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What is a butt weld?

by Miles Bruner 0 Comments

A butt weld is the most frequently used type of joint during the fabrication process for pipeliners. These welders typically do this as a circumferential join weld with the metal puddle applied on the joint.

The joint is built by placing two metal edges against each other and then welding the joint. A butt requires both metals to be on the same plan with the weld metal also  on the same plane, resulting in a non-overlapping outcome.

Butt welds commonly use copper as filler material since they are commonly used on piping. Copper has high strength, durability, and can last which is why it’s a common material used.

Pros
  • High strength
  • Easy to weld
  • Easy to inspect quality
Cons
  • Limited application, commonly used with pipes
  • Sensitive to surface conditions


What is the difference between a butt weld and a fillet weld?

Fillet welds and butt welds are the two core types of continuous weld. Fillet welds are common used for corner, t, and lap joints.

  • Fillet weld types – Miter, concave, convex
  • Butt welds – square, grooved, v, double v

what is a butt weld

 

 

 


What are the different types of butt welds?

Square Butt Weld

This type of butt weld is commonly used with 3 / 16” or less thickness metal. This join is not recomended by most welders when the project will be used to high impact or at risk of fatigueing over time due to pressure.

Grooved Butt Weld

Counter to the square butt, the grooved butt is recommended for metals that are thicker than the 3/16 inch thickness mentioned above. Groove welds have two sub-types: single grooved which is only welded on one side, or double-grooved which has grooved on both sides.

The choice between those should primarily be determined based on the thickness of the metal you’ll be working with and what the completed job will be used for.

V Butt Weld

This is mostly used for quarter inch to three quarter inch metal thickness. The V positioning is recommended at a 60 degree angle for plates and 75 degrees for pipes.

A quick note here — the V shape makes this the second most expensive butt weld option because of the filler material volume necessary. However, it produces one of the stronger joints.

Double V Butt Weld

The double v is a highly flexible butt weld and is idea for three quarter inch metal sheets. As you would expect, since this is a double V, it’s the most time comsuming butt weld to prep and build.

 

 

How To Weld Exhaust Pipe – Mig, Tig, Stick, and Flex Core

by Miles Bruner 0 Comments

Automotive welding is a major track for professional welders — including welding exhaust pipes, exhaust manifolds, mufflers, frames, etc. However, knowing how to weld exhaust pipe can also be helpful for the hobbyist welder or auto enthusiast in a pinch.

DIY muffler welding and exhaust pipe welding allows you to save money that you would spend at an auto repair shop, and increase your knowledge… win win if you ask us.

However, it’s important to note that using the proper technique is incredibly important so that you have a quality weld that will last.

Avoid welding when the exhaust pipe is attached to the vehicle – the sparks from welding can potentially lead to fires or explosions due to gasoline.

What tools do I need to weld an exhaust pipe?

In order to successfully weld your exhaust pipe — especially when conducting a repair, you’re going to need several common tools for working with metal. A welder, grinder, hacksaw, potentially a circular chain saw, and all your welding safety gear.


How To Mig Weld Exhaust Pipe

MIG welding is one of the more popular techniques (if not the most popular) for automotive work such as this. It produces minimal slag, which results in an aesthetic and strong weld (automotive enthusiasts are very particular about the aesthetics).

When using the MIG technique, make sure to spend quality effort on cleaning the metal. You may also find that doing some initial tack welds and transitioning to a bench works well (this is a common approach people who TIG weld exhaust pipes take). You’ll need to take care to not burn holes through the piping — so be aware of what your tubing measurements are and if it has rust (MIG may not be the best option if you’re working with rusted exhaust piping).

Using .023 wire is common.

The Process:

  1. Tack weld the pipe in place
  2. Remove from car and bring to welding table if possible
  3. Clean metal
  4. MIG weld slowly (perhaps using .023 wire)
  5. Once the weld has hardened, attach to car
Pros
  • Commonly used at autobody shops
  • Wire feed means no replacing rods
Cons
  • Risks burning holes through thin or rusted pipe

How To TIG Weld Exhaust Pipe

TIG welding is a popular choice for exhaust pipe, exhaust manifold, and header work — particularly with thin sheets of metal such as exhaust tubing where other techniques may burn holes.

