Welding advice for beginner

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Thread: Welding advice for beginner

  1. #1
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    Welding advice for beginner

    Hey all.

    So I received my copy of The Art of Terminator Salvation and am now inspired to build a 1/6 Moto Terminator. I know, high aspirations here.
    But looking at my two 1/6 super bikes, looks like I can recycle a lot of the parts. So the big issue here is that I want to make most of the "frame" in metal (steel/brass rods) and the details cast in resin. I fear that after it's completed, the weight of it may be too much for a plastic frame.
    And the bigger issue is that I have never welded anything. heh.

    So I am here to ask if anyone can point me in the right direction, namely:
    1. is there a "mini" version of a welder?
    2. What kind of welder should I be looking for?
    3. References (books, links, humans) for beginners
    4. Is this just a bad idea?!

    Thanks for your time
    -Jess
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Welding advice for beginner-mototerminator_hypermotard-jpg  

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  3. #2
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    I think you nailed it with number 4 mate unfortunately.
    Welding something that small would be an art in it's self!

    Have you thought about pinning the pieces in place?
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  4. #3
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    you never know Hot toys might do a Moto terminator.they did the batpod.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Brass tubing soldered with an soldering iron and a resistance soldering set up. The bending of the tubes would help with a good set of scale drawings and a tube bender would be of great assistance along with jigs to hold it together as your work progressed. Not impossible but quite a bit of work and learning curve as well if you've haven't worked with the medium before. A plastic proto type would be a great help as you'd have a replica of what you wanted in metal. You could use solid rod but tubing would prove much stronger. Plus with tubing you could pin parts together.

  7. #5
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    I agree with crew chief, brass soldering should work best for that application you have in mind.

    I personally only have experience with Shield Gas Welding, Electrode Welding, Oxyfuel Welding and Brass Soldering (havent done that last one myself though) and all the ones ive tried dont seam feasible for what you wanna do since its more for larger parts, bigger welds.

    Brass Soldering or maybe Spotwelding might work, but i dont think getting a spot welder for a single project makes sense.
    Last edited by Paladin; 09-02-2009 at 08:51.
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  8. #6
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    How about changing the material completely? They make styrene rod in different diameters which are very simple to bend with heat and very simple to join with a plastic weld. All you need to do then is paint like metal and voila! Just a thought. Just take a look here at what can be done with styrene, this guy is the best at scratchbuilding, peruse his site for some ideas. http://fichtenfoo.net/blog/in-progre...d-dune-hopper/
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  9. #7
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Don't forget ABS plastic like the Plastruct products. ABS is usually a little stronger and stiffer. Metal is a pain in the neck for many of us and may not be necessary. Wood is also another alternative.

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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    All great advice!

    Looks like I have some research to do. And yeah, HT may in fact make on of these puppies in the very near future. But at what price? If I can acquire new tools/skills and learn something in the process for under the amount of $$$ that a HT version would cost...I consider that a success.

    The Styrene idea sounds pretty intriguing as does the soldering brass rod. And purchasing a spot welder is totally out of the question.
    I plan to start with some scale drawings. I was looking at it for hours last night while pulled apart a 1/6 Honda super-bike...and there will be a LOT of reverse engineering to do!

    I will research theses methods and post some findings if anyone is interested.

    @J3D1 - yeah - this may all turn out to be a bad idea altogether - but I once punctured a half-empty spray-paint can when I was 8 years old just to see what kind of 'marble' was inside. One hell of a scare and temporary blindness taught me that it was a bad idea.

    Thanks again guys and if you happen across any other info - please share.

    -Jess

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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by nomelrw View Post
    Don't forget ABS plastic like the Plastruct products. ABS is usually a little stronger and stiffer. Metal is a pain in the neck for many of us and may not be necessary. Wood is also another alternative.

    Found this at Plastruct Inc homepage: Could be what i'm looking for in plastic; Thanks!

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  12. #10
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by H34crewchief View Post
    Brass tubing soldered with an soldering iron and a resistance soldering set up. The bending of the tubes would help with a good set of scale drawings and a tube bender would be of great assistance along with jigs to hold it together as your work progressed. Not impossible but quite a bit of work and learning curve as well if you've haven't worked with the medium before. A plastic proto type would be a great help as you'd have a replica of what you wanted in metal. You could use solid rod but tubing would prove much stronger. Plus with tubing you could pin parts together.
    Totally forgot about brass welding doh!
    You can also get some brazing rods and a small blow torch.

    Soldering sometimes works.
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    If you go down the abs route, pipe weld will literally weld the pieces together.
    I used it for my 1:1 Stormie and it is mega strong stuff.
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by J3D1 View Post
    If you go down the abs route, pipe weld will literally weld the pieces together.
    I used it for my 1:1 Stormie and it is mega strong stuff.

