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Old 17.04.2010, 17:23
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Welding

How does one go about learning to weld without attending a full technical school? I think it would be a good thing to know how to do. Anyone have any tips?

Are there any welders here in the Basel area that could point me in the right direction?
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Old 17.04.2010, 17:25
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Re: Welding

I guess as long as you wear a mask and dont set anything on fire you should be ok. But since this is Switzerland i guess you have to give notice to your neighbours and the regie, make sure everything is clean and quiet and absolutely do not do it on a Sunday :P
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Old 17.04.2010, 17:31
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Re: Welding

Wow! What a great joke! So original! Did you just think of that now, or have you been saving it up for awhile?
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Old 17.04.2010, 17:46
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Re: Welding

Apologies. I didnt read the post correctly. OK to answer your question. As far as i see from my country you just get the tools and do it. I agree with a bit of training it would be better but i have only experience were i come from.
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Old 17.04.2010, 17:52
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Re: Welding

Welding is not that difficult to do, if you just want to stick two pieces of metal together. If you want to weld oil pipeline where each joint is x-rayed and one bad weld means you are looking for a new job, then school is in order.

There is an excellent book Welder's Handbook by Richard Finch that would be a good read for someone interested in learning.

There are of course different kinds of welding: MIG, TIG, DC arc, AC arc, and more. For hobby/occasional use a simple AC arc welder can be found on Ricardo for under 100 bucks. These are inexpensive to use as there is just the 'stick' that is used as a filler metal to buy and these are cheap. Cheap MIG welders are also available and are attractive to new welders as they use wire that feeds out of a little gun as you weld and can seem easier to get results from than the old arc welders. These are a poor buy as they simply aren't rugged enough, and often rely on expensive special wire to avoid the need for shielding gas (no gas needed on an AC arc stick welder).

I would suggest buying the book, doing some reading, and then buying a cheap AC arc rig off Ricardo. You'll be making art out of scrap metal in no time!

For the pedantic among us, a welder is the machine and a weldor is the person using it. So the book is mistitled .
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Old 17.04.2010, 17:54
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Re: Welding

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How does one go about learning to weld without attending a full technical school?
What kind of welding do you want to learn?

http://www.weldprocedures.com/weldingprocesses.html

Back in my school days I learned Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) and Gas welding (which I enjoyed the most).
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Old 17.04.2010, 17:54
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Re: Welding

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Wow! What a great joke! So original! Did you just think of that now, or have you been saving it up for awhile?
Auch, hahaa...

Ok. I know one. It's a dangerous job, I think he taught himself. He comes home with metal chips all over him, his shoes and socks and burnt marks on his arms and fingers. He might tell you if he sees this. The stench of burnt metal is cool.
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Old 17.04.2010, 20:40
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Re: Welding

You can't learn welding from books. Check these sites:
www.ferrum-metall.ch
http://www.rowemetall.ch/05_kurse.html
www.listec.ch

Alternatively you can ask an apprentice instructor to teach you in the company's workshop. Any decent bigger shop's training a couple of apprentices.

Last edited by vwild1; 17.04.2010 at 20:43. Reason: fixed link
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Old 17.04.2010, 20:50
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Re: Welding

This might help

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Old 19.04.2010, 23:47
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Re: Welding

Wow, thanks for the replies and the links. You guys are great!

There is so much information here and it will take me awhile to really sift through all of it. There are so many terms that I am unfamiliar with. I had no idea that there were so many welding varieties. From what I see, the choice of technique depends mostly on the type of metal being welded. Is that right?

I want to be able to stick different kinds of metal together. Small things and big things. Fences made out of bicycle frames. All kinds of Alt-metal welded into a big geometrical ball. Huge pieces of railroad scrap metal!