TIG is well suited for sensitive metal alloys such as stainless steel. Like MIG welding, it’s important to make sure your metal is cleaned with no oils, rust, paint, or dirt present. Your standard TIG foot pedal will help with heat control, making this another good choice in many situations.

A popular choice is a 1/16 inch tungsten at roughly 60 degree position. Make sure you don’t do more blunt than a 45 degree angle to ensure you get a high quality weld, and remember TIG welding is perfected over time and repetitions.  Utilizing a pulsing technique can help reduce the HAZ.


How To Stick Weld Exhaust Pipe

Let’s just start by saying that stick welding is not the best choice for working with exhaust pipes in most cases. When you’re doing this type of welding, you’re generally working in tight spaces, and potentially at non-flat positions. Because stick welding produces a puddle, you’re going to need to watch it … and unless you have a special welding bench this might be difficult.

Now to mention, that stick welding generally requires two hands, which generally is not possible in tight spaces. Overall, consider stick welding as an option on a case by case basis which depends on the angles and positions as well as the metal you’ll be working with.

If you do decide to go the stick welding route know that the 6010, 6011, and/or 6013 are relatively popular rods if the shop you are working in has them.

 

Pros
  • Location and weather flexible, can be useful in pinch
Cons
  • Generally requires two hands, which can be difficult when working with exhaust manifolds and mufflers
  • Not ideal in tight spaces
  • Metal puddle you need to monitor
  • Slag is common

How To Flux Core Weld Exhaust Pipe

Similar to stick welding, flux core welding is another type that is not recommended for exhaust pipe related work. Flux core welding produces much hotter arcs due to the high amperage, and as a result can risk burning through the exhaust piping.

Pros
  • Wire is continuously fed, which may may for a quicker job since you don’t need to replace electrode rods
Cons
  • Can burn through thin metal such as exhaust piping
  • Spatter may produce an unaesthetic look

 

4 DIY Friendly Plans – How To Build A Welding A Table

by Miles Bruner 0 Comments

As a welder, hobbyist or not, you’ve probably notice it can be a pain to control what you’re welding … especially if you’ve never used a welding table. My guess is you’ve tried to use your own pressure or propped your welding metal up against something to apply counter pressure?

It’s a milestone that all welders go through, and as you start to do more and more projects, you quickly realize how nice it would be to have a specially made table hold your welding material in place — and the importance of it in a producing a high quality and strong weld.

When building a DIY welding table, there’s a couple questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I want to be able to use welding clamps or am I good with just making dogs to hold my materials in place at the joint?
  • What size table do I want?
  • Do I want to be able to move it around / should it have wheels?

DIY Welding Table Blueprint Plans

There have been several differnt welding table plans released across the internet, that result in a variety of tables. We’ll link to them below.

Rolling Welding Table By Phil Vandelay

For this table design, Phil uses 3 pieces of 6 mm plate, that are welded together to create a tabletop surface. This is an interesting technique, and helpful if you do not have a large transport option because it prevents you from needing to hail a large heavy steel plate.

Phil’s plan has 4 caster wheels, one on each leg to enable mobility and relocation of the table. You’ll also notice that Phil’s table is a solid surface top, which means you’ll be a bit more restricted in the clamping locations.


Flat Welding Table By Fireball Tool

The Fireball Tool welding table plans results in an extremely unique, sturdy, and versatile table setup. The downside of this design is that it’s missing casters … so again, if you want mobility, we recommend you add them to your build if you select this design.

What this welding table design loses in mobility, it gains in functionality and flexibility — your imagination is the limit as far as where you can place clamps.

DIY Welding Table By JT Makes It

Another high quality DIY plan — JT Makes It’s design offers substantial flexibility in clamping and locking locations. His table is one of the easier to build yourself, but it produces a sturdy and sound build, which means you shouldn’t be sacrificing safety.

This table design also features casters on the bottom, allowing you to move the table as necessary.