    I've only seen abs is large ~2 - 6 inch piping. Are smaller sizes available? Yeah - the pipe weld/glue works very well - I have used it in plumbing applications.

    what is your 1:1 Stormie?

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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    There is a range of plastic tubes and other sections that goes under the trade name of Plastruct. They are extruded in ABS plastic and if glued together with pipeweld or Plastructs own solvent can make quite strong structures. The tubes range in size from 3mm or 1/8" up to 150mm or 6". If you really wanted to get involved in a metal frame, I would use K&S brass tube and rod. Because the different sizes telescope in side each other, it is easy to make sleeved joints. The best way to hold it all together would then be soft or electrical type solder, which you can melt into joints with a decent size ( 40 watt + ) Soldering iron.
    What ever you do, do have a go, and of course show us how you get on. Good luck

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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Dude, dont do it!!! Marriage is for the... oh, wait, WELDING. Cant help ya.

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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by unklian View Post
    There is a range of plastic tubes and other sections that goes under the trade name of Plastruct. They are extruded in ABS plastic and if glued together with pipeweld or Plastructs own solvent can make quite strong structures. The tubes range in size from 3mm or 1/8" up to 150mm or 6". If you really wanted to get involved in a metal frame, I would use K&S brass tube and rod. Because the different sizes telescope in side each other, it is easy to make sleeved joints. The best way to hold it all together would then be soft or electrical type solder, which you can melt into joints with a decent size ( 40 watt + ) Soldering iron.
    What ever you do, do have a go, and of course show us how you get on. Good luck

    Great advice unklian. Thanks for all the detailed info. At this point, I am probably going to buy some pieces of both abs and brass tubing for some testing. Good to know that the abs tubing comes in a range of small sizes since looking closer at this thing, there is a LOT of small diameter details.
    hmm.
    I am going to order some supplies from hobbylinc.com unless you guys know of another reputable resource.
    thanks again - this has been a great help.


    -Jess

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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by MediumMack View Post
    Dude, dont do it!!! Marriage is for the... oh, wait, WELDING. Cant help ya.
    LMAO - Welding/Wedding - good stuff Mack!

  19. #17
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Don't under rate resistance soldering. If you can get your hands on silver solder paste you can work wonders and won't need many heat sinks. ( Good old wet tissue will work in a pinch.) Once you get used to the settings you need ground it, hold it with the tweezers or rod attachment, apply the juice and its done at the joint. Practicing in plastice is a good idea as it'll give you the basics that will help on the real metal frame. Good silver solder is tough and has a higher melting point so that the extras that you attach after the basic frame is done can be attached with a lower temp solder. A basic jewery class can give you a good basics in working with metal and soldering plus you can make your main squeeze a trinket or two.

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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by H34crewchief View Post
    Don't under rate resistance soldering. If you can get your hands on silver solder paste you can work wonders and won't need many heat sinks. ( Good old wet tissue will work in a pinch.) Once you get used to the settings you need ground it, hold it with the tweezers or rod attachment, apply the juice and its done at the joint. Practicing in plastice is a good idea as it'll give you the basics that will help on the real metal frame. Good silver solder is tough and has a higher melting point so that the extras that you attach after the basic frame is done can be attached with a lower temp solder. A basic jewery class can give you a good basics in working with metal and soldering plus you can make your main squeeze a trinket or two.

    Thanks crewchief!
    - Resistance soldering: too expensive for me right now. I have not found a kit for under $300.
    - Silver solder paste is also pretty expensive at around $30.00.
    So I am going to try a 5-40 watt soldering iron, Silver Bearing solder, Tix Solder and various metals to see which works best. If the bearing solder sux, then I will try the silver paste.

    I remember another reason I wanted to use all metal: electroplating! That would just be badass!!

    Anyway - thanks for everyone's input. I should start the schematics this weekend (time permitting).

    Will keep you all posted.

    Thanks again

    -Jess

  21. #19
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Good luck mate, keep us posted.
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  22. #20
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Jess good luck with your endevors. I've had my resistance unit over thirty years so I'm a bit behind on todays costs. Just remember heat sinks and wet tissues to help in localizing the heat.

  23. #21
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    Re: Welding advice for beginner

    Thanks chief!

    Wow - 30 years?! - maybe it's worth the investment after all. hmmm

    In the end, I think this project will, if nothing else, be a good learning experience. So far I have learned about the many different (non-welding) ways to bond small metal pieces. And at the core, this is what the hobby is all about for me.

    Really, I think the 'work' will be in getting accurate references (that I can actually see) and drawing the vehicle to scale.

    Thanks for the well wishes and now time to get to work.

    -Jess

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