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View Full Version : Question - Welding in winter in a Garage???



schu777
08-03-2009, 04:21 PM
This winter might be the first time I'll get to start the bike building and was wondering

1) Welding in a garage - can it be closed up or should I have the door open for ventilation?
2) Welding in winter - is there a problem with this, other than myself being cold? I could see that possible take longer to get things to weld since things are cold. Would a propane torch be useful in warming up the parts to be welded first?

I've never welded before and will have to raise some money to purchase a welder, but that will be a while before I have time to figure out what to sell...comics are on the list right now...

Michael

Locutus
08-03-2009, 04:33 PM
Definitely ventilate your welding area. But aside from that, I guess it depends on what you are welding and the outside temperature. I successfully welded mild steel in winter temperatures, but then again, our winters here seldom go below freezing. I can't speak about aluminum, but if you use chromoly steel (4130) you should probably warm up your joints with a propane torch prior to welding, and perhaps also afterward to slow down the cooling. I think an arc welder (stick welder) will probably give you better penetration under winter conditions than a MIG welder would, and they're cheaper too. But I'm not sure about this last point because I've only used a stick welder.

savarin
08-03-2009, 09:15 PM
As Locutus states.
Ventilate but you shouldnt need the door wide open, a window would be sufficient unless your welding galvanised steel. See warnings else where here.
Extra heat at the joints depends upon what method of welding.
MIG - sections obove 1/32" thick I would say yes definitely. Heavy sections get just under red hot to aid penetration.
ROD - usually not required but if thick sections then well worth while.
OXY/ACET - not required
TIG - not required.

Chrome moly needs heat treatment after welding to stress relieve but the thin stuff we use is not supposed to be required.

25hz
08-04-2009, 08:11 AM
If you are using an arc welder, sure, ventilation would be a good thing. Not being much of a brazer, I would say ventilation might not be a bad thing because of the flux there either. It depends on the size of your garage too.

I weld with a 110v MIG with gas. Before I weld, I take the pieces and use a wire wheel on them to clean them first, so any kind of smoke or fume production during welding is minimal or non-existent, usually non-existent. I don't ventilate as the tacks and beads are short. I weld up to 1/4" steel and I don't worry about pre-heating.

Don't over think things. Start welding. If you have problems, deal with them as they present themselves because they're easy to deal with. Don't do "the sky is falling" before you even strike an arc. If you are planning to start working on a regular basis in your garage, buying some insulation and slowly insulating your garage is money well spent.

Richie Rich
08-04-2009, 08:55 PM
Hi, Michael...

I do all of my bike building in the Winter. It helps me get through the cold, snowy New England Winters when there's not much else to do except shovel the stuff from one spot to another. :elf:

I get my parts cut and ready, then I open the garage door, roll my welder over to the open door and fire away. I've never had a problem in 9 years of doing this.

An advantage of Winter building is that I can throw the hot parts into a snow pile to cool them off.

My garage isn't insulated, so I do the assembly in the basement. Then, when Spring rolls around, I'm ready to roll...!!

.....Richie Rich...
.

graucho
08-04-2009, 10:19 PM
Hey Michael, I have to agree with Richie Rich. Im like a caged animal in the winter. I have to spend a lot of "cold" time out in the garage. I do have a heated garage but its not worth heating it when your schedule only allows an hour at a time. I crack the garage door a foot, crack the service door and crank up a fan blowing past my welding area. (yes, there is a little wind chill LOL) Remember you probably will only be welding 10 minutes here and there. If your vented a bit everything is OK.
This shot its 16 deg in the garage. -22deg outside.
http://s284.photobucket.com/albums/ll13/grauchosbikes/grauchos_build/grauchos_build/?action=view&current=13_graucho_frame.jpg

savarin
08-05-2009, 08:15 AM
Middle of winter in my garage I have to wear a T shirt instead of a singlet as it gets so cold.:jester:

savarin
08-05-2009, 08:21 AM
Something I should have mentioned regarding the preheat of some joints depends upon how well your welder works.
My little mig does not produce good penetration in thicker sections which is why I tried heating first and was astounded by the results.

macka
08-05-2009, 11:11 AM
welding in the winter is a non issue if you do things right. If you are just learning to weld you will be changing your speed and feed as the temperatures come up. If you are welding standard cold rolled electric welded tubing, spend the time and practice on some small sections to see what works best. I use a small electric fan heater to keep my work warmish, but for CREW tubing, I run more current but don't change the speed of the wire feed. The electric heater blowing across the work keeps it from cooling too fast, and also blows away the fumes. You may have to shield the piece if you are using a standard MIG welder, but a flux core welder won't have issues.

Freth
09-16-2009, 09:40 PM
And ... of course ... if for any reason you weld EMT tubing (which has a shiny silver coating) ... make darn sure you have a fan blowing cross-ventilation. The smoke fumes from that are hazardous to your health. :-)

darwin-t
10-12-2009, 04:47 PM
How does one keep the welding mask lens from getting fogged up? Hold your breath while welding?

jimFPU
10-12-2009, 04:51 PM
I use a fan behind me, High for summer,and low for winter. Keeps the fog out and the toxic fumes blow away!

likebikes
10-19-2009, 10:59 PM
I MIG in my basement in the winter. The PO had a wood burner in the back corner but I never got into the habit of using it so I moved it. In the pic you can see the ice cream bucket in the wall where the flue pipe went. There is a duct fan shoved in there now. When I weld, I pull the pale, plug in the fan and the fumes are no problem at all, they don't even accumulate enough to notice. I'm warm and that might explain why it takes me so long to do anything, no sense of urgency. :sleep1::jester:

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p142/courtnek100/19Oct2009.jpg

schu777
10-20-2009, 10:25 AM
I MIG in my basement in the winter.

I think my wife would be upset with me on this one...plus I have all my wood working equipment in the basement too...

However, I'm trying to save up some money to at least purchase a Harbor Freight MIG welder...probably won't be until the new year til I'm able to purchase it...

Michael

Danner
10-21-2009, 10:15 PM
I MIG in my basement in the winter. The PO had a wood burner in the back corner but I never got into the habit of using it so I moved it. In the pic you can see the ice cream bucket in the wall where the flue pipe went. There is a duct fan shoved in there now. When I weld, I pull the pale, plug in the fan and the fumes are no problem at all, they don't even accumulate enough to notice. I'm warm and that might explain why it takes me so long to do anything, no sense of urgency. :sleep1::jester:



Perfect setup!