DIY Welding Table By The Metalist

The Metalist considers this their dream welding table — experience driven, and DIY satisfied. This simple design is about more than just clamping flexibility. The Metalist considers other types of tools and their mounting, as well as casters for location flexibility.

 

How To Make Welding Clamps – 4 Plans To Choose From

by Miles Bruner 0 Comments

Making DIY welding clamps is useful in a pinch, especially if you happen to have a pre-made clamp break while on the job. Clamps aren’t something that a notice welder would understand the value out of, but as you do more and more projects, you certainly come to respect their importance … especially when working on a heavy project.

What questions should I ask myself before DIYing a clamp?

  • What type of clamp are you looking to make?
  • How precise does the clamp need to be?
  • Will the clamp be used for multiple projects or do you just need it in a pinch?

Answering these questions will help you determine which plans to follow, and the quality of the homemade clamp that you need. Ultimately, we recommend buying pre-made welding clamps due to their relatively inexpensive cost and criticality to a high quality weld.

What material should I use for my homemade clamp?

You’ll most commonly find stainless steel or cast iron clamps on the pre-made market for sale. Stainless is generally preferred simply because it’s more rust resistant, but it comes at a higher price point. Cast iron on the other hand can rust, but are generally more budget friendly.

Your material selection ultimately depends on what you have available at the time of making the clamp, the urgency of it, and if you are planning to re-use it. If you’re planning to re-use it, the likelihood of rust showing up increases – can your projects afford to have rust marks on them?

DIY Welding Clamp Plans

Angle Jig Step By Step Instructions

Start with a 2 x 2 x 1/4” angle steel bar piece and a 2 x 1/4” flat bar of steeel. When selecting your steel, know that a heavier steel is less prone to warping — aka if you want to use this multiple times, try to buy heavier gauge steel.

Step 1) Cut the 2 pieces of the angle steel into equal lengths, you’ll need to eventually join these with the flat steel bar. The flat steel bar should have both ends cut at a 45 degree angle as well, to improve the quality of the joint

Step 2) Clean the metal legs, and then place them at a 90 degree angle. If you have a square on hand, use that to ensure they make a clean 90 degrees. Make sure you secure these in place so that they can maintain the angle while you are conducting your weld in the next steps

Step 3) Once secured, begin welding — initially by tack welding the pieces to create a consistent sturdy placement. After you complete the initial tack welds, inspect to make sure you’ve maintained your 90 degree angle. Once you’ve confirmed that, complete your welds along the joints. TIG welding is relatively popular with this step.

Step 4) Once your weld has cooled, make sure to clean off the slag. After that’s cleaned, recheck with a framing square to ensure you’ve maintained your angle.

Step 5) Attach magnets to produce a strong hold between your homemade clamp and your welding table.


Smartest DIY Welding Table Clamps By The Metalist

In the video, he takes existing clamps, cuts them and fabricates his own clamps. These clamps are great if you’ve got a welding table that has pinholes, resulting in not only sturdy clamps, but stable clamps as well.


DIY Fixture Clamps By The Fab Forums

Another example of a high quality homemade clamp, the one in this particuar video is a homemade bessey clamp.


Right Angle Jig Plans By WCWelding.com

These plans shared by WcWelding.com have step by step directions for a right angle jig, a great tool for welders needing perfect positioning.


Should I forge my clamp or have it be multi-pieced?

A forged clamp is going to be more sturdy, however if it breaks, you’ll need to rebuild the whole clamp. A clamp that is multi-piece is going to allow you more flexibility when replacing. Ultimately it’s up to you — but generally speaking this question is more of a concern when purchasing clamps than DIYing.

 

 

Kobalt Welding Helmet Review – 3 Year Warranty

by Miles Bruner 0 Comments

Kobalt welding helmets are a popular option at department stores such as Lowes. They are primarily for the budget concious welder – and relatively common for people who work on welding projects infrequently.

The helmet features various aesthetic designs, making it an attractive option if you’re looking for style.

The most common Kobalt brand helmet is made of lightweight construction material, and can support various shades with it’s auto darkening functionality (shades 5- 13), including a grind mode feature. It’s resting shade is #4 as well.

