Types of different steel/metal products ?

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.lawnsite.com/buttons/jump.php?i' started by Bunton Guy, Sep 11, 2002.

  1. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,927

    I want to get into welding more.....I have a bunch of winter projects all drawn out and need to go buy the metal. Im a dummy when it comes to what the name of the metal type (i.e tube, square, cold rolled) is there a site that shows pictures of the different formes in which the steel comes in. I dont want to act like a dummy when I go to get the metal. I know I need flat sheets of metal, long square peices for strength, expanded flattened steel, 3/16" X 1-1/2 angle frame......other than those types I have no clue what the other PROPER names are. I dont want to walk into the factory and say I need a bunch of square thingies that look like [] and some flat sheets of that other stuff and some of this and that......Thanx in advance
  2. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,927

    Also looking to see which welder would suit me best for the conditions I will be using it in. My shop stays the same temp as outside all year long. I will be welding things for mowing such as a metal leaf collection box to go onto a dump bed (f-350) and making my own gadgets for the mowers and trailer such as blower rack, trimmer rack ect.....looking on Northerntool.com I found a few welders that suit my budget I know nothing about welders can you guys maybe explain which one would be best here are a few models that were in my budget

    Lincoln Electric 115 Vold weld pack
    century 230 amp AC welder
    cantury 230 amp AC/140 amp DC welder
  3. Alan Bechard

    Alan Bechard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 175

    If you must pick out of one, and from your post I assume you are a novice, go with the lincoln Weld-pak. Mig welding is the easiest to learn and has the most application in lawnmower repair. That machine will only comfortably do up to about 1/8" material but most items will fall under that limit.

    I strongly suggest a Vo-Tech, local college or better yet hanging around with someone that welds. Do not buy anything to learn with unless there is no other way around it. Get some experience and feel first without commiting too much money.

    If you are going to buy, buy a reputable name brand, Lincoln, miller, hobart are all "primary" brands. kind of like DC, Exmark and John Deere. In some ways you know you are not going wrong, and generally if you goofed you can turn around and sell those machines quickly at a small loss and recoup most of your money.

    Buying a century, Shumacher, Daytona Mig, Harbor Freight is kind of like getting A MTD, Murray or Husky, Yes they work and can do the job but used ones don't hold their value that well and you just tend to have to fiddle with them more. It is also bad to start with one of these as you will be going "is it me or is it the machine?"

    As to the identities of the steel, stop by a big steel supply house and ask for a book that shows whats available and the weights, Big houses will have these to give away, They can be really handy especially when trying to figure out what is available. I know that if it is not in the book than it is not common enough to get. Better to find a different peice and make it work. As far as getting laughed at I doubt that seriously, Just explain what you want and they will ask a series of questions to narrow it down. Also realize that not all steel suppliers, have, stock, produce the same items, especially when it comes to round tubing. It can get aggravating at times.

    Hope this helps

    Al Bechard 931-551-8129
  4. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,927

    Thanx.....you answered my question I will most likely go to the supply yard on monday.
  5. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    Most of these steel guys are not too jovial. They dont even smile. Just don't show up 20 min before lunch or quitting time. That p@##@! them off. Angle Irons is specked side 1 X side 2 thickness. ie. 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" by 3/16 etc. Square tubing is 2x2 and thickness. Flat iron width x thickness. Sheet length width and thickness. Thickness is the hardest to decide, most beginners think they need 1/4 which is way thick. Most steel guys don't want to tell you what thickness you need because they are not structural engineers and don't want to get in-between a beginner and his collapse. I Don't blame them. So have a good Idea what thickness you will need and tell them in thousands of an inch. 1/8 .0125 etc. The smaller thicknesses have gages, like 14 gage or 18 gage. But the guy at the counter can determine what gage corresponds with thick in .000". So get some calipers and measure some similar items and their thicknesses and get an idea what you will need. Cold rolled is a slightly stronger and more uniform form of bar stock round, square, and flat. Hot rolled is much cheaper and has some scale on surface. Mig is the way to go. If budget is small 125 A. will do . If you occasionaly need to weld thicker mats. you can make several passes. Works for Cat. Can't wait for winter!


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