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welding stainless steel?

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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Micah Cohen

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Posted November 22 2008 - 05:09 AM

I have a project in mind that requires welding stainless steel. I'm making something that will be submerged in water and might be eaten-off-of (has to be food grade).

I have soldered and sweated copper pipes myself, but never actually welded.

How's a DIY-er to do something like this? (I saw a BenzOmatic welding/brazing set at Lowes for $50 today.) Any advice? Any DIY-welders out there with some info, links, advice?



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#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted November 22 2008 - 05:18 AM

I owned and used a MIG (metal-inert-gas) welder back when I restored old cars. Once you get the hang of it it's as easy to use as a hot glue gun. You can even weld aluminum with one, which is a darned sight more difficult than welding stainless steel. Just get the same wire as the material you are welding and the recommended inert gas and you are good to go. Home use systems run about $500.


Those BenzObama rigs don't work for real welding. I used to own one of those too.

I'm not sure what you mean by "food grade". Any bacteria anywhere near the weld is going to be fried at 1,000 degrees or more. MIG doesn't use flux so there wouldn't be any toxic flux residue if that's your concern.
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#3 of 11 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC



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Posted November 22 2008 - 09:59 AM

Stainless steel welding is not easy, although how difficult it is depends on the application. I would not recommend it as a first step in welding. If you have never welded before, you should probably take a lab class at the local community college (they're cheap) or do something of that kind, to get a feel for it. For someone who does a great deal of metalworking, it is easy enough to pick up, but I don't get the impression you are that person. Stainless steel is tricky because the heat of welding tends to change the metallurgical structure, leading to weakness. If you're not designing to structural specifications, you can be sloppier, but its corrosion resistance will be affected as well.

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted November 22 2008 - 11:53 AM

I am A welder and I second what Christopher said Posted Image
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#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Mark Sherman

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Posted November 22 2008 - 03:17 PM

stainless steel is a very very tricky metal to deal with. Cutting it is Just a pain in the ass let alone welding it. I would ask for some pro. help on this one
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#6 of 11 OFFLINE   drobbins



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Posted November 23 2008 - 01:56 AM

I will echo what the others said. I am a journeyman tool & die maker and in the past I managed a welding shop. Even those who weld for a living dread stainless if they are not used to it. It sounds like what you need has to be water tight and is for food. Sloppy welds will leak. Even with my experience, I would get someone who has much more experience.

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Greg_R



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Posted November 25 2008 - 12:13 PM

Would it be possible to use Epoxy or some other bonding agent to hold the stainless steel together? Alternatively, would you be able to bolt the pieces together (no welding required)?

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Micah Cohen

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Posted November 25 2008 - 02:49 PM

After following some advice here, talking to people, internetting and etc -- and considering my luck with advanced technology, ya know -- I have to back off this WELDING project. I have a great idea, tho... If there's a serious welder on this thread who'd be up for making a small prototype of something nifty, feel free to email me and I'll try to explain to you what I have in mind. We'll make millions. (Um, seriously.) MC

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#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Payper



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Posted September 17 2009 - 12:19 PM

After having worked with this welding company in Kingston, I realized welding does more than complement construction projects. I would suggest that you pursue that prospective welding project, Micah Cohen.

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Matt^Brown


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Posted September 18 2009 - 02:47 AM

Micah, Can you inform us what your idea is once you get it going. You have got me really interested.
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#11 of 11 OFFLINE   weldmeister



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Posted October 24 2009 - 01:31 PM

There's tons of information about welding all kinds of metals at GAWDAwiki, an

encyclopedia/wiki of welding and gases terms online sponsored by the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA). It's called GAWDAwiki.
The wiki is interactive, which means you can use it as a reference, add new terms and definitions, or add more information to existing terms. Please take a look at it and see what you think. It's a great tool for beginners and pros!

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