The viewing area on this popular welding helmet is 3.94 inches x 3.66 inches. It’s warranty is relatively in line with those of other brands, offering a 3 year return policy.

Welding Job Growth Expected To Be 3% from 2019 to 2029

by Miles Bruner 0 Comments

The US Bureau of labor statistics recently conducted research projected that employment for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers to grow at 3%, which is in line with other occupations.

This means healthy growth – and good prospects, particularly for welders who are trained user the newest technologies. They expect competition to be higher for those why may be outdated in their education and training (this is similar to any industry that has advancements over time).

source: bls.gov

 

Along with the 3% growth, the American Welding Society believes that there’s an estimates shortage of 375,000 welders in the USA by 2023. They believe this shortage to be driven by a variety of factors including retirements, people leaving the industry, and people advancing.

They’ve also noted that there is a negative perception of welding – people think it can be a dirty and dangerous job and don’t realize you can be selective in your work environment. They don’t realize that welding can be doing things such as working on automotive factory lines or working with robots. As more people shift towards university education, they are missing the opportunity that you can get a cheaper education and starting earning a healthy wage faster with trades such as welding.

 

Welder Salary – 5 Suprising States That Pay The Most

by Miles Bruner 0 Comments

Welder salary does vary depending on the type of job, location, how many hours per week, and if they are salary or hourly. Welding has shown that not only is it a highly technical skill, it’s one that pays well during difficult times, and is relatively stable.

A welder who is trained on the most recent technologies will typically command a higher hourly or salary pay vs someone who is trained in older techniques and technologies. A welder who can work in a variety of environments such as outdoor areas, indoor areas, and scaffolding will also command a higher pay than someone who can only work in one type of environment.

Welding Salary National Average

The United States Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics worked together in 2016, and identified that the average welder salary was just under $40,000. Keep in mind, this is just the average – so that means there are people who are paid significantly higher as well.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted research in 2016 to identify that the average welder salary was just under $40,000 USD

Highest Welding Salary States

As you can see in the table below, according to CareersWiki.com, the highest paid states for welders for both hourly and annual wage are Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Delaware.

State Hourly Mean Wage
Alaska $34.57
Hawaii $28.42
Wyoming $25.47
North Dakota $24.19
Delaware $22.99
State Annual Main Wage
Alaska $71,910
Hawaii $59,120
Wyoming $52,980
North Dakota $50,310
Delaware $47,820

 

Welding Salary By State

Welding pay varies by state as we’ve mentioned above. Below you’ll find a list of the median and top 10% hourly pay by state.

State Welders Median Hourly Pay Top 10% Hourly Pay
Alaska $33.97 $43.83
Hawaii $31.10 $39.75
North Dakota $20.68 $39.05
West Virginia $18.21 $37.88
Wyoming $22.18 $35.23
Nevada $17.73 $34.38
New Mexico $19.10 $33.99
Maryland $20.51 $33.55
California $18.54 $31.56
Delaware $21.74 $31.32
District of Columbia (DC) $26.81 $31.30
New Jersey $19.82 $31.28
Washington $20.55 $30.69
Massachusetts $21.48 $30.57
Colorado $18.44 $29.91
Connecticut $19.19 $29.55
Texas $17.29 $29.25
Louisiana $20.17 $28.45
New York $17.91 $28.29
Montana $16.23 $27.93
Maine $22.18 $27.88
New Hampshire $19.83 $27.56
Utah $17.25 $27.36
Rhode Island $20.27 $27.33
Arizona $17.92 $27.30
Virginia $18.86 $27.22
Mississippi $18.63 $26.98
Oklahoma $17.29 $26.93
Indiana $16.59 $26.73
Minnesota $18.64 $26.69
Pennsylvania $18.06 $26.22
North Carolina $17.65 $26.03
Florida $16.88 $25.87
Michigan $16.56 $25.84
Oregon $18.94 $25.47
Wisconsin $18.16 $25.35
Alabama $17.11 $25.19
Illinois $17.15 $25.14
Kentucky $16.98 $24.49
Ohio $16.99 $24.42
South Carolina $16.74 $24.14
Idaho $16.12 $23.86
Missouri $16.67 $23.77
Kansas $16.10 $23.55
Georgia $16.25 $23.40
Tennessee $16.69 $22.75
Vermont $16.63 $22.57
Nebraska $16.51 $22.56
Arkansas $16.28 $22.42
Iowa $16.62 $22.10
South Dakota $15.33 $19.54
National Average $17.81 $27.20

Welding Salaries By Specialty

Below you’ll find welding salary data for a variety of specialties. As we mentioned above, location is just one of the pay determining factors, another being the specialties and skills that you have. Keep in mind also, some companies provide benefits including suppling equipment like welding screens.

