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Old 03-08-2013, 12:09 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by shlammed View Post
Take a class at a community college and they will teach you the basics.
I'm thinking about doing this while I wait for parts (hurry up Reverant and Savington).

But if I do, am I crazy to think I could take a 1 semester welding class, and then weld myself a manifold (something simple like has been posted many times to the DIY mani thread)? Or should I just leave that to the experts and start with something more simple (like probably the rest of the exhaust)?
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:21 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by thenuge26 View Post
I'm thinking about doing this while I wait for parts (hurry up Reverant and Savington).

But if I do, am I crazy to think I could take a 1 semester welding class, and then weld myself a manifold (something simple like has been posted many times to the DIY mani thread)? Or should I just leave that to the experts and start with something more simple (like probably the rest of the exhaust)?
If you pick up the basics fairly quickly, invest in a decent used welder and just keep practicing there is no reason why you can't build your own manifold.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:44 PM   #163
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I just took a TIG class at my local community college. It was 4 weeks long and we only welded with mild steel. The actual classes that teach more then that were regular semester long classes, but those have a 2 year wait on them. I honestly would not recommend the class unless it goes over more then just mild steel. I did get better at welding during it, but that is more because I spend tons of time practicing.

If you are interested in only building 1 manifold and thats it then I would suggest going to Abe and getting it done. If you want to actually be able to fabricate and build things in the future then I would say learn to weld. After you factor in costs of welder, and saws, and other tools your costs will far exceed the cost of just having a custom made.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #164
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I just took a TIG class at my local community college. It was 4 weeks long and we only welded with mild steel. The actual classes that teach more then that were regular semester long classes, but those have a 2 year wait on them. I honestly would not recommend the class unless it goes over more then just mild steel. I did get better at welding during it, but that is more because I spend tons of time practicing.

If you are interested in only building 1 manifold and thats it then I would suggest going to Abe and getting it done. If you want to actually be able to fabricate and build things in the future then I would say learn to weld. After you factor in costs of welder, and saws, and other tools your costs will far exceed the cost of just having a custom made.
What else do you want to cover? Stainless (304L at least) welds pretty much like very clean mild. 4130 acts a bit funny but you'll figure it out, just be sure to use the correct filler rod. And aluminum is a whole other beast entirely. Welding anything else I don't know much about, but Ti, Mag, and nickel alloys are kind of specialty items anyways.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:58 PM   #165
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I also took a welding class at a community college. I agree its kind of a waste. You do get a lot of practice for the money and in my case I met my instructor, who is a machinist and lets me use his shop and tools, etc. I also built a log manifold after my class and its been fine since then. It's really not tough to do a simple manifold.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:02 PM   #166
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What else do you want to cover? Stainless (304L at least) welds pretty much like very clean mild. 4130 acts a bit funny but you'll figure it out, just be sure to use the correct filler rod. And aluminum is a whole other beast entirely. Welding anything else I don't know much about, but Ti, Mag, and nickel alloys are kind of specialty items anyways.
Basically we were just given mild steel pieces 3" long by 1.5" and about a quarter inch thick I think and practiced different joints on them. I would have loved to had tubing to practice one. Also learning how to properly back purged stainless and how to weld aluminum would have been nice.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:14 PM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
The actual classes that teach more then that were regular semester long classes, but those have a 2 year wait on them.
I was shocked to learn that the situation is the same at Palomar College, the local trade school in my area. I would think that more welding classes would be made available with such high demand for them.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:15 PM   #168
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I was shocked to learn that the situation is the same at Palomar College, the local trade school in my area. I would think that more welding classes would be made available with such high demand for them.
There are only so many people willing/able/should be allowed to instruct.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:18 PM   #169
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If you're buying a welder JUST to do a manifold, it's a complete utter waste. My hobby arrangement that will be 'complete' by spring is: $400 for new MIG welder with gas connections on super clearance from Sears, $150 for 40ft3 argon/co2, $40 welding hood, ~$100 angle grinder, $50 misc. accessories (chipper, brushes, gloves, glasses/shield, etc.)...probably ~$150 for DIY manifold materials (flange, elbows)...and you're already at the cost of a brand new Begi S4 manifold ($829+shipping).

You will definitely see savings for continued use. Mine's already paid for itself.
Rocker repair - quoted ~$1400 , DIY ~$400 , Savings ~$1000
Seat mounts - retail ~$200 , DIY ~$60 , Savings ~$140
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:25 PM   #170
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I don't see what's difficult about TIG. Anyone can do it.

Throttle pedal controls the heat. A sharp point on the electrode makes it easy to direct the heat. Make both pieces turn into liquid. bring in your filler wire. Done.

