets in welding. As a basic guideline, I would offer the going welder overtime rate for your area and industry, which should be somewhere around the time-and-a-half rate for the type of work to be performed.
Some suggestions for finding welders are through word-of-mouth, local schools, welding inspectors, welding supply stores, and publications such as Industrial Projects Report and Industrial Tradesman. These are all resources for welders who want to own their own businesses and are looking for a foot in the door to working for themselves.
Another alternative is borrowing welders from other welding businesses that are slow and giving that owner a small markup on the hourly rate. In this case, you give a struggling shop a break and some much-needed income. This way, everybody is happy!
Zielinski: Most welding businesses fail because they have no real business plan. In my book, there is a subchapter with a title that sums up business plans: If you fail to plan, then you must plan to fail!
The FABRICATOR is North America's leading magazine for the metal forming and fabricating industry. The magazine delivers the news, technical articles, and case histories that enable fabricators to do their jobs more efficiently. The FABRICATOR has served the industry since 1970.
TIG and MIG torches both produce an electric arc between the material and the electrode during welding. This melts the metal so the filler material can combine with it. Both welding processes require clean and clear surfaces to get the best results. Make sure you brush off any dirt or debris before you start welding.
TIG welding involves a tungsten electrode that runs a current through the metals you want to join. After the electrode heats the metals and they liquefy, the welder manually dips the filler material into the puddle and the two pieces begin to join.
MIG welding involves feeding a metal wire connected to an electrode that melds your project together. This wire runs the filler material through the torch and to the liquefied metal. MIG uses short-circuit welding. When the weld puddle forms, the inert gas comes out of the gun and protects the puddle from other elements in the atmosphere. As a result, the inert gas acts as a shield so you can weld the metals.
A major difference between these two forms of arc welding is the equipment used. Since they both approach welding with different methods, the equipment must be different to accommodate these changes. The next sections will show you the different components used between TIG and MIG welding.
While you might be leaning toward a particular kind of welding technique, knowing the advantages and disadvantages will help you make a more informed decision of what will help you reach your goal and complete the best welding job for your project.
Using TIG and MIG welding could be the difference in your project that takes it to the next level. You could greatly reduce the time and effort spent making it and improve the quality and durability of the final product.
TIG welding is a time-consuming, two-handed welding method that requires an experienced, highly-skilled operator. TIG welding may generate extreme heat that deforms thin materials, produces poor visual finishes, is difficult when welding copper, and limited when welding metals of dissimilar thicknesses.
MIG welding requires consumable wire, material pre-cleaning and beveled joints for thick metals for full penetration. Travel and work angles are limited and vertical positions are extremely challenging.
LightWELD comes preloaded with optimized welding parameters for the most common materials and thicknesses. You can adjust the power up or down to match your travel speed and desired penetration, and you can save those settings and recall them as needed.
Wobble welding oscillates the beam back-and-forth at various frequencies to produces wider seams and more aesthetic welds. It is also helpful for parts with poor fit-up. LightWELD comes with optimized, preprogrammed wobble parameters and allows on-the-fly control of up to 5 mm of wobble welding at adjustable frequencies up to 300 Hz. 59ce067264