Employment for welders is expected to continue to increase through 2022.

General Welder Salary
Salary $26k – $63k
Source Source
Underwater Welding Salary
Salary $25k – $80k
Source Source
Pipe Welder Salary
Salary $35k – $105k
Source Source
TIG Welder Salary
Salary $28k – $ 63k
Source Source
Certified Welding Salary
Salary $44k – $68k
Source Source
Union Welder Salary
Salary $40k – $51k
Source Source
Offshore Rig Welder Salary
Salary $42k- $66k
Source Source
MIG Welder Salary
Salary $24k – $51k
Source Source
Aerospace Welding Salary
Salary $53k
Source Source

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, welding job is among the fastest-growing industries in America. From 2019 to 2029, the job outlook of welders is about 3% faster than the average growth.

When it comes to the paycheck, welders are also minting an annual salary of $44,190 on average. This is the median welder salary in the year 2020, which means that there are welders on either side – some earning less and some earning a lot more.

However, a welder’s salary depends on several factors. This includes the location, experience of the welder, and the type of welding, among others.

As a welder in the U.S., how much can you expect to earn? Find out this answer and everything else you need to know about this tradesman job.

Factors that determine welders’ salary in the U.S.

Before we delve into the specifics of how much a welder makes in America, it is critical to see what factors play a role. That being said, here are the salary determiners of welders in the U.S.

Location

Irrespective of the industry, location is among the primary determinant for paychecks. When it comes to welders, the states of Hawaii and Alaska are among the highest paying location. The hourly welders’ wages in these states are $46.27 and $45.65 per hour, respectively, according to EMSI data. In terms of cities, welder salary California and welder salary Texas are among the most competitive.

On the other hand, states that pay the lowest welders’ salaries include Idaho and Georgia. Here, the median welders are $17.47 and $17.33, respectively, which is a big difference from the high-paying states. When it comes to cities, welder salary NC is among the low paying areas.

Years of experience

Like other jobs, welders who have many years of experience will naturally earn more than beginners. This is regardless of where the welder works. Naturally, an entry-level welder will make a lot less than a welding inspector salary with years of experience under his belt.

A welder with less than a year of working experience can expect an average hourly salary of about $16.24, even in high-paying states. On the other hand, a veteran welder earns up to $20.74 per hour in states that pay the lowest. This is according to data on indeed.com.

Place of work

Along the lines of job location, the company you work for as a welder also plays a major role in the paycheck. According to indeed.com, companies that pay the highest welder salary in the U.S. include Bechtel and Faurecia. Welders in these two companies can make as much as $46.55 and $44.19 per hour of work, which is an impressive figure.

At the other end are the lower-paying companies such as Siemens AG and Caldwell Tanks. Inc. The hourly pay for a welder in these companies is $22.36 and $22.64, which is still above the national average, but the difference is evident.

Type of welding job and job responsibility

Another important factor that determines an American welder’s salary is the type of welding job and its responsibilities. A tig welder salary carries a different figure than a pipe welder salary and vice versa. Similarly, an underwater welder salary can be a lot more different from a pipeline welder salary and so on.

How much can you make as a welder in the U.S.?

Now that we know the determining factors of welders’ salaries, let’s break down the specifics of the paycheck.

Average welders salary according to years of experience

Entry-level welders

Welders who have recently taken up welding positions are in the entry-level category. These amateur tradesmen typically have working experience of one to two years. Most entry-level welders have a GED or a diploma in welding certification. So their average salary is about $7.25 to $19.24 per hour.

