welding how-tos?

I want to learn how to weld aluminum and steel. Anyone know of good sources of information and/or starter kits?

Old^n^Tired9 years ago
If your on a tight budget and want to start from scratch, you might try building your own mig welder spool gun that uses flux cored welding wire. Something like the commercial product known as the " Ready Welder ". There's also a DIY home built version here:
The Makowicki welder

Actually I didn't care for the design he used, but if it works....

I'm planning on building a slightly modified version of that one myself, but I don't have much free time, little money to spare and its winter. So, I hope to get to it before the planets align, (or when it warms up).

Those spool guns are great, but keep in mind that you'll need a good helmet, (preferably an auto darkening one), welding gloves , welding apron and its a good idea to have an asbestos blanket, (to shield things you don't want sparks flying onto), and fire extinguisher close by when welding. I know some people think of the spool gun as a little "add on", as though it were a toy, but they can weld aluminum, stainless steel and normal steel plate up to 3/4" thick. Try doing that with one of those elcheapo 90 amp mig welders! Good luck!
possien10 years ago
Both are easy to learn but require greatly different equipment. Aluminum requires an inert gas (Argon) to shield the area being welded, usually a TIG (GTAW) welder or a MIG (GMAW) welder setup for aluminum. The setups are a bit pricey compared to welding steel. For steel you can use a very inexpensive MIG welder or gas welding outfit for almost anything steel and get very good results. Get a copy of the "Welders Handbook" to get an idea of what you need for different welding processes.
spikolli10 years ago
The best bet is to take a gas welding course in the evening. A 4 week course is pretty cheap and once you learn to weld with gas much of the information transfers over to other types of welding. Also look at buying the lincon handbook of welding. It was how I finally learned to weld ALU well.