Weld elbows are thick enough that you don't have to worry about burning thru.

The practice comes in how big to make the liquid area of the base material before bringing in the filler, and how large of a filler to use. Thin materials are more unforgiving obviously.

This applies to steels and aluminum. With aluminum, it just takes a lot more throttle before it melts (at the beginning anyway) and the base material cools quite quickly when you bring in the filler wire (less forgiving with "size of filler"/"how much heat filler takes out of the pool" ratio). And less forgiving on crap in the material. So the rhythm is different.

MIG is harder IMHO, no way to control the heat as you are welding.

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Old 03-08-2013, 01:30 PM   #171
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Tim I feel the same way as you. BUT mig is supposed to be easier. set the machine right and you just pull the trigger. It requires less skill and less dexterity. I've never mig welded with with a non crappy collet in the gun, so I cant really comment. I know that I always flash the wire up into the collet, say F this **** and grab the Tig.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:34 PM   #172
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yeah, Mig is easy, especially once you have the current and feed rate set. I hear you on the ball of metal stuck to the inside of the collet thing and it short circuiting and that ****. no thanks. HF MIG fail. One of these days I may try a legit Mig maybe at a trade show and fall in love with it.

But tig is still easier. I have shakey hands typically but once you get 'in the zone' it's not hard to hold yourself in odd positions and be smooth. Bigass leather HF glove on my torch hand so I can lean on what I"m welding and usually no glove on my filler wire hand makes it easier too.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:53 PM   #173
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Cool, thanks for the info guys. I wouldn't be learning welding JUST for the manifold, that would just be one of the first things I would want to work on. And probably not even for myself. At least 2 of my friends are getting ready to go turbo soon, so that's at least 3 manifolds/dp/exhausts, which will help support the cost.

There's a 20 hour class near me for $350, so I'll probably jump on that. In the mean time, I found an older thread that talked about welding books, so time to bury myself in information.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:09 PM   #174
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I started with TIG and I can say even without an instructor it was relatively easy to pick up and weld metal together. Once I realized that I need to make sure the **** on the torch was turned on for argon, laying down beads was relatively easy. The one thing about TIG is having a modern machine does make things much easier. My Lincoln 175 has auto start for lighting the tig torch and for gas flow. The welders we used in class had to be scratch started and you had to manually turn the gas on and off with the ****. Those welders were a good bit harder to get going good on.

When I get home I will post up some the the TIG books that I have picked up that have been helpful with welding.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:10 PM   #175
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Local welding supply places often have classes. No fancy certificate at the end, but they usually know what they're doing, as they have to deal with real professionals every day. Look in the phone book (does anyone still use one?) for a place that sells gasses.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:16 PM   #176
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That's what I found, a welding supply company was the first hit on google (and recommended by several of the other hits).

Searching found me this thread, and after I am done reading through all that stuff I will try Youtube, and then eventually get a library card.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:34 PM   #177
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Speaking of nice, the new Miller 350p we got at work has the pulsed MIG setting.

Ohhhh that can do some fancy things.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:27 PM   #178
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I decided to go ahead and make my own TII adapter plate. To anyone that wants to do this, remember to measure 10 times, then measure again. Then cut.

After an hour or so of cutting it looked like this:


All done, 2 jig saws later:


Now, after welding tranny mounts to the tunnel, everything fits as though it was meant to be that way:


Factory RX-7 transmission mount:


and with a mix-match of miata and rx-7 bits the shifter ends up in the stock location:


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The custom fabrication thread! (Post pics of stuff you have made)-zji7er.jpg   The custom fabrication thread! (Post pics of stuff you have made)-2vb242d.jpg   The custom fabrication thread! (Post pics of stuff you have made)-2i6ozuf.jpg   The custom fabrication thread! (Post pics of stuff you have made)-2uyjgx0.jpg   The custom fabrication thread! (Post pics of stuff you have made)-157c8jo.jpg  


Last edited by Adamsm; 03-18-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:46 PM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamsm View Post
I decided to go ahead and make my own TII adapter plate. To anyone that wants to do this, remember to measure 10 times, then measure again. Then cut.

After an hour or so of cutting it looked like this:


All done, 2 jig saws later:


Now, after welding tranny mounts to the tunnel, everything fits as though it was meant to be that way:


Factory RX-7 transmission mount:


and with a mix-match of miata and rx-7 bits the shifter ends up in the stock location:


Wait you made that in your garage? What are you doing for clutch, flyweehl, and pressure plate?
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:47 PM   #180
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One can only hope the clutch is not the one from the 3rd picture.
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