Some entry-level welders may possess an associate degree or an apprenticeship program. In this case, they can expect higher hourly pay than someone with a diploma in welding.

Mid-level welders

Welders in the U.S. having experience between six to ten years fall under this category. These tradesmen typically have an apprenticeship and extensive training in addition to a certification.

Furthermore, mid-level welders also perform advanced and varied number of jobs that may not suit an entry-level welder. So, these welders can command $17.90 to $30.74 per hour, depending on the nature of the work.

Experienced and highly experienced welders

Welders who have more than ten years of work experience to their credit are in this category. Many of them undertake high-risk welding jobs that require extensive knowledge, use of advanced tools and skills. In turn, they command a higher salary than those in the entry-level or mid-level category.

Veteran welders earn anywhere from $20.74 to $$46.55 per hour. This figure, however, will also fluctuate depending on the nature of the welding job.

Average welders salary according to the type of work.

Note: The salary figures below represent a national average. So the final paycheck will be a lot more different as it depends on a number of variables mentioned earlier.

Welder helper/fitter

The average national salary of welder helpers and fitters is $13.53 per hour. Tradesmen in this category assist senior welders in minor welding, transporting, and cleaning.

Tig welder

The national average Tig welder salary in the U.S. is $19.88 per hour.

Mig welder

In the U.S., the average salary of a Mig welder is $17.24 per hour. Mig welders work in high-risk areas such as metal construction projects and factories.

Metal fabricator

Welders who engage in fabricating work in the cutting, shaping, and designing of metal components. This category of welders earn up to $17.76 per hour on a national average.

Pipe welder

Welders in this category install structural units and interpret blueprints. As such, they earn more than a welder or a fitter. The national average pipe welder salary is $24.50 per hour. A pipeline welder salary is typically higher than a welder that works in a factory or a similar area.

Underwater welder

Welders who work with underwater structures take home some of the highest paychecks. Among the highest underwater welder salary is a record $83,730 in a year. Commercial welders with a diving license can earn more than $300,000 annually with other benefits.  However, this figure pertains to the top 10 underwater welders.

On average, an underwater welder salary is $24.96. However, this figure depends on other factors, including experience, certification, and duration of the work, among others.

Certified welding inspector salary

Certified welding inspector salary is also very handsome. On average, they can earn $57,800 annually. On the higher side, welding inspectors earn up to $66,376 in a year.

So the hourly welding inspector salary is around $35 per hour. However, certified welding inspectors who travel for work can make as much as $75 per hour.

What benefits is part of a welder’s salary?

Similar to other tradesmen on the job, welders earn a good number of benefits. The type of benefits and how much you get will depend on a number of factors. This includes whether you work for a company or a private contractor, among others. In addition, if you work as a private contractor welder, then the paycheck and the benefits will look a lot more different.

Having said that, here are the most common benefits that are part of the welders’ salary in most states:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Parental leave
  • Life insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • 401 (k)
  • Paid time off
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Disability insurance
  • Relocation assistance
  • Professional development assistance
  • Employee assistance program

What does the future look like for welders?

According to the American Welding Society, the welding industry is set to employ up to 2,2500 welders by 2026. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the welding industry will witness steady growth in the coming years. This is a fantastic opportunity for those looking to break into the welding industry.

The requirements for becoming a welder in the U.S. are also relatively minimal. If you have a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification, you can easily start as an entry-level welder. Of course, moderate on-the-job training is still necessary for every would-be welder. In comparison to other construction jobs, the average welders’ salary, even at the entry-level, is a decent figure.

As you gradually get into the rhythm of welding, you can undergo training, certifications, and apprenticeship. This will not only further your position in the welding industry but bring in heftier paychecks.

Wrapping up.

A welder salary varies greatly depending on various factors such as location and level of experience. Nevertheless, welding is one of the highest paying tradesmen jobs in the U.S. Of course, some states pay higher than others.

Currently, the states of California, Ohio and Texas have the highest number of welders in the country. Not surprisingly, these states also pay the best welder salary. However, there is a steady demand for welders due to the growing needs in construction. So it is only right to expect that welders’ salaries will increase in the coming years.