View Full Version : Best weld for 1.5 mild steel Square tubing

01-08-2014, 09:03 PM
Good day all
Since considering building a Warrior tadpole trike, a number of people have given me different advice on the best weld type (Stick, MIG, or TIG or ...????)
The welding teacher at the school suggested MIG while others have suggested different methods for better strength.
I want to be certain it doesn't fall apart at 30KPM...but i want it to look good as well.


01-08-2014, 09:44 PM
This one is truly an "it depends" answer... with it depending on what you are most comfortable with.

There are builders here who use each of the welding processes and each will give you an answer as to why it is best for them, whether it be cost, comfort, skill/experience, or what their friend/relative will let them use/borrow. :)

For the cleanest welds, MIG and TIG generally give the cleanest looking weld, but a skilled Stick or Fluxcore/Wire Feed welder can give just as clean a weld. The question of strength comes down to filler material (pretty much all of them have better strength properties than mild steel) and penetration, which is where the comfort and experience steps in.

The thing to remember is that there is someone here who can can probably answer or help you find the answer to just about any question you come up with as you progress in your zombification.

Note, if you will be working outside some/all of the time, then make sure your machine is capable of either Stick (optional with TIG welders) or Fluxcore/Wire (optional with MIG welders) so that you can still work if there is any breeze because MIG and TIG don't work without shielding gas, and shielding gas doesn't work well with breezes or wind.

Personally, I have a Stick/TIG machine. Surprisingly to me, I've actually used the Stick function more than the TIG so far, mainly because it is fast and harder to screw up on thicker materials.

Note: If you plan to ever play with Aluminum you will be best off with an AC/DC TIG welder. You can use MIG for AL with a Spool Gun, but the best results are using TIG. Keep in mind that very few trikes here have been made using AL so help will be harder to come by.

Good luck, enjoy yourself and your new hobby, and join in on the discussion. Just check out the link in the menu bar titled "Posting Photos (http://www.atomiczombie.com/Forum%20Photos.aspx)" for directions on how to attach pictures to your posts, and check out the dates in the top left corner of each post before responding to old threads... it's best to start a new one if they are very old...


01-08-2014, 10:20 PM
This one is truly an "it depends" answer... with it depending on what you are most comfortable with

Plus one one on this i use the oxy acetelyne process.

01-09-2014, 09:16 AM
For strong joints consider adding gusset plates to the high stress joints. Remember this is thin material your working with so stress of joints must be considered. YES lots of recumbent have been built with out using gussets but the use of almost gives you a 110% guarantee of joint reliability. Especially if your a novice welder. Appearance is good after you dress up the joints. Remember the joint is only as strong as the the base material that has slightly lost some of its temper due to welding.


01-09-2014, 09:01 PM
IMO, it is best to use TIG as the welds look more professional and don't require grinding, sanding or finishing. After I build a frame it goes for a light sand blast and then is powder coated, or can be painted and then is finished for assembly.

Radical Brad
01-09-2014, 10:11 PM
And at the other end of the scale, I have only used a cheap AC buzz box, and only use 3/32 6013 rod.
I store rods outdoors, weld in the cold, sun, or rain, and almost never touch the amp setting.

So, it's really just what you get used to.

The only weld I have ever done that failed was a braze job way back in the day.


01-09-2014, 11:03 PM

There you have it from the Master- Brad- It is what ever your used to. Key is proper penetration of the base metal to make a strong weld. All the above will create a strong weld.
Some look nicer
Some have a faster learning curb
Some need lots of clean up
Then there is the $ factor as some are really cheap and others are fairly expensive.
But they are all methods to melt steel to steel to turn 2 pieces into 1 piece without deforming the base metal.
So pick your poison and go for it.

07-17-2014, 12:41 PM
Just a question about rods. What about e7018? I'm finding that I can weld better with these (go figure) but I've noticed the penetration is slightly less. Anyone using e7018 have these issues? I've been practicing as much as possible and the less penetrating appearing welds aren't coming apart with a hammer.