Ideally I would like to get a cheap setup that would be very flexible in terms of the material. Would an arc welder or a gas welder be the way to go?
(I assume these are the two main ones. There seem to be so many kinds. Fusion welding? Electron beam welding?! Gosh.)
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Old 20.04.2010, 10:27
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Re: Welding


Oh dear, you're in for a steep learning curve!
Learning to weld is a bit tricky and not without its injuries (have a supply of eye-drops at the ready for welders flash, especially if using an arc welder!)
As for making fences out of bicycle frames, learn to weld solid metal first... It's much easier to learn on whereas hollow section is easy to ruin as it's so thin & you'll blow holes in it quite often at the start. When you become more accomplished, you'll be able to fill in holes you create and hen use an angle grinder to smoothe it down so it's invisible.
You can't just weld any metal to any other, so the books may help with teaching you what you can do there, but also beware of metal that's been galvanised as you'll get quite a flare when welding it, but it's not impossible.

Good luck & enjoy the learning experience
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Old 29.01.2015, 13:34
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Re: Welding

As a welder myself, with 20 years experience I can tell you Swiss employers in general are narrow minded people. If you haven't made the education and don't speak flawless German, they will not hire you or even give you a chance.

My education was made in Canada and it spans over 8 years and includes certification in underwater welding as well as exotic pipeline alloys and an associates degree in Metallurgy.
I have worked on offshore drilling platforms and on refineries in the Canadian Northern oilfields.

In short, learn perfect German and make the education here.
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:06
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Re: Welding

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As a welder myself, with 20 years experience I can tell you Swiss employers in general are narrow minded people. If you haven't made the education and don't speak flawless German, they will not hire you or even give you a chance.

My education was made in Canada and it spans over 8 years and includes certification in underwater welding as well as exotic pipeline alloys and an associates degree in Metallurgy.
I have worked on offshore drilling platforms and on refineries in the Canadian Northern oilfields.

In short, learn perfect German and make the education here.
They likely figured this out 5 years ago or so, when they made the post…

Anyway, I imagine from your response that you are having more trouble finding a job than a young Swiss welder who's just finished his/her apprenticeship, even though you likely have more skills and experience then they will after a long career in CH.

Sucks not being able to use your skills, doesn't it?

So are you going to start a 4 year ausbildung in CH, in German, with a bunch of still-wet-behind-the-ears kids who can afford to work for an apprenticeship wage?

I feel your pain.

Best of luck with finding a position somewhere, and keep positive!
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:08
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Re: Welding

You dug a 5 year old thread out to say that?

I've read your other posts and yes it is difficult. You say your language skills are good enough for a shop environment, but what do you mean by that? I can converse (just) in French to get things, pay for them, etc, but I certainly couldn't attend on a client to advise them for example.

Like it or not, you are fighting against others who do speak a Swiss language, probably to a higher level than you do. I don't know, but assume that welding may well be something learned via an apprenticeship here so employers may well prefer people who they know have been through this apprenticeship.
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:23
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Re: Welding

Canadian welder, I'm not an expert by all means but just looking at your welding skills you are simply in the wrong place. You can easily find a job in Belgium/France/Netherlands/Germany where they need (underwater) welders in ship/repairyards etc. I believe in these places they will no doubt value your experience over your language skills.
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:25
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Re: Welding

I'm going back offshore to make some good money while I continue to work on my German.
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:34
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Re: Welding

Five year old thread! But interesting all the same.

My O/H has an interest in learning to do simple welding, so bought himself an electric welding thing-a-ma-bob at Landi. And now he awaits his grown up step-son to teach him.
Just to do small welding jobs around the house, and the sheer joy of being able to weld two pieces of metal together, when he feels like it He`s a carpenter, so working with metal will be "for fun".

Here in CH, trying to get some small welding job done by professionals is just too expensive (said he).

I banned him from buying a gas welding set - too scary for a beginner, imo.
Seen a weldor involved in a gas explosion and it wasn`t nice.
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:38
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Yeah, I didn't look at the date on the thread haha!

Oh, and a gas welding explosion is mild compared to a hydrogen sulphide explosion on drilling rigs

Last edited by 3Wishes; 29.01.2015 at 15:35. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:45
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Re: Welding

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I banned him from buying a gas welding set - too scary for a beginner, imo.
Seen a weldor involved in a gas explosion and it wasn`t nice.
Do you mean oxy/acetylene? Its not used very often for welding - but is for brazing softer materials - copper, bronze, silver, etc.
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Old 29.01.2015, 14:47
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Re: Welding

Yeah, brazing/soldering softer metals like brass, copper and bronze.
It's also commonly used for repairing cast iron
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