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I want to start to make my own stuff for my project bikes. They are mostly rat rod bikes that use old rusty parts. Now I want to start to use new sheet metal to make tanks, fairings and fenders. ultimately I want to make my own lugged frames.

Currently I am in a welding 2 class where we are learning TIG. My project this class is going to be to put back together a cut up steel kids bmx frame. Most rodders I know just use Mig, but won't that blow right through the small stuff. Currently I build about 3 bikes per year so volume is not high. I rather have a nice bead than snot.

Any suggestions on a starting point.
 

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Well, it's funny you should ask. I just asked this same question to my welding instructor last night. I've got a lincoln 110 in my garage and I asked him his opinion on using it for bike frames. He suggested chro-mo steel, .030 or .025 wire. It's possible but use gas, I need to dig up my notes, but i think he said Argon. Maybe someone can verify? Ultimately TIG is the way to go but MIG is what I got, so...

Also I've been chopping bikes for awhile. On regular old garage sale frames I've had luck with the MIG but the welds aren't pretty and I haven't beat on them to hard to find out how much they'll take. Hope this helps. I'll get back at you to verify my notes, I just don't have them with me right now.
 

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FastFix said:
...He suggested chro-mo steel, .030 or .025 wire.
Maybe I'm misreading, but in case your suggesting using 4130 filler rod:

The only situation one should consider using 4130 filler rod is when heat treating is necessary/planned. Preheating and postweld heat treating are required to prevent cracking.

Otherwise the use of mild steel ER70S or ER80S is preferred
 

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FastFix said:
Well, it's funny you should ask. I just asked this same question to my welding instructor last night. I've got a lincoln 110 in my garage and I asked him his opinion on using it for bike frames. He suggested chro-mo steel, .030 or .025 wire. It's possible but use gas, I need to dig up my notes, but i think he said Argon. Maybe someone can verify? Ultimately TIG is the way to go but MIG is what I got, so...

Also I've been chopping bikes for awhile. On regular old garage sale frames I've had luck with the MIG but the welds aren't pretty and I haven't beat on them to hard to find out how much they'll take. Hope this helps. I'll get back at you to verify my notes, I just don't have them with me right now.
A 110 welder properly setup will get the job done. I'd go with .023, gives you a little bit better control on thin stuff. As far as shielding gas, "mig mix" is what's commonly used 25% CO2 75% Argon. Be sure to check your power leads in the machine for the correct polarity if you are switching it from flux core to shielded.
 
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